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BluegrassPreps.com Mr. Football Watchlist (11/1)


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Crone Trending Up With A Late Season Push

With the field as wide open as we've seen in years, Mr. Football is still there for the taking. Usually by the time the postseason gets underway, we've narrowed down a list of candidates that can easily be tallied on one hand. Not so, this year. Two dozen different players have appeared in the watchlist this season, and you would need both hands and maybe even a foot to count the names that still have a shot, to one degree or another. Some candidates are stronger than others, but the playoffs are shaping up to be a mad dash to Lexington, which means anything goes from here on. Perhaps nowhere more so than in 6A. 

No one made more of Week 11 than Chase Crone, who was presented with a big stage against an unbeaten opponent and state contender. The game played like a heavyweight fight, with both sides standing toe to toe and trading shots in the middle of the ring. Crone administered lefts and rights, uppercuts and hooks, until Woodford County was down and out. He worked the middle of Wofo's defense with quarterback draws to soften the Jackets up for a few scores, then hit an 80 yarder off right tackle and down the sideline he went. As he carved a swath of blue into the black of night, you couldn't escape the pleas for phantom holding calls from grown men unable to come to terms with what #11 was doing to their team. When the dust settled, Simon Kenton's field general had amassed 413 yards (271 rushing/142 passing) of total offense and six touchdowns, five coming via his legs. It was a remarkable performance that is helping bring full circle the promise of greatness attached to a name that's been in our consciousness for four years now. 

Crone's candidacy will last as long as the Pioneers keep winning, making a virtually guaranteed second round game against Trinity the biggest of his life.

 

Goodin And Jones Crash And Burn

Two of our season long co-favorites had catastrophic conclusions to otherwise stellar regular seasons, as Collins and West Jessamine went down in spectacular fashion, losing by margins of 42 and 50 points, respectively.

Kenyon Goodin pulled the rip cord as the Titans were nose diving toward a 49-7 loss to Great Crossing. He exited the game in the second quarter after being hounded and roughed up by an aggressive Warhawks pass rush, led by Oryend Fisher, who, by the way, collected eight tackles, including a couple for loss and a sack of Goodin to boost his own stock. The final line read: 5/10 for 53 yards and a touchdown, plus 35 rushing yards and a third straight loss following a 6-1 start. The extent of his injury and status for round one are unknown, but the playoffs are a great time to hit the reset button after the way Collins' regular season ended. Hopefully Goodin is able to play this week - and perhaps beyond - and finish on his own terms.

Goodin's district rival and fellow Mr. Football darling Jacob Jones didn't fare much better. He too, fell from grace in Week 11. Jones finished his night upright with 250 total yards and a pair of touchdowns, but was sacked by Mercer County eight times and threw a pick-six in a 63-13 loss. Regardless of the immense individual talent one may possess, this is not the time of year to get boat raced by a .500 team.

The question is, were their dual struggles merely a mirage, or a foreshadowing of things to come? Neither has an easy first round game, and Jones is a decisive underdog. 


 

Odds And Ends

- There was very little, if any, noticeable hangover for Travis Egan and Bullitt East following their monumental victory over Male. Egan was a crisp 12/16 for 219 yards and four touchdowns - all in the first half - as the Chargers romped over Oldham County. He's thrown 22 touchdown passes against a single interception since the disastrous three pick opener against Spencer County. 

- Lofton Howard's name continues to gain steam as a strong contender to be showered with post-season accolades and superlatives. He aided Greenwood in striking down Apollo with three rushing touchdowns, a scoop and score off a blocked punt, and a sack. It's hard to impact the game to a greater degree than making plays in all three facets.

- 'Title Town' served as a proving ground to corroborate the belief that Frederick Douglass is more than a hype machine this year. The test was passed with flying colors, as Ty Bryant and the Broncos jumped on Boyle County early and won going away. Per usual, it was a total team effort, but the future Kentucky Wildcat did his part on the ground (two rushing touchdowns) and in run support to stifle the Rebels.

- An Owensboro offense that had spent the last six weeks in a semi dream state, was thrust back into the waking world by a formidable Henderson County defense. Running lanes were more narrow and yards were harder to come by, but Kenyata Carbon left his fingerprints all over the outcome. He led the Red Devils in rushing and receiving with a combined 144 yards and a rushing touchdown, but his biggest contribution of the night came during a cameo on defense, where he turned away a Hendo scoring threat with an interception in the endzone. 

- It's a little late in the game to be introducing new names, but Logan County running back Ryan Rayno has been doing work, uninterrupted, from Week 1 through last week's conquering of South Warren, one of the biggest wins in school history. He's a perfect 10/10 on hundred yard games this year, including 155 against the Spartans. Rayno is a driving force behind the Cougars 9-1 record and #7 ranking in 4A and could make a push for 2,000 yards if Logan County can traverse the early rounds with their workhorse maintaining his current pace.


 

Players Highlighted This Week

Chase Crone (QB, Simon Kenton)

Season to date: 81/147 for 1,201 yards and 12 touchdowns with 4 interceptions | 810 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns

Highlights: vs. Woodford County

 

Kenyon Goodin (QB/DB, Collins)

Season to date: 123/226 for 1,725 yards and 22 touchdowns with 4 interceptions | 1,137 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns | 49 tackles | 4 interceptions, including a pick-six | 1 forced fumble and 1 recovered 

 

Oryend Fisher (Edge, Great Crossing)

Season to date: 69 tackles | 25 tackles for loss | 13.5 sacks | 3 forced fumble and 2 recoveries

 

Jacob Jones (QB, West Jessamine)

Season to date: 141/226 for 2,080 yards and 22 touchdowns with 5 interception | 1,697 rushing yards and 25 touchdowns

Highlights: vs. Mercer County

 

Travis Egan (QB, Bullitt East)

Season to date: 137/210 for 1,977 yards and 23 touchdowns with 4 interceptions | 501 rushing yards and 9 touchdowns | 1 defensive interception

Highlights: vs. Oldham County

 

Lofton Howard (ATH, Greenwood)

Season to date: 55 rushes for 408 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns | 19 receptions for 349 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns | 1 passing touchdown | 94 tackles  | 14 tackles for loss | 7 sacks | 1 interception | 1 scoop and score

 

Ty Bryant (ATH, Frederick Douglass)

Season to date: 9 rushing touchdowns | 3 kick return touchdowns | 1 interception 

 

Kenyata Carbon (ATH, Owensboro)

2021: 125 carries for 1,178 yards and 21 touchdowns | 201 receiving yards and 1 touchdown | 1 interception

 

Ryan Rayno (RB, Logan County)

Season to date: 195 rushes for 1,646 yards and 20 touchdowns

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Travis Egan continues to do awesome things for Bullitt East. Impressive numbers on the season. 1900+ yards passing with 23 TD. 501 yards rushing for 9 TD. On D, one interception and is a head hunter!!! You do not want him to get a running start on you as he will get to you and deliver massive hits!!! He is a talented athletic football player. With BE on the move, stats are going to be better. But more importantly leading his team to keep winning week after week says a lot about his value to the team. Keep it going T-Bone!!!

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Who do we like at the moment?

My unbiased take is that Blake Birchfield has the inside track. The quarterbacks in the race all have major early round hurdles to clear. 

- Goodin's playoff opener is not a gimme, assuming he's even 100%. Win that one, and he's got unbeaten Southwestern. 

- Jones is one and done, barring an upset. If the upset does occur, he'll have to contend with Woodford County again, who hung 77 points on West Jessamine a few weeks ago.

- Crone and Egan have Louisville heavyweights waiting in the second round. That's not the impossible mountain to climb this year that it has been in the past, but still a very tall order. Those wins are necessary to keep them in consideration, imo.

Birchfield, on the other hand, looks assured of five playoff games. Anything less would be a shock. Unless he gets pulled very early in some blowouts, he should push for another 2,000 yard season. If he gets there, and delivers a second straight title for Pikeville, I think Mr. Football stays in Pike County for another year.

Ty Bryant looks like our x-factor. Douglass also looks like they'll be making reservations at Kroger Field. If he's making plays every week and punctuates the season with an MVP finals performance to get the monkey off FD's back, I could see a lot of voters being swayed, despite the lack of numbers relative to other candidates. He does have a commitment to UK in his back pocket. Those never hurt to have when award talk comes up.

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On 11/2/2022 at 9:25 AM, DevilMayCare said:

Who do we like at the moment?

My unbiased take is that Blake Birchfield has the inside track. The quarterbacks in the race all have major early round hurdles to clear. 

- Goodin's playoff opener is not a gimme, assuming he's even 100%. Win that one, and he's got unbeaten Southwestern. 

- Jones is one and done, barring an upset. If the upset does occur, he'll have to contend with Woodford County again, who hung 77 points on West Jessamine a few weeks ago.

- Crone and Egan have Louisville heavyweights waiting in the second round. That's not the impossible mountain to climb this year that it has been in the past, but still a very tall order. Those wins are necessary to keep them in consideration, imo.

Birchfield, on the other hand, looks assured of five playoff games. Anything less would be a shock. Unless he gets pulled very early in some blowouts, he should push for another 2,000 yard season. If he gets there, and delivers a second straight title for Pikeville, I think Mr. Football stays in Pike County for another year.

Ty Bryant looks like our x-factor. Douglass also looks like they'll be making reservations at Kroger Field. If he's making plays every week and punctuates the season with an MVP finals performance to get the monkey off FD's back, I could see a lot of voters being swayed, despite the lack of numbers relative to other candidates. He does have a commitment to UK in his back pocket. Those never hurt to have when award talk comes up.

Do you think Mitchell Berger will not be considered? Even after missing the last two games of the regular season his rushing numbers are  close to your leading candidate Birchfield - in fact they are tied at 9.2 yards per carry. Berger is tied for #1 in the state in scoring averaging 20.2 points per game. Add in all the other factors for Berger (defense, place kicking, punting) and Berger is ahead of Birchfield IMO. 

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I wish more people could watch Lofton Howard.  He just does so many things like a Division 1 football talent, but perhaps gets overlooked for these types of awards because he is not a true "skill position" RB or QB.  Quite literally Greenwood is able to play uneven numbers on defense because the opposition will not go to Howard's side.  Even the hard-core naysayers from Bowling Green admit he is a stud; one of his best games of the year was in a losing effort against BG.

In a year where it does not look like there is a clear-cut offensive dynamo, it may be a year in which an LB/TE sneaks in to take the hardware.  Just my .02.

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1 hour ago, Voice of Reason said:

Do you think Mitchell Berger will not be considered? Even after missing the last two games of the regular season his rushing numbers are  close to your leading candidate Birchfield - in fact they are tied at 9.2 yards per carry. Berger is tied for #1 in the state in scoring averaging 20.2 points per game. Add in all the other factors for Berger (defense, place kicking, punting) and Berger is ahead of Birchfield IMO. 

What happens in the playoffs - especially championship weekend - will be fresher in the minds of voters. I think that matters a great deal. I don't see them reaching all the way back to the first eight weeks to pick a Mr. Football. Not unless the rest of the field fails to impress over the next five weeks.

That's just me trying to get inside the mind of a voter. Although, if anyone this year could get away with only playing eight games and still winning it, it would probably be Berger.

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1 hour ago, Hearsay said:

I wish more people could watch Lofton Howard.  He just does so many things like a Division 1 football talent, but perhaps gets overlooked for these types of awards because he is not a true "skill position" RB or QB.  Quite literally Greenwood is able to play uneven numbers on defense because the opposition will not go to Howard's side.  Even the hard-core naysayers from Bowling Green admit he is a stud; one of his best games of the year was in a losing effort against BG.

In a year where it does not look like there is a clear-cut offensive dynamo, it may be a year in which an LB/TE sneaks in to take the hardware.  Just my .02.

I didn't catch the game against Bowling Green, but he appeared to be wearing a cape at times against South Warren. A great all-around football player that has to be accounted for at all times. And even if you know what's coming - like the SW game, for example - he still carries them to victory.

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1 hour ago, ChiefSmoke said:

On our podcast tonight, Coach Chuck Smith will share who he believes is a Mr. Football candidate!

Looking forward to his insight. He knows what a Mr. Football winner looks like, having coached one, plus some other worthy contenders.

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