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Corbin, Elizabethtown, Lexington Catholic Find Road a Tough Place to Win

Looking at this week's Class 3A schedule it was apparent that the top six teams would all have their hands full. Three of the six faced challenging road matchups against highly ranked teams. None of the three came home victorious, in turn reshuffling the 3A deck and perhaps returning Belfry to the top of the rankings.

Corbin made the 166 mile trek up I-75 to face Class 1A's top-ranked defending state champion Beechwood. The start was perfect for the Redhounds, who went eighty yards in two plays and led 7-0 before most were in their seats. Kicker Daniel Mescher kept the Beechies in the game early with two first half field goals but Corbin still led by one at the break. Beechwood took control in the second half and held off a late Corbin rally, winning 36-29. While not a bad loss, you wonder if playing four tough opponents in as many weeks, and this one on the road a long way from home, might have worn on Corbin. They'll have a week to prepare for yet another top team - this time Mayfield at Austin Peay on September 22.

Elizabethtown didn't have to travel as far, but their trip up I-65 to Class 2A #1 Christian Academy-Louisville ended with the same result as Corbin, with the Panthers falling to the Centurions, 24-9. E'town jumped out to an early 9-0 lead, scoring on a safety and touchdown pass from Tyler Durbin to Kass Disney. From then on it was all CAL. The Centurions took the lead in the second quarter and never looked back, holding Elizabethtown to 132 yards total offense on the night.

One week after shutting out Lafayette, a 6A school one mile north of campus, Lexington Catholic surrendered eight touchdowns in a 56-36 blowout loss to Lexington Christian, a 2A school two miles south of campus. What does that tell us? I guess Lexington Catholic is somewhere in the middle. Per usual, the Knights offense had little trouble moving the ball as quarterback Beau Allen threw for 356 yards and four touchdowns while Dameon Jones ran for 153 yards. Catholic's defense gave up 400 yards rushing and another 160 yards through the air to the fifth-ranked Eagles. While the schedule has been difficult, it has to be troubling that the Knights are allowing 32 points per game. They'll face Highlands and DeSales the next two weeks before starting district play.

Boyle Rebounds From Loss, Whips One of 4A's Best

One week after four turnovers doomed a chance to beat their biggest rivals, Boyle County got what could be their biggest win, knocking of Class 4A #2 Wayne County, 38-14. Boyle jumped out early, recovering a Wayne fumble and scoring on a touchdown pass from Reed Lanter to Nick Walker. A Reese Smith touchdown catch and a Harrison Mesplay 40-yard field goal gave the Rebels a 17-7 halftime edge. It was more of the same in the second half. A short touchdown run by Tanner Crawford and a Reiley Colwick interception return gave Boyle a 31-7 lead after three quarters and they coasted from there.

Head Coach Chuck Smith told the Danville Advocate-Messenger: “They didn’t like the way that game [Danville] turned out, they felt like there were things in that game that they could’ve done different after they watched the tape. Instead of sitting around and talking about it, they came out and proved it every day in practice. They were really ready to play tonight against a really good Wayne County team." (Rebels rebound with 38-14 win over Wayne County | The Advocate-Messenger) It gets no easier for Boyle County next week as they travel to Collins, who coincidentally could replace Wayne as the number two team in Class 4A.

You Can't Win 'Em All Until You Win the First One

Four weeks into the season is a long time to wait for your first victory, but four clubs in Class 3A entered the winners circle for the first time in 2017 on Friday night. Hart County won on the road at county rival Caverna in convincing fashion, knocking off the Colonels 63-13. The victory was the third straight in the series for Hart County and was especially sweet after losing by one point to Bethlehem the week before.

While Hart lost by one last week, the heavy rains kept McCreary Central from attempting to pick up their first win as last week's matchup with Clinton County was canceled. An extra week of practice seemed to pay dividends as the Raiders romped over Fort Knox, 63-30. It was the second time this season McCreary has scored over 58 points (the first was an opening night, four overtime, 64-58 loss to Perry County Central). McCreary Central, who finished 7-3 last season, is competing in district play for the first time since 2014.

After two road losses to start the 2017 campaign, Lewis County finally got to play at home and the Lions made the most of it, topping Nicholas County 56-34. Garrett Applegate led the way for the victors, rushing for 210 yards and five touchdowns. Lewis County hasn't made the playoffs since 2013 but it looks like it will be a close race between the Lions, Bath County, Pendleton County, and West Carter for the last two spots in District 5.

Finally, Estill County got their offense untracked in a 35-12 victory over Boyd County. The Engineers, who'd lost to Paintsville and Western Hills, both highly ranked in their respective classes, were led on the ground by Logan Beckler's 151 yards and a touchdown. Estill is annually a district contender, although they just won their first title last season. Look for the Engineers to be in the running for another District 7 crown this season.

Around the Rankings

#2 Belfry raced to a huge lead over Newport Central Catholic and settled for a 54-29 victory. The Pirates ran for 355 on the evening.

#4 Central's highly touted defense, which was allowing four points and just over 100 yards per game, was gashed by 6A Ballard in a 30-7 loss.

#7 Caldwell County spotted Crittenden County a 14-3 lead then used three touchdown passes and two pick-sixes to put the game out of reach, winning 64-21. Joby Jaggers passed for 195 yards and five touchdowns, two of them to Jameer Riley.

#8 Western Hills romped over Bath County 64-26. One day before visiting the University of Kentucky, Wandale Robinson ran for 263 yards and four touchdowns and caught two more scores.

#9 Fleming County picked up a win in their first game as a ranked team, besting Rowan County 49-23. Josh Crump threw for 182 yards and three touchdowns and tacked on another via the ground for the undefeated Panthers.

#10 Paducah Tilghman fell on the road to Graves County, 26-15. Tilghman's offensive struggles continue as the Tornado are averaging only 13.8 points per game.

Extra Points

West Carter handed East Carter its first loss of the season, beating the Raiders 38-20. The win was the fourth straight for the Comets over their county rivals.

Bardstown had their hands full with winless Nelson County before finally putting the Cardinals away, 47-27. Running back Jeremiah Odom ran for 208 yards and five touchdowns as the Tigers won for the seventh consecutive time in the series.

Pike County Central marched across the state line and came home with an impressive 42-16 victory over Hurley (VA). Hurley had won fifteen consecutive regular season games before losing to the Hawks.

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

1. Boyle County at Collins. One week after beating Wayne County the Rebels get another shot at a 4A contender. Boyle has beat Collins in each of the last two seasons.

2. St. Xavier at Central. Traditional city rivals square off in a matchup that, admittedly, lost some luster after Ballard's big win over Central last week. St. X leads the all-time series 34-1-2, with the only Central win coming in 2015.

3. Prestonsburg at Floyd Central. Floyd County bragging rights will be on the line as new school Floyd Central hosts old school Prestonsburg. Floyd Central coach Shawn Hager was an assistant at Prestonsburg for two seasons before taking the reins of the Jaguars.

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)

Larue County at Hart County. It isn't quite district time for most of Kentucky but these two rivals get an early start on district play this week. Larue County is undefeated while Hart County just picked up their first victory. Larue and Hart have split the last four meetings.