Class 5A Notebook (10/25/2016): Tis the Season
With the leaves turning color and beginning to fall, as well as crisp nights and near perfect football weather, that tell’s me one thing, ‘tis this season. Playoff season that is. After one of the most action packed weeks thus far in class 5A, most teams around the class are getting one last game in this week to prepare for the playoffs. Last week was full of district matchups that ultimately decided several district championships with Bowling Green, Covington Catholic, Owensboro, Southwestern, and South Oldham among the winners. This week the focus changes to teams from other classes around the state, with half of this week’s 5A top ten facing off against top ten teams from other classes.
Notes from last week
As mentioned before there were a slew of great matchups last week that decided district championships around the class. Unfortunately for Greenwood, they were unable to keep it close against Bowling Green as the Purples are peaking at the right time. The Gators have a great team, but to beat this edition of the Purples you are going to have to do it though the air and the Gators simply do not like putting the ball in the air. Bowling Green left little doubt who’s the best team in class 5A (best team in the state, IMO) as they cruised to a 50-0 victory. The Purples finished district play undefeated, outscoring their opponents 161-0.
One of the best games of the week turned out to be South Oldham and North Bullitt. The Dragon’s leaned heavy on their ground attack and standout running back Keaton Martin to hold on to a 35-34 victory over North Bullitt. Keaton netted 230 yards rushing, averaging 10 yards per carry accumulating two touchdowns in the process. The Dragon’s finished the game with over 400 yards of total offense, while allowing just under 300. South Oldham is still perfect on the season, but will face another tough test this week versus 4A #8 Shelby County. North Bullitt finishes district play at 3-2, in a three way tie with Bullitt Central and Bullitt East. Bullitt East will ultimately finish 4th in the district. However North Bullitt and Bullitt Central will be watching this week’s scoreboards closely as that will determine who finishes second behind South Oldham and who finishes third.
Another great game was a battle of two top ten Colonels, Covington Catholic and Dixie Heights. The Colonels in blue prevailed in this one as Covington Catholic edged Dixie Heights 35-12. Heading into the final quarter this one looked as though it would go down to the wire, as Dixie Heights only trailed by a score of 14-12. Covington Catholic ran off 21 unanswered in the final quarter to seal the deal and capture their first district championship in a decade. Covington Catholic’s balanced attack is what helped them get the win in this one as they finished the game with 200 yards rushing and 193 passing. Dixie Heights finished with a respectable 258 yards rushing, however their 39 yards through the air wasn’t enough to keep the Covington Catholic defense guessing.
Another top ten team that wrapped up their district play was Owensboro as they defeated Graves County 35-6. This was as important of a win as any so far this season for the Red Devils as it secured them another district championship. A loss would have resulted in a 3 way tie between Owensboro, Christian County, and Graves County for first place allowing Christian County to take the championship from Owensboro via the points system. This week Owensboro travels to 6A Henderson County before entering the playoffs versus Grayson County. Graves County will try and get things back on track at 4A Calloway County to build some much needed momentum before traveling to Greenwood in the opening round of the playoffs.
One more game of mention before we get into this week’s segment of the notebook. This one is a rivalry game that decided yet another district championship. Coming into this one Pulaski County was sitting at 7-1 on the season and undefeated in district play, their sole loss was to 6A #4 Scott County. Southwestern entered this one also undefeated in district play and 6-2 on the season, with their losses coming by the hands of 3A #2 Corbin and 2A #7 Danville. With Riley Hall no longer at Pulaski County, the Warriors knew this was the year they could bring the district championship back and they did just that with a 21-6 win over the Maroons. This one turned out to be a battle of different contrasts, with the team with the better ground game coming out ahead. Southwestern netted 255 yards on the ground and held Pulaski County to just 40 yards on 19 attempts. Wiley Cain for Pulaski County did complete over 50 percent of his passes for 216 yards, but in the grand scheme of things the lack of being able to get any sort of running game going cost the Maroons a district championship in this one.
Coming up this week
Even though all of the top district matchups are out of the way, there is still a really nice slate of games this week throughout class 5A as teams across the state gear up for the playoffs. We’ll take a look at Covington Catholic versus 6A #4 Scott County first. Covington Catholic has really turned things around this year, with their only losses coming from 6A #5 Ryle and Columbus St. Francis De Sales, who is ranked first in Dlll and fifth overall in the state of Ohio. Scott County also has two losses on the season, one being a 6 point loss to Cincinnati Elder and the other to 6A #7 Lafayette due to forfeiting the game after a lightning delay. Scott County was actually leading that one 25-20 at the time of stoppage.This should be an excellent game as long as the Colonels can limit the Scott County running attack, which is easier said than done.
After a bye week, Christian County takes on 4A #6 John Hardin this week. John Hardin struggled a bit to start the season, however they started off the season with a tough schedule. The Bulldogs have ran the table since their early September loss versus 6A Pleasure Ridge Park. Christian County’s only loss from a team not named Bowling Green came to district foe and champion Owensboro, as they lost by a field goal in double overtime to the Red Devils. This should be a fun one to watch as both teams have contrasting styles of play, but are also seemingly able to balance out their offense’s when they really want to.
Southwestern jumped the district hurdle and beat Pulaski County last week, now they get to face the 3A hurdle as they travel to 3A #3 Lexington Catholic this week. The Warriors have already suffered one loss from a class 3A opponent this season, as 3A #2 Corbin beat them 20-8. Lexington Catholic isn’t Corbin, but their overall record is a bit deceiving. The Knights sit at 4-5 on the season and are looking to even things up before heading into the playoffs. They have played a slew of solid teams though including St. Xavier, Johnson Central, Covington Catholic, Madison Central, Cooper and Boyle County. While Boyle County is the only win they have to show through that slate of games, they did remain competitive in most of the others. Southwestern’s body of work looks better on paper and the Warriors appear to be peaking at the right time. But don’t write off this Lexington Catholic team at home, Southwestern will have to play well to win this one.
Dixie Heights at 6A #5 Ryle is another game of note. The Colonels just lost a close one to Covington Catholic and are looking to build some momentum heading into the playoffs. However Ryle is undefeated and are coming off from a season defining win over 6A #6 Simon Kenton. This one will be tough for Dixie Heights to win, but this one could be a trap game for a Ryle team that is looking for a deep run in the 6A playoffs. It will be interesting to see how both teams handle this game.
One more top ten game to mention. South Oldham is undefeated but has been doubted by some as to how good they really are, last week’s close win over North Bullitt didn’t help convince anyone one way or another. This week the Dragon’s get another chance to convince the doubters as they take on 4A #8 Shelby County. Shelby County is sitting at 8-1 on the season. To the Dragon’s credit, being undefeated at this point in the season is always something that should garner attention and it has, however the North Bullitt score still leaves some pause in most people’s mind. This is your chance to really make a statement before the playoffs begin!
Outside of the top ten
There are some games of note just outside of the top ten as well. The game that deserves the most attention is Madison Southern hosting 6A Madison Central. Madison Southern is a fringe top ten team that has been trying to fight their way in for most of the season. A win in this one could make that happen.
Lets face it, Boone County isn’t a solid 6A teams and Highlands isn’t what we expected as a 5A team. That said, Boone County’s only win of the season is a double overtime win over Campbell County, a team Highlands lost to. Seriously though, let’s not compare scores and look at this one how it really is. A must win for Highlands to build momentum heading into the playoffs.
Graves County travels to Calloway County this week in their regular season finalie. Graves County is another team in need of a win prior to the playoffs as they are on a current 2 game losing skid, after playing Christian County and Owensboro back to back. A win in this one could help them build some positive momentum heading into the playoffs.
Last edited by JDEaston; Oct 25, 16 at 08:32 PM.