Class 4A Notebook (9/18): The Top Is Set In Stone
The top six teams in 4A seem to have completely solidified, with all six winning this week while the four teams at the bottom of the top 10 all lost by no less than 21 points. For better or for worse, it looks like we’ve got everything set in stone for a bit.
#2 Franklin-Simpson and #3 Ashland put on the best shows this past week. Franklin-Simpson was seeking revenge for a home loss at the hands of Meade County a season ago, and had to grind out a 17-14 win to get it. Franklin had another huge day on the ground, with 355 yards on 52 carries, and outgained the Green Wave by over 180 yards. But despite leading 17-0 entering the fourth quarter, they had to survive a late rally, sealing the game with a drive to kill the final five minutes of the game. Tre Bass is averaging over 10 yards per carry as he and Carlos McKinney have combined for over 260 yards per game. Which beats their passing attack of 182 yards TOTAL for the entire season. Meanwhile, Ashland battled to stay as one of just two unbeaten teams left in 4A with a 14-7 win on the road at rival Ironton (OH). It’s the fourth straight win in the series for the Tomcats, and largely a defensive effort in this one. Both Tomcat scores were set up by “turnovers”. The first was a blocked punt to set up a Hester two yard run, drawing Ashland even at seven all. The second a fumble recovery in Ironton territory in the third quarter, with that drive again capped by a Hester touchdown run, this from one yard out. Neither team got over 200 yards of offense. Tough wins, but wins nonetheless.
#1 Johnson Central remained unbeaten against Kentucky competition with a 49-21 win over #9 Moore. Moore had to make the long trip to eastern Kentucky, but hung tough through two quarters, trailing just 21-7 at halftime. But three straight scores by Johnson Central blew the game open. Joe Jackson had 146 yards on 17 carries while Devin Johnson got the scores – rushing for three touchdowns on just 9 carries and 103 yards. In all, the Johnson Central ground game posted 451 yards on 44 carries. Moore forced two turnovers in the losing effort, suffering their first defeat of the season. They have nonetheless emerged as the favorites in District 3.
Other games of note:
#4 Knox Central also remained unbeaten against Kentucky competition by grabbing a 36-0 running clock win over Green County. #5 Logan County does not need the Kentucky competition qualifier – they are once again 5-0 after drubbing McLean County 40-20. Both open district play this week. Logan County has nothing to fear but Knox Central will face Russell County, which has quietly moved to 3-1 and nearly knocked off Knox a season ago in a 34-27 decision.
It was another loss for #9 Hopkinsville, as they fell 47-13 to Paducah Tilghman to drop to 1-4. There’s a good chance they were going to lose that game anyway, even if Javier Bland were healthy. They get a bye week to try to get right for a game at Madisonville-North Hopkins, a must-win district game.
We pegged the tilt between #8 Franklin County and 5A #7 Anderson County as the game of the week, and while the final might be deceiving – a 42-21 Anderson County win – the game was solid. Franklin County led 21-14 at one point in the third quarter, but just couldn’t hold it and lost their chance at a comeback with fourth quarter turnovers in the red zone. It remains one of the best efforts by a 4A team against a ranked team from another class. Nick Broyles threw for 365 yards (!) in the losing effort. Things don’t get easier as they travel to take on Shelby County in a crucial district game. Year in and year out District 4 is the most competitive top to bottom in the class.
Upcoming Game of the Week
#2 Franklin-Simpson’s home game against historical rival Glasgow is likely the last game in question on the schedule for the Wildcats. Last season saw the first meeting between the two in seven years, and Franklin-Simpson won their fourth straight in the series 35-19, kicking off a winning streak that carried all the way through the state title game. The result here will tell us whether there is hope for anyone in District 2, with peers Allen County-Scottsville and Warren East losing at Glasgow in back to back weeks. Honorable mentions go to #7 Franklin County at Shelby County and #9 Taylor County at West Jessamine, each of which may be looked at in retrospective as district title games.
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