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BluegrassPreps 2018 Western Kentucky Power Rankings – Week 3 Edition

Mother Nature decided to show up Friday night! Many games were impacted whether delayed or raining during the game. So some modifications were in order! The top story line this week is emotion! It seems A LOT of games this week were emotional games with plenty of story lines to go around! When these young men ride a wave of emotion, they can forge outcomes that are not expected by us gurus! But that’s a big piece of why we love the game!

WESTSIDER - Week 2 Western Kentucky Game of the Week:
Paducah Tilghman 3A (2-1) 27 AT Mayfield 2A (3-0) 51:
This one started off with a BANG as Tilghman speedster Malachi Kirby returns the opening kick to the House 15 seconds into the game!!! WOW! But Mayfield recovers as usual and starts to dictate alternating scores. A blistering pace is exemplified with a long TD run for Tilghman as the 1st quarter clock strikes zero with a 28-27 Mayfield score! Problem for Tilghman is Mayfield would go on to score 3 more TDs while you could not find the end zone again! Good game to show where each team is early on in the season. More below!

South Warren (5A) (3-0) 36 AT (4A) Franklin Simpson (2-0) 14. This score is a bit misleading. South put a running clock on Franklin AT Franklin with about 3:30 to go in the first half at 36-0! South doesn’t play many starters after the half where Franklin scored a couple mop-up TDs! The common theme for me for South is they use their stout D to set the table for the offense and/or just freakin score themselves. I am convinced they are the best defensive squad right now at turning you over and either putting the offense in great position or takin it to the house!
For Franklin, my advice is just forget everything about this game. Burn the tape; regroup; come out and beat the crap out of Greenwood!

It is the Week 3 Edition and that means we are on the cusp of Bowling Green playing Owensboro. So the game of the week this week is known as the PurpleHaze Western Kentucky Game of the Week. I know of no other, who combined a love for playing the game, watching the game, researching the history of the game and supporting all others who do the same with the zeal that my friend Michael “Bulldog” Drake (aka. PurpleHaze) did. He was a friend to BGP and to so many on this site and the entire Western part of the State. This week we honor his memory here, as he absolutely loved this game! Also want to make sure this year that @MrsPurpleHaze knows about it as well!

Week 4 PurpleHaze Western Kentucky Game of the Week: Bowling Green 5A (3-0) At Owensboro 5A (2-1). Well I admit, I thought we could see a 3 and 0 team playing a 2 and 1 team, but if that played out, I thought it would be reversed. But that’s why you play the game! So, these old Rivals come into this one in different spots! The Red Devils “looked lost” coming down the stretch last week against a very solid 2A OCATH rival. While BG, shook off a lethargic first half to pull of an emotion filled battle in Louisville at 6A St Xavier! Owensboro has not beaten BG since winning at BG in the playoffs 28-21 on November 21, 2008. So to say Owensboro is hungry is an understatement! Owensboro is a MUCH different team than last season changing their offensive structure from veer to spread. And why not, when you have a fantastic QB that landed in your lap like SR QB Will Warren (formerly of OCATH fame). BG should be ready to travel up the old Green River Parkway one more time looking to go 4 and 0! See more below!

Honorable Mention: Christian County at Hopkinsville; Russellville at Logan County; Graves County at Paducah Tilghman; Crittenden County at Caldwell County; Allen County–Scottsville at Glasgow; and Union County at Madisonville NH - Try to make it out to one of these great games!

(Disclaimer: Christmas came early for spots 4 through 8 this week due to Owensboro’s demise. Merry Christmas!)

Week 3 Top 10:
10) Owensboro (5A)
– Preseason Rank (PR): 4; Last Week (LW): 4 - 2018 Record 2-1; [District Record 0-0] Week 3 Results: Loss: 45-32 at 2A City Rival Owensboro Catholic (1-2). WOW! Did not see this one coming sports fans! Know Red Devil fans don’t like this degree of fall, but truth be told you do not deserve to be ranked ahead of OCATH for sure. From where OCATH was, this is your landing spot this week. Owensboro trailed 14-13 at the half and powered out to a 32-21 lead with over 6 minutes to go 3rd Quarter, but it was all Aces from there as they outscored the Red Devils 31-19 in the second half. Disheartening way to lose to a City Rival. You will hear about that all year long. Regroup Red Devils! And Quick! Week 4: PURPLEHAZE GAME OF THE WEEK vs 5A Old Rival Bowling Green (3-0). I know Red Devil fans are ready to get that Purple Monkey off your back. And I thought Owensboro would be ripe to do just that this week, but with the results from last week IMO it is much less likely. But that’s why we play the game as kids with emotion mean anything can happen! The good news Red Devil fans is that not since the 2014 QB Nick Locher led Red Devils has there been this much variability on offense, which clearly seems to have been the Red Devils Achilles heel the past couple years. BUT should still be a SUPER game! I think both teams will be ready to go! I think Owensboro kinda thought they would be able to out-athlete the Aces; I don’t think they will be in that mind frame this week! Rash Stadium is a great place to watch a game! Looking forward to it; along with the Old Hickory Barbeque!!! Red Devil fans, your team will NEED you in this one. Get out to see the game Red Devil fans!!

9) Owensboro Catholic (2A) – PR: 13; LW: 15; 2018 Record 1-2: Week 3 Results: Win 45-32 vs 5A Owensboro (2-1). Well OCath fans, I asked you to hang in there. I sure hope you have because WOW! This is one of the most surprising scores for me from the entire state this season! Was there a better player on the field last week than QB Drew Hartz? You tell me… You will see his stats below! Standout RB Vonn Williams also played very well with 17 carries for 137 yards and 3 TDs. And the Aces defense likely played the best half of the season last Friday night at Steele Stadium! Week 4 vs South Spencer, IN (0-3). The emotional roller coaster rolls on for the Aces as former Aces coach John Edge crosses the Ohio River with his winless Rebels squad to take on his old team. I think the Aces have their best week of practice this week and put a running clock on the Rebels! You heard it here first!!!

8) Madisonville – North Hopkins (4A) – PR: 9; LW: 9 - 2018 Record 2-1; [District Record 0-0] Week 3 Results: Win: 29-15 at 2A Murray (1-2). Don’t know a ton on this one. But the biggest stat I could find was that the Maroons outgained Murray roughly 500 yards to 200 yards. Seems like a much bigger disparity than the gap in the final score. Thank Owensboro for being able to move up this week. Week 4: Vs 3A Union County (2-0). This is a game I’ve had circled since the preseason for a couple reasons. Last year Union County beat Madisonville 28-14, which really surprised me. The Maroons had a fair season from that point forward. If they want to improve off last season this is the game Maroon fans! Good luck!

7) Logan County (4A) – PR: 8; LW: 8 - 2018 Record 3-0; District Record 0-0] Week 3 Results: Win: 46-0 over Poor Ole’ 4A Breckenridge County (1-2). The Cougars outgained Poor Ole’ Breckinridge County roughly 350 to 100 yards. QB Tyler Ezell was very efficient on the night. RB Gary Hardy rushes for roughly 125 yards. And the Cougar defense pitches another shutout. This team reminds me of the old Nebraska Cornhuskers teams that had relatively easy early schedules, but figures to be a factor at the end of the year. It puts a lot of pressure on your players though to be able to rise to the occasion in the playoffs when that isn’t the norm asked of them during the majority of games of the season. Still like this team though! Week 4: vs 1A Rival Russellville (2-1). Another great Western Kentucky Rivalry here! I just get the feel that Logan County is at a different level than the Panthers right not, but I do expect the first half to be close!

6) Daviess County (6A) – PR: 7; LW: 7 - 2018 Record 2-1; [District Record 0-0] Week 3 Results: Win: 20-18 vs 4A John Hardin (1-2). Panthers storm out to a 20 to zip lead then put it in cruise control! Problem is John Hardin stowed away in the back of the bus and nearly came all the way back to compete for the win. Great news for Daviess as Star WR Marquel Tinsley is miraculously back one week after dislocating his shoulder. Wow! Don’t think I’ve ever heard of that short of recovery time for such an injury. More good news for Daviess is their defense really stepped up this week! Week 4: at 2A Hancock County (2-1). Should be WAY TOO much Panthers in this one! Looking for Daviess ShowTime offense to get going again!

5) Hopkinsville (4A) – PR: 6; LW: 6 - 2018 Record 1-2; District Record 0-0] Week 3 Results: Win: 35-20 at 3A Caldwell County (1-2). Hoptown won’t have to worry about a 0 and 4 start this season, as the Tigers played opportunistic football forcing 4 Caldwell County Red Zone Turnovers! DB Erick Grubbs started the turnover parade by intercepting Caldwell QB Joby Jaggers in the end zone on Caldwell’s first possession. Ultra-talented Ellis Dunn is now playing both ways and contributed significantly with 2 TD catches and added a key forced fumble to preserve the win for Hopkinsville! Week 4: Grudge Match vs 5A Christian County (1-2). You can throw out a lot of conventional wisdom for these type games as there will be A LOT of emotion on the field Friday night. It reminds me the first time Christian County played Bowling Green after Zion Kenner transferred to BG. I know that was a tough game for Kenner and County. So with Ellis Dunn now on a Tiger, this game will be amped up even more! I expect the Stadium of Champions to be rockin this Friday night!

4) Franklin Simpson (4A) – PR: 5; LW: 5 - 2018 Record 2-1; District Record 0-0] Week 3 GAME OF THE WEEK Results: Loss: 36-14 vs 5A South Warren (3-0). Well Wildcat Fans the GOOD part of last week’s game is that Owensboro’s loss was metrically worse than your and you get to advance in the rankings even though you got smoked on the field. Plus you won’t play another team like the Spartans all year! Hallelujah! The BAD part of last week’s game is that the points you scored were scored on the Spartan second team defense. The UGLY part of last week’s game is a running clock was placed on you at home late in the second quarter. But again Wildcat Fans just forget about this one and move on because no 4A team is like this Spartan club. Week 4: Vs 5A Greenwood (1-2) at 7pm. I think it’s going to be a long night for the Gators!!!

3) Mayfield (2A) – PR: 3; LW: 3 - 2018 Record 3-0; [District Record 0-0] Week 3 WESTSIDER - GAME OF THE WEEK Results: Win: 51-27 over 3A Paducah Tilghman (2-1). Cardinal fans may have been a little nervous after the first quarter with only a 1 point lead, but then the Cardinals went on to unleash 23 straight points to get a comfortable victory in the old rivalry. Thanks to our good friend @55RedDog for providing some stats for the Cardinals. You will see some of those below! Cardinals looking as good as anyone right now, especially the Cardinal defense. Week 4: At 6A McCracken County (1-2). Not too long ago this was expected to be a very tight game. As historically, several recent outcomes have been decided in overtime. The only thing settled in overtime this coming week is where to go celebrate the Cardinal Victory! Just teams on different levels at the moment!

2) South Warren (5A) – PR: 2; LW: 2 - 2018 Record 3-0; [District Record 0-0] Week 3 GAME OF THE WEEK Results: Win: 36-14 vs 4A Franklin Simpson (2-1). Another game another flogging/running clock by South Warren! QB Gavin Spurrier and company played well on offense; you will see his numbers later. But the key to this team to me is the tone set by the defense. I have said this before and I will say it again; I don’t think there is another team in the State that turns you over more than South and no one makes you pay for that turnover like South does. Case in point, JR DE Isaac Young scoops up a Wildcat fumble at the 8:23 mark of the first quarter and takes it to the house! That play sparked the Spartans; deflated the Wildcats and it was on to the running clock from there! Week 4: Vs 6A Central Hardin (1-2). This is a good team here for South to match up with. They have very good offensive and defensive lines and should test South in that regard. Still I look for South to roll in this game!

1) Bowling Green (5A) – PR: 1; LW: 1 - 2018 Record 3-0; [District Record 0-0] Week 3 Results: Win: 24-21 (OT) At 6A St Xavier (0-2). I have to admit; I couldn’t stop smiling after this game. What a win! On the other hand, my heart went out to Coach Wallace who as I watched him walk off the field could sense his pain. For BG, the first half was one to forget. Many missed opportunities again. But give the Purples credit for regrouping in the outfield grass of the State Champions baseball field (that’s where BG walked to at halftime!). And when they came out in the second half, they took the fight to the Tigers. JR Vito Tisdale was sensational against a defense that had 2 weeks to prepare for him. You’ll see his stats below. QB Beau Buchanon showed great leadership making key throws to keep the chains moving for BG. BIG Win! Week 4: PURPLEHAZE GAME OF THE WEEK - At 5A Owensboro (2-1). This is one of the games I look forward to every year! It is always a tough, hard fought affair. This year will be no different. I think both offenses will play well. But which defense will come up the biggest in this game? That could be the question. Vito Tisdale and Imonte Owsley have been leading their teams and playing against one another since at least the 7th grade. Both are really special athletes that only come around very seldom. Will one of these players make the difference? You tell me… My good friend PURPLEHAZE always would tell me – “You’re already down 7 to nothing when you walk into Rash Stadium”!!!

Next 10 – 11 to 20:
11) Glasgow (2A)
– PR: 12; LW: 12 - 2018 Record (3-0): Week 3 Results: Win 37-0 vs Poor Ole’ Ft Campbell (0-3). I don’t have any stats on this one, but don’t really need any as the Scotties are a good football team and Ft Campbell is still looking for their first win and if they don’t get one in the next 3 weeks (Murray, Fort Knox or Trigg County) they won’t get one all year – Rise up Falcons!!! I’m sure Glasgow dominated from start to finish. On to a game where they will be tested. Week 4 vs 4A Allen County Scottsville (3-0). This should be an interesting game! The Patriots are the one team I have likely left out of the Top 20 that have a grip to be in there. Maybe that changes! But Adair County, Barren County and Greenwood aren’t exactly Murder’s Row!!! I look for the Scotties to win this game handily; let’s see if they do!

12) Caldwell County (3A) – PR: 10; LW: 10 - 2018 Record (1-2): Week 3 Results: Loss 35-20 vs 4A Hopkinsville (1-2). Tough home opening loss for Caldwell County! But as I mentioned above 4 Red Zone Turnovers doomed the Tigers! I don’t have any stats on this one, but sets up a critical game vs a good team next week! Week 4: Vs 1A Crittenden County (2-0). Don’t let the 1A moniker fool you Tiger Fans as this Rockets team is very good. Hopkinsville had success passing last week and I look for Crittenden County to have success this week as well, but can Caldwell cut down on the turnovers? That’s the real question to me. Good Luck Tigers!

13) Henderson County (6A) – PR: 20; LW: 18 - (2018 Record 2-1) Week 3 Results: Win 28-7 vs 5A Christian County (1-2). Based upon the Christian County Stat Sheet, it appears that talented QB Donte Abrens likely was injured in this game as he had only 1 rushing stat and no pass attempts. Add that to the fact that Christian County only scored on an 88 yard fumble recovery scoop 6 by DB LRay Coleman and it appears Henderson County dominated this game. From the Hendo point of view – not my problem – win and advance! For the Christian County perspective, see below! Week 4: AT Gipson Southern (Fort Branch) IN (3-0). Gipson Southern is ranked about 1,000 points better than the Colonels in the MaxPreps National Rankings and have CRUSHED their first 3 opponents by a combined 184 to 7 score – Goodness! I wonder if Woody Hayes is coaching the Titans! It’s on the road in Hoosier-land so Hendo is going to need to be focused in order to pull this one out! Good luck Colonels – I’m pulling for you!

14) Paducah Tilghman (3A) – PR: 18; LW: 13 - 2018 Record 2-1: Week 3 WESTSIDER GAME OF THE WEEK Results: Loss 51-27 at 2A Mayfield (3-0). Tilghman came out on fire in this one with a Kick 6 to open the game and hung with the Cardinals in the first quarter. But Mayfield made quality adjustments and kept the Blue Tornados out of the endzone after that. Tilghman is a team on the rise. Take this game in stride and humble yourself. Because there are only 2 or 3 3A teams IMO that stand out as clearly above Tilghman this year! Keep going – this can be a special year for you! Week 4: Vs Graves County (1-2). This game can go 1 of 2 ways IMO. 1 – Tilghman’s ground game just pushes Graves off the field. Or 2 – Graves regains some form and makes a game of it! Don’t take ‘em lightly Blue Tornados!

15) Apollo (5A) – PR: 16; LW: 14 - (2018 Record 3-0): Week 3 Results: Win 21-18 vs 2A McLean County (2-1). Eagles Fans I’m prepared for the hate mail you will be sending me for dropping you a spot this week. Initially I would not have done that, but McLean fought back and most would say was the stronger team at the end of the game. But what does it matter what I say. Win and advance! You are 3 and 0 for the first time since 2006 when you started the season a Hot 6 and 0! Good luck Eagles! Week 4 at 2A Butler County (0-3). No contest here Eagles Fans! Be sure to bring all your JV guys as they will get plenty of work in this one! I think you can find another team closer to your current position for this schedule slot, but I do understand scheduling is difficult, but this game will not help you prepare for your district. Just being honest.

16) Christian County (5A) – PR: 11; LW: 11 - 2018 Record 1-2; [District Record 0-0] Week 3 Results: Loss: 28-7 vs 6A Henderson County (2-1). Christian County was outgained roughly 300 to 150 yards. But as was mentioned above, I believe the County starting QB was injured in this game. That had a big impact obviously on the offensive production for the Colonels. Hopefully he can make it back next week! Week 4: Grudge Match at 4A Hopkinsville (1-1) at 7:00pm. Both teams will be pumped up for this one! But for the Colonels will they have all their horses available? You tell me…

17) Crittenden County (1A) – PR: 17; LW: 17 (2018 Record 2-0) Week 3 Results – Win 46-7 at 3A Trigg County (1-2). I don’t have stats for this one, but for a 1A team to go on the road and crush a 3A team is impressive to me. Feel the Rockets have a lot of momentum right now! Week 4: At 3A Caldwell County (1-2) Likely a good time to catch the Tigers after a tough loss. But as our good friend @winterweather reports, the Rockets haven’t beaten Caldwell since 2009! But I also think this Rockets team may be better than all those teams! We shall see!

18) McCracken County (6A) – PR: 14; LW: 20 - (2018 Record 1-2) Week 3 Results – Win 38-27 vs 5A Graves County (1-2). This must have been a crazy game, as McCracken turned it over 7 times on the night AND STILL WON! Give the Mustangs credit for their resiliency, but from a Graves County standpoint it’s got to be disheartening and deflating not to be able to capitalize more on the Mustang mistakes! Way to rebound McCracken! Week 4 vs 2A Mayfield (3-0). This one used to be Must See in the West, but not so much this season. For Mayfield, I see business as usual. For McCracken, even with the resilient triumphant outcome on Friday night, Graves County is no Mayfield! Mayfield Running Clock!

19) Union County (3A) – PR: 19; LW: 19 - (2018 Record 1-0) Week 3 Results: Win 37-8 vs the 2A Webster County Trojans (0-3)! Union blitzed rival Webster with over 300 total yards to about 60 for Webster. That led to a running clock at halftime in this lop-sided game! Week 4: at 4A Madisonville-NH (3-0). It was this game last season that really put the Braves on the map! Now you go on the road to a Madisonville team that really needs this game IMO. But it’s there for the taking Braves! Let’s see what ya got!!!

20) Graves County (5A) – PR: 15; LW: 16 - 2018 Record 1-2: Week 3 Results: Loss 38-27 at 6A McCracken County (1-2). A really tough loss for the Eagles. I would think most teams that play an opponent that turns it over 7 times will win the game! Just get the feeling Graves is like an old pack of fire crackers with wet wicks; you just don’t know if they are going to fire or not! Week 4 at 3A Paducah Tilghman (2-1). I think this is going to be a tough spot for Graves as I look for Tilghman to be able to rebound more solidly than the Eagles. Am I wrong? You tell me…

Others Receiving Votes: Allen County Scottsville, Russellville, Grayson County, Monroe County, McLean County, Hancock County

Darian Clay – QB – Hancock County
– 6 TD runs of 44, 15, 12, 26, 79, and 10 yards vs Ohio County. Congratulations Darian!

Other outstanding performances in the West:
1) Jaden Stinson – QB - Mayfield – 19 for 27 for 324 yards and 2 TDs vs Paducah Tilghman!
2) Vito Tisdale – RB – Bowling Green – 28 carries for 145 yards and 3 TDs vs St Xavier!
3) Gavin Spurrier – QB – South Warren – 9 for 15 for 163 yards and 3 TDs vs Franklin Simpson!
4) Drew Hartz – QB – Owensboro Catholic – 23 for 34 for 362 yards and 4 TDs vs Owensboro!
5) Marquel Tinsley – WR – Daviess County – 11 catches for 164 yards and 2 TDs vs John Hardin!
*I don’t have all stats available, so please add as you see fit!

Week 3 “Teams Trending Down”
Owensboro (5A) – Down
– While I realize OCATH is your rival, this is a foundation jarring loss to me. To be up 11 in the second half with as many weapons as you have and to (what appears from afar) have no answer at the end of the game is very concerning. You know you will be tested this coming week! Regroup and come out fired up on Friday Red Devils!!!
Graves County (5A) – Down – I just can’t get over the fact that Graves was given 7 additional offensive possessions and still lost the game by 11 points! Just one to burn the film and start new! I think you can beat Paducah Tilghman, but you will have to really have a great week of practice with better execution to give yourself a shot next week! Rise up Eagles!

Teams “Trending Up”
Owensboro Catholic (2A) – Up
– If I said the Aces win on Friday night was the biggest across the state – would I be wrong coming from a 2A school beating a 5A school standpoint? You tell me! Regardless the Aces are high as a kite right now and rightfully so! This is the type of win that will change your season (for both teams really)! I look for the Aces to be very sharp next week when their old Coach comes calling! Go Aces!!!
Henderson County (6A) – Up – The Colonels are quietly starting to put some solid wins together! Played Evansville Reitz tough (lost by 6) and blew out Evansville North and Christian County! With the way their district is playing out, they could have a chance to challenge Daviess County for that District Championship! Keep it up Hendo!!!


Calloway County – With the Lakers 19-14 win vs Metcalfe County last Friday night, it marks their first win since October 21, 2016 vs Logan County. Congratulations Coach Chris Champion & Laker Nation!

Fulton County – The Pilots absolutely annihilated Poor ole’ Fulton City 70 to ZERO! While I’m happy for the Pilots on one hand, was a 70 burger really necessary? I think not! Come on man…

Defense is Optional – Marshall County hung a 70 spot on Ballard Memorial while the Bombers put up 52 big ones in return!!! That’s a combined 122 points! Holy Hemlock Batman! Maybe this one was played on Nintendo instead of on the gridiron!

Muhlenberg County – The Mustangs defeated Hopkins County Central 14-6 on Friday Night! Congrats to them! The Mustangs have 6A size and roughly 4A talent. No shame there as they continue to compete well and can likely compete for 3rd or 4th in their district this season! Good luck Mustangs!