Class 5A Notebook (9/28): For the Cardinals, "The Farm" is a no fly zone
Douglass hands Scott County its worst defeat in eight years and first shutout since 2001
Usually when birds fly south, they're searching for a more agreeable climate. You never hear of birds flying south, finding the environment a little too hot to handle, turning around and immediately returning north in search of comfort. But that's more or less what happened on Friday night in Lexington. Scott County loaded up the buses and travelled south to "The Farm" for one of 2019's most hyped up collisions against Frederick Douglass. The teams were ranked #1 (FD) and #3 (SC) in 5A coming in, but the Cardinals doubled up the Broncos in the BGP prediction poll. Despite a big edge in individual D1 talent, the perception by some has been that Frederick Douglass is something of a paper tiger. Full of potential, but unable to stand up to the challenge laid down by the seemingly more team oriented, blue collar Cardinals.
The time for sabre rattling had come and gone. It's put up or shut up.
The Broncos (6-0) wasted little time in capitalizing on two early Scott County special teams miscues. A bad punt and a poorly handled snap to the punter on Scott County's first two possessions resulted in great field position for the home team. Devin Neal opened the scoring when he crossed the goal line three minutes into the game and Dane Key went full Odell Beckham on the first play of FD's second possession to put the Broncos up two scores midway through the opening stanza.
Scott County's best chance to make this a game came at the end of the first/start of the second quarter when Cade McKee found a wide open receiver for a long gain down to the FD one yard line. A touchdown by the Cardinals would have stemmed the orange and green tide early, but it was not meant to be. Frederick Douglass' run defense stood tall, stonewalling the Cardinals on four straight runs. Scott County (5-1) came in averaging well over 300 yards per game rushing, but could only muster about a third of their usual ground production on Friday. Rather, the Broncos were the ones gobbling up yardage on the ground, gaining 315 yards at nearly eight yards a pop.
A 50 yard scoring sprint by Devin Neal in the second quarter opened up a 20-0 lead for Frederick Douglass at intermission.
Punt team woes reared its ugly head for the Cardinals again in the third quarter as a snap sailed over the punter's head, setting the Broncos up for what would be the quarter's only points, a Ryan Leigeb 26 yard field goal. Two FD fourth quarter touchdown runs from backup QB Cam Dunn stretched the lead to running clock territory with 1:26 left to put the finishing touches on a result that only an extreme minority could have honestly predicted.
This gives Frederick Douglass five shutouts in six contests. They allowed 14 points in Week 2 to Tates Creek, but none since. The Broncos are winning their games by an average score of 43-2.
If there were any doubters as to Frederick Douglass' status as the top ranked team in this class, let those questions be laid to rest. It was stated in last week's notebook that 5A was lacking an attention grabbing result. It appears we finally have one. The term "statement win" can sometimes be overused, but in this instance, it feels appropriate.
5A RPI Top 10
1. Covington Catholic .730
2. Frederick Douglass .698
3. Pulaski County .661
4. Scott County .649
5. Owensboro .638
6. South Warren .628
7. Highlands .620
8. Conner .618
9. South Oldham .598
10. Woodford County .560
* Bowling Green is ineligible for this week's RPI due to a missing game
Hurry Up Offense
- Covington Catholic (6-0) gave Cooper a little taste of life in their new district, and left the Jags searching for a palate cleanser. A 38-0 halftime lead paved the way for a breezy second half before settling on a 45-6 final. Michael Mayer hauled in a couple of TD passes.
- In one of the state's most anticipated games, Highlands (4-2) got tripled up in total yardage and shutout on the scoreboard by 4A #1 Boyle County. The Birds' defense did more than enough to keep them in the game for a half, but the offense was virtually non existent, finishing with less than 100 yards.
- The state's longest winning streak needed a hook and ladder in the final minute to stay in tact. South Warren (6-0) found itself down 20-14 with under a minute to play and the ball at mid-field against Glasgow. QB Mason Willingham, standing in for injured starter Kaden Veltkamp, found Jason Putnam near the sideline, who then pitched the ball to Tomi Mustapha. Mustapha sprinted to the 13 yard line before being tackled out of bounds. A Willingham to Mustapha TD pass with 14 seconds remaining gave the Spartans the winning score and their first lead of the night.
- Back in Week 1, CAL shutout South Oldham, 0-6. Since then, the Dragons (5-1) have averaged 49 ppg, outscoring their opposition a combined 244-20. Jeffersontown was South Oldham's latest conquest, falling 56-13 to the Dragons on Friday night.
- Pulaski County (5-1) was pushed deep into the night by a game Whitley County squad and inclement weather. The Maroons eked out a 21-18 victory over the Colonels that finished up well after midnight.
- Owensboro (5-1) overcame some turnovers to roll over Ohio County, 41-0. The defense showed up again, as it has all season, shutting out Q'Daryius McHenry and the rest of the Eagles' offense, holding them to just 60 total yards.
- Jared Hicks totalled four touchdowns (1 passing, 3 rushing) to power Conner past Boone County, 39-7. The Cougars (5-1) will have to ramp up their game another notch or two next week as they venture into Fort Thomas.
Scanning the Periphery
- Quick, name the last four remaining unbeatens in 5A….
Frederick Douglass? Obviously.
South Warren? Haven't lost since 2017.
Aaaand… Grayson County. The Cougars are 6-0 for the first time since 2012 following their 22-14 win over Muhlenberg County. Hunter Gibson led the way with 115 rushing yards and 2 TDs. Gibson's offensive production and the defense have been a consistent presence for the Cougars so far. They've only allowed 64 points on the season.
- Fairdale (5-1) cleared its first hurdle toward a district title with room to spare. QB Trey McCoy accounted for 4 TDs and the Bulldogs' defense picked off three Bullitt Central passes en route to a 27-7 win.
- The battle of Jessamine County went East's way for the fifth year in a row. The Jaguars' running game proved to be an unstoppable tidal wave against the Colts, piling up 465 yards at nearly 10 yards per tote in the 55-18 blowout. Valdon Miles and Dylan Moore each went well past the century mark for East Jessamine (4-2).
- Atherton's (4-2) current four game winning streak is the program's longest since before the KHSAA scoreboard records show. They haven't exactly faced a heavyweight schedule, but this is something to celebrate for a program that has found winning to be elusive over the decades.
GOTW for Week 7
Bowling Green at South Warren - With both teams primed for a rematch in November, this game doesn't carry the weight it might have otherwise, but that shouldn't dampen the atmosphere leading up to kickoff. When the Spartans moved up to join BG's district in 2017, the Purples were the local and 5A alpha dog. South Warren has spent the past two years eroding that status. Brandon Smith's crew carries a 21 game winning streak into this meeting, but will likely be without starting QB Kaden Veltkamp again.