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The BGP Preseason 4A top ten took a pretty sizable hit in the opening week when looking at the surface. Nine teams were in action, and only three of those won. Of those that won, two of them were at a significant advantage over their opponents, with #1 South Warren obliterating 2A Monroe County by a 56-14 score, and #5 Franklin-Simpson whitewashing Portland (TN) by a 46-0 margin. Neither was a surprise to be a blowout, although it was slightly notable that Monroe County notched a first quarter score against the new South Warren defense. But it was the Spartan offense that rolled, as Ryder Litten combined for over 370 yards, with 236 yards and 3 TDs through the air and 139 yards (on only 8 rushes!) and 2 TDs on the ground. Purdue commit CJ Hayes will clearly be a larger part of the offense this year, as he’s already 28% of the way to his total receptions for last year (18 in 2015), and 42% of the way to his total yards for last year (219 yards in 2015). He added a single 59 yard rush for a score as well. All is still right in Spartan land. Rival Franklin-Simpson racked up 440 yards on the ground in their game against Portland, keyed by Josiah Robey’s ridiculous 128 yards on just 3 carries, and Saul Brady’s “lackluster by comparison” 154 yards on 9 carries [slacker]. The Wildcats get a serious test this week in a road trip to Caldwell County, and will have Greenwood in the way as well two weeks later before the all important matchup with South Warren on the 23rd.

The most impressive win of the week probably belonged to #7 Hopkinsville, which pasted 5A Graves County 44-22. The Eagles may still not be what they were a couple of years ago, and the Tigers did win in similar fashion last year over Graves, but it is still a strong sign that Hoptown is ready to contend. Jalen Johnson threw for 5 touchdowns and 213 yards, but even more impressively, four of those TD receptions were by CJ Henanigan, who only had one catch that didn’t go for six! The eyes of Tiger fans and much of 4A already shifts to September 16th when Hopkinsville “hosts” Christian County in the stadium they share, which is likely the only thread to a perfect season the Tigers have left.

But that leaves the six losses from the top 10. Wayne County gave a game effort in a comeback attempt against 6A Bryan Station, but after tying the game with less than a minute left in regulation, could not punch it in during overtime, turning it over on downs to end the game. The Cardinals rolled to 267 rushing yards in the losing effort, but got gashed through the air, allowing nearly 300 yards. John Hardin had a very similar experience to 2011 in a blowout loss to Bowling Green, but really, the Purples are going to do that to everyone. It’s no reflection on them. Knox Central started 2016 with a closer result than 2015 when they were blown out 49-0 by Bryan Station, but their 8-7 loss is still on the wrong side of the column. Both Scott and Shelby County started off with losses in contrast to last season, but both Newport Central Catholic (#5 in 2A) and Garrard County (#8 in 3A) are strong teams, so they get a bit of a pass.

No, it’s the loss #6 Spencer County took to Bardstown that rocked the class, a 29-13 loss in their game at Nelson County. When it came across the scoreboard, it had all the feeling of “How did THAT happen?” Spencer County lost just 8 seniors off of last year’s team, and returned two 1,000 yard rushers and a veteran offensive line. A year ago, they won 48-14 over Bardstown in this same game, launching them to an 8-0 start. This year, they were in trouble right away, when De’Ondre Boggs caught a 67 yard score on the first play from scrimmage. Bardstown eventually led by as much as 29-7 before Spencer County brought the score to a more respectable final. The Bears still ran for 275 yards, but gave up over 400 yards to Bardstown, including 306 on the ground! Spencer County was not exactly known for their defense last year, but their offense only put up two results all year where they scored less than 28. They have got to figure out how to stop teams or tune the offense back up, or else this will easily be their peak ranking for the year.

The most eye-opening fringe result belongs to either Mercer County or East Jessamine. East Jessamine got the statement win over Elizabethtown 20-15, picking up 6 of 11 chances on third and fourth downs, and racking up 317 yards of offense. The Panthers hadn’t fallen in the regular season since 2014, and it starts the year off right for East Jessamine. Mercer County may have lost to 6A #9 Central Hardin 21-7, but it was a strong contrast to their slow start last year when they were knocked off by 35 against North Hardin, and they were only outgained by 23 total yards in a defensive struggle with the larger Bruins.

The game of the week to come is probably #5 Franklin-Simpson visiting 3A Caldwell County. The rankings in 3A aren’t finalized, but the Tigers should remain in the top 10, and are coming off a close loss to 5A #3 Christian County. A year ago Caldwell County absolutely walloped Franklin-Simpson, and the Wildcats didn’t really seem to recover well until very late in the year, stumbling to a loss in every other game. This will be a sign of whether Franklin-Simpson is really a threat to South Warren.