3A Notebook: Best Case/Worst Case Scenarios

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    by gchs_uk9 is offline Premium Member
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    We've reached the halfway point of the high school football regular season and in Class 3A all but one district has already seen district play begin. This week's 3A Notebook is going to peer into the crystal ball and provide a best case and worst case scenario for every team in the class. And before you get too caught up in the predictions - and post them in your favorite team's locker room or share it across social media - I'll remind you that this is all in good fun!

    All records are current; shown ranking is from most recent Bluegrasspreps.com publication)

    District 1
    Caldwell County (4-2; #7
    Best Case: Caldwell rolls through district play, then beats Elizabethtown to finally win a regional crown. Magical season ends at Louisville Central but Joby Jaggers puts up incredible numbers along the way.

    Worst Case: All the goodwill of a district title is undone with a rout at the hands of Mayfield in the season finale. Larue County comes to Princeton and bounces the Tigers in the second round, the earliest playoff exit for Caldwell since 2011. Caldwell County's time in Class 3A is the ultimate case of "what might have been."

    Paducah Tilghman (4-2; #8)
    Best Case: Tilghman overcomes loss to Caldwell and wins out, including an impressive win at Christian County in the finale. Tornado go to Elizabethtown and win, then top Caldwell in a rematch, before bowing in the state semifinals.

    Worst Case: Adversity hits with a road loss at either Trigg or Union. Tornado open playoffs on the road and lose at Larue.

    Union County (4-1; #12)
    Best Case: Braves shake off ugly loss to Crittenden County by winning three straight district games to get a home playoff game. A season with their first playoff victory since 2013 ends at Elizabethtown in the second round.

    Worst Case: Offensive issues against good teams continue as Union falls to Caldwell, Tilghman, and Trigg to finish fourth. Braves make the long trip to E'town and get stomped in the playoff opener.

    Trigg County (4-2)
    Best Case: Sneaky good Wildcats catch Tilghman on the rebound then beat Union County to finish second in the district. Win a playoff game for the first time since 2014.

    Worst Case: Wins over Monroe and Russellville were better in name than on the field. Trigg gets bounced by all three of the good teams in District 1, then lose at Elizabethtown for the second year in a row.

    Fort Campbell (1-5)
    Best Case: Previously inept offense finds a way to win at Union County and force a three-way tie for the final two playoff positions. Fort Campbell then rides Fort Knox's incredible three wins in their last four games to give the Falcons enough points to make playoffs.

    Worst Case: Previously inept offense plays the way it has all season and the Falcons finish 1-9, missing the playoffs for a second straight year.

    District 2
    Elizabethtown (2-3; #10)
    Best Case: Concerns over slow start are dismissed after Panthers win last seven games. Mark Brown continues to show why he's one of the best coaches in Kentucky. E'town makes fourth straight state semifinals.

    Worst Case: Youth and inexperience plague E'town and they lose to Larue County. A program that has been so successful at home in the playoffs can't beat Caldwell County for a fourth consecutive year, this time merely in the second round.

    Larue County (4-2)
    Best Case: Hawks ride Louisville commit Anthony Adkins to a district crown, add a second round victory over Paducah Tilghman, before losing to Caldwell in the regional final in some Jaggers-on-Jaggers crime.

    Worst Case: Injury issues that have plagued Larue all year continue in October as they fall to Elizabethtown. A team already limited doesn't have nearly enough weapons to win on the road, falling in the second round for a second straight year.

    Edmonson County (3-3)
    Best Case: Wildcats pull the shocker over Larue on October 19, host a playoff game for the first time since 2011, and move down to Class 2A in 2019 as potentially the district favorite.

    Worst Case: Team that struggles to score does just that in a surprise loss at Hart County, finishing fourth in the district. Season ends in a rout at the hands of Caldwell County.

    Hart County (4-2)
    Best Case: Quarterback John Shoulders uses his legs and arm to beat both Edmonson and Adair to finish third in the district. Raiders give Tilghman all they can handle before falling in the first round. Shoulders then moves to the court and helps win Hart their first district basketball crown since 2007.

    Worst Case: Defense that has struggled with good teams can't handle E'town and Edmonson, before then being upset by Adair County in district finale. Hart fails to make the playoffs.

    Adair County (1-5)
    Best Case: Indians finally piece together more than one touchdown in a game and upset Hart County. Playoffs end in ugly first round loss in far western Kentucky, but bus swings by Marshall County on the way back to pick up Zion Harmon, who then comes back to lead Adair to a fifth region basketball championship.

    Worst Case: Offense that couldn't score, can't score, and Adair finishes 1-9.

    District 3 (paired with District 5 in the postseason)
    Central (4-2; #3)
    Best Case: After a two-week mid-season hiccup against 6A powers Ballard and St. Xavier, Central regroups to win out, beating Boyle County in the state championship game.

    Worst Case: Strong early season schedule gives way to weak district slate and relatively easy playoff route to championship game. Battle test foe from the eastern half of the bracket makes even-year title losses a thing at Central, as the Yellowjackets fall in the finals just like in 2014 and 2016.

    Waggener (3-2; #13)
    Best Case: In a year where less is more, Waggener - without its bevy of Division I players from 2017 - beats Bardstown to finish second in the district. Wildcats win on the road in round two before falling at Central in the regional final.

    Worst Case: Heavy talent losses from 2017 are evident in home loss to Bardstown. Waggener travels to northeast Kentucky and is run over in the first round.

    Bardstown (4-1)
    Best Case: Young Tigers continue to improve, finishing second in the district and giving Elizabethtown a late-regular season scare. Bardstown wins at Russell in the second round then loses to Central.

    Worst Case: Youthful Tigers struggle in district play and against E'town and Warren East in the final two regular season games. A promising year ends with a first round playoff loss.

    Thomas Nelson (2-4)
    Best Case: Generals get back to early season form and beat Henry County to assure a second consecutive playoff berth. Season ends in the first round but Kyle Boblitt's program continues to make positive strides.

    Worst Case: Defense that has allowed 43.3 points per game over their last four games, all losses, can't stop Henry County and again misses out on the playoffs after impressive early season wins over Frankfort and Nelson County.

    Henry County (3-3)
    Best Case: Henry uses momentum from close loss at Central to win at Thomas Nelson. Defense carries the torch while an offense that is scoring fourteen points per game finds a way to get one more touchdown and back into the playoffs.

    Worst Case: Fourteen points per game isn't much. Road-weary Wildcats, who've only scored three touchdowns away from home all season, fail to generate any offense against Thomas Nelson and miss the postseason for the second time in three years.

    District 4 (paired with District 6 in postseason)
    Boyle County (6-0; #1)
    Best Case: Playoff road trips to Belfry and Corbin are of no concern to Chuck Smith, who's Rebels win a second consecutive state championship. Bluegrasspreps' meme-quotes explode across the internet and Boyle County posters separate their shoulders patting themselves on the back for such a job well done.

    Worst Case: Injuries and somewhat shaky line play cost Boyle in a road loss at Lexington Catholic. A loss at far away Belfry sends the Rebels home after the second round for the third time in four years.

    Lexington Catholic (4-2; #5)
    Best Case: Catholic scores a lot, defends enough, and beats Boyle County to win the district. Season ends in regional final at Belfry, but due to incredible offensive performance by Beau Allen, Knights start 2019 as Class 4A favorites.

    Worst Case: Defensive unit that looked good early in the season continues to show cracks after losses to Highlands and DeSales. The second round trip to Belfry ends similar to their last meeting with Belfry - a 43-point blowout in the 2015 state finals.

    Western Hills (4-1; #11)
    Best Case: Wandale Robinson does what Wandale Robinson does, scoring in every possible way as the Wolverines shock Lexington Catholic on the home soil in Frankfort. Hills' loses a close one to Belfry in the second round, then Robinson announces he'll play his college football at the University of Kentucky.

    Worst Case: Boyle shuts down Western Hills, Lexington Catholic outscores them, and Garrard County pounds them on the ground and the Wolverines finish last in the district. Playoff rout at the hands of Belfry ends season on a down note. Robinson announces he'll play at Alabama.

    Garrard County (2-4)
    Best Case: After some early season close calls, Golden Lions finish off Western Hills to take third in the district. Lions then win a road playoff game for the third time in four years, this time at Lawrence County in a game that ends at nine o'clock because neither team throws a single pass.

    Worst Case: Injuries continue to derail Garrard County and big play offenses continue to be the defensive bugaboo. Lions finish with their lowest win total since 2006.

    District 5 (paired with District 3 in the postseason)
    Bath County (4-1; #14)
    Best Case: Johnny Poynter's Wildcats ride a dominant running game to their first district championship in 21 years. Landan Swartz and company beat Thomas Nelson and Bardstown, before falling to Central in a heart-breaker on the home turf.

    Worst Case: One-dimensional offense not enough to beat Russell as Bath finishes second in the district. Playoffs end early in a first round home loss to surprising Bardstown.

    Russell (2-3)
    Best Case: Red Devils lean on their historic championship pedigree to win yet another district title. Russell wins first two playoff games at home, then pushes Central to the limit before succumbing.

    Worst Case: A Russell team that didn't look good early in the year doesn't look good late, losing road games at Fleming County and Bath. Regular season-ending rout at the hands of neighboring Raceland assures a second straight losing season for the Devils.

    West Carter (2-3)
    Best Case: Young Comets surprise Bath and Fleming at home in consecutive weeks, then win out over Pendleton, Lewis, and Fairview. West Carter finishes second in the district and hosts a playoff game for only the second time in school history.

    Worst Case: Home losses to both Bath and Fleming mean roadie at Pendleton County is a must-win. Comets lose and miss the playoffs for the first time since 2013.

    Fleming County (2-4)
    Best Case: Panthers continue their decades long dominance over Bath County, beating the Wildcats at home to finish second in the district. Fleming then shocks Bardstown before losing at Central in what turned into a solid rebuilding year.

    Worst Case: Fleming can't beat Russell, Bath, or West Carter and finish fourth in the district. Season ends in grotesque fashion on Muhammad Ali Boulevard in Louisville.

    Pendleton County (2-3)
    Best Case: One year after blowing a golden postseason opportunity, Pendleton bests Lewis County and West Carter at home to make the playoffs for the first time since 2009. School spends entire winter raking in profits from fans flocking to Falmouth to watch Kentucky-bound Dontaie Allen play basketball.

    Worst Case: In a matchup of two teams somewhat ambivalent about defense, Lewis County knocks off Pendleton and season ends with six straight losses. School prepares for huge profits from fans flocking to Falmouth to watch Kentucky-bound Dontaie Allen play basketball, only to see Allen change his commitment to Louisville on opening night of the season.

    Lewis County (1-4)
    Best Case: Lewis beats Pendleton, then shocks West Carter to make the postseason. Lions score three times in blowout loss at Central, marking their highest ever playoff game point total.

    Worst Case: Defense allowing 38.2 points per game continues down that path causing the team to go winless in district play.

    District 6 (paired with District 4)
    Belfry (4-1; #4)
    Best Case: Pirates roll to yet another district title, beat both Lexington Catholic and Boyle County at Pond Creek, win at Corbin in the state semifinals, and then beat Central in the state finals for a third time. Belfry players, coaches, and fans celebrate by dancing under the stoplight.

    Worst Case: Youthful Pirates are exposed in losses to Cabell-Midland (WV) and Johnson Central, then lose a home playoff game for the first time since 2009.

    Lawrence County (3-3)
    Best Case: Quarterback Noah West continues his impressive play and the Bulldogs win a playoff game for the first time since 2015.

    Worst Case: Just like last season, Lawrence finds themselves in a district tiebreaker with Pike County Central and Floyd Central. Bulldogs have to go on the road in the first round, where they are soundly defeated by one of the premier teams in Class 3A.

    Pike County Central (2-3)
    Best Case: Coach Eric Ratliff finds some of the same magic he worked at Shelby Valley, leading the Hawks to a second place finish in the district, followed by a surprise home upset of Western Hills.

    Worst Case: Win over Floyd Central proves to be a fluke as Pike Central is routed by Lawrence County. A Hawks team that has only allowed 175 passing yards all season travels to Lexington Catholic in the first round where Beau Allen throws for more than that in the first quarter.

    Floyd Central (4-2)
    Best Case: Jaguars come back from a loss to Pike Central by topping Lawrence County on the home turf. Tiebreakers lean toward Floyd Central, who then hosts a playoff game for the second time in as many seasons.

    Worst Case: 41 points allowed to Lynn Camp and 49 allowed to Pike County Central become the norm as Floyd Central finishes fourth in the district and has to travel to Boyle County to start the playoffs. It doesn't end well.

    Sheldon Clark (2-4)
    Best Case: Improving Cardinals find a district win somewhere amongst games with Lawrence, Floyd, and Pike Central to make the playoffs for the first time in three years. Move to Class 2A in 2019 promises a brighter future in Inez.

    Worst Case: Beating Betsy Layne and East Ridge doesn't mean you can beat teams in your own district. Cardinals fail to notch a winning season for the ninth consecutive year.

    District 7
    Powell County (4-1; #15)
    Best Case: Run-heavy offense that rushes for 281 yards per game rolls through the district and finishes 9-1, the best record in school history. Powell then upsets Casey County for the second straight year before falling to Corbin.

    Worst Case: Powell wins the district only because the district is so bad. Jackson County scares the Pirates in round one, before Casey County torches a susceptible defense in retaliation for last year's surprise Powell victory.

    Breathitt County (3-3)
    Best Case: Breathitt County finishes second in the district and posts a winning record for the first time since 2013. Move to Class 2A in 2019 triggers the start of another golden age of Bobcats football.

    Worst Case: Road loss at Estill County shows the glory days of Breathitt County football are still a long way off. Bobcats lose in the first round for the fifth consecutive year, a first in school history.

    Estill County (2-3)
    Best Case: Engineers, as they always do, use a powerful run game to finish second in the district and host a playoff game. Estill then gives Bell County a scare before falling.

    Worst Case: Defense that allows 39.4 points per game still can't stop anyone as Breathitt, Powell, and Magoffin each take turns beating Estill County. Playoff trip to Corbin ends in a blowout.

    Magoffin County (2-4)
    Best Case: A Magoffin County offense that absolutely can score finds a way to get wins at both Morgan County and Knott County Central to assure the Hornets a playoff bid for the first time since 2014.

    Worst Case: A Magoffin County defense that absolutely can't stop other teams from scoring loses at Morgan County to miss out on the postseason for a fourth consecutive year. New alignment puts the Hornets in a district with Belfry, Floyd Central, Lawrence County, and Pike County Central. Yikes!

    Morgan County (1-4)
    Best Case: Home win over Magoffin County is enough to get the Cougars into the playoffs, where they fall to Corbin. Morgan, along with Breathitt and Knott, then moves into Class 2A where they begin having Randy Wood-levels of success on the beautiful new turf in West Liberty.

    Worst Case: Morgan County can't beat anyone in the district then loses to Sheldon Clark to end the season for second straight year.

    Knott County Central (1-4)
    Best Case: Offense does just enough in home victories over Magoffin and Morgan to make the playoffs where they bow to Corbin for a fourth year in a row. Basketball Patriots pull a double by winning the 14th Region All "A" Classic and regional crown.

    Worst Case: Patriots can't put up enough points to win a district game and misses the playoffs for the first time since 2014. Knott fans have to watch as former quarterback Cameron Jones leads Frederick Douglass to a berth in Class 6A state championship game.

    District 8
    Corbin (4-1; #2)
    Best Case: Redhounds shake off a loss to Mayfield by winning out the rest of the regular season. Corbin then gets revenge for last year by topping Boyle County in the state semifinals. Chase Estep throws the ball all over Kroger Field in a surprising victory over Central to win Corbin their first state championship since 1982.

    Worst Case: Mayfield tape exposes a Corbin defense that the Class 3A powers exploit. Redhounds are then upset by Casey County in the regional final.

    Casey County (5-0; #6)
    Best Case: Casey gets home wins over both Bell County and Corbin to score their first ever district title. Hot streak continues in the playoffs before Steve Stonebraker's club falls for the first time on the Friday after Thanksgiving.

    Worst Case: A less than stellar non-district schedule gives the Rebels a false sense of hope and they are beaten at home by both Bell and Corbin. Third-place Casey wins their first round playoff game, but then is defeated by Corbin in the second round.

    Bell County (5-0; #9)
    Best Case: Dudley Hilton does it again, pulling off road victories at both Casey County and Corbin. Bobcats then make it as far as the state semifinals (their first visit since 2010), before bowing out. Log Mountain brims with excitement for a future in a very winnable district in 2019.

    Worst Case: Bell County considers their best win to be over a poor Letcher County Central team. Reality sets in with road losses at Casey and Corbin. Bell keeps alive their streak of fourteen consecutive first round playoff wins, but fans start to wonder if the glory days will ever return.

    Jackson County (1-5)
    Best Case: Generals win at McCreary Central to again make the playoffs, where they lose to Powell County. Coach Clay Dalton's slow build of a program continues.

    Worst Case: Jackson can't get any offense going at McCreary and lose to miss the playoffs for only the second time in eight years. Moving to a district with Bell, Rockcastle, Garrard, and Estill in 2019 means making the playoffs in the future will only get tougher.

    McCreary Central (0-6)
    Best Case: McCreary only wins one game but it is a big one, toppling Jackson County to make sure all teams in Class 3A win at least one game and to assure a playoff berth, the Raiders' first since 2009.

    Worst Case: A tough season gets even tougher as the offensively challenge Raiders (8.5 points per game) can't beat Jackson County and go winless on the season.

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

    1. Bell County at Casey County. Two of the three remaining undefeated teams in Class 3A square off in Liberty. Both teams have been prolific on offense and dominant on defense. The winner is in good position to host a playoff game, while the loser will need to beat Corbin to avoid a first round road trip.

    2. Bardstown at Waggener. Similar to Bell/Casey, where the winner should feel good about a potential home playoff game, Bardstown/Waggener should be for at least second place in District 3. Bardstown, who only dresses three seniors, has been impressive to date. Waggener, a forgotten club by many after last season, is 3-2 and both losses have been competitive against high level opponents.

    3. Paducah Tilghman at Trigg County. Tilghman, coming off a loss to Caldwell County, must travel to Cadiz to face an upstart Trigg County club. A win by Trigg could mean the Blue Tornado have to play exclusively on the road in the playoffs.

    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)

    Breathitt County at Estill County. Both schools appear to be fighting for second place in District 7. Neither is great but both have been involved in some fun games thus far. Plus, any trip to Estill assures fans an opportunity to see the caboose on the visitor's side and hear the train whistle after a touchdown. It's the little things, right?!
    Last edited by gchs_uk9; Sep 23, 18 at 03:11 PM.

  2. #2

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    Excellent job gchs

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    Nice breakdown. I like what you have listed as Bath County’s one dimensional offense is their worst case downfall.....right on cue the Wildcats have 5 TD’s thru the the air past 2 games (and none of them to Swartz).

  4. #4
    gchs_uk9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by All the Right Moves View Post
    Nice breakdown. I like what you have listed as Bath County’s one dimensional offense is their worst case downfall.....right on cue the Wildcats have 5 TD’s thru the the air past 2 games (and none of them to Swartz).
    I Really like this Bath team. I can easily see them in the regional final.

  5. #5
    DevilMayCare's Avatar
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    Good stuff, gchs. Central's worst case scenario says a lot about their half of the bracket. They could probably afford an off night or two (or three or four) and still get to the Grocery Bag.

  6. #6
    charlesw88's Avatar
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    Nice breakdown.

    All eyes are on the Bell County @ Casey County game this week. I will be making the short trip to Liberty, KY for this one. I'll let you know my thoughts after the game.

    Also, District 4 and District 8 is tough!

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