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Last week we talked about Wayne County taking it on the chin against Boyle County, leaving the door open for Collins to stake their claim to the #2 spot when they hosted Boyle County this week. The opportunity was ready-made for a comparison. The claim would be especially strong given the performance by 4A teams against out of class competition, particularly ranked competition. In all, through five weeks the top 10 teams in 4A are 1-9 when matched against a top 10 team that week from another class. Ashland’s win over then-#6 Raceland (in 1A) stands as the sole victory.

The Collins/Boyle County tilt proved no different than most of those ranked opportunities before it. After jumping out to a 7-0 lead, Collins quickly fell behind during a 31-3 run by Boyle County, and the final margin of 45-17 was the largest lead of the game. The usually strong Collins offense was held in check, particularly the powerful aerial attack of JR Lucas, who managed only 149 yards on 11/23 passing, with 1 TD and 1 INT. Per Rebelstat in the postgame thread, Collins was 2/14 on attempted conversions on 3rd down or later, and Boyle County outgained the Titans 436-261. The game served as a reminder that Boyle County is very, very good, and also showed that Wayne County and Collins are not far apart – if they are at all. Which leaves room for…..

Rockcastle County is making their own statement, as the Rockets are 4-0 for the first time since opening 7-0 in 2011. Rockcastle has scored over 40 points in each of their games, with their 43 points against a stout Whitley County defense particular standing out – the Colonels haven’t allowed more than 14 in any other game, including against Corbin. Rockcastle County is averaging over 420 yards per game on the ground, led by Jaden Payne’s 627 yards on just 68 rushes. The Rockets knocked off Harrison County this past week 42-13, their last tuneup before the two best teams remaining on their schedule. They’ll travel to 2A #8 Somerset before visiting current #2 Wayne County in what is expected to be a de facto district title game. There are some who believe Rockcastle County belongs at #2 now – if they’re 6-0 in two weeks and on their way to a possible unbeaten slate, they most certainly will be there.

Other games of note:
-Johnson Central continued on their unbeaten march with a 42-8 win after a long trip to Moore. It’s the first game Johnson Central has won by more than 13, finally giving them a breather. Expect a whole lot more of that coming up for the probably-permanent #1 team.

-Mercer County has been living dangerously for weeks and finally spun out in a 49-41 loss at Lincoln County. The Titans were gutted for 259 yards on the ground against Lincoln County, and haven’t held an opponent below 21 points since the opening week against Harrison County. That has skyrocketed to 91 points allowed in these last two weeks against Garrard and Lincoln. Lincoln County forced four turnovers in the contest. Considering that Lincoln County was coming off a loss to Mercer’s district rival East Jessamine – who Mercer lost to a year ago and play in 10 days – there should be concern at Mercer County.

-Hopkinsville still didn’t set the world on fire, but they got their first win with a 16-9 decision over 3A Paducah Tilghman. Javier Bland was 11/19 for 199 yards and a TD pass, but the offense has still been stuck in neutral, with just 16.6 PPG against a tough schedule. They get an open week before opening district play against Madisonville-North Hopkins.

-Franklin-Simpson played one of the most entertaining games of the night in a back and forth affair with Meade County. The game saw one tie and five lead changes as the two teams slugged it out to a 24-21 Meade County decision. The Wildcats had an opportunity to tie the game as time expired, but their freshman missed a 20 yard field goal from a tough angle. Franklin has alternated losses and wins all season, but their last two weeks have given plenty of optimism after blowing the doors off of Greenwood 63-6 and this close loss to 4-1 Meade County. Franklin has two more tough games coming up, visiting Glasgow before opening district play with 4-1 Allen County-Scottsville.

Upcoming Game of the Week

Speaking of that Franklin-Simpson game against Glasgow, it is a pretty good candidate for game of the week. Glasgow sits at #7 in 2A and has had incredibly strong games against Franklin’s district rivals Allen County-Scottsville and Warren East. But we’ll look more to the east for the aforementioned Rockcastle County at 2A #8 Somerset tilt. These two have met the past two years with Somerset taking a 21-20 decision in 2015 before Rockcastle County returned the favor 26-20 last season. Both times the home team won, and this one is in Somerset. Somerset is coming in off a 16-14 upset of previously unbeaten North Laurel, and two weeks ago Somerset played Beechwood to a 7-0 standstill. They are a very strong opponent for Rockcastle County, and a win for the Rockets would definitely be a statement.