Bluegrasspreps' Eastern Kentucky Power Rankings 10-21
1. Johnson Central Golden Eagles (4A, 8-1)- The Eagles made a statement by taking rival Ashland to the woodshed and locking up homefield advantage. All that remains now is a battle with Belfry for power running game bragging rights.
2. Corbin Redhounds (3A, 8-1)- Corbin leaned on their Defense for a shutout and stretched their legs late to put away Casey County and lock up a District Title. The Hounds will look for geographical supremacy with Knox Central in a nice season finale clash.
3. Belfry Pirates (3A, 8-1)- Belfry keeps their momentum rolling by polishing off another running clock District win. The Pirates would love nothing more than to stretch their win streak to 9 entering the playoffs, but Johnson Central will be a tall order.
4. Ashland Tomcats (4A, 9-1)- Ashland simply did not have the horses on Defense to beat Johnson Central on the road. The Tomcats will now regain their focus and square their sites on getting back to re-match.
5. Pulaski County Maroons (5A, 7-2)- The Maroons win their 6th straight and in the process ruin rival Southwestern's hopes of a perfect season. Pulaski is suddenly playing their best ball of the season and if they can handle a non-District clash with Collins, now have their destiny in their hands with the 1 seed.
6. Southwestern Warriors (5A, 8-1)- Southwestern had played spoiler to Pulaski many times in the past and now sees the tables turned. The Warriors must re-group quickly as the last thing they want is a tow game losing streak entering November, but Lexington Catholic is more than capable of doing just that.
7. Bell County Bobcats (3A, 8-1)- A 53-point win was what the Doctor ordered to get over the hangover of a Corbin loss. Bell knows what they have to do to close the gap and get another shot at the Hounds. The road begins with 5A Harlan County and some Pine Mountain pride.
8. Somerset Briarjumpers (2A, 8-2)- Somerset puts the 2018 regular season on ice with a solid 8-2 mark and a District Title. The Jumpers will need to keep their momentum moving forward as they set their sights on likely seeing their District mates all over again.
9. Pikeville Panthers (1A, 6-2)- Class 1A-East is a mess. A beautiful mess of excellent teams, but a mess nonetheless and Pikeville may be at the head of the class. The Panthers draw one more out of state foe before they drive toward a State Finals trip on a path that is sure to be ripe with ranked foes.
10. Knox Central Panthers (4A, 7-2)- The Panthers continue to hang out just outside the radar, but have quietly pieced together an excellent season. Knox has a chance to firmly appear on the scene if they can shock Corbin.
11. Paintsville Tigers (1A, 8-2)- Winner! Winner! Offense gets thinner! Paintsville upsets the apple cart and reshapes the Class 1A scene in a Defensive stalemate victory over Raceland. Suddenly everyone has to stand up and take note that the Tigers are a team firmly in the race for the Finals.
12. Raceland Rams (1A, 8-1)- The Rams took a step back courtesy of a lack of Offense and a tough Paintsville squad. Raceland's Defense is ready to do big things, but they have got to start finding some points. Russell provides a quality test to sharpen their mind to end the season.
13. Hazard Bulldogs (1A, 5-3)- Hazard feels like the only person at the dance without a partner after losing to both Pikeville and Paintsville in close battles. The Bulldogs still have to navigate 5A Whitley County, but they have to feel they are plenty capable of getting their signature win in November if given the chance.
14. Montgomery County Indians (5A, 7-2)- The Indians need only to avoid a loss to fellow 5A Lincoln County to secure back to back 8-2 regular seasons. Montgomery County has to feel that if they can make up the 8-point deficit they suffered in their loss to undefeated Anderson County, bigger things are possible.
15. Wayne County Cardinals (4A, 6-3)- Wayne County once was program that was content with a .500 season, but now Coach Thompson has the folks from Monticello viewing a potential 7-3 regular season as a slightly "down" year. Wayne will look to put another nail in Madison Southern's coffin and then they will turn their attention toward trying to reach Thanksgiving football once more.
Three Making Waves:
Williamsburg Yellowjackets (1A, 7-2)- The Jackets gave up 44, but ended up hanging a whopping 72 on previously undefeated Lynn Camp. Williamsburg now enters the 1A playoffs looking to prove they belong in the same company as the rest of the logjam of great teams.
Shelby Valley Wildcats (2A, 8-1)- Presuming Valley can take care of business against a Boyd County team who has lost 7-straight, you can chalk Shelby Valley up as perhaps the quietest 9-1 team in Kentucky. The Wildcat backfield can churn the yards, they will hope that trend continues as the competition increases.
Russell Red Devils (3A, 6-3)- It appeared Russell was heading toward a different kind of season when they started 0-3, but fast forward and Russell is exactly where they want to be after defeating Bath County for the District Title. Russell can really put a cherry on the top of their regular season sundae if they can shock Raceland.
Three Needing a Win:
Harlan County Black Bears (5A, 3-5)- Harlan County somehow pulled a District Title out of their bag despite losing every non-District game on their schedule. With predictions of a playoff sweep from the opposite District already stirring, a win over Bell would go a long way to propelling the Bears forward.
Bath County Wildcats (3A, 6-3)- The difference between a 7-3 season and a 6-4 season really may not seem like much, but if Bath loses to rival Nicholas County it will be feel like an anchor tied around their neck in the wake of losing to Russell. Bath needs all the momentum they can get with a tough playoff draw ahead.
East Carter Raiders (4A, 5-4)- Speaking of symbolic wins and perspective. East Carter clinched a playoff birth with a tough win over Rowan County and close the regular season against Powell County. A win means that the Raiders are assured a winning season for the first time since 2005.
Player of the Week:
QB Wiley Cain, Pulaski County- In the Maroons' big win over rival Southwestern the signal caller was simply splendid. Cain finished 35/49 for 352 yards with a score and added 32 yards and a TD on the ground.
Game of the Week:
#3 Belfry Pirates at #1 Johnson Central Golden Eagles- The two most consistently dominant programs in the Mountains renew their rivalry with each looking for the shot of momentum a win would provide. The Eagles have their biggest statement win after taking down Ashland, the Pirates still need their crown jewel and would love to get it at the hands of Matney's crew.
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