Class 2A Notebook 11/7- Familiar Faces, Different Places
Most expected 1 seeds Mayfield and OCath to roll and they did just that. Region 1 though was one of the better regions for potential 2 vs. 3 matchups. Butler County need a Herculean effort from their MVP Rex Henderson to out duel a very game Ballard Memorial squad. Henderson ran for 317 and passed for 146 more and accounted for 6 TD's in the Bears 54-28 victory.
Murray was viewed as a slight underdog by some entering their match-up with a previous 7-3 McLean County squad. The Tigers have struggled on Defense all season, but have found an Offensive cohesion in recent weeks and used that Offense to power them to a somewhat surprising 40-18 win. Jordan Boyd went over 200 yards rushing and Hunter Utley did the same via the pass.
It was a predictable chalk finish for the three clear cut front runners in Region 2 as CAL, DeSales, and Glasgow combined to overtake their First Round foes 156-6. In the midst of all this chalk dust there Region 2 also noted perhaps the biggest surprise of Round 1 in Class 2A as 8-Loss Washington County stunned the previously 7-3 Metcalfe County Hornets 21-18.
This is the Commanders' first playoff win during the 6-Class System, in fact it is their first playoff win in 19 years! Washington County defeated Monroe County 34-6 in 1997. John Floyd was the Round 1 hero for WashCo as he finished 19/28 passing for 279 yards and a TD, he also added a respectable 81 yards and another TD via the ground.
There were no surprises to see in the NKY region as all four teams advanced in running clock fashion. Walton-Verona was the lone survivor from District 5 as the Bearcats watched their District Running mates get outscored 142-18 by their District 6 foes. Walton-Verona will now host Covington Holy Cross. These two teams met back in the dog days of summer with the Indians routing DubVee 44-0. The Bearcats were held to a meager 64 rushing yards in the first meeting.
Lloyd Memorial's blowout victory over Gallatin County sets up a rematch with defending Region 3 Champions NewCath. The Breds defeated Lloyd Memorial 28-18 in Erlanger during the regular season in a tight defensive battle for the majority of the night. If Lloyd is hoping to defeat NewCath the trio of Fann, Durham, and Townsend will have to step up to the forefront. In the first meeting they combined for 281 of the team's 329 total yards, but with a good portion of that coming late the Juggs had to dig out of a hole that simply too deep.
The Darkhorse prediction to reach Bowling Green with the best shot is probably the 3-seed Somerset Briarjumpers. Somerset went on the road to Floyd County and made short work of Prestonsburg 35-6 to secure a 2nd Round birth. Somerset will draw a re-match with LCA. The Eagles had problems with Shelby Valley only in the form of style points as they rolled 56-26 in a game that was never in doubt.
The Eagles defeated Somerset 41-28 in Bunny Country on October 14th in a game that was nip and tuck until late. Somerset's balance should give them a puncher's chance of going blow for blow, but they will have to find a way to limit the LCA rushing game. The Eagles went over 300 yards in the first matchup and imposed their will down the stretch.
Danville's only Round 1 resistance came in the form of yellow flags as they made short work of Allen Central. Leslie County had a little tougher go with fellow EKY foe Middlesboro. Leslie is tough to beat at home but the Ads should enter as a solid favorite. Leslie County has not been the "No Fly Zone" and will really have to find creative ways to keep Danville's speed in check down the field.
An Encore of 2015?
As we stand staring at the brackets after the First Round, a feeling of deja vu has to fall on the observers of Class 2A Football. Of the remaining 16 teams in the playoffs, all but two are the same faces that made up the 2015 Second Round. The two newcomers are Washington County and Somerset.
With that said, only three of this week's 8 games are re-matches of the same teams who met in the 2015 playoffs; Mayfield vs. Butler County, Murray vs. Owensboro Catholic, and Danville vs. Leslie County.
Going simply by the favorites in each of the Second Round games it is projected to be a Regional Finals consisting of Mayfield, Owensboro Catholic, DeSales, CAL, Danville, LCA, NewCath, and Covington Holy Cross. If this comes to fruition it would feature seven teams who had reached the same point last season, and all but the Region 3 game would be a re-match scenario.