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Class 5A Notebook (9/15): Freddy D(efense)


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In this age of offense, it's easy to overlook what's happening on the other side of the ball sometimes. Take Frederick Douglass for example: When you think of the Broncos, you tend to think of a high flying offensive machine that averaged 40 ppg last year with Cam Jones, DaMarco Fishback, a talented group of receivers, and one of the state's best offensive lines. Or this year's unit that's averaging 48 a game behind Josh McClurg, another talented receiving corp, and an offensive line boasting two of the best in the country at their positions. And they're roasting their opposition despite not putting together four quarters of play yet.


But the Broncos' defensive efforts during their brief existence can't go ignored, especially given what they've done to their first four opponents this season. Frederick Douglass has allowed all of fourteen points through four games and pitched three shutouts. Dating back to the start of last season, they've allowed 7 ppg in their last fifteen contests. They get after the quarterback, tallying either seven or nine and a half sacks - depending on which source you believe - on Friday against Dunbar. And the run defense has been stout, to say the least, allowing a paltry 27 yards per game. That's especially impressive when you consider they lost an FBS bound defensive lineman and three linebackers from last year's front seven.


Granted, they haven't exactly played murderers row, but the Broncos' defense hasn't had any unexpected hiccups or off nights yet. They've shined every game thus far. But the ultimate test for FD's run defense still awaits. You know Scott County has to be frothing at the mouth to get physical with their southern neighbor and district rival. And Lexington Catholic is sure to test the limitations of the secondary on the final Friday of the regular season.


As they continue to hang forty, fifty, and sixty points on their opponents, the offense will stand out the most. But Frederick Douglass' defense could very well tell the tale on how this season plays out for them.




Around The Rankings


We're going to keep this short and sweet, because the overwhelming domination displayed by the 5A top ten last week allows for it. To say that this was a ho-hum slate of games would be quite an understatement. Only one ranked team - #10 Greenwood - won by less than three touchdowns. The combined score afflicted by numbers 1-9 in the rankings upon their opposition was 392-35, or an average score of 43-4 per contest. Both Highlands and Pulaski County were challenged to varying degrees before settling on 28-7 wins over Simon Kenton and Henry Clay, respectively. But Frederick Douglass, CovCath, Scott County, South Warren, Bowling Green, South Oldham, and Owensboro rolled from the opening kickoff against overmatched opponents.




Scanning The Periphery


- Defense continues to carry the day for the Cooper Jaguars. Friday's 36-0 rout of Campbell County was Cooper's second shutout in four games, and they've only allowed 27 points so far this season. Only Frederick Douglass, South Oldham, and Owensboro have surrendered fewer. That stingy defense will be tested next week versus perennial small school power DeSales. A win over the Colts could go a long way toward propelling the Jags into the top 10.


- Grayson County moved to 4-0 on the season with a 22-14 win over Fort Campbell. It's the second straight 4-0 start for the Cougars and the fifth such occasion overall under Coach Smart. This is where they came back to earth last season, though. Last year's hot start was followed up with an 0-3 run that featured blowout losses to South Warren and Bowling Green. With Breckinridge County and Muhlenberg County coming up in the next two weeks, Grayson has a real shot at 6-0 before welcoming Graves County, a team the Cougars bounced from the playoffs in 2018.


- Woodford County has already equalled its highest win total (3) from the last four years. They won three games in 2015 and 2016 before a winless 2017 and just two wins last year. A big improvement has occurred on the defensive side of the ball, where the Yellowjackets have allowed an average of 15 ppg. This is a unit that has been especially problematic for Woodford County in recent years, allowing 35+ points on thirty different occasions in the last four years. The schedule has been suspect, but they've done what they had to do so far to put themselves in position for a .500 season, or perhaps better.


- Fairdale has had its share of offensive explosions over the years, but you have to go back to pre-1998 (as far back as the KHSAA scoreboard goes) to find a four game stretch where the Bulldogs scored more points than the 193 (48 ppg) they've dropped in 2019. Quarterback Trey McCoy has seemingly come out of nowhere to be one of 5A's leading passers through the first four weeks of the season. He's already surpassed his yardage total from last year and doubled his number of touchdown throws. Fairdale has thrived on a big play passing game between McCoy and wide receivers Tyjaun Walter and Matthew Morgeson. They've combined to hook up for 597 yards and seven TDs on 23 receptions (26 yards per catch). Sitting at 3-1, the Bulldogs face 4A Valley on Friday looking for win #4 in and row and a chance to hit their district schedule with a full head of steam.


- The "Q Effect" hit a roadblock on Friday night. Ohio County's stellar running back had by far his worst game of the season against Daviess County, totalling just 30 yards rushing on ten carries. Q'Daryius did, however, account for the Eagles' lone score in the 39-6 loss.




GOTW For Week 5


Bowling Green vs. St. Xavier - Kevin Wallace played no small part in turning Bowling Green into a blueblood program, winning five state titles from 2011-2016. He's now attempting to restore the shimmer to another blueblood program in Louisville. The Purples have been rolling ever since that season opening loss to Father Ryan, and St. X dusted itself off nicely after getting hammered by Male, rebounding to shutout Central. This series has been played continuously since 2011, with the average score being 25-23 in BG's favor. Expect another competitive chapter this week.

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