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Boyle and Corbin Victorious Over, Central Falls to Highly Ranked Opponents

On a night that saw the top three ranked teams in Class 3A play highly ranked opponents from other classes, two teams came away victorious and another went home with their first loss of the season. And still yet it's hard to clearly distinguish who is the favorite in this class.

Boyle County
Top-ranked Boyle County traveled to Monticello and dominated the Wayne County Cardinals from the get go, taking a 34-0 lead into halftime and romping to a 48-7 victory. The Rebels' attack was balanced, rushing for 213 yards and passing for 233, all while holding Wayne to 76 total yards of offense and negative-17 on the ground.

Tanner Crawford made his return to the Boyle (4-0) backfield and rushed for 45 yards and a touchdown while Landen Bartleson scored twice on the ground as well. Reed Lanter was 16-20 for 225 yards through the air and tossed three touchdowns, one each to Reese Smith, Reiley Colwick, and Marquise Kinley.

At the same time Boyle was winning convincingly in southern Kentucky, not far away third-ranked Corbin was putting the finishing touches on a 21-14 victory over Beechwood, the top-ranked team in Class 1A. Chase Estep scored on a two-yard run late in the second quarter to give Corbin a 7-0 lead at halftime. An Estep touchdown pass in the third quarter pushed the lead to 14-0 after three, and once again in the fourth quarter Estep scored on a short run (sandwiched between two Beechwood scores) to set the final margin.

For the Redhounds it was a third consecutive win over a quality opponent, having already dispatched Danville and Pulaski County. After a bye this coming week the schedule gets no easier for Corbin (4-0) as they travel to Austin Peay University in Clarksville, Tennessee to take on Class 2A #2 Mayfield. For a team with some questions entering the season it appears that the Redhounds are more than capable of again playing on the turf in Lexington at the end of the season.

Finally, while two of the top three were winning, Central was falling for the first time all year, losing on the road at 6A #10 Ballard, 27-20. Central, who had defensively dominated each of their first three opponents, was unable to put away the win after rushing out to a 14-0 first quarter lead. Malik Goodall ran for two touchdowns for the Yellowjackets in defeat.

What does a loss to Ballard mean? Probably not much. The same Bruins had played almost even with Boyle County for three-plus quarters before a late Rebel touchdown sealed the deal in the opener on August 18. Central (3-1) still has the most appealing playoff bracket, while Corbin and especially Boyle have far tougher challenges.

Bottom line, as the article title implies and as Meat Loaf sang: "Baby we can talk all night/But that ain't getting us nowhere." We'll have to wait for a few more weeks!

Lexington Catholic Continues Its Hot Start

One of the biggest question marks entering the 2018 season was how would Lexington Catholic fare under new head coach Nigel Smith. Smith, who served as defensive coordinator under previous coach Mark Perry, was promoted to the top position in the spring. Defense has seemingly been an afterthought in recent years on Clays Mill Road with last year's team allowing 36.2 points per game.

That hasn't been the case this season. Catholic is 4-0 for the first time since 2001 and even though the offense has been its usual impressive self (47 points per game, 452 yards per game), the defense has been a pleasant change of pace. Outside of allowing 34 points in Week 2 to Ryle (a game Catholic still won, 50-34) the Knights have allowed only 16 points per game, and only thirteen in a 54-13 blowout of neighbor Lexington Christian on Friday night. Forcing turnovers has been the key for LexCath as thus far they've caused four fumbles and hauled in nine interceptions.

Catholic's schedule the next two weeks is daunting with Highlands visiting this Friday and then a road trip to DeSales on September 21. If the Knights can continue to play solid defense, however, there's a good chance October 12th's visit from Boyle County will be the game of the week in Kentucky.

Braves a Pleasant Surprise in Western Kentucky

One of the more consistent programs in recent years that no one knows about is Union County. Union has posted winning records in eight of the last ten seasons and was a state semifinalist in 2008. Unfortunately, playing in varying districts with Paducah Tilghman, Owensboro Catholic, and Caldwell County have kept the Braves from winning many titles.

That could all change this season. Union County (3-0) pitched a second half shutout and scored twice to upend Class 4A #9 Madisonville-North Hopkins, 14-13, on the road Friday night. Elijah Calloway scored on a 41-yard touchdown pass from Solomon Teehan at the end of the third quarter to give the Braves the lead for good. Incredibly, Union was able to get the win despite negative-47 yards rushing. Teehan's 218 yards two touchdowns through the air were the difference.

Around the Rankings

#4 Belfry (2-1) wasted no time dismantling 2A #8 Newport Central Catholic, scoring on each of their first three offensive plays, and waltzing to a 42-12 victory. Isaac Dixon had a touchdown run, touchdown reception, and an interception return for a touchdown for the winners.

#7 Elizabethtown continued its early season struggles against brutal competition, falling 48-10 to 2A #3 Christian Academy-Louisville. Joseph Becherer was one of the few bright spots for Elizabethtown (0-3), compiling thirteen tackles and returning a fumble 99 yards for a touchdown.

#8 Caldwell County withstood a tough challenge from 1A #7 Crittenden County, winning 32-20. Joby Jaggers threw for 271 yards and four touchdowns on the night for Caldwell (2-2).

#10 Paducah Tilghman responded from a tough loss to Mayfield with a punishing 41-7 victory over Graves County. Colbe Crim ran for 181 yards, Makel Askew 154, and Damien Ford 94 as the Blue Tornado moved to 3-1 on the season.

Extra Points

In a battle of two of the state's premier running backs, Western Hills (2-1) prevailed over Bath County, 20-0. Wandale Robinson had touchdown runs of 77 and 88 yards, while the Wolverine defense held Landan Swartz of Bath County (2-1) to 102 yards and no scores.

West Carter (1-2) won their first game of the year and it was a big one, toppling county rival East Carter, 21-7. The win was the fifth in a row in the series for the Comets.

Magoffin County recorded their second shutout in as many weeks, this time blitzing Betsy Layne, 44-0. The Hornets (2-2) are looking to make the playoffs for the first time since their district championship season in 2014.

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

1. Belfry at Pikeville. Belfry has dominated the series of late, with only a Pikeville win in 2014 marring a long Pirate winning streak. Pikeville is ranked second in Class 1A, though, and some think this could be the best Pikeville team since their late-1980s hey-day. Meanwhile, Belfry is still trying to establish itself as a player in Class 3A.

2. Central at St. Xavier. Central looks to slay a second 6A opponent in three tries as they travel to St. Xavier. New St. Xavier coach Kevin Wallace got his first win Friday after two losses, beating Fairdale, 61-6. X has long owned this series with Central's lone victory coming in 2015.

3. Highlands at Lexington Catholic. As was mentioned earlier, the undefeated Knights will face their stiffest challenge of the season when they host a resurgent Highlands squad. Catholic won at Highlands, 21-18, last season.

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)

Waggener at Danville. One the more befuddling teams in 2017, Waggener, with multiple Division I players, struggled under the brunt of expectations and finished 5-7. Without those stars in 2018 the Wildcats have seemed more comfortable, winning three of their first four. A road game at Danville is a huge challenge, but if Waggener (3-1) can beat the struggling Admirals, there could be some discussion about moving the Wildcats into the top ten.