FINDING A WAY TO WIN!!!!!
FINDING A WAY TO WIN!
If you know anything about Isaiah Bankhead, then you’d know that he LOVES to play football and he’s been doing that at North Hardin for the past three seasons and he does it with a certain kind of workmanship that makes you think it seems to come easy.
What makes his story so interesting is that during the lean years during his sophomore season, the Trojans were an oddity because they had graduated starter Andrew Rugerio and would be led on offense by both Bankhead and junior back Taven Graves. “It was really an eye-opening experience to what really my whole high school career could be and I just loved it and I realize now that I could learn many lessons for my future years playing.”Although the Trojans were 2-8 during the 2014 season, there were highlights like the John Hardin win (44-36 in week 9). In that game, the offense exploded as Bankhead passed for 233-yards and 2-TDs while Graves ran for 216-yards and 4-TDs on 42-carries. the Trojans followed that up with a close loss to Meade County 44-37. Bankhead was 20-33-235-yards and 3-sixes.
The late success spearheaded a better season in 2015 as Bankhead threw for 2,240 yards and 22-TDs against 9-interceptions as North Hardin went 4-8 and won a playoff game against Daviess County. Many the Trojans games were shootouts as they scored 321-points, but allowed 397 during a season in which both Bankhead and Graves were no longer secrets. “It was difficult at first as Taven and I were getting use to gameplans where everyone was keying on us, but once we got use to it we just started rolling along with our game based on what other teams were doing to us.”With Graves gone, Bankhead knew going into his senior season that much would be expected of him, but even he could not have envisioned what was about to transpire. First off, the Trojans started out 4-0 and every game was a rollercoaster ride starting with a comeback win Boyle County in which Bankhead ran for 99-yards and 2-TDs in the 21-20 win. Against John Hardin, Bankhead completed just nine passes, but controlled the game masterfully as the defense kept coming up with turnovers in the 25-10 win. Perhaps the signature win was the Caldwell County game in which the Trojans fell behind early, but never gave up. Despite 3-interceptions, Bankhead kept on fighting and after Brandon Leaks interception put the Trojans in position for a game winning field goal, North Hardin walked away 24-21 winners and were surprisingly 3-0. Then along came Elizabethtown and Bankhead suffered an injury that kept him out from under center for several games. “It was a pass play and I dropped back and I really didn’t see anybody open so I took off running and one of their players came up and we hit. His shoulder hit mine and I ended up separating my AC joint. I tried to play a few more plays with it just testing it, but I realized that when I threw it kept getting worse so I came out of the game.”
Despite that, North Hardin came back and won with backup Eric Moore as Bankhead rested his shoulder, but he was far from gone as he would continue to play wide receiver and would catch 9 balls for 164-yards and 3-TDs. “Really I always wanted to play wideout and it was a good experience working with our receivers coach. I really enjoyed doing it.” It took about three weeks total and with the team continuing to roll under Moore, there was no reason to push Bankhead quickly although he did return for the last several games as North Hardin would finish 6-5 after a playoff loss in the first round. A highlight during that period was his first touchdown pass to younger brother Jeremiah against Owensboro Catholic. “He was cutting across the middle and I threw him the pass. It was just a great experience and that’s the game that I broke the record too.”
Bankhead surpassed the All-Time yardage record passing set by Crad Jagger. Yet, Bankhead handled it the way he does everything else with a certain calm and patience that seems to belie his youth. Still, there was one more game left in his high school career and Bankhead suffered another setback in the All Star game. “I was on a run over to the right sideline and I saw a hole open up so I planted and I felt two pops in my knee so I went down. It was an ACL tear and a Meniscus tear.” Prognosis for recovery should have be August as he had surgery in December. Since he is playing college football, Bankhead can’t wait to get back and the outgoing senior even gave some advice to the next incoming quarterback at North Hardin. “Really just enjoy it, because it can be taken away from you and not just through injury, but your time passing until you are a senior and it’s over. Some people will never step on the field again so really just enjoy it cause my sophomore and junior year I didn’t really enjoy it as much as I should.”