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Personally, when I think of instances where a pupil got the better of their former teacher/mentor, a couple of good examples come to mind… 1. Bill Belichick’s Browns defeating Bill Parcells’ Patriots in the 1994 AFC playoffs after Belichick spent seven years as Parcells’ Defensive Coordinator with the New York Giants, winning two Super Bowls together… 2. Darth Vader cutting down Obi-wan Kenobi aboard the Death Star in Episode IV after decades of bad blood stemming from Anakin turning to the dark side and Obi-wan cutting his legs off and leaving him to burn like a marshmallow that's been left over the fire too long. What you're about to read has waaaay more in common with the first example than the second. Unless Kevin Wallace and Mark Spader are willing to engage in a light saber duel, which would be pretty awesome. Wallace's would be green, or maybe yellow, and Spader's would be purple (obviously). Anyway, back to reality before my imagination runs wild.

From 2004-2017, Spader was an assistant coach/defensive coordinator at Bowling Green High School under Wallace. He was the Belichick to Wallace's Parcells. That experience and the wealth of knowledge he absorbed during his time on Wallace's staff placed Spader in a prime position to succeed Wallace as head coach of the Purples during this past off-season. Wallace left behind the dynasty he built in Bowling Green for a new challenge at St. Xavier. BG and St. X have some recent history on the gridiron, having met every year since 2011, with the Purples holding a 5-2 advantage over that span. When news broke that Wallace was headed to St. X, the ongoing series between the two schools was one of the first things that crossed my mind. How strange it must be to stand across the field from your former players and assistants just months after leaving. And conversely, to be the players at BG, seeing your beloved former coach/mentor leading a team clad in different colors. Emotions had to be swirling throughout Brother Thomas More Page Stadium on Friday night.

As for the game itself, some missed opportunities - a couple of would-be touchdown passes were dropped - and costly penalties - a pick-six by BG was negated by a holding call - aided in a two touchdown deficit at halftime for the Purples. BG running back Vito Tisdale (140 yards rushing on the night) got rolling in the 3rd quarter with a couple of touchdowns to tie it up at 14 before St. X quickly answered with a long TD pass to briefly regain the lead. Tisdale added his 3rd touchdown of the night early in the 4th quarter, evening the score again at 21. The teams traded possessions and punts for the remainder of regulation, sending the game into overtime. St. Xavier got the ball first, but could do nothing with it. A missed field goal left the door wide open for BG to complete the comeback win. The Purples never came close to threatening the endzone on the ensuing possession, but kicker Dalton Major was able to help lift his team to victory with a 27 yard field goal.

This was another classic in what has become one of the more highly anticipated games in the state every year. Coach Wallace was denied his 300th career win by the school where he earned the lion's share (254) of those wins. Bowling Green can't bask in the glow of this victory for long - Imonte Owsley and rival Owensboro await this week.

Elsewhere around the top 10

- They needed two days to do it, but Covington Catholic put the finishing touches on on their fourth consecutive running clock victory over in state opponents by blasting Cooper 54-7 on Friday night/Saturday morning. Casey McGinness paced the Colonels with 223 yards from scrimmage and 3 TDs. CovCath welcomes Kings (OH) this week in what should be their stiffest test so far on the young season.

- In one of the marquee games of Week 2, South Warren thoroughly dominated defending 4A champion Franklin Simpson. Most expected the Spartans to win. But a 1st half running clock? SW’s defense put a stranglehold on the Wildcat's vaunted running game, holding Bass, McKinney and Co. to a mere 36 yards on the ground. Issac Young’s 50 yard fumble return for a score gives South Warren four defensive TDs through three games.

- Highlands only got to play a half of football Friday night because of recurring lightning throughout parts of the region. But it was more than enough to see that they were badly overmatched by Scott County's powerful run game. The Birds could only muster 22 yards of offense as opposed to the Cardinals’ 225 yards rushing. The lone highlight for Highlands was an 83 yard kickoff return touchdown by Brycen Huddleston to tie the game at seven apiece.

- After a strong first two weeks from Owensboro, the Red Devils stumbled against rival Owensboro Catholic in a 45-32 shootout that saw the two teams combine for over 1,000 yards of offense. The defense, which had a good showing in Week 1, has struggled the past two weeks. Reitz and OCath combined for 79 points, with the Aces, in particular, throwing the ball all over the field. These defensive lapses don't bode well for the Red Devils with Bowling Green coming to town this week.

- Southwestern, Anderson County, and Apollo kept their 0’s in tact with Week 2 victories. The Warriors took down Madison Central 26-7 behind 264 yards of total offense and 3 TDs from QB Drew Sawyers. The Bearcats shutout Mercer County 28-0 in another weather shortened contest. Running back Charles Collins totalled 94 yards rushing and 2 TDs for Anderson on a quick night's work. Apollo got the biggest scare, escaping with a 21-18 win over a sneaky good McLean County team. Mariano McKenzie continued his tremendous start to the 2018 season for the Eagles with 162 yards rushing and 2 TDs.

Scanning the periphery

- After a disappointing 2017, Pulaski County was hoping for a major bounce back season. Instead, the Maroons currently sit at 1-2 after running head first into a Corbin buzzsaw. Chase Estep and the Redhounds came out of the gate smokin’, taking Pulaski’s breath away en route to a 47-7 halftime lead before winning 47-20. Normally, a road trip to Title Town is not a prescription for getting yourself sorted out. But that's what the Maroons will try to do when they visit Danville this Friday.

- Perhaps the most surprising unbeaten in the state so far is Grayson County. The Cougars, losers of 28 of their last 31 games entering this season, are now 3-0 after a 47-12 win over Edmonson County. Running back Derrick Ruth has been the workhorse on offense, averaging 112 yards rushing per game. The defense has surrendered only 18 points on the season and forced 10 turnovers. They have one more winnable game against winless Ohio County before South Warren welcomes them to district play.

- Despite having two of the top college prospects in the state and a host of other talented players, Doss is still searching for their first win of the season. A disappointing opening loss to Jeffersontown preceded back to back blowouts to South Oldham and Male. The Dragons were outscored a combined 92-6 in the latter two games. Things don't really get any easier with 6A #6 Butler on the docket this week. District play can't come soon enough.

Game of the Week for Week 3

#2 Bowling Green at #8 Owensboro - This has to be, simultaneously, one of the most eagerly anticipated and one sided rivalries in Kentucky. BG has owned the series for the past decade, winning 12 in a row over the Red Devils since Owensboro’s regional final win in 2008. But nothing ever seems to put a damper on the excitement that accompanies this game. Vito Tisdale vs. Imonte Owsley should be worth the price of admission alone.

Can Bowling Green avoid an emotional letdown after beating their revered former coach? Can Owensboro shore up it's pass defense before Buchanan and Co. roll into town? There's bound to be some fireworks when these two 5A heavyweights face off.