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BluegrassPreps.com Mr. Football Watchlist (10/25)


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Stars Align In Jessamine County

The long awaited showdown between our dual threat quarterback candidates came and went in Nicholasville, but very little, if any, separation between the two was established. Kenyon Goodin lit the fuse with a touchdown pass on the game's opening series. Jacob Jones swiftly answered with a 61 yard run on the second snap of the ensuing series to tie it up. They traded scores until Goodin put Collins up by two touchdowns in the second quarter.

With Goodin's command of the game to that point, no one could've guessed that the Titans would stall out on the scoreboard until the fourth quarter. Jones and West Jess took over from there, stringing together a 34-6 run - highlighted by a 56 yard rope from Jones to his brother for a touchdown and a 73 yard touchdown run - to close out the game and secure the comeback win.

Goodin was plagued by WJ's pass rush, costly penalties, and drops. Still yet, choosing between the two is akin to splitting hairs. Both lived up to their billing. Jones accounted for seven touchdowns. Goodin threw for 200+ yards and ran for 200+. Jones led West Jessamine to victory. Goodin picked Jones off once. I guess if we're splitting hairs, Jones was voted homecoming king. Maybe that's an omen.

 

Egan Walks The Dawgs

Bullitt East's toppling of Male cements what we already believed: The "Big 3" are vulnerable. And maybe the Chargers are pretty darn good. Travis Egan orchestrated much the night's events with a strong right arm, agile legs, and a cool head. He took shots down the field, worked the sidelines, worked the Bulldogs with his mobility, and delivered a bone rattling hit from his linebacker position. He totaled 320 yards of offense and scored two rushing touchdowns. Just as importantly, he made zero mistakes in the biggest game of his life, to this point. With the district title in his back pocket, bigger games lay ahead.

 

Howard Propels Gators To 'Lofton' Heights

If the name Lofton Howard is gracing your phone or computer screen for the first time, allow me to catch you up to speed: the long, rangy, 6'5" safety turned linebacker is a four year starter at Greenwood, who became the school's all-time leading tackler earlier this season and committed to Western Kentucky over the summer. Numbers alone won't garner much Mr. Football consideration, but anyone that's seen him play knows he passes the look test. His FBS frame, ball skills, and willingness to do the dirty work to make plays make him a matchup problem for everyone on the schedule.

That extends to the other side of the ball, where he lines up anywhere from one side of the field to the other and often serves as a goal line specialist out of the wildcat for the Gators. He's accounted for 34 career touchdowns via the run, pass, reception, scoop and score, and pick-six. He also has a penchant for terrorizing blockers and return men in kick coverage.

Howard thrust open the door to the watchlist with a clutch, sensational all-around performance against South Warren. He accumulated 160 yards from scrimmage (100 rushing/60 receiving) and three touchdowns on nine touches, plus ten tackles and a sack. Trailing by a point in the fourth quarter, he ran in the go-ahead touchdown and successfully converted the two point try. On Greenwood's next possession, he took all five snaps and covered 90 yards with his legs, despite everyone in attendance knowing what was coming. The final sixty-three yards encompassed the night's most indelible sequence. Howard took the direct snap on 3rd and 8, bounced off right tackle, absorbed contact, and sprang loose with nothing between him and paydirt besides green grass for the game clinching score. 

Failure to convert would have given South Warren the ball back with a couple of minutes to work with. But Howard did more than convert, he put the Spartans to bed. Football is the ultimate team sport, but Greenwood doesn't rise above its prior shortcomings against one half of the Warren County twin giants without the robust abilities of its leader. 

 

Thriving In The Shadow Of The "Birch" Tree Revised: Nothing Grows In The Shade

We're not walking back last week's assertion that Max Johnson was occupying the same stratosphere as his Pikeville counterpart this year, because it was true then. But in a span of two hours at Hambley, Blake Birchfield and the Panthers deprived Johnson and Hazard of the light necessary to sustain life as contenders for Mr. Football and the class 1A championship. There is no doubting who the 1A player of the year is after Birchfield ran for 174 yards and four touchdowns in a little over one half of play, or who runs the 1A yard after manhandling Hazard 52-7. He's #1. They're #1. 

 

Big Plays Win The Day For Lexington Duo

There's not much you can do to deter the quick strike inclinations of Frederick Douglass' twitchy athletes. They can come at you fast in all three phases. One sure way to limit such outbursts is to kick away from an elite return man, but Montgomery County committed the cardinal sin of contending with Douglass special teams: You don't kick to Ty Bryant. When he has the ball in space, reach for the popcorn, because you're about to see a show. Bryant housed his third punt return of the season and added his seventh touchdown run on just his sixteenth carry. It makes you wonder what his numbers would look like if he got 10-15 touches weekly instead of two or three.

Bryant isn't the only one in Lexington bringing crowds to their feet. LexCath has gotten its share of big plays this year from Max DeGraff. He's either on the receiving end of a deep ball or he's sending the ball deep with his right foot. He caught three touchdowns of 50+ yards against Anderson County and finished the night with 193 yards and four scores on six receptions. His right leg got a workout with numerous kickoffs in the endzone and a perfect 9/9 on extra points. He leads the state with 26.2 yards per catch for receivers with at least forty receptions. 


 

Odds And Ends

- As Simon Kenton gets healthier, wins and numbers are trending up for Chase Crone and Jayden Lawson. The Pioneers wrapped up a district championship with a victory over Ryle behind 373 yards of offense and four touchdowns from Crone. Lawson continued to make up ground after missing a few games, with 129 yards rushing and a score against the Raiders. He's averaging just shy of two hundred yards a game since his return.

- The pursuit of the KHSAA record book hit a snag for Chandler Godby against Southwestern. He found ways to make an impact for Pulaski County with 100+ all-purpose yards, but a big chunk of that came on kick returns. He caught a season low two passes and neither registered on the scoreboard, leaving him still five receiving scores shy of the single season state record. Pulaski's regular season has concluded, meaning he gets one more game guaranteed and a likely second round trip to Woodford County.


 

Players Highlighted This Week

Jacob Jones (QB, West Jessamine)

Season to date: 127/204 for 1,908 yards and 21 touchdowns with 4 interception | 1,619 rushing yards and 24 touchdowns

 

Kenyon Goodin (QB/DB, Collins)

Season to date: 118/216 for 1,672 yards and 21 touchdowns with 4 interceptions | 1,102 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns | 46 tackles | 4 interceptions and 1 pick-six | 1 forced fumble and 1 recovered 

Highlights: vs. West Jess

 

Travis Egan (QB, Bullitt East)

Season to date: 125/194 for 1,758 yards and 19 touchdowns with 4 interceptions | 486 rushing yards and 9 touchdowns | 1 defensive interception

Highlights: vs. Male

 

Lofton Howard (ATH, Greenwood)

Season to date:  362 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns | 334 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns | 1 passing touchdown | 88 tackles  | 13 tackles for loss | 6 sacks | 1 interception

 

Blake Birchfield (RB, Pikeville)

Season to date: 140 carries for 1,286 yards and 23 touchdowns | 1 interception

Highlights: vs. Hazard

 

Ty Bryant (ATH, Frederick Douglass)

Season to date: 7 rushing touchdowns | 3 kick return touchdowns | 1 interception 

 

Max DeGraff (WR/K, Lexington Catholic

Season to date: 43 receptions for 1,125 yards and 16 touchdowns | 44/45 on extra points | 4/5 on field goals

 

Chase Crone (QB, Simon Kenton)

Season to date: 71/130 for 1,059 yards and 11 touchdowns with 3 interceptions | 539 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns

Highlights: vs. Ryle

 

Jayden Lawson (RB, Simon Kenton)

Season to date: 102 carries for 850 yards and 11 touchdowns

 

Chandler Godby (WR, Pulaski County)

Season to date: 74 receptions for 1,376 yards and 23 touchdowns | 3 interceptions, including 1 pick-six | 1 kick return touchdown

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Both Goodin and Jones have been outstanding this season. No doubt about it. But I think there is something to be said for how the team performs under a top player. And my guy Travis Egan is leading the Chargers to new heights. His numbers are strong and the team is on a 7 game winning streak after defeating Male for the District title. Looks like he will have some games left to prove himself worthy of the award. That bone rattling hit he had against Male is definitely one of the top hits I have seen this season. Looking forward to seeing just how far he can lead our team in the playoffs. I would not go against him. His Grandfather is a legendary coach from BE; his Dad was a legendary player at BE and now Travis looks to make big things happen as he completes his Senior season. 

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10. No gambling, bookmaking or point spread comments are allowed in any of the high school forums. Figures of speech that use gambling terms may not be used in any of the high school forums (i.e. bet, over/under, spread, parlay, chips, line, odds). All gambling comments are permitted in the non-high school forums as long as they do not involve any high school sports, students, or student-athletes.

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3 hours ago, Zeleke3 said:

Both Goodin and Jones have been outstanding this season. No doubt about it. But I think there is something to be said for how the team performs under a top player. And my guy Travis Egan is leading the Chargers to new heights. His numbers are strong and the team is on a 7 game winning streak after defeating Male for the District title. Looks like he will have some games left to prove himself worthy of the award. That bone rattling hit he had against Male is definitely one of the top hits I have seen this season. Looking forward to seeing just how far he can lead our team in the playoffs. I would not go against him. His Grandfather is a legendary coach from BE; his Dad was a legendary player at BE and now Travis looks to make big things happen as he completes his Senior season. 

The next two weeks won't do much to boost his standing here, but a probable encounter with Manual in the second round certainly will. If he and BE can pull that one off, he likely joins a short list of real contenders as the field begins to narrow.

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