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So how did we get here?

In District 1, Mayfield did exactly what you would expect Mayfield to do. The Cardinals did not necessarily explode out of the gates against Murray, but once they got going it was an avalanche of points that ensued as Mayfield polished off the Tigers 56-24. Jayden Stinson was superb throwing for over 300 yards and 6 TD's.

Moving to District 2, we got the playoff upset we all love seeing. McLean County shocked Owensboro Catholic by following the blueprint laid out last week in The Notebook to secure a 36-36 shocker. The Cougars had two backs eclipse the 100-yard mark and QB Peyton Caraway made his two completions count with 101 pass yards on them including a TD. McLean turned Owensboro Catholic over three times helping their case.

District 3 was predictably exciting. As expected, defense ruled the day. In the end QB Jon Smith proved the difference for Edmonson County in their 17-13 win over Clinton County. Smith got a ground score and also connected with Chance Lucas on a 40-yard TD pass. Clinton County put up a valiant fight, but in the end Edmonson was left standing once the dust finally settled in the most exciting District race of 2019 in Class 2A.

Then there was this little game in District 4 that may have been on everyone's radar between Somerset and LCA. The regular season meeting was perhaps the best game of the year in Class 2A and the re-match did not disappoint. Somerset got off the mat for a big win in the game that mattered the most 28-26, with QB Kaiya Sheron coming up big. Sheron connected with Kade Grundy for a TD but his ground prowess was the game-breaker, rushing for 104 yards and three huge scores. Dearious Smith was superb for LCA, but in the end a Tate Madden interception ended the drama.

Round 3 Showdowns:

#4 Edmonson County (6-6) at #1 Mayfield (11-1)

Out of the pond and into the ocean. Edmonson County may have won the most dramatic 2A District, but they also won the District most agree was the weakest. The Wildcats must take a significant step up in class heading to Mayfield and don't expect them to simply have enough artillery to stand up to the heavyweight incumbent.

Mayfield's offensive explosion and Defensive big play ability should allow the Cardinals to press the accelerator once they get a lead. Edmonson County will play with pride, but expect this one to snow ball

Prediction: Mayfield 56 Edmonson County 12


#3 McLean County (8-4) at #2 Somerset (11-1)

McLean will make the long trip to the Briar Patch where the mighty Purple and Gold await them. Somerset's biggest enemy will be let down. After winning a game that might have the potential to prove to be a pseudo-State Championship, it will be easy to overlook a team most did not expect to still be playing.

McLean can play and has great Senior experience. They used this to upset O'Cath and you can bet they are only thinking of victory as they take the long bus trip. With that said, their run-heavy offense will be a Catch 22 against a strong Somerset Front 7. If McLean can chew clock and keep themselves in the game it gives them a puncher's chance, but if they get behind they will struggle to be able to come back.

Expect McLean to earn respect, but Somerset is just too good.

Prediction: Somerset 46 McLean County 20




EAST

So how did we get here?

Walton-Verona just continues to reign over their District competition in the Coach Barth era. Owen County made some big plays, but in the end the Bearcat defense ruled the day 48-20 by completely stonewalling Owen's rushing game. Walton-Verona racked up over 300 total yards as they kept the time of possession in hand and broke Owen County's will.

Newport's Cinderella season struck midnight in Fort Mitchell as Beechwood simply outclassed them 38-19. Cameron Hergott did his thing and so did the Tiger D, well sort of. Newport actually out-gained the Tigers by a fair clip, but Beechwood simply bent but never broke.

Breathitt County kept their express train rolling. The Bobcats scored early and often on their way to a 50-15 win. Outside of two games which were mercifully shortened from the start with a running clock, the Bobcats have scored over 40 points in every game and only had one outcome that did not feature a running clock.

West Carter continues to fly under the radar and their District 8 Championship demonstrated that you should take the Comets lightly at your own peril. West Carter ambushed Shelby Valley 50-12 with surprising balance. Perry Orr threw for over 200 yards and 5 scores in his best performance of the season.

Round 3 Showdowns:

#4 Walton-Verona (8-4) at #1 Breathitt County (12-0)

A year ago Walton-Verona shocked the State by knocking off one-loss Glasgow and securing a spot in the Semi's for the first time in school history. The Bearcats hope to do it again, but this time it will have to be on the road in hostile Jackson.

The good news is not only will Walton-Verona be Breathitt's toughest opponent to date, they also play the style that is most conducive to an upset if W-V can keep it close. The ground and pound offense and stingy defensive approach is the recipe, but unlike 2018 Walton-Verona may not have enough ingredients in their pantry.

Charles Collins had been looking for a breakout opportunity with limited reps needed, and this may be his platform. Breathitt's big play ability may simply be too much as the Bobcats should get the job done up front.

Prediction: Breathitt County 50 Walton-Verona 22


#3 West Carter (9-3) at #2 Beechwood (7-5)

Many will judge this game off name alone. One team is one of Kentucky's most storied programs ripe with State Titles and post-season success, the other is a relative unknown with very few trips to even this very round. Judge on the past at your own caution.

Beechwood should be the favorite in this game and should be the better class of opponent. West Carter's style of play and Beechwood's sometime sluggish offensive efficiency should make this one a tough game. West Carter will battle the Tigers up front and will be able to move the ball at times.

One big question will be whether this game will pivot on the play of an established great player (Hergott) or an upcoming great player in West Carter's LeeTavious Cline. Cline will need to shine. Any Comet upset bid begins with him making key conversions and finding the end zone.

Expect this one to be tight throughout. At the end of the day, many Tiger players have been in games this big in the past seasons and West Carter has not. Additionally, the Tigers' brutal regular season schedule was put together for a reason and it should pay dividends here.

Prediction: Beechwood 24 West Carter 20


Projected Semi-Final Games:

#4 Beechwood (0.62970) at #1 Mayfield (0.75316)

#3 Breathitt County (0.65959) at #2 Somerset (0.75279)