Ram's Avatar
Many may have questioned who should be the favorite in Class 5A all season. Many have valid arguments: Pulaski County won the State Championship last season and should be number one; Pulaski County hasn’t done anything to prove they are not number one; Bowling Green has a great history; Bowling Green has beaten everyone they were supposed to beat and should be number one. All the opinions have merit, but as the playoffs begin both teams are there and both teams now have the opportunity to prove who is the real number one team in Class 5A. Will it be Pulaski County or Bowling Green? Or, will it be one of the other very capable teams that start the road to the State Championship game?

Region 1

Bowling Green is on everyone’s mind in Region 1. The Purples have built a tradition of winning and beat just about everyone during that process. Bowling Green lost one game, to St. Xavier, who many thought was down at the time. The Tigers have proven they are a capable team and that loss by the Purples doesn’t look near as bad now. What else has Bowling Green done this season? They have beaten just about every other ranked Class 5A team on their half of the state. The Purples have won against Christian County, Owensboro and Greenwood. They also beat a ranked Class 6A team, McCracken County, Bowling Green has the tradition, the talent and experience. Beating the Purples in the playoffs will be a tall task for anyone.

Owensboro has been in the Top 5 of Class 5A all season. Like Bowling Green, the Red Devils have only one loss and that loss came at the hands of Bowling Green. But, the good news for Owensboro, it was only a 14-17 decision. Both teams know that was not a statement win for the Purples and the Red Devils are chomping at the bit for that opportunity to meet up with the Purples again.

Christian County has felt the sting of defeat at the hands of both Bowling Green and Owensboro. The Colonels would like nothing better to get the opportunity to send one of those teams home in the playoffs. Early in the season Christian County played Bowling Green to a two point game and had a little more trouble with Owensboro later in the season. Bowling Green and Owensboro are the favorites in the region, but neither can sleep on the Colonels.

Projected Regional Final: Bowling Green 24 Owensboro 14

Region 2

Fern Creek is new to Class 5A after completing in Class 6A. What have they done this season? Well, they are planning on taking Class 5A by force. The Tigers have defeated several Class 6A teams and defeated the highly touted DeSales. Fern Creek’s only loss is to Top 5 Class 6A Manual. And that defeat was not out of reach for the Tigers. The Tigers are prepared for the playoffs, make no mistake about it.

South Oldham has made a statement this year, and that statement has been heard. The Dragons have defeated Bullitt Central soundly, beaten Anderson County and beaten North Bullitt without much difficulty. The Dragons are prepared for a long playoff run. The only big obstacle: Fern Creek.

North Bullitt and Bullitt Central both have a chance to make some noise in the playoffs. Bullitt Central has a monumental task in round one, playing Fern Creek while North Bullitt takes on Doss. Can teams from Bullitt County shock some teams?

Projected Regional Final: Fern Creek 34 South Oldham 14

Region 3

Did anyone say Highlands was down? Raise your hand if it was you. Here is the news flash for the post season: Highlands is the favorite to win Region 3. That’s right, it's the post season and Highlands is relevant. The Bluebirds had their worst start in, well, as long as most of us have been alive. After starting the season 1-5 many in Class 5A thought this was the year they didn’t have to complete with the Bluebirds. Highlands then rattled off four consecutive wins to end the regular season and win the District Title. Now, Highlands faces a team that received a lot of pre-season discussion - Woodford County. Woodford County has three of the toped ranked offensive linemen in the Nation. Those linemen have not translated to a dominate season. Now, they will face the Bluebirds in round one.

Like Highlands, Covington Catholic has not had anywhere close to a dominating season, but the Colonels have played one of, if not the, most difficult schedules in the state of Kentucky. Wins have been scarce, but Covington Catholic is battle tested and will be a nightmare for many teams in the playoffs. The Colonels have wins over 1A Beechwood, who have proven to be a formidable opponent for teams on any class and district foes Grant County and Dixie Heights. The Colonels will face a ranked team in Anderson County in round one of the playoffs.

Anderson County has had several ups and downs and at times was hard to read as a team. The Bearcats were ranked at times but had some bad losses during the season that dropped them from the Top 10 teams. After beating South Oldham, George Rogers Clark and Mercer County many thought Anderson County was going to make a great run. Then, the Bearcats took a set back to a struggling Franklin County team and another to Paul Dunbar. Consistency has been a problem for Anderson County, but they are capable when playing well.

Projected Regional Final: Highlands 28 Covington Catholic 21

Region 4

Pulaski County is the overwhelming favorite in Region 4. They are the defending State Champion and no one else in the region is on the same level at the Maroons. Pulaski County lowest offensive output on the season is 31 point loss to Class 6A Scott County, their only other score below 40 was in their final game of the season over Bourbon County. It is doubtful the Maroons will score less than 40 in the playoffs.

Pulaski County’s number one challenger in the region is probably District rival Southwestern, who they defeated a few weeks ago 52-6. Last year Southwestern surprised the Maroons in the regular season to loss the rematch in the playoffs. Can the table we be reversed this year? It would take a monumental effort on the part of Southwestern.

North Laurel started the season 9-0 before losing to Montgomery County in the final game of the season. The Jaguars strength of schedule was lacking and may be lacking in preparation for the playoffs even though they start the playoff 9-1.

Projected Regional Finals: Pulaski County 48 Southwestern 14

Projected Semi-Final: Bowling Green 21 Fern Creek 17
Projected Semi-Final: Pulaski County 48 Highlands 21

Projected Class 5A State Championship: Bowling Green 21 Pulaski County 14