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BluegrassPreps 2018 Western Kentucky Power Rankings - Week 1 Edition

Well I hope you had a great opening weekend to the 2018 Kentucky High School football season and hope you got to go see some of your favorite teams lace em up one more time! We have gone from I think this and that to I saw this and that from THIS years squads.

The top story line this week is anticipation. It is a fickle thing. Even if you say you don't know what to expect from your team, subconsciously you do and likely it is a continuation, to some degree, of last season minus the graduated 2017 seniors. Well the great (and leveling) thing about August is that it brings a completely NEW season and circumstances to ALL teams. And as we saw this weekend, ALL our teams have changed, but the anticipation for next week remains, whether you are looking to make big time adjustments and get your first win or to build on your Week 1 success! The season is Officially Underway! Get out to a game this week sports fans!

AROUND THE STATE: On this opening weekend, Kentucky teams played 15 squads (played 13 on opening weekend last year) from Indiana, Tennessee and Ohio. Well the Commonwealth is hot as an August afternoon early this year as we went 3 and 2 vs the Hoosiers; 6 and 3 vs the Volunteers and 1 and 0 vs the Buckeyes. How bout that to kick off the year!!! Way to represent!!!

Week 1 Games of the Week: #2 South Warren 49 at #6 Hopkinsville 17: This game was pretty close early in the first quarter as reported by our good friend @jcarter But the Tigers turned it over during a long pass completion and stalwart DB Clayton Bush picked up the fumble and rumbled roughly 70 yards for an early score a likely changed the completion of the game. Hoptown really couldn't run the ball so they went with their passing game, which is a good option. Problem is South countered with an extra DB and it tightened the passing lanes and made that difficult too. Couple things are likely true going forward: 1. Hoptown will be back and better for playing a quality team like South Warren so early in the season. 2. South Warrens defense is very, very good. They will be a difficult team for anyone to play this season.

#13 Owensboro Catholic 26 at #7 Daviess County 49: With the Aces up 20 to ZIP in the second quarter you had to wonder about the WKY hype I've splashed on the Panthers. But to their credit they kept plugging away and actually led 21-20 at the half. Daviess County went on to outscore the Aces 28 to 6 in the second half. Couple things for both teams: 1. OCath is a very good team and playing quality teams similar to what Hoptown did above will pay off later in the season IMO. 2. Daviess County will continue to be a force to recon with. Depending on how the Playoff structure works this year, they should definitely be in the mix to play for the Regional Championship!

Week 2 Western Kentucky Game of the Week: Hopkinsville (4A) (0-1) at Mayfield (2A) (1-0) next Friday Night August 24, 2018 (War Memorial Stadium). Dynamite game right here sports fans! The Mayfield Cardinals made some fantastic adjustments to overcome a determined Union City, TN squad tired of hearing of their 2017 defeat to the Cardinals. The Hopkinsville Tigers executed extremely well out of the gate against a stout South Warren squad but couldn't hang onto the ball. That will cost you versus a good team. But one thing is for sure Ellis Dunn is a flat out weapon on the outside. This game sets up to be one of the best in the West this week. I look for it to be more important to Hopkinsville. I don't expect them to win it, but I do expect them to keep it close and compete till the end. Get out to the Stadium early sports fans as the Cardinal faithful are serious about their football!

Honorable Mention: Owensboro at Evansville Reitz, Indiana; Owensboro Apollo at Evansville Mater Dei; Bowling Green vs Pleasure Ridge Park; Caldwell County at Graves County. Great games here folks!

Week 1 Top 10:
10) Christian County (5A)
- Preseason Rank: 11 - 2018 Record 1-0; [District Record 0-0] Week 1 Results: Win: 11-6 vs 3A Caldwell County (0-1). This is what happens when you have too many baseball players on your team. KIDDING! But seriously, this is what happens when you lose a TON of quality players and your strength is defense. You get 1 TD and force 2 safeties while holding your opponent to 1 TD. County was outgained by 45 yards on the night 160 to 205. So if you like a defensive chess match, this was your game. It is unfair to expect Christian County to be an offensive juggernaut, as it will take time for the new faces to get more comfortable under the Friday night lights. But I anticipate a lot of ground and pound and field position defensive struggles for the Colonels going forward. Week 2: At Rossview High School from Clarksville, TN at 7:00pm. According to MaxPreps, the Rossview Hawks lost last Friday at home to Clarksville (TN) 35-17. Rossview is listed as the 5,426th best team in the country. Christian County is rated the 2,730th best team in the country to get you an idea of what MaxPreps thinks of both teams because I have no idea about Rossview honestly. Good luck Colonels! Beat those Volunteers!!!

9) Madisonville - North Hopkins (4A) - Preseason Rank: 9 - 2018 Record 0-1; [District Record 0-0] Week 1 Results: Loss: 41-13 at 5A Owensboro (1-0). In a majority of scenarios I would have dropped the Maroons here. But due to some turbulence below them and the fact that that they were on the road to a team I did not expect them to beat, I chose not to drop them. I did however expect them to keep it closer. But how good is Owensboro and how good is Madisonville? One game is not a sample set. It appears from afar that the Maroons were simply outgunned on the road. I think they will be better for playing a tough opponent later on. Interesting the Madisonville stats say they rushed for 223 yards and the Owensboro stats say they gave up 164 yards. I guess it's all about perspective! Week 2: Vs 5A Marshall County (1-0). Look for the Maroons to bounce back convincingly next week sports fans!

8) Logan County (4A) - Preseason Rank: 8 - 2018 Record 1-0; District Record 0-0] Week 1 Results: Win: 57-0 over 2A Butler County (0-1). Poor ole' Butler County never saw what hit them! And unfortunately for them, Rex Henderson ain't walkin through that door! Logan County starts off blazing a trail they built all of last season. When you see total yard stats of 435 to negative 41, you know it's a lopsided game. Collier Kempf records 3 sacks for the Cougars. Not much more to know about this one. Week 2: At 6A Muhlenberg County (0-1). Apollo beat the poor ole' Mustangs 47-12 last week. I look for a similar score this coming week. But get up to Greenville Cougar Fans and stop by Aunt M's Cafe for a great pre-game meal! Name:  Aunt M's Logan Co.jpg
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7) Hopkinsville (4A) - Preseason Rank: 6 - 2018 Record 0-1; District Record 0-0] Week 1 Results: Loss: 49-17 vs 5A South Warren (1-0). Love the early game plan Tiger Fans as you punched the Spartans right in the mouth. Unfortunately, you couldn't hold onto the ball and that cost you quite a bit. But I am still upbeat for Tiger Nation this season. Not many will beat South Warren this season and this game will make you better IMO later in the year, because how many teams that Hoptown will face are better than South Warren? You tell me... I don't have stats for this one, but know QB Bland and WR Dunn are stars for the Tigers! Week 2 GAME OF THE WEEK: The tough schedule continues as the gauntlet rolls on to Graves County to play 2A Power Mayfield (1-0). Another tough spot here for the Tigers! The good news is that Jacob Lacey isn't suiting up for Mayfield. The bad news is the Mayfield hasn't lost at home since 6A McCracken County came away with a 37-31 OT squeaker in September of 2015! Good luck Tigers!

6) Daviess County (6A) - Preseason Rank: 7 - 2018 Record 1-0; District Record 0-0] Week 1 Results: Win: 49-26 vs County Rival 2A OCath (0-1). For Daviess County Fans, I'd say the finger nails are a little tight this morning after a chew-fest through the entire first quarter and early second quarter. But you can't hold the Panthers down long! And according to our good friend @Irish Cat, they broke out of a 20-0 deficit to storm to a 21-20 halftime lead and outscored the Aces 49-6 the rest of the way! I'm sure the Aces fans were pretty stunned by the turnaround also. I'd love to see a box score for this game. I know QB Joey Cambron played well (and Stud WR Marquel Tinsley) and you will see him later. This team has a higher gear than most. Question is can they get to that gear when they need it in tight games. After Week 1, I say they can. Let's see when competition increases. Week 2: at Evansville Central, IN (1-0). Central (MaxPreps #828 nationally) blew the doors off Greenfield-Central (MaxPreps #10,352 nationally) Friday night and likely have a really strong team. With the Panthers coming in at 2,730 on the MaxPreps national ranking, it looks to be a really tough game for them. But that's what you need if you want to go deep in the playoffs! Let's go Panthers!!!! Beat the Hoosiers!

5) Franklin Simpson (4A) - Preseason Rank: 5 - 2018 Record 1-0; District Record 0-0] Week 1 Results: Win: 44-20 at 3A Elizabethtown (0-1). I'm putting 4A on notice right now. You can put whomever you want above the Wildcats in August, but when the weather turns colder, you are going to have to deal with the Champs!!! Etown lost a LOT of quality seniors off their 2017 squad, but so did Franklin. Etown beat Franklin in Franklin last year. So turning the tide this year on the opening game is significant to me. Many questions asked to open the season: who will be the QB, how are the lines going to do, etc. Well though Week 1 - All Systems Go! According to the Etown stats, Franklin had 501 yards on the ground (zero passing yards) vs 366 yards for Etown. You will win a lot of games with those stats. But a passing component will surely be necessary later on when better defensive teams come calling. You will see some Wildcat stats later, but this was pretty much a 3 score affair most of the game and no closer. That's with the Wildcats turning it over 3 times. Cut that out and it gets downright ugly. Week 2: Vs 2A Monroe County (0-1) at 7pm. The scrappy Falcons lost a tough one to Trigg County last week and will now have the unenviable task of traveling to Shadetree Stadium to try and get a handle on the hot Wildcats. I'm sure Coach Preston will have some things he would like to work on. He will get a lot of chances this week. Wildcats ROLL!

4) Owensboro (5A) - Preseason Rank: 4 - 2018 Record 1-0; [District Record 0-0] Week 1 Results: Win: 41-13 over 4A Madison-North Hopkins (0-1). Last year the Red Devils beat Madisonville 41-19, so they are consistent coming out of the gate! But last year that's where the wheels kinda came off with the Red Devils losing 4 of the next 5 and 7 of the next 10. OUCH! That doesn't happen often for Owensboro. But this year has a different feel for me. Not since the Nick Locher QB days have I known of an Owensboro QB capable of commanding a viable passing attack (no offense to any of the other QBs, but strengths are strengths). SR QB Will Warren has that ability IMO. You will see his numbers later. Standout Imonte Owsley was fantastic as usual with 1 rushing TD and 2 receiving TDs. LB Austin Gough is easily one of the best players on the Owensboro D and he will be very well known across the state by the time he is a Senior. Young man had 13 tackles and a fumble recovery on the night. Week 2: At Evansville Reitz, IN (1-0) on Friday August 24 at 5:00pm. Reitz pulled out a 41-35 win at 6A Henderson County last Friday. So this should be a good game. Make sure to check that start time Red Devil fans and go across the river to support your team! Let's Go O! Beat the Hoosiers!!!

3) Mayfield (2A) - Preseason Rank: 3 - 2018 Record 1-0; District Record 0-0] Week 1 Results: Win: 43-27 over Union City, TN (0-1). Well it wasn't the 41-0 shellacking the Cardinals handed out last year at Union City, but to me this one will mean more later in the year for Mayfield. I'm sure the Golden Tornados were tired of hearing how they got smoked last season and came in and played inspired football and had a lead late in the game. But Coach Morris and staff made some key in-game adjustments to lock down Union City and get the Cardinal offense off and running! Thanks to our good friend @Mayfieldsportsfan who provided the total yards for the game at 460 for Mayfield vs 314 for Union City. It should be noted that Union City led in the 4th Quarter of this game. And Mayfield still regrouped and won by 16 points! Impressive! You will see more Cardinal Stats later! Week 2: GAME OF THE WEEK! Vs 4A Hopkinsville (0-1). Mayfield will come into this game pretty darn confident, but obviously are too well coached to take the Tigers lightly. Hopkinsville can cause Mayfield some problems early likely, but I look for the Cardinal coaches to make the adjustments needed to win the game by about 21 points. Great time to be a Cardinals Fan! Hey Cardinals Fans did you see where 2A Desales took down 6A St X! Wow!!!

2) Bowling Green (5A) - Preseason Rank: 1 - 2018 Record 1-0; District Record 0-0] Week 1 Results: Win: 20-13 over 6A Central Hardin (0-1). Why would you drop Bowling Green after beating a 6A school Purple88? Basically, BG left A LOT of points on the field! Most were execution errors (holding penalties, catches that have to be made, etc.). Can those be fixed? Absolutely! Is it doom and gloom in Purple Land? Absolutely not! But you can not hide behind the fact that at 20-0 at halftime, you felt BG should have done more and that Central Hardin could and did come back. What can be fixed outside of the execution errors? Enhanced play calling? Did BG throw it past 20 yards from the line of scrimmage last night? You tell me... Guess what though: BG WON the game! I thought the BG D outside of 1 series played a heck of a game. Beau Buchanon is a leader at QB. He was 26 for 36 with 239 yards on the night. Vito Tisdale carried 16 times for 122 yards and took a punt to the house from 42 yards out. You have to remember this is the first real game for a new coach, all new WRs (with 2 starters injured). I said this last night: Central Hardin is a very good team and their offensive and defensive lines are outstanding. They will beat a lot of teams this season! BGs ceiling is high. MUCH work to do! Onward. Week 2: Vs 6A Pleasure Ridge Park (1-0). If I had to pick a non-district game that I really want BG to win this year, it would likely be PRP, as BG has never beaten them in 2 previous tries. Come out to El Donaldson Stadium and watch a great game this Friday night!

1) South Warren (5A) - Preseason Rank: 1 - 2018 Record 1-0; District Record 0-0] Week 1 Results: Win: 49-17 at 4A Hopkinsville (0-1). As our good friend @jcarter reported, South Warren is off to a Great Start to the 2018 Season. Hopkinsville had a good game plan prepared, but South Warren countered it and really was not threatened after that point early in the game. South Warren had significant contributions from all over led by SR stalwart Clayton Bush (you will see his stats later Spartan Fans). Also SR RB Cameron Harrison seems to have started where Christian Winn left off last year with 2 rushing TDs on the night. But the thing that makes South Warren special this year is their defense led by D1 standout Jacob Lacey who seemed to be in the Hoptown backfield as much as the Hoptown RBs! Is there anyone who makes you pay for your offensive mistakes more than South Warren? QB Spurrier was also very good on the night. My only cold water for you Spartan fans is to understand you scrimmaged 1A Russellville and beat 4A Hopkinsville - just for perspective purposes. Not cutting you down. Week 2: Play the Opening Act at the Citizens First Bowl at WKU vs 4A Warren Central (0-1). This game is Saturday August 25 at 5 pm. Absolutely no contest here.

Next 10 - 11 to 20:
11) Caldwell County (3A)
- 2018 Record (0-1): Week 1 Results: Loss 11-6 to 5A Christian County. Caldwell County is forced to play up if they want to compete deep in the playoffs. They were obviously in this game, but just couldn't find the offense or breaks to win the game. Shake it off Tigers - AND Quick! As you have to go to Graves County next week in what will undoubtedly be a physical affair. Good luck!
12) Glasgow (2A) - 2018 Record (1-0): Week 1 Results: Win 51-0 WOW! Glasgow put a 51 Burger on the poor ole' Panthers! Seems a bit harsh from afar, but this is football, not tiddly-winks! Glasgow stays at home to take on a surprising Bardstown club that blew the doors off poor ole' Spencer County last week. Which team takes their first loss on the season - you tell me...
13) Paducah Tilghman (3A) - 2018 Record 1-0: Week 1 Results: Win 35-6 over 6A McCracken County (0-1). Emotion and confidence may be the biggest uncontrollable forces our football teams interact with. But for Tilghman, they obviously harnessed the emotion around the loss of their Coach (Steve Duncan) and used it to fuel their efforts and stop cross-county rival McCracken County!!! A lot of upside to this Tilghman Team! And thanks to our good friend @truebluefan89 for giving the name of the week "Freeway" Freeman, who is reportedly a good RB with good wheels!!! Love it!
14) Owensboro Catholic (2A) - 2018 Record 0-1: Week 1 Results: Loss 49-26 to 6A Daviess County (1-0) OCath came out and punched the Panthers in the mouth and led 20 to zip-ola! Unfortunately it did not last and the Panther or Team Track Meet took over! But this will help OCATH get better for the tough playoff battles down the road. QB Drew Hatz is outstanding for the Aces and will have them turned around for the boat ride down river into Evansville to take on Memorial High School! Good Luck Aces! Beat the Hoosiers!!!
15) Graves County (5A) - 2018 Record 1-0: Week 1 Results: Win 41-21 vs 2A Murray. Always good to get a win vs Purchase Area opponents. I understand the Eagles started a little flat, but star QB Ryan Mathis turned them around and overwhelmed Murray. Tough game this week as the Caldwell County Tigers come calling.
16) Apollo (5A) - (2018 Record 1-0): Week 1 Results: Win 47-12 over 6A Muhlenberg County. The Philip Hawkins Era opens with a bang for the new Eagles Coach! Mariano McKenzie ran wild and a solid passing game was just that - solid! The Eagles now trek to Evansville to take on a solid Mater Dei squad. Good luck Eagles! Beat the Hoosiers!!!
17) Crittenden County (1A) - (2018 Record 1-0) Week 1 Results - Win 42-6 vs Stewart County, TN. The Rockets blasted off and Stewart County paid for the rocket fuel! I don't have any stats for this game. Rockets don't play again until they head south to face a surprising Trigg County squad on August 31.
18) McCracken County (6A) - (2018 Record 0-1) Week 1 Results - Loss 35-6 at Paducah Tilghman. What happened? I mean first game of the year and not much to speak of. I don't have Mustang stats, but likely not much to see. Is Tilghman that good or McCracken that bad? You tell me... We will find out...
19) Union County (3A) - (2018 Record 0-0) The Braves will wait another week to open their season when the hapless Marion County Knights come to Morganfield! The Braves ROLL in this one!!! Good luck Braves!
20) Henderson County (6A) - (2017 Record 0-1) I don't have any information on this game, but am encouraged by the score. In years past, I know Hendo would have gotten beaten much worse than this. I think they can have a good year; get second in the district and host a home playoff game. That's a win in my book!!! Evansville North comes calling next week. I like the Colonels in this one!!! Beat the Hoosiers!!!

Others Receiving Votes: Allen County Scottsville, Trigg County, Greenwood, Grayson County, Ballard Memorial, Edmonson County

Week 1 Players of the Week: *I don't have all stats available, so please add as you see fit!
1) Caleb Kimble - RB - Fulton County Pilots - 205 rushing yards and 4 Big TDs!!! Vs Gleason, TN
2) Joey Cambron - QB - Daviess County - 307 yards and 5 TDs vs OCath!
Marquel Tinsley - WR - Daviess County - 9 catches 166 yards and 2 TDs
3) Clayton Bush - WR/DB - South Warren - 4 TDs including 2 70 yard (each) returns for TDs!
4) Carlos McKinney - RB - Franklin Simpson - 224 yards and 3 TDs
Tre Bass - RB - Franklin Simpson - 210 yards and 2 TDs
5) Tavis Brown - WR/DB - Graves County - 94 yards rushing; 4 catches and a Pick 6 vs Murray!
6) Will Warren - QB - Owensboro - 18 for 31 for 254 yards and 5 TDs vs Madisonville NH!
7) Jayden Stinson - QB - Mayfield - 221 yards passing for 4 TDs
Kade Neeley - WR/DB - Mayfield - 4 catches for 135 yards, but look at the HUDL link below. This young man was all over the field! Outstanding!
Union City High School - Kade Neely highlights - Hudl

Week 1 - Teams Trending Down
Hopkinsville (4A) - Down
- It is probably unfair of me to put Hoptown here as they played a team I know I expected to beat them. But they are also the highest ranked team to lose as well. I suppose it was the overall size of the defeat that troubled me (4 TDs). But I still think you have the best shot to challenge Franklin Simpson and go to the Grocery Bag in December and represent the West in 4A this year!
Madisonville North Hopkins (4A) - Down - This is the exact same boat as above as I'm probably unfairly putting you here as I did not expect you to win. But the one thing that stands out to me is if other teams watch the Owensboro film and run the same defensive schemes can Madisonville win the bigger games? You tell me...

Teams - Trending Up
Fulton County Pilots (1A) - Up
- You can't stop the Pilots! You can only hope to contain them!!! I bet the grape juice was flowing in the Pilots locker room after their big win on Friday night!!! Way to represent the State Pilots!!! Best of luck! I've got my eye on you when you travel to Stewart County TN on September 7th! After Crittenden County beat them 42-6, I think the Pilots have a real shot at a Road Win!!! Let's go Pilots!!!
Paducah Tilghman (3A) - Up - How bout the Blue Tornados!!! Emotion is a Powerful Weapon! I'm sure Tilghman circled the wagons when Coach Duncan had to resign due to health reasons. This is a team to watch out for. Athletes have never been the problem. But as our good friend @TilghmanPride reports, the offensive and defensive lines are better than they have been in 5 or 6 years! Look out 3A!