The senior quarterback accounted for five touchdowns as the Yellow Jackets took a 48-8 victory over Cloudland in Friday’s second round of the Class 1A football playoffs.
The Highlanders finished the season with a 9-2 record.
“We couldn't block them,” Cloudland head coach Mike Lunsford said. “I had seen them on tape and they are one of the better football teams I’ve seen. They are very big and physical up front. On defense, I saw them play really good teams and I didn't see anyone able to run the ball on them. My hope was that we would be able to. They are a very sound football team.”
The Eastern Kentucky commit McKinney threw for two touchdowns, returned two interceptions for scores and ran for a TD. In all, the quarterback finished 10-of-13 passing for 160 yards.
On the opposite side of the ball, the ‘Lander defense faced tough sledding from the opening kick.
Cloudland’s Jordan Coffey was limited to 76 offensive yards — 53 receiving and 23 on the ground. Coffey caught a short pass from Malachi Benfield and took it 46 yards for a touchdown to open the fourth quarter for the home team’s lone score.
Benfield went 5-of-15 for 59 yards.
CHS found itself in an early hole as the Yellow Jackets scored on a short Tyler Keathley run. The teams traded three-and-outs before McKinney found brother Peyton McKinney for a 45-yard touchdown. On the ensuing possession, Parker McKinney stepped in front of a CHS pass and raced 46-yard for the touchdown as Coalfield took a 21-0 advantage into the second quarter.
From there the ‘Landers saw their offensive get clicking as Triston Lacy caught a pass from Benfield to convert a fourth down. The drive, however, ended on a McKinney pick-six.
Cloudland’s Josh Blair ended the half with an interception in the end zone as Coalfield took a 34-0 lead into intermission.
Despite the score, the Cloudland squad continued to fight.
“I was very proud of the way we fought in the second half,” Lunsford said. “We gave 100% effort and never let up. I thought we played harder the longer the game went. That is all I could ask for.”
Coalfield’s Ashton Jones added 92 yards rushing.
“I am very proud of the kids,” Lunsford said. “There was a lot of people who said I don't know if you will win a game and all that good stuff. I felt like we would have a decent season. The kids played hard and we accomplished a lot. The seniors will remember their senior season and remember what they did.”