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Elizabethtown Runs Away from Tilghman Late, Runs on to Caldwell County
The questions have been there all season. Whether right or wrong, many around Kentucky 3A have wondered aloud if undefeated and sixth ranked Elizabethtown was as good as the record said. There was reason for doubt. The Panthers' twelve opponents have combined for a 53-80 record, a far cry from the opponent records of the rest of the 3A contenders. But last Friday night had always been pointed to as the chance for E-town to put itself right in the midst of the state title hopefuls. And after finishing off a 42-14 win over Paducah Tilghman, consider it done.

Elizabethtown (12-0) scored the first twenty points of the game. #7 Paducah Tilghman then blocked an E-town punt and scored just before halftime then went on a long march to score again midway through the third period, closing the Panther gap to 20-14. Almost immediately Elizabethtown quarterback Jack Wilson hit Peyton Payne with a 41-yard touchdown and the Blue Tornado (8-4) were all but finished. Wilson finished the night throwing for 261 yards and three scores, all to different receivers.

Now E-town moves on to the regional final, their first since 2008. The Panthers will travel to Caldwell County in a matchup that should be a dandy. Look for Wilson and the offense to keep putting up points against a suspect Caldwell defense. Will the Elizabethtown defense, so strong all season, be able to contain the high-octane Caldwell offense? That should be the key in determining whether E-town can win their first regional title since 2003.

Central Defense Stymies Boyle County
Defense is the calling card for coach Ty Scroggins and his top-ranked Central Yellowjackets and Friday night against Boyle County was no different. A smothering defensive unit that has scored eleven touchdowns themselves this season, Central (10-2) held the #4 Rebels to 81 yards on 32 carries while picking off quarterback Josiah Robbins five times en route to a 27-14 victory.

Behind quarterback Myron Norfleet's two first half rushing touchdowns the Yellowjackets took a 20-7 lead into the half. After halftime, Boyle (10-2) scored on a Mack Cox touchdown catch to close it to 20-14 before Central scored three plays later on a touchdown pass to Clavon Armstrong to set the final score. Four of Central's five picks of Robbins came in the second half.

After knocking off Boyle, now Central must defeat the only other team to beat Boyle this season - Lexington Catholic. The Knights come into the game on a roll having won six straight. Central will again be at home, an advantage they'll look to exploit once again.

Elsewhere in the Playoffs
#2 Belfry (11-1) had little trouble with Russell (8-4), winning 42-14. Head Coach Philip Haywood picked up his 400th career victory. The Pirates now prepare to play Lawrence County, a team they defeated 27-23 back on October 9.

#3 Lexington Catholic (9-3) put up 28 first quarter points and never looked back, defeating 7-5 Garrard County 59-26. First time starter at quarterback Andy Thompson threw for 317 yards and six touchdowns, three of which to Donovan Morris. Catholic will travel to Louisville Central this week looking to secure their fifth consecutive regional championship.

#5 Caldwell County (10-2) once again lit up the scoreboard, rolling to a 61-39 victory over Adair County (10-2). Shane Burns passed for 493 yards and four scores in the win. The Tigers are home again this weekend, hosting Elizabethtown.

#8 Lawrence County (9-3) went out early and held on late, knocking off a game West Carter (9-3) club on the road, 45-38. Lawrence gets a second shot at Belfry this Friday night.

#9 Corbin (8-4) shut out Casey County (5-7) for the second time this season, besting the Rebels 36-0. The Redhounds will play a second straight rematch this week as they host Bell County. Corbin defeated Bell 34-20 on October 16th.

#10 Bell County (10-2) spoiled 8-4 Powell County's dream season with a 52-20 win in Stanton on Friday. The Bobcats have won four straight since falling at home to Corbin, but will now get a second chance, this time in Corbin in what should be another classic between these two old rivals.

Predictions
Region I - Elizabethtown 35 Caldwell County 31

Region II - Central 28 Lexington Catholic 26

Region III - Belfry 38 Lawrence County 19

Region IV - Bell County 21 Corbin 19