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Home Sweet Home

Of the sixteen First Round playoff games in Class 2A, all but one of them were eventually won by the higher seeded team hosting the game. Danville was the lone team to take their show on the road and pull an "upset" in terms of seeding, though you would be hard-pressed to find anyone who did not expect the Admirals to leave Round 1 victorious.

Danville now earns the right to seek revenge against District Champion Somerset. The Briarjumpers won a hard fought game 21-10 against the Admirals earlier this season on Danville's homefield. If the Ads are up to the challenge or springing the upset, this time it will have to occur at the Briar Patch.

Of those fifteen home victors, only one of the games would go down to the wire. The best game of the First Round was no surprise. Lloyd was able to survive a shootout with Washington County, more to come on that in a second, to win 50-44. If you were taking a poll to see which team would have the second narrowest margin of victory, I am not sure anyone would have selected that to come in Mayfield's 56-28 victory over Hancock County. The Cardinal's didn't exactly sprint through the finish line, but give credit to Hancock County for keeping the final score respectable.

Jugger-Not Going Away Just Yet
We predicted in the 2018 Playoff Preview that the most interesting game in Round 1 would take place when Washington County traveled to Erlanger to face Lloyd Memorial. Both teams hovered in the same general company in the rankings for much of the season, so despite the homefield advantage all signs pointed for an excellent first round tilt.

Washington's Senior RB Jbias Dawson did everything he could to keep his Commanders in the game. Dawson carried the pigskin 17 times, added four catches, and finished with 202 total yards from scrimmage. Commander QB Jatavian Churchill threw for 139 yards and 2 TD's, both coming to Javontae Wright, and Chuchill added 116 yards and 3 scores in the rushing game.

In the end, it was too much Travon Mason. The Senior feature back for Lloyd would dominate all night long and find the endzone four times including a pair of highlight runs. The Juggernauts would also force three key turnovers that would allow them to break Washington County's serve and give them the opportunity to have just a few more bullets in the chamber in this classic shootout.

With the win, Lloyd now advances to take their best shot at Christian Academy of Louisville. The Centurions had no issue in Round 1 and will be perhaps the stiffest team Lloyd has seen all season.

Lexington Christian Returns to Pike County
The last time LCA made the trip down US 23 into the State's Eastern-most County, the Eagles made the long trek back with a 43-point loss hanging around their neck in Week 2. LCA will not exit at Hambley Athletic Complex as they did when Pikeville left them searching for answers, instead they will continue down the Country Music Highway an extra 15 minutes or so to take the turf against 10-1 Shelby Valley.

LCA has shown great improvement since that game in which neither their Offense or Defense seemingly made the trip. LCA has found balance on Offense. Jayden Barnhardt has settled into his QB spot nicely and will most likely break the 2000-yard mark passing this weekend. The Eagles have not had a dominant back like a Dillon Wheatley, but they have found success balancing Xavier White and Thomas Brown. Between the two of them they have surpassed 1000 yards and scored 15 times on the ground. More importantly after Pikeville and Lexington Catholic combined to score 104 points early in the season, the Eagles have only allowed one team to score over 3 TD's on them. Andrew Long has become one of the better Defenders in the box in all of Class 2A.

The Eagles will need Long to post huge numbers, as Shelby Valley will bring an Offensive challenge unique to what the Eagles have seen. The Wildcats have one of the State's most proficient rushing attacks and have ran for over 4000 yards this season already. Seth Johnson is the featured back, and all he does is post video game numbers. The Senior Halfback nicknamed "Flash" averages 237 yards per game and is finding the end-zone on average over two times per outing. The Wildcats will use a three, sometimes even four, headed rushing attack to keep LCA off balance, but it is Johnson that the dream of a playoff run revolves around.

Shelby Valley's only blemish this year was a 49-0 defeat to Ridgeview, Virginia. The Wolfpack are a solid 9-1 entering the playoffs as one of the better teams in their Division. It is also worth pointing out while looking at the box score of that game that one name is noticeably absent. Seth Johnson did not suit up due to injury and as a result the Wildcats struggled to sustain success without their primary big-play threat.

Shelby Valley will be a significant underdog entering this contest, and for good reason. Outside of that Ridgeview game the Wildcats played a total of ZERO teams with winning record in their ten other contests and none of those ten are still playing football. The Eagles, on the other hand, have played 7 teams alone who are still in the playoffs. Vincennes Lincoln would make 8, but the Alices were eliminated in the 2nd Round of their playoffs and finished with an 8-3 record.