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Bluegrasspreps' Eastern Kentucky Power Rankings 9-1


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1. Johnson Central Golden Eagles (4A, 2-0)- The Golden Eagles are comfortably in the catbird seat after an impressive win over Capital, WV as well as seeing the same Lafayette team they dismantled play Scott County tough.


2. Belfry Pirates (3A, 2-0)- The Pirates defense rose to the occasion in the 2nd Half and the Belfry playmakers made plays defeating LCA. The Pirates get an off week before getting a very tough test in Ohio.



3. Corbin Redhounds (4A, 2-0)- Corbin is getting good at winning over Tennessee teams in their Pigskin Classic, this time knocking off a well-regarded Notre Dame team from Chattanooga. The Hounds look to continue their heavy-handed advantage over Pulaski County.


4. Pikeville Panthers (1A, 2-0)- Pikeville is starting to creep up on the big school powers. The Panthers obliterated Mingo Central, WV and will look to stymie Paintsville’s momentum.



5. Bell County Bobcats (3A, 2-0)- Knox Central was expected to be one of Bell’s stiffest challenges and the Bobcats passed the exam 22-8. Expect South Laurel to offer a far easier path to victory.


6. Somerset Briarjumpers (2A, 2-0)- Somerset’s Offense appears to be in mid-season form and their Defense is playing just fine. The Jumpers look to avenge a 2018 loss to Beechwood and hand the Tigers their consecutive defeat at the hands of an EKY team.


7. Ashland Tomcats (3A, 2-0)- Ashland barely broke a sweat against Boyd County and now roll forward. George Washington , WV is always quality competition it seems, but the expectation is certainly that the Tomcats emerge 3-0.


8. Pulaski County Maroons (5A, 1-1)- Pulaski County bounced back from their Week 1 loss to survive a scare against Wayne County. The Maroons will get Corbin next with a chance to earn major RPI points for down the road.


9. Paintsville Tigers (1A, 2-0)- The Tigers sent shockwaves throughout Class 1A by going to a neutral site and knocking off the reigning back to back 1A Champs Beechwood. With Pikeville up next, Paintsville can become the front runner in 1A overnight with a win.



10. Russell Red Devils (3A, 2-0)- Complete and total domination. The Red Devils wanted to enter the Power Rankings and they made their presence felt by blowing out rival Raceland. There is no rest for the wicked, Ironton is always a tough team especially on the road.


11. Breathitt County Bobcats (2A, 2-0)- Breathitt County needed to make a statement against South Laurel and they did just that by pounding the Cardinals early and often. Magoffin County can make late dinner reservations, expect Breathitt to put them away this week early and quick.


12. Williamsburg Yellowjackets (1A, 2-0)- Williamsburg won the battle of the Jackets and took care of Middlesboro with yet another Offensive explosion. Though it may not be the Game of the Week, the game against Leslie County may be one of the best match-ups this week.


13. Knox Central Panthers (4A, 0-2)- Knox Central is keeping it competitive, but after back to back losses the Panthers would love a big win. Southwestern will be tough, but for once Knox Central will enter as the team expected to win.



14. Wayne County Cardinals (4A, 1-1)- Wayne County battled Pulaski County until the end, but just simply could not get enough firepower. The Cardinals get ole District foe Rockcastle County next and there is no love lost between these two programs.


15. Raceland Rams (1A, 1-1)- It was a humbling night against Russell that left the Rams wishing they had what other EKY 1A teams had this weekend. Rowan County should afford them the ability to rebound.


Three Big Winners:


Harlan County Black Bears (4A, 2-0)- The win over Hazard allowed them to see the field and get some competitive reps in. With Knox Central’s confidence wavering, Harlan County can continue to accumulate wins starting with Martin County.


Martin County Cardinals (2A, 2-0)- Wins have not been easy to come by in recent years for the team formerly known as Sheldon Clark. A win over Magoffin County has the Cardinals on a trajectory where a 5-5 season is a real possibility.


Whitley County Colonels (5A, 1-1)- After a tough loss to Corbin, defeating a quality for from the Volunteer State was what the doctor ordered. Whitley now embarks on a tough 4-game stretch where they can make a name for themselves.


Three Tough Losses:


Pike Central Hawks (3A, 1-1)- The Hawks’ Offense went from unstoppable to sputtering in the span of a week with their loss to rival Shelby Valley. Pike Central had a drive and a chance, but just could not make the big play down the stretch.


Harlan Green Dragons (1A, 0-2)- It was bad enough that Harlan had to take a forfeit loss to open the season, but losing to perennially struggling Berea is an indicator that Harlan’s best days are behind them


Bath County Wildcats (2A, 1-1)- A year removed from a historical high water mark, the Wildcats have already been brought to earth with a 40-7 shelling at the hands of Rowan County. Bath needs a win over Powell County or they may be staring at flipping their win/loss total.


Player of the Week:


RB Isaac Dixon, Belfry- Dixon is starting to make a case for being the top player in East Kentucky and Friday’s win over a ranked 2A LCA exhibited exactly why. Dixon led the way with 28 carries for 207 yards and a pair of TD’s. Perhaps his biggest role was not reflected in the stats at all. With the Belfry Offense struggling to get going in a 26-20 game, Dixon assumed the role of QB in the pistol formation and led Belfry on a 98-yard drive.


Game of the Week:


#4 Pikeville Panthers at #9 Paintsville Tigers- No Class 1A teams, or for that matter arguably any small school teams, will enter on an emotional high like these two teams. Paintsville made a statewide statement against Beechwood, and Pikeville made a statement that crossed the borders into a second state all together. The winner puts themselves in prime position to be the #1 overall RPI seed down the road.

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How does Dixon compare to other Belfry greats at this point in their careers? He's barely into his junior year and he's already an "All-3A" and EKY player of the year caliber player.


Good question and one that is hard to quantify.


Belfry has had several bell-cow Fullbacks like Austin Hatfield, Derek Wellman, etc. They have had some exciting big play Halfbacks like Taveon Hunter, Xondre Willis, the Caudill brothers, and David Jones. They have even had a few jumbo backs that were basically talented Fullbacks playing Halfback like Dustin May and Ivan Lee.


Dixon is a different animal than Belfry is used to. With the Halfbacks it was more about quickness or explosion, with the Fullbacks it has been about Power and finish... Dixon does it all.


The two names that come to mind for me are Doug Howard and Thomas Varney. I am not sure I am ready to put the pressure of a Doug Howard comparison who most Belfry fans consider the best HB to ever wear the Red & White, but Dixon is probably the closest Belfry fans have seen to Howards' running style.


Thomas Varney stands out to me because he is kind of the forgotten Pirate. He was a key piece in 2007 and 2008 on very good teams, but in 2009 he was playing on perhaps the weakest Belfry team in the past 25 years and Haywood basically reinvented parts of his Offense to capitalize on his skill set. They used the Wildcat and if I am not mistaken there was a game where Varney literally scored a TD four different ways, I want to say that year he scored by running, throwing, receiving, returning a punt, returning a kick, and returning an INT.


Dixon has a little of that with him as well. This is not a Belfry line that is going to be mentioned as one of the All-Time greats, so you have seen Haywood modify parts of his Offense to cater to the talent of his backs, specifically Dixon.


If Dixon stays healthy, he has a chance to write his own legacy.

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@ATLCat, that's a great list of names. As an outsider to Belfry football, Howard is a personal favorite. I'm sure you're no stranger to this video, but for anyone who never saw Howard play, watch the video below. Especially the play beginning at around 1:09. Hellacious stiff arm.



As for Dixon, he's my favorite kind of player - tough, high football IQ, and plays with great effort. He doesn't seem like a kid that's content to just rely on his God given abilities, of which he has plenty. He's a gamer who always seems to be in the middle of something.

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