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BluegrassPreps 2017 Western Kentucky Power Rankings – Week 1 Edition

The top story line this week is an unprecedented losing streak by our Top 10. In the 3 years I’ve been doing this, I don’t think we have ever had a week where 6 of the Top 10 saw defeat in the same week! MANY angles here, but I feel at least most of them are fielding younger squads. Also think all will be better in the long run for scheduling well. BUT this means BIG shakeups in our Top 10 Power Rankings! Let’s get right to it!

Week 1 Top 10:
10) Greenwood (5A) – Preseason Rank: 7 - 2017 Record 1-1; District Record 0-0] Week 1 Results: Loss: 37-31 vs 4A Warren East (2-0) at WKU. WOW! Thanks to our good friend @FSfan who brought us the exciting game details of this game! I admit I am pretty shocked by this outcome. But thinking back on it that is likely because I know little about the Warren East team and just anticipated Greenwood would just take care of business. That’s the great thing about high school football is that you really don’t know what you’re going to get until game day. Jackson Adams played well as usual for the Gators. But questions have to be asked about the Greenwood defense that got exposed at WKU last night. I’m sure Coach Seabolt will make adjustments and be ready for next week, as they will be needed. Week 2: Hosting 4A Allen County Scottsville (2-0). The Patriots must be lickin their chops as this should be a tough game for Greenwood’s D as the Patriots have put up almost 90 points in 2 weeks (albeit against weaker competition). But playing at home “should” help matters. Make no mistake though, ACS will come to play. Greenwood needs to regroup in a hurry!

9) Warren East (4A) – Preseason Rank: Outside Top 20 - 2017 Record 2-0; District Record 0-0] Week 1 Results: Win: 37-31 vs 5A Greenwood (1-1). Let’s Shake it UP! Teams that get it done on the field will be rewarded in this ranking! Coach Griffith has started out strong off 31-W! Beating a lagging Portland, TN squad last week but taking the bright lights at WKU by storm yesterday as they outlasted a very good Greenwood squad. QB Dwayne Cook can throw the ball. I don’t have his stats for this week but against Portland he was 10 for 20 with 291 yards; 2 TDs and 0 INTs. RB Trevor Naftel was also noteworthy against Portland with 15 carries for 123 yards and 1 TD. But a rising star in the west is WR/KR Caleb Huskey who had 7 catches for 245 yards and 2 TDs vs Portland. Our good friend @FSfan reported Mr Huskey was a menace to the GW defense and returned a long kickoff return to the house for the Ra-Ra-Raiders!!! Isiah Boards is a standout on the defensive side of the ball for Coach Griffith as well. Week 2: Vs 4A Power Wayne County (2-0) The Raiders are now shooting really high in 4A as they will host 4A Title Contender Wayne County to the Smurf-turf this Friday night! Get out to Smokey Pig Barbeque before going to the Smurf-turf and support your team Raider Fans!!! Name:  smokey pig.png
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8) Caldwell County (3A) – Preseason Rank: Top 15 - 2017 Record 1-1; [District Record 0-0] Week 1 Results: Win: 27 to 10 vs. 5A Graves Co (1-1). I have likely not given the Tigers nearly as much credit as they deserve here. While I do think they are offensively challenged, their defense is a good as they come. The Tigers only surrendered 27 points to a very good Christian County team, when half those points came in special teams and by the County defense. Then only surrender 10 points to a very decent 5A Graves County team. Week 2: At 4A Hopkinsville (0-2). Most of the time, I would say you are not catching Hoptown at a good time, but this time Caldwell might be. Hoptown comes off 2 Very Tough games vs opponents that are beyond them at this time with this young of a team. Look for Caldwell’s D to set the stage in this one, but should be a close game if both are struggling to score.

7) Owensboro Catholic (2A) – Preseason Rank: 5 - 2017 Record 1-1; District Record 0-0] Week 1 Results: Loss: 34-0 vs Evansville Reitz (2-0). Well Aces fans, unfortunately, this was a matchup that was likely the most unfavorable you will see all season long. Reitz will challenge for a State Championship this season in IN for sure and they have very good athletes all over the field. I know you had some near misses on the night, but getting shutout is never good so that is the reason for your drop here. Week 2: CO-GAME OF THE WEEK At Owensboro Red Devils (1-1). With the Red Devils also losing last week, this game sets the stage for an outright battle to get back on the right side of the scoreboard. Who wins in the trenches? I honestly don’t know. The Aces will need to improve on offense to stay with Owensboro or it could be a long night at Rash Stadium.

6) South Warren (5A) – Preseason Rank: 10 - 2017 Record 2-0; District Record 0-0] Week 1 Results: Win: 43-6 over 4A Warren Central (0-2). As our good friend @jcarter reported, South Warren earned a running clock in the FIRST QUARTER! WOW! Not good for Central. I usually would not push you up the board like this, but after a week of many losses, this can happen OR Maybe the Spartans are this good? We shall see. QB Spurrier plays well again for South and many trick plays aid the early romp! Week 2: Host 4A Franklin Simpson (1-1) These former playoff and district foes will once again match up in a terrific but pre-district battle. Both teams are playing well now. Who gains momentum in this one?

5) Owensboro (5A) – Preseason Rank: 6 - 2017 Record 1-1; [District Record 0-0] Week 1 Results: Loss: 21-20 in OT vs Evansville Mater Dei (0-2). Tough game here! Scoreless in the 1st Q, Mater Dei opens scoring on a run that is matched by O but the extra point is no good leaving the halftime score at 7-6 Mater Dei. It stayed that way until early in the 4th when big O fullback Cowerd plunged over from 3 yards out and Imonte Owsley ran in the 2 point conversation for a 14-7 lead. Mater Dei came right back and staged an 11 play drive ending in a QB sneak and a 14 all tie. Owensboro struck first in OT with Owsley again running in for 6. But O went for 2 and it failed. For MD, 3rd and goal from the 8, their QB found an open WR for the TD and kicked the XP for the win. Tough game Red Devils fans! I think you have a very stout defense, but your offensive unit will take some time to gel. And your schedule doesn’t ease up. Week 2: CO-GAME OF THE WEEK At Rash Stadium Vs Owensboro Catholic (1-1) at 7:00pm. Both Owensboro teams need this win. Who will get it? I think OCath has more tools on offense at the moment, but Owensboro’s defense might be further along. Sets up for a fascinating game. Good luck to both teams!

4) Franklin Simpson (4A) – Preseason Rank: 4 - 2017 Record 1-1; District Record 0-0] Week 1 Results: Win: 48-0 vs 2A Monroe County (1-1). I think Coach Preston got the teams attention. Yes, a 4A team beat a 2A team and they should, but this is an old school rivalry that is most definitely hard hitting so to shut them out tells me FS is back closer to where they need to be. According to our good friend @macdon, Franklin scored 48 points on 21 plays. Pretty efficient. He also gave a shout out to the Monroe County fans and I’d like to as well. Reportedly, Monroe had a great crowd and unlike many places, when their team was down a running clock at halftime, they stayed with their team. I think that should be applauded. Many times we fans are the first to say “they need to get better and do this and do that”, but we are the first to abandon them and head home, when in fact those youngster need the encouragement that their crowd believes in them and supports them. Football is such a Huge teaching experience, but we fans seem to miss that opportunity to indirectly teach on such occasions. Week 2: At 5A South Warren (2-0) at 7pm. Another game to prove yourself Wildcats. Don’t expect South to be bending over backwards to be accommodating, but that’s what Franklin expects and why it’s such a great matchup. Come less than 15 miles up 31 W Wildcat Fans it will be a great game!

3) Mayfield (2A) – Preseason Rank: 3 - 2017 Record 2-0; District Record 0-0] Week 1 Results: Win: 49-20 at 4A Hopkinsville (0-2). Reading the Mayfield Update & Results pages you will find that overall things are Great in Cardinal Country! When you are forced to focus on penalties, turnovers and kick coverage after Game 2 and that’s it after losing many terrific starters from last season, you know it’s going to be a good year. Thanks to our good friend @MHSCardinal for those focal points. Cardinal Fans you are good enough to be in consideration for higher up this list but Hopkinsville just honestly isn’t the team right now to help you get there. But that’s small potatoes in my eyes as Mayfield is a Top Contender for the 2A State Title right now (don’t tell the big guys on the main 2A page, as this is what you call “Flying Under the Radar” Cardinal Fans. I know you don’t do that, but try it this year and hopefully some of the Jeff County beasts will overlook you. I’m going on record of saying you’re going to Kroger Field!). Week 2: Westsider CO-GAME OF THE WEEK! At OLD Rival 3A Paducah Tilghman (1-1). Westsider was an old friend to this site and was a constant provider of news and support to the Western Part of the State and this week we honor his memory here as I know he loved this Old School matchup! At 3A Paducah Tilghman (1-1). Love what Coach Duncan is doing at Tilghman to instill them with some desperately needed structure and return this game to the Great Rivalry stature it deserves! Should be a great game! Get out to Washington Street early Cardinal Fans!

2) Bowling Green (5A) – Preseason Rank: 1 - 2017 Record 1-1; District Record 0-0] Week 1 Results: Loss: 35-21 At 6A PRP (2-0). Couple things at play here: 1. As I have said, taking a young team on the road early in the season at a talented opponent is a very tough assignment. 2. PRP is lacking respect on the whole and played like their lives depended on it; and they earned it Friday night. 3. The younger Purples found out Friday night what it costs/takes to win on the road vs a very talented opponent, unfortunately for BG they had to pay for that experience. That bill came due in the first half surrendering a 28-7 PRP lead. Coach Wallace regained perspective at the half and BG won the 2nd half 14-7 but the damage was done.
BG will have to regroup in a hurry as several guys were banged up while X was hangin in the hot tub with all the cool Louisville co-eds. It will be a difficult task for sure. Never fear Purples fans, as Goal #1 for any Purples team is to win the State Championship. You have not lost that this week. Would another undefeated season have been nice – Yes, but the Pigs get fed and the Hogs get slaughtered! Get back to work and You will find valuable lessons in the film and am always confident in the Coaching Staff to keep the ship going in the right direction. But with St X and then Owensboro, the schedule is toughest right now. Week 2: Hosts 6A St Xavier (1-0). The Tigers had a well-placed bye week ahead of this terrific matchup at El Donaldson Stadium. St X is deep and talented and arguably the best OLine in the State, as proven by a top shelf win vs Indianapolis Cathedral 35-28 in Week 0. BG won 31-10 last season vs the Tigers in a game that felt closer than the score might indicate. This season I think X has the advantage and is the favorite as they are ranked #3 in the State (should be #2) vs the Purples garnering the #5 slot before they lost to PRP. X will approach the game very physically and likely try to knock the Purples back to Simpson County. BG on the other hand will likely try to get their athletes into space on the edges and make plays from there. Sets up to be a fantastic game. If you haven’t been to a game this season, load up the Family Truckster and head to BG – you won’t be disappointed in this one (probably 200 players on the field)! It will be a great atmosphere and BG will christen a brand new score board! Hate to see the old one go honestly as it represents some outright classics (Blackman anyone!!!)!

1) Christian County (5A) – Preseason Rank: 2 - 2017 Record 2-0; [District Record 0-0] Week 1 Results: Win: 18-7 vs Rossview, TN (0-2). Welcome to the Top Spot Colonels! Still think Christian County is the far superior team here vs Rossview, but this score will not overwhelm you. Looking at the offensive numbers for the game, Christian County was very balanced in this game. Kolbe Langhi only passed the ball 14 times (9 for 14 for 84 yards) in the game. Strong RB Dion Leavell rushed 16 times for 85 yards and a TD. So the County offense is culling back the Air Raid numbers it seems and going more to a steady ground game. The County Defense continues to be a stalwart for Coach Lovelace’s team with a Pick 6 by Corey Stubbs and only yielding 1 TD on the night. Stout!!! Week 2: At 6A Henderson County (1-1). In years gone by, this was a Game of the Week candidate in the Battle of the Colonels! Henderson County is down some yes, but I am very impressed with their win vs Evansville North! Congrats Coach Boston! I look for the Christian County defense to be way too much for Henderson, but keep your eye on the Christian County offense to see how things progress.

Next Tier 11 Thru 15 –

11. McCracken County (6A) – Preseason Rank: 9 - 2017 Record 1-1; [District Record 0-0] Week 1 Results: Loss: 28 to 20 vs. Northeast (Clarksville), TN (1-1). Impressed with the effort here by McCracken as I know Northeast has quality athletes, but just couldn’t make the plays when they needed them, as they had to settle for 2 FGs instead of TDs and that was the difference. Hang in Mustangs – it’s a long season!

12. Tier:
Paducah Tilghman 3A (1-1) To me, it shows a lot of guts for the players and structure from the coaches to be able to play a rival school 3 classes higher than you and lose on the last play of the game by 1 point; come back the next week vs a quality opponent who went to the State Championship game last season and just got it done. HUGE Win! Come back this week and host arch-rival Mayfield! What a schedule! I expect Tilghman to play with every ounce of effort they have, which is what this rivalry that Westsider loved is all about!

Glasgow (2A) (2-0) Won 47-9 At 3A Bardstown (0-2). Glasgow is a team that graduated some fine players last year. But give Coach Garmon credit for keeping the Scotties playing at a high level! SR QB Dalvin Smith is a rising star and leading this Scotties team on an upward path. He had TD runs of 75 yards and 91 yards on the night, plus 3 TD passes through the air! Solid… The Scotties D only gave up 1 TD and a field goal. Week 2: Vs 3A Ft Campbell (1-1) Scotties should be Way too much for the Falcons, especially at home. But the Scotties schedule stiffens with games vs very good 4A teams after that (at Allen Co-Scottsville, at Warren East, and home vs Franklin Simpson). VERY Tough schedule there. I think Coach Garmon knows the beasts of Jefferson County will be hard to knock off, but with this schedule the Scotties give themselves a punchers chance.

13. Hopkinsville 4A (0-2) Tough task under any circumstance to lace em up vs Mayfield, but with the Cardinals reloading and Hopkinsville’s offense struggling, it spelled a long night at the Stadium of Champions. But give the Tigers D some credit as they hung in there all night and played pretty well to the last play. Tigers O, especially the QB, hung tough as well taking some big shots and simply needs more time to gel. A few 2016 cupcakes wouldn’t hurt either! I look for the Tigers to improve, but the road is tough. If they buy in and stay focused next week will be an outright Tiger Brawl classic against defense oriented Caldwell County! Caldwell County wants it, but Hoptown NEEDS it!

14. Tier
Allen County Scottsville (4A) (2-0) Coach Hood’s Patriots have been blowin the doors off wily Hart and lowly Barren Counties by a combined score of 87 to 14. SR QB Chase Wilson passed for near 300 yards and 6 TDs vs Hart Co alone. But now they catch an angry mess of Gator’s as they march to Greenwood to battle a team sure to be ready to play Friday night!

Madisonville 4A (1-1) And the Maroons just keep hangin around. They played well; especially in the first half vs solid Owensboro Week 0; and then took Marshall County like John Hunt Morgan took Cynthiana in 1864. Now the Maroons play host to Gritty 2A Murray, who want their shot on this list. Beat Madisonville and you’d likely get it!

15. Tier
Graves County 5A (1-1) – Sometimes your Muhammad Ali and sometimes your Sonny Liston. Well the Eagles know what it feels like to be Liston as they were punched back to Mayfield with 6 minutes to go in the 1st Quarter at 21 to 0. It was all rope-a-dope from there Eagles fans!!!

Logan County 4A (2-0) – How Sweet It Is Cougar Fans! You haven’t graced those sweet 2 and 0 words since 1998! Coach Adler & Company are rollin! Congratulation! Again you will be rewarded when you earn it on the field! The Cougars handled 6A Muhlenberg County 36-18 and now head to Harned to take on the 4A Fighting Tigers of Breckenridge County. Make plans to head next door to the US 60 Dragway after the game sports fans “The Place Where Speed Limits Are Broken!”. Name:  us 60 drag.jpg
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Others receiving votes (in no particular order): Daviess County, Edmonson County, Hancock County, Henderson County, Hopkins County Central, Murray, Russellville

AROUND THE STATE: On this second weekend of games, Kentucky teams played 18 out of state teams from 5 different States. We did medium this week. Here are the records in Ohio (1-1), West Virginia (1-1), Tennessee (3-3), but losing to Indiana (3-4) and Virginia (0-1). Great job to all those teams who brought home the win and also for those that tried and improved. I applaud all these teams for challenging themselves in the early non-district season.

WESTSIDER - Week 2 Western Kentucky Game of the Week: (Disclaimer 1: Westsider was a friend to this website and all sports in Western Kentucky. This is mentioned in honor of his memory!) (Disclaimer 2: I am not picking the BG vs St X game because St X is not a WKY team and the fact that this game needs no hype help.)
Mayfield 2A (2-0) travels to Paducah Tilghman 3A (1-1): I expect this OLD Rivalry to be extremely hard hitting and well played on both sides. Bragging rights at the local grocery store are on the line in the Purchase Area!

Owensboro Catholic 2A (1-1) travels to Rash Stadium to take on Owensboro 5A (1-1). Both teams have had similar paths this season somewhat struggling in the opening game then facing an Evansville team that ultimately defeated them. The Aces victory in 2016 sets the tone for this one though as the Red Devils will be focused on taking the bragging rights back this season! Big Game!

Honorable Mention: MANY GREAT games AND Big Local Rivalries in the West this week worth mentioning: South Warren hosts Franklin Simpson; Barren County at Glasgow; Butler County at Russellville. How about that for a slate of games! Get out and support your team sports fans!

Week 1 Western Kentucky Game of the Week Recap: Mayfield (2A) (2-0) 49 at Hopkinsville (4A) (0-2) 20 – This game was mostly plagued by penalties and turnovers early before Mayfield found some rhythm with their defense ratcheting things up and limiting Hopkinsville’s offense all night for the most part. Hopkinsville played tough however and never quit. Keep doing that Tigers and the road should ease up some prior to the playoffs. For Mayfield, you have to look at things like MHSCardinals penalties, turnovers and kick coverage to find stuff for Coach Morris to work on in Week 2… (Lot to like!).

Week 1 Players of the Week: (I do not get very many stats prior to writing this so PLEASE add so all the fans know what is going on! Thanks!)
1) Dalvin Smith – QB – Glasgow – 5 TDs total (3 passing & 2 rushing)!
2) Caleb Huskey – WR/KReturn – Warren East – 7 catches, 245 yards & 2 TDs vs Portland; had a kickoff return TD and many receptions vs Greenwood.
3) Jackson Adams – QB – Greenwood – 244 yards on 27 carries and 3 TDs!
4) Monroe County Fans – stayed and supported their team even after getting it handed to them by Franklin Simpson.

Week 1 “Big Droppers”
Bowling Green (5A) – Down – I suppose for some fans, it was just anticipated for BG to never lose again. That seems to be the sentiment from the distant crowd who really don’t know the Purples program. Do not listen to them Purples fans, as this team will make their own mark. Last week and this week were and will be very difficult games to win. We knew that going in. Young team. How do you get ready for November? Play teams that are better than you. Check. How you use that when you lose is up to you. Fortunately, our coaching staff is one of the best and should continue to stir us in the right direction. Steady on…
Greenwood (5A) – Down – Well Team; I’m scratching my head here. Is the 37-31 defeat to the Warren East Raiders more telling for Greenwood or East? I honestly don’t know. I am concerned for the Greenwood D. Come on man… You got to show up at WKU!!!

Week 1 “Big Risers”
Warren East (4A) – Up – A continuation from above; I am happy for Coach Griffith. First year and get a high profile – WKU Win (which is big and very visible in the Warren County community) against a team with projected 5A District Championship potential! Solid… Where do the Raiders go from there? Up... Up... And Away!
Paducah Tilghman (3A) – Up – BIG win over fledgling TN power Jackson Tech Magnet 7-0! Let me paint you 2 pictures: Picture #1:
1. Lose Week 0 to your 6A rival by a botched extra point and gut wrenching loss.
2. Lay an egg in this game.
3. Mayfield comes to town.
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Picture #2: Repeat #1 (can’t go back now).
2. Play as gritty a game as you can recall and WIN 7-0 against a quality opponent!
3. Now go into the Mayfield game with this picture!
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