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Belfry and Corbin Get Resounding Road Wins over Ranked Opponents

In a week that saw seven of Bluegrasspreps' Top Ten 3A schools play on the road, Belfry and Corbin, ranked first and second respectively in class, picked up the biggest wins. Belfry, winners of twelve straight dating to last season, went to perennial northern Kentucky and Class 2A powerhouse Newport Central Catholic and won 41-8. As might be expected after a nearly four hour bus ride, the Pirates were slowed somewhat out of the gate and only led 14-0 at halftime. The second half, though, started with a kickoff return for a touchdown and Belfry (3-0) was well on their way to a romp. As always, the offense dominated on the ground, accumulating 396 yards rushing on 57 attempts.

While Belfry was methodically putting Newport Catholic away, a couple hours south the state was witnessing Corbin do the same to Danville, ranked #3 in Class 2A. In an admittedly unscientific poll, 67% of BGP posters had picked Danville to win the game and some were even suggesting a running clock was possible, a repeat of last week's Danville/Boyle matchup. Instead, Corbin (4-0) scored late in the first quarter and again in the second quarter to take a 14-0 halftime lead and would cruise in with a 28-7 victory. Danville coach Clay Clevenger told the Danville Advocate-Messenger “they came out and did exactly what I thought they were going to do. They came out and came right at us. They were trying to wear us down, they play a lot of kids one way. It was a good, humid night to try to come right at us and wear us down, and they did that." (Football: Admirals get humbled against Corbin - The Advocate Messenger: Sports)

On the Road

In the classic American novel On the Road by Jack Kerouac, Dean Moriarity leaves jail and travels from New York to San Francisco to New Orleans to Denver to Mexico City. Moriarity and others see shifting landscapes, dramatic action, and personal development throughout the course of the story. While we probably won't be talking about Week 4 in the future, there was a little bit of all of that for teams ranked third through eighth.

Shifting Landscape

#4 Central has played four consecutive ranked opponents and have lost by a wider margin each week. City rival St. Xavier was the latest to topple the Yellowjackets, winning 51-7. Central has the week off before beginning district play at home against Waggener, another ranked team, on September 23. A week off with certainly help Central rest and heal, but you have to wonder if the days of dominating Class 3A are coming to a close.

Garrard County's offensive struggles continued in a 42-14 loss at Rockcastle County. The Golden Lions, ranked fifth this week, were held to 155 yards of total offense and scored 14 points, their third consecutive week being held under 20. Garrard (2-2) has faced a tough schedule thus far and upcoming non-district games at East Jessamine and at home against Lloyd Memorial will also be challenges. Improvement will be needed on both sides of the ball as Garrard moves toward district play.

Dramatic Action

In a battle of Catholic school powers, Covington Catholic held on to defeat #3 Lexington Catholic, 21-20. Both teams traded scores for much of the evening and CovCath led 21-14 late in the fourth. Lexington Catholic (1-3) pieced together a late drive and scored, only to see the extra point fail, leaving the Knights losers of their last three. After two straight sub-par defensive performances, however, holding Covington Catholic (who came in averaging over 34 points per game) to 21 points signals a step in the right direction for Mark Perry's squad.

Two of northeastern Kentucky's oldest rivals, Russell and Ashland, slugged it out on Friday night at Putnam Stadium, with Ashland scoring late and converting a two point attempt to set the final score at 8-7. #8 Russell (2-1) scored first, taking a 7-0 lead late in the first quarter. The game stayed that way until the final five minutes of the fourth quarter, when Ashland, pinned at their own three yard line, began a drive that would result in the winning touchdown with 1:17 left in the game.

Personal Development

Perhaps personal and personnel development both fit here, as Boyle County picked up their first win of the season, a resounding 41-21 victory at Anderson County. Using two quarterbacks, Boyle (1-3) piled up 352 yards of total offense. Starter Sam Tiller was 10-of-14 for 184 yards and three scores, while freshman Reed Lanter threw for 69 yards on 6-of-12 passing.

Speaking to the Danville Advocate-Messenger, head coach Chuck Smith said “We really did need this in the worst way. Those first three games, although they were against good opponents, I think as much as anything it gave our guys some good experience. Tonight we played with a little more confidence and got some things going.” (Football: Rebels break losing streak with blowout at Anderson - The Advocate Messenger: Sports)

Around the Rankings

#6 Caldwell County (1-3) had little trouble with neighboring Crittenden County, dispensing of the Rockets 49-0, to record their first victory of the season. On a very positive note, both schools raised over $3,000 for the Special Olympics and presented letterman jackets to both schools' Special Olympic athletes during halftime.

#9 Bardstown handled county rival Nelson County with ease, knocking off the Cardinals 48-7. Bardstown (3-0), who turned heads with a win over Spencer County in the opener, has had two consecutive blowouts, but will be tested heavily next week against Elizabethtown in what should be one of the marquee games in 3A.

#10 Waggener (2-1) beat Shawnee 76-0 in a very lopsided affair.

Extra Points

Casey County continued its hot start to the 2016 season by moving to 3-0 with a 49-42 victory over Lincoln County, their first in sixteen tries against the Patriots. Quarterback Breece Hayes was again impressive, passing for 319 yards and five touchdowns.

After suffering a season-opening shutout, Knott County Central's offense stole the show for a second consecutive week, this time in a 47-0 victory over South Floyd. Sophomore quarterback Cameron Jones threw for 259 yards and five touchdowns, two of which were to Tyler Kidd.

West Carter (2-1) beat East Carter for the third straight year, romping to a 50-0 win. The Comets, who were hit hard with graduation over the last two years, have set themselves up as somewhat of a surprise contender in District 5. Longtime coach Kevin Brown has done a terrific job in Olive Hill.

Trigg County lost both of its first two games on the road in shutout fashion but has rebounded to win its next two. This week saw the Wildcats beat Todd County Central 47-14, its second straight home win. Trigg will be home agains next week against Calloway County before beginning district play.

Three to See
(Each week the 3A Notebook will preview the three best games featuring Class 3A teams for the coming week)

1. Corbin at Southwestern. Corbin plays the second of three straight road games, this time at 5A #8 Southwestern, who is 3-1. Both teams have already played Danville, with Corbin winning and Southwestern losing by one point. Southwestern won last year's meeting, 14-10.

2. Elizabethtown at Bardstown. These two teams, separated by a couple spots in the rankings and about 25 miles of Bluegrass Parkway, square off in what should be a classic. E'town won 38-7 last year, but Bardstown has already gained revenge once for a 2015 blowout and will look to get the same against the Panthers this Friday night.

3. Morgan County at Magoffin County. District 7 has appeared to be wide open this season and with six teams, district play begins earlier than in other districts. Magoffin has already lost their district opener and another loss could mean missing the playoffs for a second consecutive year. Morgan will look for their second win of the season after back-to-back losses to Allen Central and Bath County.

Just One More
(Tired of the same teams every week? Want to go off the beaten path for a 3A game this Friday night? Each week we'll look at an under-the-radar matchup to watch in Class 3A)

Fort Campbell at Fort Knox in the Army Bowl. Fort Campbell is 0-4, but has played a dogged schedule, losing to 2A #1 Mayfield, 1A #1 Russellville, 4A #5 Hopkinsville, and 5A #2 Christian County. Fort Knox is struggling too, having started this campaign 0-3. No matter the records, though, both schools will be aiming to win this big time rivalry. Fort Campbell has won thirteen straight in the series, with the last Fort Knox win coming in 2002.