Class 4A Notebook (10/25): So You Think You Know Who's Winning 4A?

  1. #1
    by DragonFire is offline Contest Mod
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    THAT JUST HAPPENED.

    That was pretty much my reaction upon seeing that Johnson Central had fallen to Ashland on the road 21-18. For the Golden Eagles it was the first time all year they’d been held below 31 points, and that came in the season opener. They hadn’t scored less than 40 since. Ashland pulled off the feat on the defensive side of the ball with some clutch turnovers in the fourth quarter, recovering two fumbles and the game ending interception on fourth down after the Golden Eagles had driven deep into Tomcat territory but stalled. The second fumble was probably the biggest, as Ashland had turned over on downs in Johnson Central territory, only to see the Golden Eagles drive to just outside the red zone in just over a minute of play. Drew Fannin recovered a fumble with 4:50 left to set up Ashland’s last chance to overcome an 18-14 deficit. Braxton Ratliff and Aroq Colburn, who had already hooked up for a 61 yard score midway through the second quarter, got the game-winner on a 58 yard pass with 2:40 remaining, on 4th and 3.

    So Johnson Central exits with some soul-searching, feeling like they lost a game they probably feel they should have won. They had nearly 500 yards of offense compared to just under 350 for Ashland. They had twice as many first downs. But they couldn’t convert on any two point attempts and Ashland bent, but seldom broke. Johnson Central entered the district title game with 13 straight wins, as defending champions, the #1 team, and heavy favorite. They exited in second place of their own district. Meanwhile, Ashland gained their first victory over Johnson Central since 2011, and their first district title since that same year. They have gained homefield advantage for the first two rounds of the playoffs, and if Johnson Central recovers to meet them in the region finals as expected, they’ll stay at home for the first three rounds. Most significantly, they have sent a final message to 4A – this is not last year. Johnson Central can be beaten. Happy hunting.


    Other Items of Note:
    -Wayne County had an enjoyable bye-week. They already were district champions, on a five game winning streak, and not seriously tested since a September 8th loss to Boyle County. They gained the honor of new #1 without having to lift a finger.

    -#3 Collins wrapped up an unbeaten run through district play with a 38-19 win over rival Shelby County. The win snaps a four game losing streak since the last Titans win in 2014, and keeps Collins in the presumptive driver’s seat on the western side of the bracket. JR Lucas only had to throw 10 times in this one, completing six, four of which were touchdowns.

    -#5 Franklin-Simpson was sweating a bit in their district title matchup against Warren East, coming out sluggish and trailing 7-3 at the half. After the two teams traded touchdowns in the second half to make it 14-10 Raiders, Franklin-Simpson ran off the next 35 points, securing their fourth district title in the last five years. The Wildcats are seeking back to back region titles, a feat they haven’t accomplished since winning seven in a row from 1977-1983.

    -Last week I’d said that Johnson Central/Ashland wasn’t the game of the week due to confidence in the result – oops. Double the oops because the choice I want with was Rockcastle County at Knox Central. Knox Central has been quietly building an impressive season, overlooked because of some iffy early performances against Letcher County Central and Russell County, as well as blowout losses to Danville and Wayne County. They unleashed an aerial attack on Rockcastle County, with Brady Worley throwing for three scores and 221 yards against no interceptions in their 31-8 win over Rockcastle County. The Rockets continued their all or nothing ways, averaging just 4.67 PPG in their losses against 43.17 PPG in their wins. It’s been a disappointing second half for Rockcastle County, with a 2-3 skid after their 4-0 start, and falling from district champions a year ago to #3 in the district, opening on the road, and trapped on the same side with Wayne County, who shut them down and out 27-0 in late September.

    -Logan County continued their march to the most improbable undefeated season ever, pulling in a 49-11 win over Calloway County that eschewed the late game heroics of their past two district contests. Only Todd County Central, the team Logan County beat last year to break their 42 game losing streak, stands in the way of them and the first undefeated season in program history.

    -An off the radar result important to me is John Hardin falling 15-0 to Moore. John Hardin has been downright impossible to figure out, and they have now fallen into a three way tiebreak with Moore and Valley. Frankly, I just love trying to track three way tiebreaks. John Hardin is currently in the lead with 8 points in the bank from the four wins of Daviess County and Meade County. Two opponents John Hardin has beaten play this week (Meade County and Warren Central), guaranteeing them an additional point to give them a minimum of nine. They can go as high as 11 with wins by Daviess County over Apollo – possible – and Breckinridge County over Hancock County – unlikely. 9 or 10 is likely where John Hardin finishes. Moore is currently in second with 7 from Southern’s four wins and Jeffersontown’s three. Seneca and Breckinridge County “add” zero. Southern plays DeSales so will likely stay put, and both Seneca and Breckinridge County being winless are likely to as well. Jeffersontown against Oldham County is likely a J-Town loss too, meaning from existing teams, Moore probably stays at 7. But they have something John Hardin doesn’t – another game. They’re playing Henry County, who carry 4 wins. That is a winnable game for Moore, and a win there, will give them the two seed because the only way John Hardin can get to 11 is if Breckinridge County wins, which will add to Moore’s total as well to push them to 12. Valley is almost drawing dead as the only team outside the tiebreak that they’ve currently beaten is winless Breckinridge County, which the other two have beaten as well. They could add Eminence’s 8 wins to their total with a victory over them this week, which is not all that farfetched given Eminence’s schedule. But they can’t get past John Hardin no matter what, and would need that win over Eminence plus a Moore loss PLUS all the teams that Moore beat to lose this week in order to finish in third.


    Upcoming Game of the Week
    4A’s out of class games this year have by and large been a nightmare. The class is widely viewed as one of the worst in the state, and the record has backed that up. Newly ascendant #1 Wayne County gets one last chance to pick up a marquee win for 4A when they host 5A #5 Madison Southern on Friday. Wayne County scored one of the better out of class wins on the season when they knocked off defending 5A runner-up Pulaski County 29-27 back on August 25th. But two weeks later they stumbled 38-14 in a road game at Boyle County, and now take on an Eagle team that ground that same Pulaski County team to dust in a 60-21 shellacking on September 22nd. If Wayne County stumbles, perhaps Ashland will pick up the pieces to enter as the top ranked team. The top ranked team in 4A entering the postseason has made the finals in each of the last six seasons, winning five of those. It’s a coveted spot.
    Last edited by DragonFire; Oct 26, 17 at 01:27 PM. Reason: Touched up some errors

  2. #2

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    Nice write up.

    If JC and Ashland meet up play again in the Regional final, who does everybody have as the winner? JC?

  3. #3

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    IMO JC is probably still the favorite but we all have hope.
    Their rode will not be an easy one this year with so many games on the road.
    Would have to travel back to Ashland and to Wayne which would have to beat Louisville Western @ Wayne. No way Rock will travel to Western and Win.
    On West side, I can see Collins having to make that trip back to Franklin Simpson
    where they got homered I guess 4 years ago now. Don't see Logan going further than the Regional Final. Just doesn't have the experience for that deep of run and the added pressure.

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    Pending the 3 way tie breaker with john/Moore/valley which I think John will end up the 3 seed but what are the chances that John Hardin goes and pulls out a win at Knox. It was just 2 years ago John went on the road the first 3 rounds and made it to the semi finals so I’m hoping that experience pays off for John Hardin this offseason

  5. #5
    TOMCATS1990's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by colonel-fan View Post
    Nice write up.

    If JC and Ashland meet up play again in the Regional final, who does everybody have as the winner? JC?
    A lot of Football to be played before they would meet up again. JC would still be the favorite but Ashland gained a lot of confidence beating them last week. They now know they can play with and beat anyone in 4A. Ashland is good enough to beat them again but it won't be easy.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tommy2tone View Post
    IMO JC is probably still the favorite but we all have hope.
    Their rode will not be an easy one this year with so many games on the road.
    Would have to travel back to Ashland and to Wayne which would have to beat Louisville Western @ Wayne. No way Rock will travel to Western and Win.
    On West side, I can see Collins having to make that trip back to Franklin Simpson
    where they got homered I guess 4 years ago now. Don't see Logan going further than the Regional Final. Just doesn't have the experience for that deep of run and the added pressure.
    "got homered..."??

    It was 2011. Hard fought game. FS had over 250 yards rushing, Darius Wickware ran for 187. Collins has two TO's to FS's one. FS out gained Collins 303 to 250.

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