Class 4A Notebook (9/5): No Waves This Week
Last week #1 Johnson Central lost the initiative to keep the top ranking, putting them at the mercy of Franklin-Simpson’s result against South Warren. This week the ball is squarely back in Johnson Central’s court.
As has frequently been the case in the last two years, 4A has been knocked around by the elite of other classes this season. Teams in the 4A top 10 have played five games against teams in the top 5 of other classes – they’re 1-4 with Ashland’s win over Raceland the lone win for the class. This week it was South Warren’s turn again to light up a 4A top team, putting another running clock on the defending state champion Franklin-Simpson Wildcats. The Spartans ran out to a 36-0 lead and coasted from there. Franklin posted only 125 yards of offense, again failing to do anything through the air (1/5 for 41 yards) and with most of their production coming against the backups. Fortunately for Franklin, that won’t affect anything other than their pride, and they will be favored in every game moving forward. But just merely winning won’t be enough to get them over Johnson Central at this point, who got to .500 via a 33-21 win over Henry Clay. Joe Jackson led the way of a balanced rushing attack, rushing for 79 yards on 20 carries. Johnson Central put up 254 yards on the ground, but six players rushed from 21 to 79 yards. The Golden Eagles should go completely unchallenged before their closing games against Ashland and Belfry.
The most impressive win in the top 10, and perhaps most needed as well, came courtesy of Hopkinsville. In 2017 they saw a tough opening schedule get them off to the wrong foot, and by the time they started 1-6, they were already out of the race for the top seed in their district. Through two games it was much the same, but the Tigers raised their record to 1-2 via a 35-20 win over 3A #8 Caldwell County. Hopkinsville never trailed, but was rarely comfortable in the win. They jumped out to leads of 10-0, 17-7, and 23-13, but led just 23-20 entering the fourth quarter, before a 98 yard drive put the game permanently out of reach. Hoptown stood strongest in the red zone, forcing two interceptions, a fumble, and a turnover on downs inside the 20. Their tough slate continues against Christian County, then Paducah Tilghman, before a bye week entering district play.
Out of the top 10, Moore continues to make a bit of a name for themselves. Their 3-0 record includes a 38-33 win over Collins in Week 2, and this week they battered Seneca 51-6. Kamron Mcinerney had an OK night – he had two carries for two touchdowns and 91 yards. I’ve read before that scoring each time you touch the ball is a desirable trait.
Other games of note:
No other top 10 team other than Franklin-Simpson lost this week. #7 Wayne County certainly had one of the more exciting games. They hosted fellow 4A team Warren East, and overcame a 13 point halftime deficit to take the 57-40 decision. The Cardinal defense notched two pick sixes, a safety, and a touchdown on a fumble recovery in the end zone. That took the pressure off the offense, but Carson Simpson still put up an impressive 133 yards on 24 carries, with a score.
#3 Ashland, #6 Logan County, and #8 Greenup County all moved to 3-0 in blowout wins by an average of 38.33 point margins. Logan County should remain untested for a few more weeks. Greenup County has a “prove-it” game at home against 1A #3 Raceland this week – if they managed to get past that, they may just roll into their October game against Johnson Central unbeaten. The same can be said of Ashland, as no team until they meet Greenup County on October 12th looks to be in striking distance.
Upcoming Game of the Week
This one is a tough one, as nothing is overly obvious this week. The top 4 teams are overwhelmingly favored. Wayne County plays the marquee game in hosting Boyle County, but it would be stunning if the Rebels didn’t rule that game. So the honor goes to the aforementioned Greenup County/Raceland game. Greenup County took it on the chin in the game a year ago, falling 24-0. But that Musketeer team wasn’t unbeaten going in, and didn’t have the benefit of another year of experience for QB Sammons. They have homefield advantage, enter averaging 49 points per game, and it is the perfect measuring stick to see how far back (if at all) Greenup is from Ashland. Ashland knocked off Raceland 21-14 just two weeks ago. If Greenup can post a similar score, then it may be a sign they are a real and true threat in District 8.
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