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Voice of Reason

Bluegrass Preps Class 1A Preview

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COVID has taken its toll in Class 1A. In five of the eight districts there are fewer than four teams in the district bracket. That set up some byes for a number of teams in the first round. That said, every team except one that opted out of the playoffs in 1A was a four seed in their district. Duly noted. There are some interesting and competitive matchups lined up for round one. We will look at rounds one and two in this playoff preview.


 District 1 Seeding

1. Crittenden County

2. Russellville

 District 1 Storylines

Two teams opted out in District 1, with Fulton County dropping out just this week after the brackets were set. That was unfortunate as the Pilots had a solid chance at winning a round 1 district game scheduled against Russellville as evidenced by their one point loss to Russellville in the regular season. With Fulton County now out, both teams in District 1 get Friday off to prepare for a round 2 face off. 

District 1 Prediction

The resurgence of perennial 1A top ten Russellville has been a nice story in 1A this year. Unfortunately, Crittenden County has a team capable of a once in a decade level of success for the Rockets. Following a disappointing season opening shutout loss to Caldwell County, the Rockets ran off six straight wins including a 47-6 blasting of Russellville. Crittenden County is flying high and should have no problem winning District 1.


District 2 Seeding

1. Louisville Holy Cross

2. Bethlehem

3. Campbellsville

 District 2 Storylines

With Holy Cross getting a round 1 bye, the round 1 story is the rematch between two teams of Eagles, Campbellsville and Bethlehem. Bethlehem made a statement in the first game between these two with their star RB Ladarion Montgomery rushing for 216 yards and their defense holding Campbellsville to negative 26 yards rushing. That was certainly Campbellsville’s worst game of the year and they have to be eyeing this rematch with eagerness for redemption. This is a tough game to call and arguably the game of the week in 1A. We will cautiously give the edge to Bethlehem.

District 2 Prediction

Waiting for the winner will be top seed Holy Cross. The Cougars have put together a stellar season posting a 6-1 record and entering the postseason at #1 in KHSAA RPI in 1A. Regardless of who wins the game above, the Cougars look to be too strong for that winner. It won’t be easy for Holy Cross and an upset is definitely a possibility, but look for the Cougars to win District 2.


District 3 Seeding

1. Kentucky Country Day

2. Frankfort

3. Eminence

4. Berea 

District 3 Storylines

In District 3 we finally get to a district with two first round games. Kudos to Berea for taking on the challenge of facing the #2 team in KHSAA RPI, Kentucky Country Day. The other round 1 game sets up as a shoot out considering the 51-38 Frankfort win in the first meeting with Eminence. In that win Frankfort RB Azeno Williams rushed for 384 yards and 4 TD’s. Both teams average over 30 points per game. Look for Frankfort to win another shoot out. 

District 3 Prediction

Speaking of high scoring, Kentucky Country Day scored 42, 49 and 51 in their three regular season district wins. The Bearcats will be able to handle whoever makes it to this district championship game and move on to round 3.


District 4 Seeding

1. Newport Central Catholic

2. Ludlow

3. Dayton 

District 4 Storylines

Dayton started the season with 5 straight wins before falling to Newport Catholic, and then followed that with a tough 22-12 loss to Ludlow. Dayton has not won a playoff game since 1998, but they have a legitimate opportunity to break that streak this year. Ludlow may be the favorite but only slightly. This is another fun first round matchup.

District 4 Prediction

Newport Central Catholic dominated the district in regular season play. They will have three weeks to get ready and shake off back to back season ending shut out losses. With four TD regular season wins over both Ludlow and Dayton, the Thoroughbreds should have no worries about moving on to round 3.


District 5 Seeding

1. Bishop Brossart

2. Nicholas County

3. Paris

 District 5 Storylines

Nicholas County’s only loss this year was to Bishop Brossart in triple overtime. Paris only has one win but they have been competitive in every game except one and only lost by a 27-20 score in their first meeting with Nicholas County. A 1-5 team versus a 5-1 team looks lopsided but that first game result says Paris could pull off a big upset. Regardless of who wins that one, the district title game should also be a toss up.

District 5 Prediction

This is arguably the toughest district in 1A to predict. Any one of these three teams could win the district title. Nicholas County’s 5-1 record is tainted by four of the wins being over teams with one or zero wins, so don’t be misled by records. Bishop Brossart is the most battle tested team and they have wins over both Paris and Nicholas County. The Mustangs should be able to squeak out the win and move on to rounds 3.


District 6 Seeding

1. Raceland

2. Paintsville

3. Betsy Layne

 District 6 Storyline

Betsy Layne did not face Paintsville in the regular season but their one common opponent tells us the Bobcats are in trouble. Paintsville will have no problem in their tune up for the Raceland rematch. 

District 6 Prediction

Paintsville’s perfect record was ruined by Raceland’s last second wobbling low line drive field goal on the last play of the game. The Tigers will be out to avenge that loss. Until that loss, the Tigers looked like the team with the best chance of beating #1 Pikeville. The Tigers want that top challenger label back. We think they will earn it back with a win over Raceland at Raceland.


District 7 Seeding

1. Pikeville

2. Hazard

3. Phelps

4. Sayre


District 7 Storylines

There are storylines aplenty in this district. Did Hazard get back to Bulldogs football with their two season ending wins? Did Pikeville’s confidence and swagger get blown away in their big season ending loss to Lexington Christian? Just how good are the 8-0 Sayre Spartans? Hazard should repeat their regular season win over Phelps. Pikeville will show Sayre they still have a way to go to reach their mountain top.

District 7 Prediction

That will set up a familiar district title game with Pikeville hosting Hazard. Pikeville has dominated this rivalry in recent years and that is not going to change this year. Pikeville moves on to round 3.


District 8 Seeding

1. Williamsburg

2. Pineville

3. Harlan

4. Lynn Camp

 District 8 Storylines

COVID has been very tough on District 8. Only Pineville made it to a sixth game in the regular season. The Mountain Lions were able to get in all their district games and that gives us insight into the lay of the land here. The top two seeds are the clear favorites in their round 1 games. Harlan may be able to hang with Pineville for a quarter or so, but Pineville won by three TD’s in the regular season so don’t look for much more than that from Harlan. Williamsburg will have no trouble with Lynn Camp.

District 8 Prediction

When Williamsburg faced Pineville in the regular season, the Yellow Jackets were 0-2 and the Mountain Lions were 2-1. Those records meant nothing to Williamsburg as they stung Pineville 40-0. Williamsburg should have little trouble claiming another district title and moving on to round 3.

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Most interesting games tonight:

Campbellsville at Bethlehem- Two top ten teams play in round 1.

Sayre at Pikeville - How will the new kid on the block handle a trip to the top of the mountain in Class 1A?


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Round 1 Results:

Bethlehem 37 Campbellsville 19

Eminence 21 Frankfort 20

Kentucky Country Day 62 Berea 8

Ludlow 39 Dayton 20

Nicholas County 36 Paris 16

Paintsville 55 Betsy Layne 8

Pikeville 49 Sayre 14

Pineville 21 Harlan 14

Williamsburg 42 Lynn Camp 0

Phelps at Hazard 1 pm Saturday



Here is the link to the bracket:




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Here is the current lineup for this Friday:

Russellville at #3 Crittenden County

#7 Bethlehem at #6 Louisville Holy Cross

Eminence at #2 Kentucky Country Day

Ludlow at #9 Newport Central Catholic

Nicholas County at Bishop Brossart

#5 Paintsville at #4 Raceland

Hazard/Phelps at #1 Pikeville

Pineville at #8 Williamsburg


Game of the Week:

Paintsville at Raceland - Raceland won the regular season game 23-20 on a last second crossbar height field goal. That was arguably the upset of the season in 1A. Paintsville entered that game undefeated and looked to be on a championship game collision course with Pikeville. This game is one of the best rivalries in 1A. Often times in recent years the regular season loser has turned the tables in the playoffs. If you can find a way to watch, this game will not disappoint.


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