Ram's Avatar
Region I- District 1 vs. District 2
Mayfield has looked the part of a Title favorite since Day 1. The undefeated Cardinals have a lethal Offense, an opportunistic Defense, and plenty of play-making at the disposal one of the State’s best Head Coaches to utilize. Hancock County, entering 5-5, will serve as the first sacrificial lamb on Mayfield’s inevitable march to the Regional Finals. McLean County most likely awaits in Round 2. The Cougars deserve to be commended for an excellent season where they surpassed expectations and flirted with the Top 10 posting a 7-3 record, but the Cardinals just have a little too much of everything for the Cougars to contend. Mayfield should be able to get valuable rest in the Second Half and have a better opportunity to avoid injury.

Todd County Central battled their way into a 3-seed and a second consecutive season avoiding a losing regular season record is an impressive feat. The Rebels should be able to sustain some Offensive success against Murray, but the Tigers just are too explosive to outscore in this game. Murray will go on to take aim at Owensboro Catholic. The Aces should have little resistance against a Webster County team looking for basketball season to hurry up and start after a brutal 1-9 regular season. The Aces have been one of the hottest teams in Class 2A and their eyes are on a bigger prize. Catholic will find Murray a worthy foe. The Tigers have not shown their Defense will be capable of shutting down a very balanced Ace Offense unfortunately. Points should come in no shortage, but it will be Owensboro Catholic getting yet another shot at Mayfield.

Can Owensboro Catholic defy recent history? Mayfield has dominated the Aces in three consecutive years of meeting in November. The Cardinals will get pushed. This Catholic team may have more balance then some of their other renditions and that will be a necessity to have any chance of an upset. Unfortunately, what will define this game will be a Catholic Defense that has simply not found a way to slow down elite level Offenses as evident by their season finale loss to 5A South Warren. Kent Trey Matthews and Jaden Stinson are as good of a 1-2 combo punch as anyone in Class 2A and they should find success all night. The Cardinal Defense may bend but don’t expect it to break, expect a successful pass rush and enough negative plays to thwart Ace drives and create separation. Mayfield marches on.

Region I Championship: Mayfield 46 Owensboro Catholic 20

Region II- District 3 vs. District 5 (Winner Will Host Semi’s)
Glasgow has checked the boxes all season. The Scotties have consistently gotten the job done and fresh off a bit of a surprising Semi-Finals run in 2017, expect Glasgow to be the substantial favorite to win this Region once more. With that said, cross bracketing will make this interesting and even though District 5 has not exactly been chock full of titans, a pair of teams should at least compete with the Scotties. That will not be the case in Round 1 as win-less Owen County will make the long trip to Southern Kentucky and promptly make it right back following a rough loss. Carroll County has flown off the radar screen most of the year in Class 2A. The Panthers enter winning 6 of their last 8 games and were a couple breaks away from possibly being even better. Carroll County’s defense will lead them to a tough win over Green County and subsequently give them a puncher’s chance at Glasgow in Round 2. Unfortunately for Carroll, Glasgow just has too many weapons on Offense with big play ability and Carroll will struggle to score enough on the Scotties to spring an upset.

Monroe County has made a history out of surprising playoff runs where they peak in November and shock the landscape. The Falcons almost pulled it off in 2017 by reaching the Regional Finals. After a brutal start to the season that began 1-5, Monroe was able to rebound to grab the 2-seed despite a losing record. Monroe will welcome a Gallatin County team that simply struggled all season. The Falcons should be able to advance comfortably against a Wildcat team who never scored more than one Touchdown all season in regulation. Walton-Verona was the strongest team in District 5 by a significant enough margin and the Bearcats have the luxury of home-field advantage for as long as they need to reach the Finals. They could be playing on the Moon and still be able to outclass a Metcalfe County team that is short on wins and numbers. The Bearcats then welcome Monroe County, who must take the long bus trip to the outskirts of NKY. Monroe has some iron man players who should keep them in the game against a Bearcat team that likes to shorten the game with their ball control. Ultimately it comes down to who makes the plays when they matter the most. Monroe may be able to contain one of the tandem of Micah Alford and Peyton Smith but expect one of them to get free for a key run when it matters most. Walton-Verona advances to the Regional Finals on their home-field in a low scoring affair.

Glasgow will curse the name of the KHSAA as they lumber up I-65 and I-71 only to attempt dodging a stern Bearcat squad as well as lofty expectations. Coach Barth is still looking for that true program defining moment at W-V, and you can rest assured there will be a Bear(cat) Trap set waiting for the Scotties’ arrival. When comparing these two rosters side by side, this game should be decidedly slanted toward Glasgow’s favor, but the combination of home-field and Walton-Verona’s methodical style of play will keep this one respectable and within reach all night. Ultimately it will come down to who comes through in the clutch, and unfortunately for the Bearcats, Glasgow simply has more of those guys. Nick Mitchell has been unstoppable all season and he will come through with a late score to seal the outcome as Glasgow advances.

Region II Championship- Glasgow 22 Walton-Verona 6

Region III- District 4 vs. District 6
Any time the current Class 2A, District 4 is moved by cross bracketing, you can assure the opposing District will let out a sigh of frustration. As CAL and DeSales move to the Eastern Semi-State, it dramatically changes the playoff fortunes for nearly the entire class. Christian Academy of Louisville enters as one of the co-favorites to hoist the trophy when it is all said and done. The Centurions are loaded with play-makers and rode them to an unblemished record. The Centurions have their eyes on the end game and will be a bear to take down as hapless Holy Cross will learn from the jump in running clock fashion. Perhaps the best First Round match-up will be to see who earns to the right to take on CAL. Lloyd Memorial spent most of the season in the Class 2A Top 10 but could not translate that to any District Title hardware. The Juggernauts will welcome a Washington County team that played consistently solid football most of the season. This will be a game featuring two of the best RB’s in Class 2A as Lloyd’s Trevon Mason and Washington County’s Jbias Dawson will trade punches with the runner who can best establish themselves leading their respective team to a victory. With the weight of unmet expectations and a passing game that has underwhelmed, expect Lloyd to find the challenge a bit too much as Washington County pulls the mild upset. The Commanders know what it takes to scare the other District 4 powerhouses, they gave DeSales all they wanted in the regular season, but CAL simply is too strong and on the backs of Milton Wright and Sophomore standout Brandt Babin the Centurions will take care of business. Washington will make it respectable for most of the game, but in the end, CAL handles them in convincing fashion.

Newport Central Catholic has steadily improved in Coach Lickert’s first season and he must love the foundation he has to build from in the seasons to come. The Breds will see little resistance against one of the State’s most struggling programs as they will coast past Shawnee. Awaiting them will be a whole different kind of animal. DeSales had a resume that was more representative of a Top 5 Class 6A team for most of the season, but a loss to rival Christian Academy of Louisville turned the Colts’ world upside down. Newport really did an admirable job of taking a step forward in 2018 after a brutal campaign last season. The Wildcats will travel to DeSales and should be able to avoid a running clock but will have little to no chance of a shocking upset otherwise. DeSales will then turnaround with the only thing standing between them and a re-match with CAL being the perennially strong Thoroughbreds. If you want to call a shocking upset, this may be the place to do it. It is undeniable that DeSales is the better team. They are deeper, better at the line of scrimmage, and more experienced in big games. With that said, the Colts have shown a propensity to “play down” to their competition and Newport Central Catholic knows what it takes to shock one of the District 4 heavyweights. NewCath will try to mimic the blueprint they used to shock CAL in the 2017 regular season, and they should have some success doing so. In the end though, it is hard to pick against Aaron Pfaadt, Amos Griffith, and Demetri Scott. DeSales rallies in the 2nd Half to put the game away and earn yet another date with CAL for a Regional Title.

There are a few certainties in this DeSales and CAL rivalry. First, Defense will always be played at a high level. Second, there is always a sequel in November. Third, when that playoff game happens, typically the team who lost in the regular season seems to be the team who has the last laugh. The past six years this has been the trend and DeSales will hope this trend continues as the Colts were on the wrong end of a 21-10 decision at the start of October. With that said, trends were meant to be broken and this is the year that it happens. When it comes down to it, CAL just has more play-makers and you must like your chances anytime Milton Wright is on your side with the season on the line. Points will be at a premium and any mistake will be amplified, but in the end, CAL keeps their Championship pursuit alive.

Region III Championship- CAL 17 DeSales 13

Region IV- District 7 vs. District 8 (Winner Will Hosts Semi’s)
Somerset’s window was open, and they not only cleared the briars, but jumped right through it. With roster turnover and experience missing at both LCA and Danville, Somerset seized the opportunity to jump from a 3-seed to the District Championship relying on a stout Defense and an Offense that found ways to utilize opportunities set up for them. With the 1-seed secured, Somerset now fixes their eyes on a shot to win their school’s first ever State Title. District 8 has struggled to compete against District 7 in the current Class 2A alignment and that trend will continue beginning with a lopsided loss by East Ridge at Somerset. Danville went from the pinnacle to a first round road game by losing to both LCA and Somerset. The Admirals will load up the buses to take the trip to Hyden. The Admirals have a lot of pent up frustrations they will take out on Leslie County. Expect this to be an upset in seeding only, as Danville shoots the Eagles out of the sky and earn a second shot with Somerset. Kaiya Sheron had perhaps his best game of the season running the QB spot for Somerset in the 21-10 victory against the Admirals the first go around. If the Jumpers want to survive the vinegar of a team desperate to defend their pride, they will need another great showing from Sheron as this game will come down to QB play. A year after putting up video game type of numbers, Zach Thornton has been the victim of a team simply missing the same game-breakers to get the ball into the hands of. If there was ever a game they need him to return to form it will be this one, but in the end Somerset’s Defense proves too salty and the Jumpers win a tight one in the Briar Patch.

A stealth bomber is a sight to behold. It has the firepower to change any battle, but it’s greatest strength is the ability to go almost undetected and stay off sophisticated radars. Shelby Valley is hoping they are the stealth of Class 2A. It is rare to find a team with a 10-1 record that no one really knows anything about, but after Valley takes care of business in Round 1 against Middlesboro, this will be exactly the scenario as the Wildcats prepare to host the playoffs until they lose or reach the Finals. Prestonsburg has had a forgettable inaugural season under Coach Brewer. It is almost unfathomable that the Blackcats had to wait until their 8th game to find their first win. Prestonsburg will listen to Sundy Best with vocals by former Blackcat great Nick Jamerson as they take the “Mountain Parkway” to meet Lexington Christian. The Eagles shook off a shaky start to find their mojo and shocked Danville to earn the District Runner-Up distinction. Jayden Barnhardt has grown into the QB position and will put up big numbers against a Prestonsburg defense that simply lacks the teeth to get stops. It will then be LCA’s turn to make the trek to the hills of Eastern Kentucky. The Eagles are sure to be the heavy favorite, but Shelby Valley will turn some heads. Seth Johnson will either enter the game as a back to back 2000-yard rusher or he will go over the mark on this night. Johnson has been one of Kentucky’s most dominant rushers over his career and will finish his career flirting with 6000 career rushing yards. Expect this game to be his swan song, he will keep the Wildcats in the game until the very end, but it will be the boys from Lexington who survive to reach the Regional Finals.

Somerset completely overpowered the Eagles when these two teams met the second week of October. The Jumpers shut out four teams in the regular season and the Eagles were the latest victim. LCA has to love the way their team battled back and replaced one of the strongest Senior Classes in the school’s history, but this will be too daunting of a task against a veteran Jumper squad. Somerset will set the tone with Alex Miller’s legs and then prove too stiff on Defense with Treavor Brock and Landon Field patrolling the line of scrimmage. LCA will put up a better fight, but after the dust settles Somerset keeps this one in hand and rolls to the Semi-Finals.

Region IV Championship- Somerset 28 Lexington Christian 10

SEMI-FINALS
Mayfield 36 Glasgow 7
CAL 28 Somerset 7


FINALS PREDICTION
Mayfield 23 CAL 15