Every year, far too many football fans allow their feelings to aggressively sway in one direction or the other after the first game. Chances are, most of you reading this have been there before. Either your team looks great in Week 1 and suddenly they're Lombardi's Packers, or they don't meet your expectations, so they're more like John McKay's 1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers. If you look great in Week 1, by all means feel good about yourself. But maintain perspective - you don't know how good that team was you just beat. Maybe that win won't look nearly as good six weeks from now. And conversely, don't get too down if the opening game resulted in disappointment. Two teams that come to mind that shook off the Week 1 blues are Belfry in 2003 and Franklin-Simpson two years ago. Both suffered major opening weekend letdowns - Belfry lost to Boyd County by three touchdowns, while Elizabethtown rocked FS by five scores - and both recovered to claim state titles.
Regardless of which side you're on, this is a reminder to...
Sometimes you just have to iron out some kinks. Typically, more growth occurs between games one and two than at any other point in the season. And sometimes we're guilty of feeling ourselves a little too much and letting expectations get out of control based on just one game. Try to imagine each Friday night as a chapter to a book. You're going to like some chapters more than others, but they all serve to tell you a story. Whether or not that story is a triumph, tragedy, or in the case of the '76 Bucs, a comedy, won't reveal itself in a single night.
Around The Rankings
- If you're a fan of physical, old fashioned, defensive oriented football, then Friday night's South Oldham/CAL tilt should have tickled your fancy. Each team had its opportunities to put points on the board in regulation, but as is often the case this early in the season, the defenses were ahead of the offenses. The teams took turns stonewalling one another until overtime was needed to determine the outcome. Harrison Zimmerer's six yard TD run on the second play of OT was like a Centurion's sword right through the heart of the Dragon. With a chance to win because of CAL's missed extra point, South Oldham exhausted all of its downs without finding the endzone, bringing a tension filled conclusion to Hunter Cantwell's debut as Centurions coach.
- The turf at Houchens/Smith Stadium has been good to Bowling Green over the years. Between the numerous appearances in the Rafferty's Bowl and 5A championship games, the Purples have made WKU their home away from home. Prior to Saturday's loss to Father Ryan, the last time BG lost on that field was way back in 2006 to St. Xavier. Facing a two score deficit in the second quarter against the Fightin' Irish, the Purples paired a safety with three unanswered touchdowns to pull ahead by eight entering the final frame. But that was it for the BG offense. Father Ryan bookended the fourth quarter with a TD pass to tie the game up and a game winning field goal with under 40 seconds remaining to escape Bowling Green 24-21.
- Losing on a late field goal is bad enough, but knowing your bitter rival won on that same field earlier that night just makes it ten times worse. But on the flip side, watching the Purples suffer defeat after experiencing the satisfaction of a hard fought victory must have been like a second wave of euphoria washing over South Warren. Sophomore QB Caden Veltkamp tossed three touchdown passes in his first career start and Kobe Martin churned out 152 yards as the Spartans beat 6A #8 Butler 33-20 in the Rafferty's Bowl opener.
- You know how an older brother will sometimes put their younger sibling in a headlock and give them a noogie? Or maybe a wedgie? Usually it's just one or the other, but Scott County decided to hit Great Crossing with both on Friday night to the tune of 72-7. Running backs Bronson Brown and Philip Garner combined for over 350 yards to lead the Cardinals' powerful wing-t based running game. Garner averaged a whopping 30 ypc on seven rushes. Scott County's defense came to play too, limiting the Warhawks to less than 100 yards of offense, compared to 500+ for the victors. If you're Great Crossing, you have to look on the bright side - you can only go up from here, because it can't get any worse than this.
- If Frederick Douglass was feeling any sort of hangover from the scrimmage debacle against Trinity two Fridays ago, they didn't let it show in the season opener versus Bryan Station. The Broncos were dialed in on defense, allowing Station less than 100 yards of offense in the 43-0 rout. Wide receiver Dane Key helped provide some big plays for FD with a 26 yard TD reception and a 60 yard punt return for a score.
- Though the offense looked far from the well oiled machine we've seen over the past two years, CovCath's defense more than picked up the slack as the Colonels handled Ryle 37-0. The Raiders could only muster 12 yards rushing for the game and were picked off five times. Michael Mayer made the most of his limited touches, scoring touchdowns on both of his receptions.
- Graves County and Murray waged one of Week 1's more entertaining scraps, with both teams keeping it tight for four quarters. Murray held the lead early, but couldn't hold on as the Eagles surged ahead just before the half. Murray stayed within striking distance and refused to surrender with two fourth quarter scores to keep the pressure on Graves. The Tigers - ranked #6 in 2A at the time - had the ball 1st and goal with just inside of three minutes to play following a big punt return, but fumbled it away at the goal line, allowing the Eagles to escape. Quarterback John Brown aced his first test replacing four year starter Ryan Mathis. He threw for 371 yards and four TDs with three different receivers hitting the century mark, led by Race Richards with 156 yards and 2 TDs.
Scanning The Periphery
- Looking for the biggest surprise from Week 1? How about Greenwood's 28-14 toppling of two time defending 4A champion Franklin-Simpson? Chances are, anyone that tells you they saw this coming is the most optimistic of Gator homers. Last year's encounter resulted in a 50-7 Wildcat rout, but no such offensive explosion was afforded FS this time around. Trailing 14-7 at halftime, the Gators put it to the Wildcats in the second half, outscoring them 21-0 over the final two frames. A successful - but very risky - call to go for it on 4th and short at midfield paved the way for the final touchdown of the night, giving Greenwood a two score cushion with two minutes left in the game. There were no individual stars on the winning side, but rather a total team effort - David Odom led the Gators with just shy of 100 yards rushing, QB John Morrison threw the go ahead TD pass to Reed Slone, Jonathan Gornik found paydirt twice, and the defense allowed just seven points on the night and pitched a second half shutout.
- North Bullitt running back Cole Durbin had a good, but relatively modest 2018 season - 779 yards and 13 TDs. The only thing modest about his 2019 debut was his number of touches. Durbin only carried the ball six times, but half of them went for scores. His 138 rushing yards and three touchdowns helped power the Eagles past North Oldham, 40-14.
- Friday's 20-6 victory over Holmes makes Boone County 1-0 for the first time since 2011. Quarterback Kaden Craft accounted for two touchdowns - one with his arm, one with his legs - to help get first year coach Bryson Warner's tenure off on the right foot.
- For at least one week, life without Q'Daryius McHenry - or is it Jennings? - wasn't so bad for Grayson County. The Cougars, winners of eight games last year, used the ground game and tough defense to put away Hancock County, 23-6. Hunter Gibson stepped up to fill the shoes of last year's star ball carrier with 130 yards and a touchdown on 21 rushes.
Game Of The Week
Highlands vs. Knoxville Catholic (TN) - The opener of the Cumberland Falls Pigskin Classic pits Kentucky high school football royalty against one of the top programs from the volunteer state. The Fighting Irish have been a D1 factory in recent years and are again loaded with future FBS talent. Offensive linemen Cooper Mays (Tennessee commit) and Bryn Tucker (Clemson commit) along with defensive ends Tyler Baron (offers from Ohio State and Oklahoma) and Stiles Moore (Western Michigan commit) make KnoxCath as formidable in the trenches as anyone in this region of the country. The Irish are currently sitting at #4 in the USA Today Tennessee Super 25.
Last edited by DevilMayCare; Aug 25, 19 at 11:10 PM.