Voice of Reason's Avatar
As we look ahead to round 2 of the 1A playoffs, I thought it might be interesting to look at each of the round 2 matchups through the lens of their end of the year rankings.

#5 Russellville vs. #12 Campbellsville

This matchup could have been much more interesting if Campbellsville D1 prospect Kendon Young were still at RB instead of rehabbing a knee injury. Both teams did a good job taking care of business in round 1 but this does not look good for Campbellsville in round 2. Russellville is averaging about 50 points a game in their 9 wins. I don't think they will hit that number in this one, but Russellville should win by a couple scores or more.

#13 Bethlehem vs. #16 Crittenden County

These two teams were consistently ranked in the 10-15 range all year. That would cause you to think they are evenly matched. They have one common opponent in Fulton County and both posted similar lopsided wins over them. This game could go either way but Bethlehem is about a one TD favorite.

#10 Holy Cross (Louisville) vs. #12 Kentucky Country Day

Kentucky Country Day is one of those lower seeded teams that traveled and posted a win in round 1. That sets up another battle against district rival Holy Cross. Holy Cross got a 2 TD win in the regular season game between these two. They look like the favorite to repeat that win here in round 2.

#1 Beechwood vs. Frankfort

Frankfort earned some pride by getting a first round win in spite of a tough regular season. In their last 6 games, the Panthers have gone 3-3 and alternated getting wins with lopsided losses. If the pattern continues, this week will be a lopsided loss. That pattern will continue. Beechwood gets a lopsided win.

#4 Paris vs. #6 Fairview

This game is one of the marquee contests in round 2. Fairview almost did not get here with a very close call in their one point round 1 win over Nicholas County. Paris is undefeated but their schedule has some people doubting them. Because of that, this is a pick 'em contest. Both teams won close contests versus Nicholas County. Both teams have speed at the skill positions and explosive offensive stars. This game is too close to call. As it is in most games this closely matched, turnovers and big plays will likely determine the winner.

#2 Paintsville vs. #7 Raceland

This playoff matchup has been expected all year, but it has a much different look than expected at the start of the season. Raceland was the team expected to be sitting at #2, not Paintsville. The Rams have been inconsistent against a tough schedule. Their fans have to hope that tough schedule has the Rams ready to do to Paintsville what Paintsville did to Pikeville in last year's playoffs - avenge a lopsided regular season loss with a shocking upset. As much as that is the hope, it does not look like a possibility. The Tigers should get a decisive win in this one.

#8 Hazard vs. Harlan

Harlan's 9-2 record, unlike Hazard's, is built on a weak schedule. Score comparisons can be an iffy way to project a game, but Hazard beat Pineville 41-6 in round 1, while Harlan squeaked out a 1 TD against that same Pineville team just 3 weeks ago. Do the math and you will get the expected margin of victory for Hazard in this game.

#3 Pikeville vs. Williamsburg

Williamsburg has clearly improved as their inexperienced team gained experience. The Yellow Jackets have won 4 straight and 5 of their last 6. However, Pikeville is a different level opponent than those teams Williamsburg has been defeating. The Panthers have scored more than 50 in each of their last 6 wins, and have only allowed 2 TD's in their last 4 games. Pikeville is playing as dominating football as anyone in 1A right now. Look for them to win by 4 TD's or more in this game.

That is our round 2 matchups. There are some really fun games to watch on this Friday's schedule. A couple of our highly ranked teams face serious challenges in round 2. Don't be surprised if there are a couple upsets.