Purple88's Avatar
BluegrassPreps 2015 Western Kentucky Power Rankings – Week 9 Edition
Concerning the top story line for this week: Can you feel it? It’s the calm before the storm! This is the last week before we all go into Full Throttle Playoff Mode!

Is it best to schedule a cupcake now after your district matchups? Or like Trinity a couple years ago in scheduling Archbishop Moeller the last game of the season? Most aren’t like T and I think a good blend in between is the ticket depending on where you are on the 1A to 6A grading scale. For example, I love the Paducah Tilghman vs Murray matchup as it should prepare both very well for the playoffs with a relatively easy opening round game the following week even if you have some minor injuries to heal! Conversely, I would think the Hopkinsville Tigers will be playing some JV guys late in their game against Marshall County. It’s a tough call not only from a competition standpoint, but also from a raw scheduling standpoint. And as we’ve spoken about earlier this season, the Season is certainly a grind! This is why Good Coaching is paramount in coaching not only the team, but the Program and it’s a year round thing not just August to the first week of November! Championship caliber programs get this; that’s why they win championships! And the rest wait for next year!

TEAM SPOTLIGHT: Mayfield Cardinals: Thanks to Toothpick for keeping watch on and informing us on a truly significant achievement. By their easy win this week coupled with a Washington Massillon, Ohio loss, Mayfield pulls into a tie with the Tigers after a historic “7 year run with only 7 losses and advancing to every state championship game since 2009”. “Mayfield’s last losing season was 1963.” I would be blind if I were not to highlight this historic achievement for one of Kentucky’s Best Programs. It should also be noted that the Highland’s Bluebirds sit at #2 on the all-time list and the Male Bulldogs sit at the #3 spot on the all-time list meaning Kentucky has 3 of the top 4 Programs in the NATION All-Time. For as much angst as Kentucky is given towards football and football recruits in general, this is a statistic that should be celebrated across the Commonwealth! This makes me proud to live in Kentucky! Way to Go Mayfield!

Popcorn N Coke Top 10 Version – Week 9:
All teams 1 through 15 (except #13 Greenwood who fell 49-14 to BG) won or were OPEN last week and the rankings have not changed considerably with the exception of the Gators.
1. Bowling Green 5A (8-1): Win 49-14 at 5A Greenwood
2. South Warren 4A (9-0): Win 38-6 vs 4A Warren Central
3. McCracken County 6A (8-1): Win 57-26 at 6A Muhlenberg County
4. Owensboro 5A (8-1): Win 20-19 at 5A Graves County
5. Mayfield 2A (8-1): Win 64-0 at 2A Webster County
6. Caldwell County 3A (8-1): OPEN
7. Hopkinsville 4A (8-1): Win 64-0 at 4A Hopkins County Central
8. Owensboro Catholic 2A (7-2): OPEN
9. Christian County 5A (7-2): OPEN
10. Russellville 1A (8-1): Win 46-21 at 1A Crittenden County

PurpleHaze Western Kentucky Game of the Week (Week 9): DISTRICT BUSTER: Russellville 1A (8-1) 46 at Crittenden County 1A (6-3) 21. Well Crittenden County may have had this one circled on their calendars, but Russellville’s train wasn’t about to stop in Marion on Friday night Senior Night or not! The Panthers rolled up over 400 yards rushing and secured the #1 District spot. Crittenden will still host a home playoff game and could earn a rematch, but that would be in Russellville, and I just can’t see the outcome being considerably different.

PurpleHaze Western Kentucky Co-Games of the Week (Week 10): The regular season is ending with some fireworks! These 2 games I’m really excited about:

McCracken County 6A (8-1) at Bowling Green 5A (8-1). I think Redleg said this (if not him I apologize to the author), but I think this would be a great matchup for both teams as Week 10 Opponents to develop a good rivalry going forward. For BG, it will give them some excellent competition coming off of a less than stout district slate with their last easy game on its heels. For McCracken, you can test yourself for the playoffs and really for the first time since a trip to Mayfield on September 11. Plus this is a high profile game; if you aspire to rise to those levels this is a good platform to show us what ya got!

Mayfield 2A (8-1) at Caldwell County 3A (8-1). Great Game here! Love both programs and will pull for both going forward! I’m calling this game even with maybe the slightest of edges to Caldwell simply for playing in Princeton! Oh and this is THE event in Princeton this coming Friday night so I suggest getting your ticket early and don’t think you can show up 30 minutes before kickoff (Most Women think this way – not meant to harm our lovely significant others - just callin it like I see it and hear it!) and get any seat you want because you can’t. Cardinal Nation will also travel VERY well for this one!

Meat N Potatoes Top 10 Version – Week 9:
10) Russellville (1A) – Preseason Rank (PR): Next 10 – Last Week (LW): 10 - 2015 Record 8-1; District Record 3-0] Week 9 Results: Win: 46-21 at Crittenden County 1A (6-3). See above! Joshua Bigbee and Bryson Thomas both carry for over 100 yards. Russellville only attempted 1 pass in the game. Week 10: at 4A Franklin Simpson (5-4) Franklin-Simpson has had a disappointing year by many Wildcat fans standards, but this will be Senior Night and emotions will be high to try and level the Wildcats record and possibly earn the #2 District seed. That said, Russellville has played better ball to this point IMO and should be the slight favorite in this one!

9) Christian County (5A) – PR: 6 – Last Week LW: 9 - 2015 Record 7-2; District Record 3-1] Week 9 Results: OPEN. Christian County has the #2 spot in the District and a home playoff game secured. After the Owensboro v Graves County scores came across the wire, your win at Graves in Week 8 looks better all the time! Week 10: at 4A John Hardin (6-3). Terrific matchup of playoff veteran clubs! Most John Hardin fans feel very good about their chances in this game and I would bet most Christian County fans feel very good about this game as well. Regardless, I look for a tight hard fought game that will ultimately help both squads in a couple more weeks!

8) Owensboro Catholic (2A) – PR: 10 – LW: 8 - 2015 Record 7-2; District Record 4-0] Week 9 Results: OPEN. Hopefully, OCath is fully healed after the OPEN week! Week 10: vs North Hardin 6A (3-6). IMO OCath is the clear favorite in this game. Plain and simple; I think they are just better. With the Trojans stipend money, hopefully they’ll be able to pick up some barbeque take out on their bus ride home; likely the only consolation prize they will get in this one! Looking forward to Team Nintendo to light up the scoreboard on the Trojans!

7) Hopkinsville (4A) – PR: 8 – LW: 7 - 2015 Record 8-1; District Record 4-0] Week 9 Results: Win 64-0 vs 4A Hopkins County Central (2-7). District game and we’ve talked about that is what it is. Thing is, less than stout competition has been the norm for Hoptown since their only LOSS to Christian County over a month ago. Week 10: vs (5A) Marshall County (2-7). On the one hand, I have voiced my disdain for the Tigers playing Marshall County as a Week 10 opponent as I don’t feel it will prepare them enough for the playoff wars ahead, as several think they won’t beat the best 3 and 6 team in the State (Warren Central) in the first round of the playoffs. BUT, on the other hand, for what Coach Clark and the entire Hopkinsville team/community have been through this year, maybe a little breather is their preferred track. I have believed in this team all year and see no reason to change now. They have a terrific QB leader and talented skill players, tough defense and are well coached. I think it’s going to take South Warren to knock them out. Just my opinion.

6) Caldwell County (3A) – PR: 9: LW: 6 - 2015 Record 8-1; District Record 4-0] Week 9 Results: OPEN. I’m not sure how far it is to Webster County from Princeton, but I’ll bet a dozen Whistle Stop Donuts that it would have been more worthwhile to have stayed in Princeton and watch McCracken County and Murray vs Mayfield tapes until you’re blue in the face than it would have been to drive up to Webster County to pick up anything from that game. Think the Tigers should be pretty healthy for this one. Would seem to be as much a perception game as anything for Caldwell in this one, but I’m really looking forward to it! Who is the most important player on the field – Cain, Burns, Bright, Arnette, others? You tell me! PurpleHaze Western Kentucky Co-Game of the Week - Week 10: vs Mayfield 2A (8-1).

5) Mayfield (2A) – PR: 2 – LW - 5 - 2015 Record 8-1; District Record 3-0] Week 9 Results: Win: 64-0 vs Webster County 2A (1-8). Thought about switching you to #4, but Webster was and is so bad I couldn’t. District game! Let’s you know why Mayfield doesn’t schedule any other 2A squads other than the have to District games. Mayfield Frosh likely would have come out with an easy win here! PurpleHaze Western Kentucky Co-Game of the Week - Week 10: at 3A Western Kentucky Parkway Rival Caldwell County (8-1). What a game! Really looking forward to seeing how Trajon Bright, the Mayfield superstar, plays in this one. I assumed he would be a little rusty at first, but Webster had absolutely no answer for one of the best players in the West & State! How do you think this one plays out Mayfield fans?

4) Owensboro (5A) – PR: 4 – LW: 4 - 2015 Record 8-1; District Record 4-0] Week 9 Results: Win: 20-19 at Graves County 5A (4-5). Red Devils nearly spit the bit on this one as the Best 4 and 5 team in the West won the first half and had a chance in the 2nd. But good teams win even when they don’t play their best and that’s what Owensboro did. Landon Boards was fantastic and the Red Devil D proved they were ready when it mattered most during late 4th Quarter Graves drives. Could very well set up for a rematch at Rash Stadium, but Graves would have to win one of the best first round games in the State when Graves travels to Greenwood for the likely right to visit Owensboro in the 2nd round. Week 10: vs 6A Henderson County (4-5). Don’t let the record fool you Red Devil fans! This Colonel team is starting to play really good ball. Damion Carter will be one of the best backs you will play against this year!

3) McCracken County (6A) – PR: 5 - LW – 3; 2015 Record 8-1; District Record 4-0] Week 9 Results: Win: 57-26 at 6A District Foe Muhlenberg County (4-5). About 200 yards on the ground and 300 in the air. Most everything clicking for the Mustangs. Why not Cash Jones being considered for Mr. Football? He has 44 rushing attempts for 163 yards and 8TD; 101 completions on 159 attempts for 1,718 yards with 22 TDs vs 6 INTs on limited playing time is pretty darn good in my book! RB/WR Corey Fike also had a good game for McCracken.
After the Manual collapse last playoff; being out-played by Tilghman in the opener; changing coaches to one that had little experience; call me suspect, BUT this Mustang team has really come together and reeled off 8 straight wins and really rolling. PurpleHaze Western Kentucky Co-Game of the Week - Week 10: at Bowling Green 5A (8-1). This game is one where McCracken would like to make a statement so other 6A squads know they mean business. Coach Jackson deserves a lot of credit for keeping his guys together early and now looks to take another step forward at BG. What do you think Mustang fans – do you like your chances and what do the Mustangs need to do to come out with win #9?

2) South Warren (4A) – PR: 3 – LW: 2 - 2015 Record 9-0; District Record 4-0] Week 9 Results: Win: 38-6 vs 4A District Foe Warren Central (3-6). South Warren completed a District sweep by defeating the best 3 and 6 team in the State - Warren Central. Looking at the outcome of the game, I’m not sure what negatives there are. But reading the game threads, Spartan Nation is upset about not seeing the “full arsenal” of the offense and “limiting” player opportunities to get college scholarships. I find this completely lacking confidence in your Head Coach. Has Coach Smith not earned the right to dictate when to throttle up and when to throttle down? The man is 33 and 3 since becoming head coach at South (3 seasons). JCarter mentioned the game still had a gameness feel even at 38-0. I think this is true and all the better for future varsity Spartans that got in this game. But was the game ever in question? I think not! The only place it hurts is at the water cooler! I for one think Coach Smith is one of the best young coaches in the state. And also think he is purposefully holding back until the playoffs so other squads don’t see other sets that they plan to use later when games may be tougher. Concerning “limiting” player’s opportunities to gain college scholarships, please trust your Coach! Besides their parents, who does a player have in their corner, if not their coach! Moving ON and UP!
Week 10: vs Pope John Paul II of Hendersonville, TN (2-8). It’s finally time for the Pope-mobile to drive north for their meeting with the Spartans. Spartan fans beware of the 2 and 8 record! Some of those losses are to the likes of Brentwood Academy, Montgomery Bell Academy, Ensworth, McCallie, and Baylor. So if they have any players left uninjured it could be a game for a while. But I honestly think South’s defense will be too much for His Holiness to handle!

1) Bowling Green (5A) – PR: 1 – LW: 1 - 2015 Record 8-1; District Record 3-0] Week 9 Results: Win: 49-14 vs 5A District Foe Greenwood (7-2). It was Senior Night in “The Swamp” and the Gators rode that emotion to dictating the majority of the first half prior to the Purples evening the score in the 2nd Quarter. Several Purple fans and I agree that Coach Spader is one of the best halftime adjustment coaches around. BG shut down and wore down the Gators in the second half, but this is a good Gator squad and sets up the best 1st round playoff game in the state maybe with Graves County at Greenwood in a couple weeks! For the Purples, RB Jamale Carothers played well with about 100 yards rushing and 3 TDs and QB Clark Payne with about 200 yards passing and 3 TDs. For the defense, Griffin Cline with 11 tackles and Tyler Stahl with an INT. Tyler will lead the Purple secondary next year!
PurpleHaze Western Kentucky Co-Game of the Week - Week 10: vs 6A McCracken County (8-1). The Mustangs are a very good team with very talented athletes all over the field. I think it is fair to say that they have played both up and down to their opponents in several games this season. With that said, I look for them to be sky high coming into El Donaldson Stadium looking for respect not really from the Purples, but more from the football community at large. For BG, the Purples don’t really need that. They just need to focus on playing a good, athletic team and executing well to try to get the win and move on WITH MOMENTUM into the playoffs lookin to make another deep run! I have been asked, do the Purples keep their best players on the field for the whole game for this one. I say yes, what say you?

Jayvon Quarles Week 9 Players of the Week: MANY did not post stats prior to post this week and know I’ve left some off, but I have the following:
1) Zach Sneed – Barren County – 9 rushes for 203 yards and 2 TDs vs Grayson County!
2) Murray Tigers – QB Miles DesJahvonni 177 yards rushing; 1 TD; Andrew Pajor – 120 yards rushing 1 TD; and Isiah Tucker 95 yards rushing and 3 TDs vs Ballard Memorial!
3) Graves County – Dakota Dixon 32 carries for 151 yards; QB Ryan Mathis 12 for 27 with 165 yards and 2 TDs; WR Trevor Grant – 4 catches 85 yards and 2 TDs vs a Stout Owensboro Defense!

Week 9 “Trending Down”
Crittenden County (1A) – Down – I know Russellville was supposed to win, but this was an opportunity for Crittenden to get a signature win with a good Senior Class! Didn’t happen, but I could see them getting a second chance back in Russellville in a couple weeks. Don’t like that one for the Rockets either, but anything can happen in the playoffs!
Graves County (5A) – Down – Not down as you’re going into the dumps, but down as in missed opportunity. Maybe a couple key Red Devils were out for this game and Graves won the first half, but a missed opportunity for sure. Not many games left for SR Dakota Dixon. BUT no shame in losing to the Red Devils; just would have really set the tone for next year in the district and this year in the playoffs!

Week 9 “Trending Up”
McCracken County (6A) – Up – Earlier in the year, I think many including myself were scratching our heads about the Mustangs as they are soundly defeated by Paducah Tilghman. Since then, they have won 8 straight games and have a TON of momentum going into a game they don’t have to win, but really want to in order to make others in the state, especially 6A foes, take notice. Can they do it?
South Warren (4A) – Up – Only team in the West with 9 wins! Their closest games are to 6A schools (Central Hardin 24-3 and North Hardin 21-0). This team has one of the best, if not the best, defense in the state. I think their special teams units doesn’t get the praise they deserve as a punt block scoop 6 helped turn the tide last week vs Warren Central! Some don’t like that they aren’t winning by more; such is the life with teams that win (ask Ohio State)! I say win and advance and that’s exactly what Coach Smith and the Spartans are doing!

“Broke Their Maiden” – In horse racing, when you break your maiden, you win your first race. Well this category is for teams that don’t get as much love, but did get their first victory of the season here and I think that’s significant: (After this week, only 3 more teams in the West are winless! Let’s root for them to get a win!

After burning through the smelling salts, I sat down to really think about these teams. Consider this: these boys (and parents and coaches too for that matter) have been attending, sweating, lifting and ect through practice and games since July or at least early August. They have put in, at least, the lion’s share of effort everyone else has and doesn’t have ONE win to rejoice over. That, my friends, is tough at 14 to 18 years old in our world of instant gratification. We are at do or die; we are at the end of the Pirate’s Plank! Here’s the situation in this FINAL week:
1. Logan County at Home vs 2A Todd County Central – Logan’s best chance was back on Sept 25 vs Hopkins Co Cen (Lost 13 to 12). This is their second best chance! Chance to break maiden – 45%
2. Hancock County at Home vs 4A Breckinridge Co (2-7) – Well I said it was doable last week, but it really wasn’t - losing 26 to 3 at home vs McLean Co! This week the Fighting Tigers of Breckinridge Co come calling. Hancock can win this game, but they could also easily lose unfortunately! Chance to break maiden – 45%
3. Fulton County at Fulton City – Part Deux! Yes, these 2 faced off Sept 4 with City winning 38 to 28; easily one of County’s best games. Even if some have given up by this point, I would think this is the one opponent they could buy back in for. We shall see! Go Pilots Go! Chance to break maiden – 50%.

11 Through 15 – Tougher call down here, but probably more fun to argue about as well:
11) Paducah Tilghman 3A (6-3) – Week 10: vs Murray – If I had a #3 game this week it would be this one! It’ll be a very good one with 2 Star QB Leaders!
12) Murray 2A (6-3) – Week 10: at Paducah Tilghman – who takes momentum with them going into the playoffs?
13) Tie: Butler County 2A (7-2) – Drubbed poor ole’ Todd County Central. Week 10 the Bears close out the regular season with a good test from 6A Ohio Co!
Henderson County 6A (4-5) – Record still isn’t pretty, but one thing I know for sure is they’ll give Owensboro everything they have. They did the same last year and beat the Red Devils. Can they do it again – this time at Rash Stadium?
14) Monroe County 2A (6-3) – The Falcons are good yes, but I get the feel that you still don’t know quite what you’re going to get and that’s troublesome this late in the season. Still look for them to put up a fight in the 2A playoffs!
15) Greenwood 5A (7-2) – Next: vs Warren Central. Gators played BG tough on Senior Night. Now they look to regroup looking for momentum prior to their first round HOME game vs Graves! Warren Central will play you very tough!