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The name of the game now is district play. The district results are going to set the stage for everything that follows the rest of the season. As each week’s results come in, we will see how the first two rounds of the playoffs line up. With that being the focus, this week’s 1A notebook will follow up on our district summaries from last week and check out how the results from last Friday impacted the district playoff outlook.

Weekly Review

Here is a quick look at how last week’s top ten fared:

1. Pikeville (7-0) WON vs. Phelps 50-0
2. Hazard (4-2) --- OPEN
3. Paintsville (5-2) WON at Fairview 56-0
4. Newport Central Catholic (5-2) WON vs. Ludlow 49-10
5. Raceland (4-3) WON vs. Betsy Layne 67-0
6. Campbellsville (5-2) --- OPEN
7. Williamsburg (5-2) WON at Harlan 47-6
8. Kentucky Country Day (7-0) WON at Berea 36-14
9. Louisville Holy Cross (5-2) LOST at #10 Bethlehem 28-31
10. Bethlehem (5-1) WON vs. #9 Louisville Holy Cross 31-28

The key action last week for the top ten was in the bottom part of the rankings. The big game was Bethlehem beating Louisville Holy Cross 31-28. It was a close hard-fought battle the whole way. Holy Cross took the early lead at 7-0, but Bethlehem then scored twice to get it to 14-7. Holy Cross responded to tie it again at 14. From there Bethlehem scored to take the lead back at 21-14 just before halftime and the game was never tied again from that point. Bethlehem kept the lead the entire second half but Holy Cross stayed in striking distance. The Cougars scored with 5 minutes left to get it to 31-28 but Bethlehem was able to convert first downs and hold onto the ball the rest of the game. Bethlehem QB Ryan Mattingly was 18 for 27, 287 yards and 4 touchdowns. For Holy Cross, RB Luke Davis rushed 12 times for 169 yards and QB Chaz Geraghty rushed 16 times for 151 yards. It was a good game on a rainy, windy night. The win gives Bethlehem an early advantage in the district race.

The other game of note was #8 Kentucky Country Day facing Berea in a battle of unbeatens. There were question marks about Berea despite their 6-0 record entering the game due to a weak strength of schedule. However, the Pirates showed they are not an illusion as they took an early 7-0 lead. They maintained the lead till just before half when Country Day scored to move in front 14-7. The second half was all Country Day as they scored 22 points before Berea was able to add a last minute touchdown to set the final score. Country Day did used their ground attack to score their points, throwing only 5 passes in the game. Berea had a more balanced attack and actually outgained Country Day 309 yards to 264. Berea showed well against a top notch opponent. We will see if the Pirates were able to learn from this one and be ready if a rematch occurs in the playoffs.

1A Districts Update

District 1

Crittenden County 5-2; 1-0 in district
Russellville 1-6; 1-0 in district
Caverna 1-6; 0-1 in district
Fulton County 5-2; 0-1 in district

Light action in district 1 this week as Russellville and Fulton County both were open this week. Crittenden County got the win in their district opener, defeating Caverna 54-0. This week Fulton County will host Crittenden County in a must win game for the Pilots.

District 2

Campbellsville 5-2; 1-0 in district
Bethlehem 5-1; 1-0 in district
Louisville Holy Cross 5-2; 0-1 in district
Fort Knox 2-5; 0-1 in district

We already covered the big game in district 2, with Bethlehem getting the win over Holy Cross. Campbellsville was open. That gave them a week to prepare for a visit from Bethlehem. No rest for Bethlehem as they move straight from the big win over Holy Cross to take on district favorite Campbellsville. The winner of this game will control their own destiny. If Bethlehem is able to get the win on the road, they will be in the driver’s seat for the #1 district seed in the playoffs. On the other hand, Campbellsville will have to face Holy Cross next week.

District 3

Kentucky Country Day 7-0; 1-0 in district
Eminence 6-1; 1-0 in district
Berea 6-1; 0-1 in district
Frankfort 2-5; 0-1 in district

Country Day got the big win over Berea to take the lead in the district, but Eminence matched that win with a win of their own over Frankfort, 60-30. Berea has to overcome their first loss and travel to Eminence this Friday. If Eminence can defend their home turf, it will set the stage for a district title showdown at Country Day next week.

District 4

Newport Central Catholic 5-2; 1-0 in district
Bellevue 2-5; 1-0 in district
Dayton 4-3; 0-1 in district
Ludlow 4-3; 0-1 in district

In their first 1A district game under realignment, Newport Catholic made it clear that they are here to claim district 4 as theirs with a convincing 49-10 win over Ludlow. QB Paul Kremer only missed on one pass, going 11 for 12 for 137 yards and 5 touchdowns leading the Thoroughbreds to the win. In the other district game, Bellevue upset rival Dayton 21-12, avenging a loss earlier in the season to the Greendevils. It was a disappointing loss for Dayton and now they must travel to face Newport Catholic. Bellevue will try to back up their win with a victory over Ludlow this week.

District 5

Nicholas County 5-3; 2-0 in district
Paris 2-5; 1-1 in district
Bishop Brossart 3-4; 1-1 in district
Bracken County 0-8; 0-2 in district

District 5 is a game ahead of the other districts as all teams already have 2 district games under their belts. Nicholas County locked up the #1 seed in the playoffs and the regular season district title with a 64-30 win over Paris. Meanwhile, Brossart shut out Bracken County 41-0. Brossart and Paris will face off in Paris this Friday with the #2 seed and home field in round 1 of the playoffs on the line.

District 6

Paintsville 5-2; 1-0 in district
Raceland 4-3; 1-0 in district
Fairview 2-4; 0-1 in district
Betsy Layne 3-5; 0-1 in district

Paintsville opened district play by making quick work of Fairview in a 56-0 win. QB Jake Hyden was back with a vengeance going 9 for 11 for 239 yards and 4 touchdowns. Raceland one upped that score with a 67-0 blasting of Betsy Layne. The Rams’ got their QB back as well, with Jacob Heighton returning to go 5 for 8, 145 yards and 3 touchdowns. It is good to see those two outstanding quarterbacks back in action in plenty of time for the district showdown between Paintsville and Raceland in two weeks at Paintsville.

District 7

Pikeville 7-0; 2-0 in district
Hazard 5-2; 1-0 in district
Phelps 3-4; 0-1 in district
Jenkins 0-10 (forfeiting season)

The 1A game of the week is right here in district 7 with 1A #1 Pikeville on the road at 1A #2 Hazard. It is clear this game will determine who is the #1 seed in the playoffs and regular season district winner, and very well determines who finishes the regular season ranked #1 in 1A. This game sets up as a defensive battle. Both teams are among the leaders in 1A in points allowed. Pikeville allows 13.3 points per game and Hazard is just behind that allowing 15.4 points per game. Furthermore, Hazard’s defense has only allowed 1,092 total yards on the season. On paper, it looks like the team that can get 3 touchdowns on the scoreboard has a good chance of winning.

District 8

Pineville 6-1; 1-0 in district
Williamsburg 5-2; 1-0 in district
Lynn Camp 2-4; 0-1 in district
Harlan 1-6; 0-1 in district

Williamsburg and Pineville opened district play with wins and lined themselves up for a district decision maker this Friday at Williamsburg. Williamsburg coasted to a 47-6 win over Harlan while Pineville fought their way to a 14-6 win over Lynn Camp. Williamsburg QB Dalton Ponder looks like he is ready for this Friday connecting on 13 of 15 passes for 292 yards and 4 touchdowns in the win over Harlan. Pineville let the legs of RB Colby Frazier lead them to their win with Frazier carrying the ball 21 times for 198 yards. Frazier is averaging 154 yards a game rushing. Look for Pineville to try and control the clock with Frazier’s running and keep the ball away from Ponder and Williamsburg’s high-powered offense.

Friday Night Lineup

Here is the lineup for this Friday for the 1A top 10.

1. Pikeville at #2 Hazard
2. Hazard vs. #1 Pikeville
3. Paintsville vs. Betsy Layne
4. Newport Central Catholic vs. Dayton
5. Raceland vs. Fairview
6. Campbellsville vs. #9 Bethlehem
7. Williamsburg vs. Pineville
8. Kentucky Country Day at Frankfort
9. Bethlehem at #6 Campbellsville
10. Louisville Holy Cross at Fort Knox