5A Notebook (8/30): The passing of the Torch
For the first time since I have been writing articles, we have a new number 1 in class 5A. Bowling Green was defeated for the first time since 2015, the Purples ran off 28 straight wins during that time. While the Purples don’t drop far in the rankings, they must still pass the torch to our new number one, Covington Catholic. Covington Catholic has been very impressive thus far with a win over 6A Ryle and complete domination over 3A Lexington Catholic.
Last week’s notebook touched on the fact that Bowling Green’s win over 6A North Hardin wasn’t as impressive as the final score indicated, as both teams had nearly equal production from their offense in that game. In turn, this week Pleasure Ridge Park was able to expose the Purples youth and end their 28 game winning streak with a final score of 35-21. Don’t doubt the Purples just yet though, they are young and still have a lot of talent along with a great coaching staff to develop that talent as the season progresses. Bowling Green quarterback Beau Buchanan completed 56% of his passes for 118 yards and a touchdown and had a couple of receivers average over 10 yards per catch. Running back Vito Tisdale added 53 yards on the ground and a touchdown, however it took 14 carries to manage the 53 yards. This week the Purples face their toughest test of the season vs. 6A #2 Saint Xavier.
As mentioned earlier, with Bowling Green’s loss we have a new number one, the Colonels of Covington Catholic. This group of Colonels have been ultra impressive in the early season while posting a 49-17 win over at the time a 6A top ten Ryle squad and most recently a 48-2 win over current 3A #6 Lexington Catholic. These Colonels hit the field running and leapfrogged Christian County for the number two spot last week and have now found themselves carrying the proverbial torch for class 5A. With the win over Lexington Catholic D1 quarterback AJ Mayer completed 60% of his passes for 164 yards and two touchdowns, he also added another on the ground. Seven different Colonels had receptions in this game, so they obviously have a ton of options as far as the passing game goes. If that’s not enough, running back Casey McGinness led the way in the running game with 161 yards on 19 carries, tacking on two touchdowns of his own. As a team the Colonels had 261 yards rushing in this game, so again they have an abundance of options in terms of putting points on the board. The defense isn’t too shabby either, giving up only 19 points total to two really solid teams in this early season. This week the Colonel’s face off against 6A Cooper under the lights at Covington Catholic, then next week they will travel across the pond to face Kings, OH.
The teams that round out this week’s top five are Christian County, Fern Creek and Owensboro. While Christian County keeps on winning, they haven’t faced the competition that some of the other top five teams have, which bumped them down to third in the rankings. Owensboro suffered an overtime loss to Mater Dei (IN) which bumped them down to the number 5 team in class 5A, allowing Fern Creek to come in at the number four position.
Speaking of Fern Creek, they are a team to keep an eye on. They already have an shutout over Seneca as well as a win over a solid 6A #8 Manual squad. This week the schedule doesn’t get any easier as they face 3A #4 Central. If the Tigers keep winning it’s going to be hard to keep them out of the top three in the near future. Their defense has been as good as anyone could ask for this early in the season. Forcing a 52-0 shutout versus Seneca and then most recently holding Manual to 160 yards of total offense, which resulted in a 14-10 win. They have a really solid schedule which will have them battle tested come playoff time, so keep an eye on these Tigers.
Outside of the top five there were a lot of teams that entered the season with some major question marks, however a lot of those teams have already answered those question marks. Southwestern was one team that didn’t have many question marks however and it has showed as they have outscored their opponents 91-6 with their most recent 50-0 win over 6A Dunbar.
A team that did have question marks was South Oldham who essentially had to replace their entire offensive line. They dropped their opening game to a very good Christian Academy- Louisville team but bounced back versus Doss with an impressive 33-14 win. Which is impressive considering how much D1 talent Doss has to work with.
South Warren is a newcomer to class 5A and they have entered the class running at full speed. Most questioned how the Spartans would fare this season and while they have yet to play a 5A school, they have been impressive in their wins over both 4A Hopkinsville as well as 4A Warren Central. This week will be a real test for the Spartans however as they face 4A #4 Franklin-Simpson at home.
Newcomers to the top 10
Highlands for the first time in around a year has worked their way back into the top ten after an overtime win over 6A Campbell County. While the Camels outgained the Bluebirds in total yards and the Highlands running game was essentially non existent, quarterback Carl Schoellman completed 77% of his passes accounting for 174 yards of offense. The Bluebirds defense stepped up and forced three turnovers as well, which was honestly the deciding factor in the game. While Highlands is improved over last season, the verdict is still out on them and they face their toughest opponent to date this season in 6A #4 Scott County.
Pulaski County, like Highlands is a team that is not used to being left out of the top ten and this week they also worked their way back in, even after a loss. The Maroons faced off against 4A #2 Wayne County last week and while they lost they game they kept it close, losing by two points on the road. This week will be another tough test for Pulaski County and could determine how long their stay in the top ten is as they face the Corbin Redhounds, who just took the 3A #1 spot away from Belfry.