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2021 BluegrassPreps Mr. Football Watchlist (9/30)


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A different Tiger quarterback headlines the week after besting a long time tormentor at Cardinal Stadium; Staying in the 'Ville, Manual's North star shines brightest, but Ballard still unleashes its "Edge Beast"; And LCA's dynamic duo help the Eagles soar past top ranked Pikeville


 

In alphabetical order:

Xavier Brown (ATH, Lexington Christian Academy)

Season to date: 65 carries for 504 yards and 5 touchdowns ; 122 receiving yards and a touchdown 

Highlights: vs. Pikeville

Week 6: In a battle of unbeaten favorites to reach Kroger Field, LCA topped 1A #1 Pikeville behind a three touchdown night from Brown. His second and third scores of the game illustrate some of the attributes that make him one of the most dangerous offensive weapons in the state. Touchdown #2 was made possible by the exceptional lateral quickness and peripheral vision to evade the mass of humanity in front of him, and his final score was a foot in the ground, one cut, explosion of fast twitch muscle that covered 67 yards in a hurry. 

 

Brady Clark (QB, Bardstown)

Season to date: 56/88 for 940 yards and 13 touchdowns with 1 interceptions ; 328 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns 

Highlights: vs. LaRue County

Week 6: Two weeks in a row now, a makeshift Bardstown defense has left the Tigers vulnerable. Both times, Clark and the offense saved the day. He racked up 335 yards of total offense and four touchdowns, all through the air, to lead Bardstown past LaRue County. Not previously known for his leg work, Clark posted his second consecutive outing of 100+ rushing yards.

 

Isaac Dixon (ATH, Belfry)

Season to date: 52 carries for 402 yards and 7 touchdowns ; 3/7 for 53 yards and a touchdown with one interception ; one pick-six 

Week 6: Dixon was finally able to stretch his legs after facing one of the more demanding stretches of games in Belfry's history. It left the Pirates winless on the season and Dixon faded from the watchlist after his move to quarterback was met with mixed reviews and some head scratching. For the time being, he's back following a performance against Magoffin County that saw him return to his familiar role at running back and, in turn, a reprisal of his past form. He only got his hands on the ball four times, but all four resulted in scores: 3 carries for 105 yards and 3 touchdowns, plus a pick-six. 

 

Joe Humphreys (QB, Daviess County)

Season to date: 138/203 for 1,907 yards and 22 touchdowns with 7 interceptions ; 199 rushing yards and 6 touchdowns

Highlights: vs. Marshall County

Week 6: Marshall County had allowed 40+ points in each of its last three games heading into a matchup with Humphreys and the Panthers. He had to be licking his chops to get the ball rolling, or more appropriately, flying, against the Marshalls. All told, Humphreys accounted for 450 yards of total offense and seven touchdowns, all passing. He leads the state in passing yards and ranks second in touchdown passes. That's bad news for next week's opponent, McCracken County, whose defense has been susceptible to the pass this season.

 

Cole Lanter (ATH, Boyle County)

Season to date: 37 catches for 611 yards and 10 touchdowns ; 18 carries for 144 yards and 3 touchdowns ; 2 interceptions 

Highlights: vs. North Hardin

Week 6: Cole is successfully continuing the Lanter family legacy in "Title Town", following the incredible career of older brother Reed. The younger Lanter has emerged as the most reliable and versatile weapon in the Boyle County arsenal. His 142 receiving yards and two scores against North Hardin give him three straight 100+ yard receiving games and four straight with multiple touchdowns. There were moments last Friday, like the leaping grab for a touchdown (which you can find in the link above), that were reminiscent of Lanter's predecessor, Reese Smith. He ranks second in the state in both receiving yards and touchdowns.

 

Clint McKee (RB, Graves County)

Season to date: 113 carries for 827 yards and 18 touchdowns ; 10 catches for 165 yards and a touchdown

Week 6: On a night when he probably knew his workload would be light, McKee made the most of his limited opportunities against an overmatched Breckinridge County defense. How's this for a night's work... 111 yards rushing and four touchdowns on just five carries. That's right, all but one carry reached the endzone. He may be eyeing a similar role next week against a one win Ohio County team that's been soft against the run this year. He ran for 172 yards and five scores against them in a 2020 shootout.

 

Mason Moore (ATH, Lexington Christian Academy)

Season to date: 18 catches for 385 yards and 4 touchdowns ; 36 carries for 270 yards and 1 touchdowns ; 6/8 for 73 yards and a touchdown ; a blocked punt return touchdown ; one interception

Week 6: Not to be outdone by his teammate, Moore's talents also played a pivotal role in the win over Pikeville, such as a first quarter sliding grab in the endzone to give the Eagles their first lead of the night. A natural athlete, he's settled right back into his primary offensive role at receiver with back to back hundred yard games. 

 

JaWaun Northington (RB, Manual)

Season to date: 63 carries for 514 yards and 6 touchdowns ; 2 passing touchdowns

Highlights: vs. Ballard

Week 6: Following some time off to nurse an injury, Northington has blown up the past two weeks against La Salle (OH) and Ballard. Friday against the Bruins, with Manual's offensive front dictating the line of scrimmage, he poured on 231 yards and a pair of scores. Combined with his output the week before, Northington has run for 400 yards in two weeks against very good opposition that knows he's getting the football. With the way he fights through contact, he's hard to handle when the Crimsons go under center and play power football with him dotting the I.

 

Jack Sivori (QB, St. Xavier)

Season to date: 46/82 for 545 yards and 9 touchdowns with 4 interceptions ; 665 yards rushing and 10 touchdowns

Highlights: vs. Trinity

Week 6: For a player that was nowhere to be found on anyone's Mr. Football radar to start the season, Sivori has made up more ground than anyone else to appear on the watchlist this season, and games like the one he had against Trinity are the reason why. The Rocks might be down, but this is still the biggest game in Kentucky every year and Sivori delivered again. He helped stave off a Trinity comeback attempt with a beautiful completion on a go-route down the sideline to convert a 3rd and long to keep an eventual scoring drive alive and scored the Tigers' final touchdown of the night to give X some breathing room and help cement the win. After rushing for 153 yards and three scores against T, Sivori ranks second in Class 6A in rushing yardage and first in touchdowns.

 

Jadairion Smith (DL, Ballard)

Season to date: 46 tackles ; 15 tackles for loss ; 12.5 sacks 

Week 6: Despite facing a team known for a physical, north/south, run first philosophy that largely neutralizes the talents of an edge rusher, Smith still managed to plant Manual's quarterback in the turf a couple of times. He's in a zone right now that makes his impact on the game a near certainty week after week. This makes four straight multi-sack games in a row for the state's sack leader. The night was not a total success though, as Manual won going away and Smith was outshined by the work of Northington.


 

Noteworthy performances from Week 6:

Caleb Bogonko (RB, Middlesboro) - 197 rushing yards and 5 touchdowns against Breathitt County

Keyandre Strand (RB, John Hardin) - 171 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns against Valley for the state's leading rusher

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Very interesting the ebbs and flows of the Mr. Football race!

Couple things:

1.  Is this the first edition without a Male player on the list?  I'm not saying it's wrong, just pointing it out.

2.  Northington and Sivori are both playing very well this year.  If you don't have anything to do, plan to be at Manual Stadium a week from Friday as that promises to be a terrific game, as Manual will want to finally get on the plus side of that game after the Hail Mary/Hail Duddy pass at the end of the last playoff game.

3.  This is a ton of work!  Thanks @DevilMayCare!  GREAT work!

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@Purple88, there have been a few weeks without anyone from Male. Anthony is the primary candidate for them at this point and he played a scaled back role in Male's blowout over Butler last week. It wasn't a watchlist worthy performance. Selah Brown is definitely a name to track, but he was hurt to start the year and he's playing catch-up. The QB, Schutte, has played really well all year, but he is lacking the profile that his teammates had coming in. He's a name I'm tracking, though.

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Sivori will continue to be an interesting player to watch. The offense literally and figuratively goes through Sivori so he should have pretty good numbers, especially in the rushing category. With Ryle tonight and Manual the following week, with consistent high performances in both he could put his name at the top of the list. 

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To add to the versatility of his reperetoire, Bardstown has become so depleted on defense that they have begun inserting Brady Clark into the game every couple of series as an outside linebacker.  At 6'4" and 195, that might not seem unusual, but the risk to the team of his injury is astronomical.  However, any coach watching film will tell you that when #10 is out there on D, the D gets stops. Add this to his sudden development as a Sherman Tank as a runner, and I challenge you to find me a player in the state more central to their team's overall success.

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