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Class 3A Notebook (8/23)


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Class 3A got off to an exciting start on opening weekend seeing two of the preseason top five garner big wins over ranked 6A opponents. Boyle County won the opening game of the Fort Harrod Bowl at Mercer County, defeating 6A #9 Central Hardin. The third-ranked Rebels had allowed a late Bruins score but stopped the ensuing two-point conversion attempt that would have forced a tie and likely sent the game into overtime. While there was much chatter on BGP leading up to the game, with some on both sides predicting lopsided victories, most would assess the matchup as even and will pinpoint both teams as reasonably ranked among their class.


In far western Kentucky on Saturday night, #5 Paducah Tilghman went to 6A #8 McCracken County and won 21-7. Tilghman, in their second year under Coach Mike Rogers, has been something of a mystery this offseason, with many wondering if the Blue Tornado were worthy of mention among the premier 3A programs. This week’s victory was the first of three huge tests for Tilghman, with Central Hardin visiting Paducah on August 28 and long-time rival Mayfield calling on the Tornado the next week.


In other Top 10 action, #2 Lexington Catholic pummeled Boone County 51-13, while #4 Central lost to 6A #4 Manual 28-10 in their annual season opener. Both the Knights and Yellowjackets appear to be capable of winning a state championship but perhaps it will take another performance to get a solid opinion on both teams. Lexington Catholic will return to action this Friday against another northern Kentucky team, this time the 6A Ryle Raiders fresh off an impressive win over Covington Catholic. Central will travel to southeastern Kentucky on Friday night to face 4A Knox Central.


Rounding out the top ten, #7 Corbin beat 5A Whitley County 35-14 while #8 Bell County handled county rival Middlesboro 41-7. Both Corbin and Bell are District 7 rivals and are considered co-favorites to win not only the district but also Region IV. Meanwhile, another eastern Kentucky club, #1 0 Lawrence County, took care of business against 4A Boyd County, winning 42-22. The only top ten team to fall on opening weekend was #9 Garrard County which lost a heartbreaker to 4A Shelby County, 31-30. The Lions had a late lead but the Rockets scored with just over two minutes to go and intercepted a pass deep in their own territory to seal the victory. It was the first season opening loss in either of Jerry Perry’s two terms at the helm in Lancaster.


Two top ten teams will begin play this weekend, with #1 Belfry hosting 6A Tates Creek in the Pike County Bowl and #6 Russell hosting 4A county rival Greenup County.


Outside the top ten, Elizabethtown followed up an impressive scrimmage showing against Christian Academy-Louisville with a resounding defeat of West Jessamine, 46-6. Adair County picked up where they left off last season with a win over Taylor County, 28-6. Turnovers doomed Caldwell County in what was an otherwise impressive showing against 5A #1 0 Christian County, where the Tigers lost 23-21. Bardstown, new to the class after a long run in 2A, was knocked around in their home opener by a solid 4A Spencer County club, 48-14. And likewise, Trigg County fell to 1A power Russellville, 48-19.


Other notable victors included Casey County, who defeated Powell County 36-13. Henry County beat Lincoln County 28-21 after surviving a bus flat on the way to the game. Knott County Central picked up an opening night win under new coach John Chapman, stopping East Ridge 33-28. And not a victory, but the West Carter Comets, something of a sleeper in northeast Kentucky, gave a strong performance at 1A state championship hopeful Raceland before falling 36-25.

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