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Bluegrasspreps' Class 1A Football Playoff Preview


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Region 1


This region has a very different look and feel this year. The king of this region the past few years is now playing in 2A which means we will crown a new regional winner in region 1 this year. Despite the king being gone, it looks like he has just been replaced by a new king. Russellville is the team that gave Mayfield its toughest challenges. Now that Mayfield is gone, Russellville is the heir apparent.


As we look at the brackets, Russellville and Campbellsville will have no trouble winning in round one and meeting in round two. Early in the year, this was shaping up as a big challenge for Russellville. Injuries have hit Campbellsville and they have lost 3 of their last 4. Russellville will win this game and move on to the regional final.


The other side of this regional bracket is certainly going to have Crittenden County facing Bethlehem in round two. This should be a tight game, but Bethlehem looks like a 7-10 point winner. That will move Bethlehem into the regional final versus Russellville.


The regional final will go just how Russellville hoped it would at the start of the year. Bethlehem may put up more of a fight than some expect, but Russellville will pull away for the 2-3 TD win and get that regional title they have waited so long for.


Projected Region 1 Championship - Russellville 35 Bethlehem 14



Region 2


Beechwood has owned this region in the 6 class era, losing only once in that time frame. This year the region has a different look as redistricting changed the makeup of district 3. That change is not going to change the outcome in this region.


District 3 winner Holy Cross (Louisville) will have no trouble with Dayton in round one. However, their round two opponent is not as easy to see. Ludlow versus Kentucky Country Day will be a closely contested round one game. Ludlow is the higher seed but has not posted a quality win this year. That causes us to go with the upset here and move Kentucky Country Day into a round two rematch game with Holy Cross. Unfortunately for Kentucky Country Day, the result this time will not be any better than it was the first time and Holy Cross will get the win.


Beechwood will have no trouble in round one and their round two opponent also is tough to pick. Frankfort has had an unusually tough season with only two wins but they will work their playoff magic and get the win over 3-win Bellevue in round one. That sets up another playoff battle with Beechwood, although the new district will make it happen one round sooner than usual. Frankfort will not be the same type of challenger this year as in years past, and Beechwood will roll into the regional championship.


It has been eight years since Beechwood faced Holy Cross in the playoffs. Beechwood won that game 42-7 on the way to their 10th state title. The result in this game will be about the same and Beechwood hopes that the results after that game in 2007 repeat this year also.


Projected Region 2 Championship - Beechwood 49 Holy Cross 14



Region 3


This region also has a couple of interesting first round games, along with our two remaining undefeated teams in 1A. Paris will not have to worry about round one, as they have been given a bye due to Phelps dropping out of the playoffs. Their round two opponent will be Fairview, although Nicholas County could make it interesting and will not go down without a battle in round one. This brings us to our first big upset in 1A. Paris is undefeated but their schedule has been weak. Fairview will be their toughest opponent of the season and Fairview's tougher schedule will get them the upset over Paris.


On the other side of the bracket, favorite Paintsville will walk into the second round. They will have a challenging opponent there as Bishop Brossart faces Raceland in round one on the other half of the bracket. Raceland's season was heading south fast until they got a nice win over 3A Russell last week. The long road trip and being lower rated will not stop Raceland from getting an easier than some expect win over Brossart. That sets up a rematch against Paintsville. It was ugly for the Rams the first time. They may make it closer this time but they are not going to upset Paintsville.


That win gets Paintsville another rematch with a super district opponent, Fairview. Paintsville had little trouble with Fairview the first time and they will not have trouble with them this time either.


Projected Region 3 Championship - Paintsville 42 Fairview 20



Region 4


This region has as big a favorite as region 2 did. Pikeville looks to have no major threats in front of them. Round one will be a walkover for Pikeville and Williamsburg in round two will not be a challenge.


On the other side Harlan and Hazard will win easily in round one. On paper the round two game between those two might look to favor 8-2 Harlan. However, Harlan has played the weakest schedule in the state and Hazard will have no trouble with them in round two.


The regional championship will have Pikeville once again facing district rival Hazard. The result will be a repeat of the district game with Pikeville getting the easy win.


Projected Region 4 Championship - Pikeville 48 Hazard 31


Projected Semifinal - Beechwood 42 Russellville 21

Projected Semifinal - Paintsville 35 Pikeville 28


Projected State Final - Beechwood 42 Paintsville 35

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Great analysis, RAM. In Region 2, I know that KCD really wants a second shot at Holy Cross and may look past Ludlow. Big mistake if that's the case. Here's my breakdown of the advantages both sides have in that first round game:



Home Field-- Ludlow


QB--Ludlow (Justin Blackburn is a tough, heady, football savvy young man who "does it all on the FB field)


RBs & Recievers--KCD (deep at both positions)


Line--Ludlow(looks to be size advantage here)


Defense--Ludlow(opponent points scored much lower than KCD this year..KCD has struggled defensively with teams that have a mobile, "tuck and run" QB)


Kicking Game--KCD (kickoffs especially)


Strength of Schedule--KCD (Ludlow played Beechwood & Paris, two powerhouse 1a teams.....KCD played Lexington Christian, Adair County, Washington Co, Bethlehem & Campbellsville, teams with .500 or better records in higher classifications or 1a teams with winning records)


Litkenhous Ratings--KCD(does anybody really believe in these at all, are they predictive at all?)


X Factors--Ludlow(Blackburn is the biggest difference maker in the game, can take it on his shoulders....and KCD is YOUNG, 9 Sophomore starters on Defense and 4 on Offense)


Rest and readiness--Ludlow (week off to prepare....KCD emotional final game with Senior week and death of player from 2014 season and huge comeback win vs Campbellsville has likely drained this team)


CONCLUSION--Wonderful matchup, advantages on both sides. LUDLOW BY A TD

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I haven't had a chance to watch Beechwood, with that said, I have seen Paintsville in a couple of occasions as sincerely hope this group can get it done and bring the title home. Paintsville will go virtually unchallenged until the Semi final matchup with Pikeville IMO. Hope to be able to go to BG and watch 2 teams out of Johnson Co.

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Is Beechwood really 21 points better then Russellville? I thought Russellville was going to be a stronger contender then that.


I thing the Red Cats are 21 better this year. Go figure, Russ plays the lights out of my MF Cards, we move out and Russ does not appear to be as good. Make no mistake though, Russ is always good enough to be dangerous on the right night and at their place on that strange field

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