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BluegrassPreps Football Rankings (10/26)

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Class 1A

Last week the Top 10 all held serve but we knew this week would be different with two games featuring top ten teams facing each other in district battles. 

First up was the big move of the week. The Raceland Rams came off the mat of a tough start to the year and delivered a blow to last week's number 2 ranked Paintsville Tigers. The Rams are a very young team. Close to half of their starting defense is freshmen. It is looking like those young players are getting better every week as they gain experience. Paintsville has some size up front and Raceland's two freshmen defensive linemen more than held their own. This game was a slugfest throughout. It came down to the wire - literally. Raceland had the ball with one second left and decided to go for the field goal. A 34 yard field goal attempt was stretching the limits for Raceland's kicker. After two ice the kicker timeouts by Paintsville, JR kicker Peyton Isom used his old school toe kicking style and screeched a low liner just over the crossbar for the huge 23-20 win. That win over the consensus #2 team in 1A along with one of the best strength of schedule ratings in 1A jumps Raceland all the way up to #3 in this week's rankings. 

The other Top Ten face off featured Crittenden County traveling to Rhea Stadium, the always tough to play in home field of the Russellville Panthers. Crittenden County had lofty pre-season billing here at BGP but their season opening shutout loss to Caldwell County cast some doubt. The Rockets eliminated those doubts impressively in this game. The Rockets put it all together and rolled over Russellville 47-0. 

There is a strong slate of games on the agenda for the 1A Top Ten this week. Check out this week's lineup of games below. Every team in the Top Ten except for idle #1 Pikeville has a strong opponent. There are almost certainly going to be some losses this week in 1A. Next week's Top Ten will be interesting to see after this week's games are played.

1. Pikeville - OPEN

2. Louisville Holy Cross at 2A Walton-Verona

3. Raceland at 3A Lawrence County

4. Kentucky Country Day at #8 Bethlehem

5. Paintsville - OPEN

6. Newport Central Catholic vs. 2A #3 Beechwood

7. Crittenden County at 2A #9 Hancock County

8. Bethlehem vs. #4 Kentucky Country Day

9. Williamsburg vs. 4A Perry County Central

10. Campbellsville vs. 2A Washington County

 

Class 2A

Perhaps the biggest loser last week was whoever had to keep the KHSAA scoreboard updated. Cancelations were plenty and last minute games required addition in a topsy-turvy week that didn't lack for drama on the field in the games played as well. Fresh off planting their stake in the top of the class, Lexington Christian Academy needed a score in the final minute to survive a valiant effort by Danville to force a three-way tie. Mayfield also needed to late heroics to squeeze past Murray in Overtime.

Beechwood is perhaps the hottest team in the class as they made short work of Newport. The Tigers will look to finish off the other team from the town with levee as they take on historic small school rival Newport Central Catholic. Somerset looks for potential key RPI points (barring they reach the Regional Finals) if they can knock off 4A Corbin in a big Southern Kentucky showdown.

West Carter stepped up in class for a last minute add against 5A Boone County, but despite the win the Comets didn't exactly win over the masses. West Carter's best chance to make a statement comes this week with a stout 3A Russell up next. Hancock County will highlight the slate in the Western precincts as their unblemished record will be tested by a solid 1A Crittenden County squad.

1. Lexington Christian Academy vs. 5A South Oldham

2. Somerset vs. 4A #5 Corbin

3. Beechwood at 1A #6 Newport Central Catholic 

4. Mayfield vs. 4A Madisonville- North Hopkins 

5. Danville vs. Shelby Valley

6. West Carter at 3A #5 Russell

7. Breathitt County at 3A Pike Central

8. Murray at 4A Calloway County

9. Hancock County vs. 1A #7 Crittenden County

10. Caldwell County vs. 3A Trigg County

 

Class 3A

What does two days notice, half a squad, and a road trip to Log Mountain get you? If you are the red hot Ashland Tomcats: a perch at the top of the BluegrassPreps Class 3A rankings. Ashland's previously scheduled game with Greenup County was postponed due to Covid-19. Bell County had a similar cancellation with Estill County. On Friday, Ashland and Bell agreed to play on Saturday, but Ashland took just forty players due to lack of buses. It didn't matter in the least as Ashland dominated the homestanding Bobcats, winning 35-0. Now ranked #1, there are questions as to who will be the next opponent for the Tomcats. Games with Spring Valley (WV) and Boyd County have been cancelled, although there are rumors of preliminary scheduling talks with both Pikeville and West Carter. We shall see.

The second marquee matchup in Class 3A went sideways from the get go. Elizabethtown was scheduled to play at Bardstown on Friday but due to bad weather, the game was pushed to Saturday night. Elizabethtown then proceeded to intercept Bardstown quarterback Brady Clark four times in the first half on the way to a 33-6 victory. Fourth-ranked E-town will have another tough matchup this week when they host North Bullitt.

DeSales drops from first to third in this weeks rankings in part because of a lack of data. The Colts have been sidelined by Covid-19 for most of October, having suited up only once. They'll look to get back on the field this week against Meade County. That could change, however, as DeSales has three district opponents they have not played. Also, with Jefferson County being deemed a "red" county and JCPS cancelling games this week, no official word has come about whether Louisville private schools will be allowed to play. DeSales is likely one of the best teams in Class 3A but circumstances out of their control have prevented the Colts from showing.

This week's Game of the Week matches second-ranked Belfry at 4A #1 Johnson Central. Two old rivals and perennial state championship favorites typically square off in the season's final game, although with the additional week placed on schedules this year it will be the penultimate week. Belfry has won four of their last fives games, all against district opponents, with the one loss being a heartbreaker to 6A powerhouse North Hardin. Johnson Central is undefeated and outscoring opponents by six touchdowns per game. Mountain football at its finest!

1. Ashland -- OPEN

2. Belfry at 4A #1 Johnson Central

3. DeSales vs. 6A Meade County

4. Elizabethtown vs. 5A #7 North Bullitt

5. Russell vs. 2A #6 West Carter

6. Mercer County at Western Hills

7. Christian Academy - Louisville at 5A Bullitt Central

8. Bardstown -- OPEN

9. Rockcastle County vs. McCreary Central

10. Taylor County at 4A Bourbon County

 

Class 4A

In a week with three marquee matchups on paper, only one lived up to its billing. Johnson Central continued to look every bit the #1 team that they are in a 62-0 blowout of Letcher County Central. The Golden Eagles needed only 21 rushes to rack up 331 yards on the ground with five touchdowns.  Meanwhile, Mr. Football candidate Braedon Sloan sat out Wayne County's matchup with Corbin, and the Redhounds ran right over Wayne County in a 43-6 victory.  That left #4 Central vs. #3 Franklin County.  Franklin County held a 9-6 lead at the half and 16-6 after three, but they would not score again.  Central converted a pair of fourth down conversions on a drive to start the fourth, drawing within 16-12 after a Duncan 9 yard TD run.  The Flyers turned it over on downs in Central territory with 3:42 left, and the Jackets converted on 4th and 1 at the 3 with 8.3 seconds left on a Williams run, sealing the 18-16 win. The win means a flip in our rankings with Central moving to #3 and means the likely rematch in November will be in Louisville.  Elsewhere, Logan County and Knox Central move back into the rankings.  Logan County toughed out a 14-6 victory over Calloway County in the difficult District 1, while Knox Central took their spot back from Lincoln County with a dominating 42-22 win. The games to watch this week are Johnson Central vs. 3A Belfry and Corbin at 2A Somerset.  Each matchup features ranked teams in different classes.  Belfry may well be the only team to realistically challenge Johnson Central before the state finals.

1. Johnson Central vs. 3A #2 Belfry

2. Boyle County - OPEN

3. Central - OPEN

4. Franklin County at North Oldham

5. Corbin at 2A #2 Somerset

6. Lexington Catholic at 6A Lafayette

7. Wayne County vs. 5A North Laurel

8. Russell County - OPEN

9. Logan County at Hopkins County Central (10/31)

10. Knox Central at 5A South Laurel

 

Class 5A

We may have waited a little longer than expected, but the Frederick Douglass/Scott County tilt is finally upon us. The Broncos and Cardinals have combined to manhandle the rest of the district by an aggregate score of 273-38, but now it's time to settle the pecking order at the top and decide home field for the inevitable rematch. 

Bowling Green will load up its buses and head to Louisville for the third time this season. This is a "gird your loins" situation for the Purples. You love the scheduling ambition, and BG won't show up and just roll over, but the Shamrocks appear to be in a league of their own this year. A primary goal this week should probably be to escape Louisville with their health intact. 

Most games involving ranked teams in Week 7 were blowouts. Frederick Douglass, Covington Catholic, South Warren, Bowling Green, and Owensboro won their games by an average of 39 points, and that includes just one quarter of play by Douglass. The only competitive game in the Top Ten last week was, fittingly, an intense rivalry game between ranked opponents. Tristan Cox hoisted Pulaski County up on his broad shoulders and drove the ball down Southwestern's throat to propel his team past Southwestern. Cox's scoring plunge with six seconds remaining punctuated the Maroons' win in enemy territory. Accordingly, Pulaski was the week's big mover, sliding up two spots to #8. 

And lastly, if Highlands has given you severe whiplash this season, you may be entitled to compensation. First came the low of being running clocked at home by Boyle County. Next was the 180° turnaround against Conner and the renewed optimism that came with it. Then we had the savage reminder that CovCath still wears the pants in that rivalry. Now, Rome is burning after a very poor showing at home against Cooper. The Birds tumble from the rankings this week, and most likely, for good this season.

1. Frederick Douglass at Scott County

2. Covington Catholic at 6A Simon Kenton

3. South Warren -- OPEN

4. Bowling Green at 6A #1 Trinity

5. Owensboro vs. Breckenridge County

6. Scott County vs. #1 Frederick Douglass

7. North Bullitt at 3A #4 Elizabethtown

8. Pulaski County at 6A Tates Creek

9. Southwestern at 6A Madison Central

10. Fairdale -- OPEN

 

Class 6A

Trinity (5-0) rolled over winless Eastern with a early running clock before the final score of 48-3. Trinity will host 5A #4 Bowling Green and possibly Trinity’s biggest test yet.

Male (5-1) completed a sweep of their district after defeating Bullitt East 49-0. Male will be open this week due to JCPS Covid shutdown.

North Hardin (6-0) had their game with Central Hardin cancelled because of weather and has been rescheduled for this week.

Manual (3-1) returned from a two week quarantine and took out their lack of game frustrations on Butler 55-0. Manual will be open this week due to JCPS Covid shutdown. They just can’t catch a break because of Covid.

St. Xavier (3-2) have won two straight after defeating PRP 50-13. St. X is open this week and hope to add a game.

Ballard (2-2) was open due to Covid cancellation and now open again due to JCPS Covid shutdown.

Henderson County (4-1) after winning four straight and upsetting McCracken County 21-14 has made their season debut in the Top Ten. Henderson County is open and hoping to add a game.

Bryan Station (6-1) are winners of 6 straight after a stellar defensive performance defeated Madison Central 21-0. Bryan Station will travel to one loss Paul Dunbar to determine who is king of 6A in Lexington.

McCracken County (4-2) struggled offensively in a 21-14 loss to Henderson County. McCracken County will travel to rival Paducah Tilghman.

Ryle (4-3) debuts in top 10 after beating Dixie Heights last week and beating Simon Kenton 42-15 this week. Ryle wants to keep riding the momentum as they host 5A Cooper.

1. Trinity vs. 5A #4 Bowling Green

2. Male - OPEN

3. North Hardin vs. Central Hardin

4. Manual - OPEN

5. St. Xavier -  OPEN 

6. Ballard - OPEN

7. Henderson County - OPEN

8. Bryan Station at Paul Dunbar

9. McCracken County at 3A Paducah Tilghman 

10. Ryle vs. 5A Cooper

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