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The game of the year in 1A takes place this Friday. We will get to that later in the article. First let's look back at last week and then to this week's key district games.

Last Week in 1A

As district play rolls on, there weren't many significant games last week. Every team in the top 10 that played last week took care of business. The only one of those top 10 games that was even within a couple touchdowns was new #10 Williamsburg defeating Pineville 26-19. Every other top 10 team won by 4 touchdowns or more. That win earned Williamsburg the district 7 title. Even if Williamsburg loses this week to Lynn Camp they will be district champion by virtue of their wins over Harlan and Pineville.

There were a couple of other key district contests to note. Bethlehem won the district 2 title with a 22-8 win over Campbellsville. Brossart kept their district title hopes alive with a win over last year's district champion Paris, 53-34. Holy Cross (Louisville) also kept district title hopes open by getting a big win over Frankfort, 40-13.

The Week Ahead - District Title Games

Hang in there. We will get to the showdown game of the year in just a minute. First, let's look at three other games this week with district titles on the line.

Russellville vs. Crittenden County - Both teams stand at 2-0 in district play. Crittenden County has pulled off an upset or two in their not too distant past (Mayfield fans can attest to this). However, on paper it looks like this game will be too lopsided for even the most avid Crittenden County fans to believe an upset could happen.

Kentucky Country Day vs. Frankfort - Ky. Country Day is 2-0 in district play and a win gives them the district title. Last year a one win Frankfort team pulled out a win over KCD. Frankfort is once again the underdog, and more of an underdog this year. An upset win for Frankfort is not beyond their reach but it would be a big upset and Frankfort's best win of the year by far.

Nicholas County at Bracken County - In district 5, Nicholas County's undefeated season and the district title are on the line as they travel to Bracken County (6-2; 2-1 in district). Bracken County was on a 4 game winning streak including a big win over Paris until Brossart put a disappointing loss on them 33-13. Close games for Nicholas County versus Brossart and Paris give Bracken County fans belief that they can get the upset win in this one at home. Of these three district battles, Bracken County has the best chance of getting that upset win, but Nicholas County is the clear favorite.

SHOWDOWN - #1 Paintsville at #3 Raceland

This is the game we have been waiting for! A district title is on the line. The #1 ranking in 1A is on the line. Undefeated seasons for both are on the line. Better playoff seeding and home field in the playoffs is on the line. There isn't anything more that could be on the line in a regular season game. Mercy me ... this is going to be a good one.

Paintsville has overcome the loss of last year's Mr. Football Kash Daniel and stormed their way up to the #1 ranking in 1A. The big catapult forward for the Tigers came in week 3 when they defeated defending state champion Pikeville by a 40-28 score. The Paintsville doubters had to step aside after that convincing win. They almost stumbled to an upset loss versus Bourbon County, pulling out a 17-16 win to keep the undefeated season going. No other games have been close for Paintsville.

Raceland's huge win of the year came even sooner. In game 2 of the year the Rams got a huge win over their rival, 4A Ashland Blazer, by a 20-13 score. At the time, that win looked like it might be more about Ashland being down versus a statement of how good Raceland is, especially after Ashland lost the next week to go to 0-2. However, Ashland has not lost since and now is in the top 10 in 4A. That Ashland win now looks like an even more impressive win than Paintsville's win over Pikeville.

As we look at the game, both teams have balanced offenses. Raceland QB Nathaniel Davidson is the #1 QB in 1A statistically. Through 7 games, Richardson has thrown for over 1700 yards, 18 TD's and completed 63% of his passes. His top targets are John Cherry, who leads 1A in receiving, and Cameron Webb. Despite the high powered passing stats, Paintsville can't focus their defense on stopping that because Raceland RB Bailey Walker is #6 in rushing in 1A. The Paintsville defense is #1 in 1A, only allowing 8 points per game, so they should be up to the challenge.

On the Paintsville offensive side, they lean a little more to the rushing side led by RB Kent Phelps. Phelps averages 10.6 yards per carry and the Raceland defense will need to stop him first to stop the Paintsville offense. Raceland's defense is tied at #1 in rushing defense in 1A, only allowing 73 yards rushing per game. It isn't all about Phelps running the ball though for Paintsville. Tiger QB Darren Morris has done an admirable job stepping in for Daniel. Morris has rushed for over 500 yards on the season and could cause problems for the Raceland defense running the ball if Raceland focuses too much on Phelps. Morris also has over 700 yards passing, throwing 15 TD passes against only 3 interceptions, and has completed a whopping 66% of his passes. Paintsville doesn't throw it a lot but they are very effective when they do.

These two teams are both having incredible seasons and look evenly matched. Give an edge to Raceland for home field advantage. Game of the year in 1A. If you live within driving range, this is a game you don't want to miss.