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Ashland at Christian Academy-Louisville Predictions/Updates


Centurions vs. Tomcats  

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  • Poll closed on 11/26/2022 at 12:00 AM

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After Braving The Storm, CAL Welcomes A Feisty Feline

Records: CAL (13-0) | Ashland (9-4)

BGP Ranking: CAL (#1 in 3A) | Ashland (#8 in 3A)

Series History: First ever meeting 

Table Setter: The last time Ashland football set foot on Louisville soil, they were celebrating the 1990 3A state championship at Old Cardinal Stadium. The Tomcats were on top of the world. After defeating Bell County on top of Log Mountain, they'll return to the river banks of "Derby City" for the first time in thirty years to meet 3A's top ranked Christian Academy-Louisville. 

Ashland's youth has been talking point #1 surrounding the team this season. They were thought to be a year away from title contention, loaded with talent in the bottom two classes. But the Tomcats are impatient, not content to wait another year. Sophomore quarterback LaBryant Strader leads the way, offensively, with over 2,600 total yards and 24 touchdowns. He doesn't look the part of a sophomore, listed at 6'2" and 225 pounds. Classmate Braxton Jennings paces the Tomcats on the ground with over 1,100 yards rushing and 18 scores. They've helped key a seven game win streak along with a defense that features a little more senior leadership sprinkled among the underclassmen. 

They may have to lean on that leadership more than usual this week.

There's no greater challenge this season in 3A than slowing CAL's forward progress. The Centurions lead the state in points scored and rank second in points allowed. They've been a machine this year, running roughshod over the opposition with quarterback Cole Hodge (48 total TDs/3 interceptions) leading the Centurions' offensive march. Gavin Copenhaver (82 tackles/20 TFL) sparks the defense at linebacker and doubles as an offensive catalyst with his skill as a runner and receiver. He scored three times to help CAL escape Paducah Tilghman's upset bid in the quarterfinal round, their only challenge this season after twelve straight blowouts.

CAL is seeking its first championship game appearance since 2018, when it claimed the second of two titles in Class 2A. An Ashland win would make for a second championship game in three years.

The Centurions are the decided favorite here, but the Tomcats have subverted expectations this season. A monumental effort will be necessary to continue that trend.

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CAL is a recking ball this season.  The only thing they look to be bad at is letting other teams score.  In 13 games they have 5 shutouts and only 5 teams have scored more than once.  On offense, last week was their lowest scoring game with 30 points, only the second time all season they have been below 40. With 7 games above 50 points.  They look unstoppable. 

Ashland started the season young and inexperienced, but they matured as the season went on and they don't look that young anymore.  Anything is possible.  I thought their season would have ended last week, but here they are.  If they won last week, they can win this week.  But, to have a shot, I think they have to limit CALs scoring ability because I don't think Ashland can just outscore CAL with their stingy defense.

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Ashland is battles tested and made plenty of trips across the state. Travel isn’t going to phase them. They are playing real good football right now at the right time. I will be following this one.

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Ashland has no chance in this game. And that’s not a knock on them.

I’ve witnessed both teams and it’s not close. 
 

CAL gets a running clock in this one although it may be late 3rd or early 4th qtr 

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I’d love to see the tomcats win this one but I said in the first part of the season we were starting freshman on the O and D lines and in the secondary had at times 3 freshman playing. The O line the center has started the entire season is a freshman. They’re truly building for runs deep into the playoffs for the next 3 seasons. You see them progressing during the 1-3 start to the season and the last 4 games they’ve came out and played almost as physical as the 90 Ashland team but they’re still young and even though road trips don’t seem to bother them their secondary is the weak link in their defense(they gave up almost 500yds passing in the Gorge Washington game that they lost 14-7) so if CAL gets time to throw the ball it’ll be a long/short night for them. 

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I think CAL and Bardstown have proven they're the best two teams in 3A. But you have to play the games....my dad used to say; "he's so DUMB he's HAPPY"....I think you could say about these Tomcats; "they're so YOUNG they're IGNORANT....but in a good way....they just don't know any better....on paper they should've lost the last two games, but all the noise just went "in one ear and out the other". 

The old man in me just can't get past all the noise, I hope I'm wrong (again) but I think CAL proves to be just too much in this one. 

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On 11/22/2022 at 11:44 AM, rerun said:

The old man in me just can't get past all the noise, I hope I'm wrong (again) but I think CAL proves to be just too much in this one. 

This will be a steep mountain to climb for the Tomcats. CAL doesn't have a glaring weakness to be exploited. Tilghman was a problem for them last week, but I think that had a lot to do with PT finally beginning to realize its potential. They're the only team that had great success throwing the ball on them. Ashland should be all over that game film. I can't see them pulling this off unless Strader has a big night.

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You're all over this one Devil and I agree 100%.  Coach will have his team prepared but with the young Tomcats and a team like CAL it will take more than preparation to get the win. They will have to play a near perfect game, get the big calls, and have turnovers go their way to even contend. To their credit all you can do in these situations is prepare and work on the things you can control, which is what they're doing, and then hope the things that you can't control go your way...

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