Class 4A Notebook (10/19): A Calm Week
This week provided one of the rarest sights in 4A this season – almost every single team in the top ten won. Nine teams out of the top ten won their games, many of them handily. Only two games featured margins of less than ten points, and that came in spots 9 & 10. It’s a seldom-seen week of breathing easily for the favorites of 4A. With that, we’ll begin with the close games.
#9 Allen County-Scottsville began the year on a tear, crushing weaker opponents in Hart County and Barren County before completing fourth quarter comebacks against pre-decline Greenwood and 2A ranked Glasgow. The 4-0 start was the first for the Patriots since their state runner-up season in 2010, and they still stood at 5-1 after a loss to Pulaski County and a 46-7 decision against Grayson County. But they now have lost two straight after a 17-13 loss to Warren East, which cost them a shot at a home playoff game in the first round. The Patriots have combined for just 20 points in the last two games, which had previously been their season low for a single game. Warren East stymied ACS with a strong pass rush and lockdown secondary defense that forced five interceptions by Chase Wilson. Wilson entered the game having only thrown eight interceptions on the year. The six total turnovers forced by the Raiders vaulted them into a district title matchup with Franklin on Friday, and assured them of their first home playoff game since 2014.
The other close game in the top ten featured everyone’s favorite story, #10 Logan County. As you’re well aware, Logan County has now won nine in a row after having lost the 42 before that. The latest gave them their first district title since 1989 when they won on a last second field goal against Madisonville-North Hopkins by a score of 23-21. This was a game the Cougars lost by 21 a year ago at home. Madisonville gained the early edge 7-0 before Gary Hardy ran in from 13 yards out less than a minute into the second quarter to give the halftime score of 7-7. After the Cougars went in front 14-7 during the third, Miller ran it in from 55 yards out for Madisonville, followed by an onside recovery, and another touchdown in the third quarter to put the Maroons up 21-14 entering the fourth. After the Cougars had their PAT blocked following a 40 yard Ezell touchdown with 3:40 left, the Cougars recovered yet another onside kick, driving to the Madisonville 3, then kicking the game winner. It means Logan County is home for the playoffs until a state championship game.
Other Games of note:
-Ashland and Greenup County had one of the most entertaining games on the night, with a back and forth affair, especially in the first half which saw scores of Ashland 7-0, 7-7, Ashland 14-7, 14-14, Greenup 21-14, 21-21, Ashland 28-21, and 28-28 at the half. Ashland bore down in the second half, finally gaining a two TD lead but still just leading by a single score before putting the game away with just over 2 minutes left for the final score. Entertaining as it was, it doesn’t bode well for Ashland’s hopes against a Johnson Central team that plastered Greenup County 51-14.
-Every other top ten game had a margin of 21 points or more. One of the more significant results outside the top ten was Scott’s 29-20 win over Bourbon County. The win assured Scott of the District 7 title, and kept them out of the pressure cooker of facing Johnson Central, Ashland, or Greenup County before the second round.
-East Jessamine also clinched their district with a 38-8 win over winless Marion County. That makes three straight wins for the Jaguars entering their rivalry game with West Jessamine.
Upcoming Game of the Week
While Johnson Central and Ashland may be the choice on paper due to their ranks, there is a high amount of confidence in the result there. So we’ll go with #6 Rockcastle County at #8 Knox Central. With Wayne County having already clinched the district title, this game will decide who slides into the 2 spot to gain a home playoff game, and just as importantly, staying off the same side as Wayne County. A year ago Knox Central entered this game looking to force a three-way tie for first after having narrowly lost to Wayne County 20-16, but were shut out 14-0 and would ultimately go on to lose four in a row to close the year. This year the stakes are higher since this will be outright for a home game – no tiebreakers necessary. Rockcastle County has returned to their high scoring ways, combining for 93 points in the last two outings. They still have not scored less than 40 points in any of their games other than their two losses to Somerset and Wayne County. There’s a wide open space between six points and below – where they’ve lost – and 40 points and above – where they’ve won. Who knows what happens in a 21 point game?
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