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1A Notebook 9/26 - The Mixing Bowl


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District play is here for some and just ahead for others as the non district part of the season is about to end for a few weeks. There have been enough games played now that we are in the middle of the mixing bowl. This team beat that team who lost to the other team. Then you have teams that have lost games that it now looks like they should have won and vice versa. We take all these ingredients, stir and sift and try to figure out what we have cooking. Let's see what the 1A kitchen is putting together for us.


New Ingredients from Last Week


Beechwood had no trouble recovering from the high powered beating 5A #1 Covington Catholic put on them as they did the same and more to 2A Covington Holy Cross. If you want to know how lopsided the Beechwood 62-0 win was, sample this stat line. Beechwood QB Brayden Burch threw 5 passes, 4 were caught for touchdowns for a total of 194 yards. Yes, every pass that was caught went for a touchdown. Enough said.


Kentucky Country Day added some flavor with a high scoring offensive battle against 2A #4 Lexington Christian. Both teams went for over 500 yards of offense but Lexington Christian found the end zone a few more times, winning 69-38. Despite the loss, Kentucky Country Day served up a big platter of points against a high quality opponent, displaying to the rest of 1A that they are a force to be reckoned with this year. The Bearcats held on to the #2 ranking off of this performance.


Some mystery ingredients were thrown in when Hazard took on 2A Prestonsburg for their first game without the injured Smith brothers. For those wondering what this new Hazard lineup would taste like, it was a lot like the old Hazard cooking as the Bulldogs chewed up Prestonsburg 29-7 and stayed put at #3 in the 1A rankings. Hazard QB Bailey Blair rushed for 142 yards and went 12-18 for 141 yards passing to lead Hazard.


The #4 Paintsville Tigers brought a smorgasbord of rushing into the mix with four different RB's getting good yardage to stuff 3A Lawrence County 43-14. Tyrese Allen was at the head of the rushing buffet with 10 carries for 117 yards. Tanner Smith added 67 yards and 3 TD's on just 8 carries.


The #5 Raceland Rams got roasted by Portsmouth West (OH) by a score of 27-21. This was a tough opponent and this game was a pickem, so no big surprise at this score. With the game being well contested against a tough opponent, the Rams were able to hang on to their #5 ranking.


Louisville Holy Cross was not able to do the same. Holy Cross was upset by Providence (IN) by a score of 17-14. This loss dropped Holy Cross from #6 to #7.


The beneficiary of the loss was our surprise team of the year in 1A, the #10 Ludlow Panthers. Ludlow hosted then 1A #7 Williamsburg and scorched the Yellow Jackets 39-28. Panther QB Justin Blackburn struggled passing the ball, but he rushed for 251 yards and 3 TD's to shoot the Panthers up to the #6 slot in 1A. Ludlow is 5-0 and the only undefeated team left in 1A. This result also dropped Williamsburg down to #10 in this week's 1A ranking.


Like Beechwood did in their win, #8 ranked Paris had zero problem with Berea, defeating them 68-0. Caden Vanhoose stepped in for Aaron Maggard this week at QB for Paris and went 7-7 for 145 yards and 5 TD's.


Our final top 10 team, #9 Pikeville, was open this week.


This Week's Menu


Four of the top ten teams are open this week so nothing being added to the mixing bowl by Kentucky Country Day, Paintsville, Louisville Holy Cross and Williamsburg. That doesn't mean we won't have some savory items to put into the rankings pot.


#1 Beechwood vs. 6A #6 Simon Kenton - The Tigers are not shy about taking on a challenge as they step into the 6A ranks and host #6 Simon Kenton. This will be one of the top games in the entire state this week. Beechwood is looking to be more competitive in this one than they were two weeks ago versus Covington Catholic.


#3 Hazard vs. #9 Pikeville - This is one of the key games of the season in 1A, especially now that Hazard has been forced to reshape themselves due to injuries. Pikeville has been forced to overcome their own set of injuries so they know very well what Hazard is dealing with. Pikeville is hoping the last three games versus top 5 ranked opponents have seasoned them into a team that is now ready to take on the best teams 1A has to offer.


#5 Raceland vs. 2A #6 Somerset - The Rams are the latest top ranked 1A team to face Somerset. The Briar Jumpers have wins over Hazard and Williamsburg along with a tough 7-0 loss to Beechwood. This game will be another 1A measuring cup of action for us to see where the Rams might compare versus the rest of the top teams in 1A.


#6 Ludlow vs. Bishop Brossart - The Panthers are undefeated but the Brossart Mustangs are eager to prove themselves in this game and move their team into the 1A top 10. Both teams have a win over 2A Newport but Ludlow won much more easily. Can the Panthers stay undefeated? A win here and the odds are Ludlow will enter their district battle in two weeks versus #1 Beechwood undefeated. That would be mighty tasty.


#8 Paris at Bracken County - The Polar Bears have only given up 14 points in their last four games. The Greyhounds have some speed that will test the Bracken County defense. This is a big district contest. Plus a win in this one just might move Bracken County back into the 1A top ten.




Let's serve up some info on players in 1A who are having special seasons.


Ludlow QB Justin Blackburn - Blackburn has rushed for 1,023 yards and passed for 627 yards. He is the leading rusher in 1A and has accounted for 24 TD's running and passing.


Bracken County RB Tad Fisher - Right behind Blackburn in the rushing race is Tad Fisher. The best news for Bracken County fans is Fisher is only a junior.


Williamsburg QB Alec Poore - Poore is the leading passer in 1A with over 1,200 yards passing and 17 TD throws in his first 5 games of the year.


Crittenden County QB Hunter Boone - The Rockets' high powered passing game is fueled by this outstanding junior. Boone is also over the 1,000 yard threshold in his first 5 games and is completing passes at a better than 60% rate.


Crittenden County WR Ethan Dossett - On the other end of those Boone passes is Dossett, who is averaging over 100 yards per game and better than 20 yards per catch.


Bishop Brossart WR Bryce Donnelly - Donnelly also is averaging better than 20 yards per catch and has scored 7 TD's.


For all the leaders in 1A, here is the link to the KHSAA stats: 217 KY Football Stat Leaders




Every team in the 1A top ten that is playing this week has a very tough opponent. Those results are sure to shake up our mixing bowl some more. Next week we will be into district play and will take a look at how the districts are expected to play out.

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Oustanding stuff, VOR! KCD is off this week, so the lineup of games to attend and enjoy from this list is mouth watering and impossible to choose from. Where's the helicopter when you need one. BW v SK, Ludlow v BB, and Hazard v Pikeville would be my top three if the chopper showed up in the driveway. You could probably do a half of BW v SK, Ludlow v BB given the NKY concentration.


Loved hearing about some of the standout individual performances in 1A --Poore and Blackburn have been doing this for several years!


I'd add two KCD Bearcats to the already excellent group--


QB Jackson Diaz for KCD--Completion rate of 63% on the year, 14 TDs, 1102 yards including 256 yards against LCA last Friday. And zero interceptions. All of this in an offense that has rushed for more yards than it has passing this year.


TE Josh Lifson--Already named Pre-Season All Louisville at the TE spot, playing in a balanced offense with a deep receiving corps where he averages less than 4 passes thrown to him a game, he's had 375 yards in catches, 4 TDs and pulls off grabs like this one, named the WLKY High School Play of the Week last Friday in Louisville and Southern Indiana.


Check out High School Playbook's Play of the Week for Sept. 22!


Good luck to all the 1A teams involved in tough, exciting games this week!

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