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Class 4A Notebook (8/24)


DragonFire
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Three out of the top 10 teams in the BGP Preseason 4A Rankings were off this week, but we got started with a marquee matchup that was perhaps disappointing if you were looking for a close battle, but it was very eye opening in regards to who might potentially represent the west in December. I am speaking of course, of the South Warren/John Hardin game at WKU. Each team is hoping that they will return to Houchen-Smith Stadium for the state finals in December, and after the first week, South Warren appears to be the clear front-runner. After a bit of a stalemate in the first quarter, South Warren broke things open in rapid fashion. McElwain got a scoop and score for the Spartans, then a bad punt snap led to a safety to make it 9-0. Early in the second quarter Ryder Litten accounted for one of his four TDs on the day, hitting McElwain for a 5 yard score, before an onside kick and 41 yard bomb to Cummings on a halfback pass made it 23-0 and essentially put the game out of reach. It was a thunderous statement for the veteran South Warren team that still had some doubters after moving up from 3A. John Hardin is an established name and while never winning a title, has always been at the tops of the ranks. It put South Warren in contention for the number 1 ranking and put John Hardin on notice that they have work to do.

 

The only other top 10 team to fall was Warren Central, which could find nothing offensively against a stout Owensboro team that looks to make noise in the 5A scene. Central only managed roughly 100 yards in falling 29-7 at WKU, and begin an arduous 4 game road trip, necessitated by renovations at their school. They’ll be facing a hungry McCracken County team, eager to put the memory of a loss to much smaller Paducah Tilghman behind them.

 

Franklin County and North Oldham took care of business and then some, combining for a total 101-6 score in their victories over Shelby Valley and Western, respectively. The Franklin County Flyers had taken a bit of a step back offensively last year compared to the ridiculous totals they usually put up, but right out of the gate put up their highest total since 2012. North Oldham put up 5 straight shutouts last season, and started this year with one over the team that broke that string last year. It’s a good first step to erasing that memory of Owensboro.

 

Hopkinsville got themselves into the discussion with a strong 48-21 win over Graves County, a finalist in 5A a season ago. The Tigers may have emerged as the favorites in District 1. It’s even more impressive when you consider that it was their first action since the tragic death of senior Jay’Von Quarles just a week before.

 

The most significant win from the fringe comes from Scott, which took down 2A #4 Newport Central Catholic 8-7. The Eagles lost 4 of their final 5 last year, and this is a gigantic boost in beating the highly regarded Toroughbreds for the first time in 16 years. Scott pulled out the win courtesy of a fumble return by Gage Tucker, a massive defensive lineman that rumbled 41 yards for a score, followed by QB Danny Fitzgerald’s keeper for the two point conversion. Newport Central Catholic was missing their start back Jacob Smith, but Scott surely won’t hand anything back to them.

 

The game of the week to come is probably a toss-up between Ashland’s opener against 1A #2 Raceland or Bourbon County’s matchup with 5A #5 Southwestern. Ashland squeaked out a victory against smaller Raceland 41-35 a season ago, when stud Quenton Baker rushed for 188 yards on 18 carries, 4 of them scores. Southwestern started their year by smashing Harlan County 57-0, and will be a proving ground for Bourbon County.

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