Class 5A Notebook (10/21): Spartans usurp district crown from Purples
After weeks of anticipation for the “Battle of Bowling Green”, the night finally came and went. It started out rather uneventful. But by game's end, the outcome proved incredibly eventful for the victors. The two teams were ranked #2 and #3 all season, though with each passing week more and more folks believed the order should have been reversed. Each team had a stellar quarterback. Each team had a high level, blue chip recruit. Talent was plentiful on both sides, but one team found an edge and rode it to victory.
South Warren (9-0) leaned on its typically stout defense and Cameron Harrison's 184 rushing yards to put away Bowling Green (7-2), 38-12. Aside from Harrison's 85 yard burst in the 2nd quarter, both teams struggled to find anything on offense in the 1st half, resulting in a 10-5 halftime lead for SW. Offensive futility continued for the Purples in the 2nd half, but the Spartans found their footing on their opening drive. South Warren's O-line went to work creating space for Harrison, Gavin Spurrier, and Clayton Bush to operate. From 84 yards away, they drove the ball right down the field and punched it in the endzone on a 1 yard plunge from Bush (who also played a huge defensively with two interceptions). Dominant line play from Jacob Lacey and Co., coupled with some big turnovers that were turned into points, helped the Spartans dominate the 2nd half to win going away.
Did the Purples experience any lingering after effects from the previous week's historic loss? Could South Warren's extra week of preparation made all the difference? Or are the Spartans simply the better team no matter how you slice it? The truth is probably some combination of all three. Most people will be expecting a regional final rematch, but Bowling Green has a likely date with a surging Owensboro squad in Round 2. So an opportunity for SW to consolidate this win, or conversely, for BG to get some revenge is not guaranteed.
Elsewhere around the rankings
- The 2nd quarter of CovCath's game versus Dixie Heights (0-9) was about as lopsided as a quarter can get. Casey McGinness found paydirt four times as the Blue Colonels (9-0) outscored the Red ones 40-0 during those twelve minutes of play. The Mr. Football candidate finished the night with 119 yards rushing. Top ranked Covington Catholic will play host to Campbell County this coming Friday looking for their second straight unbeaten regular season.
- Once again, the Oldham's both won in dominant fashion. Despite being a little shorthanded, South Oldham (8-1) smacked North Bullitt, 50-20. The Dragons produced 317 yards rushing, led by Keaton Martin's 188 yards and 2 TDs. This makes seven district titles in a row now for Coach Jamie Reed's program. They haven't lost a district game since dropping one to Conner in September of 2014. Oldham County (8-1) drilled Bullitt East 52-0 to keep pace with SO's eight wins in nine games. The Colonels have averaged nearly 50 points per game since their lone loss to the Dragons.
- There was no letdown for Highlands following the tough loss to CovCath. The Birds (7-2) got a big game out of the pass throwing/catching duo of QB Grady Cramer and WR Nate Roberts last Friday night. The two hooked up six times for 142 yards and 2 TDs. Overall, Cramer threw for 247 yards as Highlands dispatched Greenwood, 42-7.
- What better way to stick it to your backyard rival than to engineer a 99 yard game winning drive to snatch away a district title in the final minute of the game. Pulaski County Quarterback Wiley Cain piloted that game winning drive that featured three 4th down conversions and Cain's six yard go-ahead touchdown run with under a minute to go. That run capped off a huge night for Cain, who threw for 352 yards and a touchdown, on top of the damage he did with his legs. Jake Sloan added to his state leading reception and yardage totals with 12 catches for 156 yards. The Maroons and Warriors are each other's biggest rival and the most anticipated game on each other's respective schedule. The Warriors had won the past two district crowns, and three of the last four. They were favored to make it three in a row this year, playing at home, dubbed the Reservation. But Pulaski had other plans. With so much inconsistency in District 8 this year, a regional championship rematch is a highly possible scenario.
- Aside from the remaining unbeatens in 5A, no one in this class is playing as well as Owensboro (7-2) right now. The presence of Will Warren has opened up the playbook and provided the Red Devils with a passing game they haven't seen since… ever? But, as we saw versus Graves County, Owensboro can still line up and run over you if they want to. In their 47-6 district title clinching blowout of Graves County, the Red Devils were led by a running game that placed two backs over 100 yards - Owsley had 148 and 3 TDs, while Trevon Green added 118. Warren still made his presence felt with 185 yards through the air and 2 scores.
- Anderson County (9-0) put the finishing touches on their district championship by demolishing last year's champion, Madison Southern. Running backs Charles Collins and Brennon Maxberry combined for over 200 yards rushing and 3 TDs in Anderson's 40-7 victory over the Eagles. Quarterback Jagger Gillis tossed three TD passes to provide some balance with the running game. The Bearcats’ defense completely locked down MadSouth's passing game, holding Eagles QB Tobias Storm to one completion for 11 yards and picking him off three times.
Scanning the periphery
- After losing their starting QB for the season and an 0-4 start where they gave up 40+ points in each loss, it would have been easy to write off Harlan County. Even now, they're still just 3-5 on the year. But all three wins came in the district, giving them a district championship that seemed unlikely a few weeks ago. The clincher came on Friday night as the Black Bears travelled to preseason district favorite Perry Central. What transpired was something that, admittedly, I never saw coming. Harlan County got 93 rushing yards, a rushing TD, and a pick-six from Patrick Bynum in a somewhat surprising 40-14 rout of the Commodores (7-2). Matthew Brown returned the 2nd half opening kickoff for a touchdown to extend HC's lead to 27-7 and create some additional breathing room. PCC running back Jayden Neace needed 180 yards to reach 2,000 for the year. He finished just shy with 178 and a TD in defeat.
- Fern Creek was in a similar boat earlier this season. The Tigers began the year 1-4, largely due to a rigorous schedule consisting of Manual, Central, Butler, and DeSales. Since then, they've reeled off five straight wins over district opposition by an average score of 40-6. The Tigers have locked up home field advantage in the playoffs for as long as they keep winning. They get to enjoy a week off to heal/rest up before the second season comes calling.
Game of the Week for Week 10
Owensboro at Henderson County - There were a couple of other intriguing match-ups this week, but we're going with the Red Devils (7-2) vs. the Colonels (6-3) because it looks to be the most competitive game of the group. If you like to compare scores, both teams comfortably defeated Christian County, and Owensboro defeated Reitz (IN) by a single point earlier this year, while Henderson County lost to them by six a week earlier. The Red Devils boast an explosive collection of playmakers. Will Warren (2,327 yards passing, 27 TDs), Imonte Owsley (1,374 combined yards and 17 TDs), Trevon Green (610 yards rushing, 11 total TDs), and Tyren Hayden (633 yards, 8 TDs receiving) are rolling along, averaging 44 ppg over their last five games. Henderson will counter with QB Skip Patterson (1,914 total yards, 25 total TDs), RBs Logan Green (780 yards and 5 TDs)and Isaiah Easley (554 yards and 11 TDs), and WRs Daymian Dixon (523 yards and 3 TDs)and Nick Cissell (345 yards and 7 TDs)
Last edited by Colonels_Wear_Blue; Oct 22, 18 at 07:15 PM.