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BluegrassPreps.com Mr. Football Watchlist (8/22)

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Brady Goes Bowling, Upstages Boley

In the land of the Hilltoppers, Brady Hensley stood atop a mountain. A mountain of yards (489 from scrimmage). A mountain of touchdowns (7). A mountain of melodramatic superlatives (he was the cream amidst a field of golden crop)

His first carry was a punishing 26 yarder. His third, a 62 yard sprint to daylight that reached the endzone. 

He was just getting started. 

Hensley found acres of space in Bowling Green's defense, stretching his legs to run away and lowering his shoulders to run over. 

In accordance with the KHSAA record books, his 402 rushing yards are the most in a single game in six years. His sense of sight for running room was rivaled only by his sense of smell for the goal line. 

He gained ground on this night, both literally and figuratively. 

Has he already closed the gap on teammate Cutter Boley

Not likely. Not in one night. There is still work to be done, but this is a marathon, not a sprint. And that's good news for the rest of the field, because the race would be over If it were.

Speaking of Boley… the future Wildcat may have taken a backseat in the LCA backfield, but it's hard to stay inconspicuous when you're 6'5" with a howitzer for a right arm. 

The "War Eagle's" relentless assault on the Purples was carried out by land and by air, with Boley accounting for 342 passing yards and three touchdowns. 

All told, he and Hensley produced nearly 800 yards of offense, every last one of which was necessary to escape the 'Rafferty's Bowl' with a win.


Hensley and Boley. Photo cred to Caleb Lowndes of the Bowling Green Daily News


Rebel, Rebel

That infectious guitar riff will be in your head for the rest of the day. You're welcome.

A couple of hours earlier, in the Rafferty's Bowl matinee, Boyle County's QB/RB tandem demonstrated their own virtuosity in a commanding victory over a formidable Gibson Southern squad from Indiana. 

The Rebels firmly gripped the game by the throat early, leading 29-0 after one quarter and coasting from there. 

The crowd barely had time to get comfortable in their seats before Avery Bodner brought them to their feet after taking a short toss from Sage Dawson, shedding a tackle at the line of scrimmage and leading the opposition on an 80 yard chase to the endzone on the game's first snap. 

Bodner, Boyle's understated leader by example, would eclipse both a hundred yards rushing and receiving with two scores. 

Dawson's confidence in his right arm was evident as he pushed the ball down the field for 311 yards and three touchdowns.

And to think, this was merely the appetizer.

For a few hours, the stars - Boley, Hensley, Dawson, and Bodner - were in alignment in Bowling Green. If you're in the general vicinity of Danville this Friday night, direct your eyes to the sky over 'Title Town'. They'll be aligned again, as Bodner, Dawson, and the Rebels welcome Boley, Hensley, and LCA in a convergence that may produce widespread fallout among the field of contenders.


Noteworthy Performances From Week 1

- It never approached the offensive pyrotechnics happening in Bowling Green, but the duel between Brody Benke and Jackson Wasik in Lexington was the best show playing in CKY. 

They're two of the top quarterbacks in the state, but that's about where the similarities end. 

One is built like a collegiate tight end - and played like one at times - while the other wouldn't look out of place in the student section. 

Benke displayed the widest range of skill on opening weekend, throwing two touchdown passes, running for two, catching one, and for good measure, he dropped a dime of a punt at LexCath's one yard line. He accumulated 347 yards of total offense and five touchdowns to lead Highlands to a tightly contested victory over Lexington Catholic. 

Wasik was game in defeat, attempting 40 passes and tossing three touchdowns to keep the Knights within reach. 


- Cole Hodge performed an exorcism on Friday night, casting the Devils out of Louisville with 302 yards passing and three touchdowns. He added another 37 yards and a score with his legs as CAL stuck a pitchfork in Owensboro. In absence of holy water, the CAL student section provided some holy (school) spirit. Hodge looks noticeably bigger and stronger, putting that added weight to use as he ran over a defender at the goal line on the touchdown run.


- Shaun Boykins showed out against South Warren with career highs in receptions (14), receiving yards (287), and touchdowns (4), plus a kick-off return for a score. The Louisville commit's individual effort was ultimately in vain, as North Hardin fell to the Spartans. But his singular domination of a program with a reputation for its defense bolsters his standing as the state's premier talent at the wide receiver position.


Players Featured This Week

Brady Hensley (RB/DB, Lexington Christian Academy)

Season to date: 30 carries for 402 yards and 5 touchdowns | 87 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns

Highlights: Bowling a perfect game  


Cutter Boley (Lexington Christian Academy)

Season to date: 22/35 for 342 yards and 3 touchdowns and 1 interception


Avery Bodner (RB/DB, Boyle County)

Season to date: 10 carries for 101 yards and a touchdown | 5 receptions for 139 yards and a touchdown | 5 tackles 


Sage Dawson (QB/DB, Boyle County)

Season to date: 14/23 for 311 yards and 3 touchdowns 


Brody Benke (QB, Highlands)

Season to date: 12/17 for 194 yards and 2 touchdowns with 1 interception | 111 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns | 42 receiving yards and a touchdown 

Highlights: Triple threat vs. LexCath


Jackson Wasik (QB, Lexington Catholic)

Season to date: 26/40 for 237 yards and 3 touchdowns with 1 interception 


Cole Hodge (QB, Christian Academy of Louisville)

Season to date: 25/35 for 302 yards and 3 touchdowns with 1 interception | 37 rushing yards and 1 touchdown

Highlights: vs. Owensboro


Shaun Boykins (WR, North Hardin)

Season to date: 14 receptions for 287 yards and 4 touchdowns | 1 kick return touchdown

Highlights: vs. South Warren

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  • DevilMayCare changed the title to BluegrassPreps.com Mr. Football Watchlist (8/22)
32 minutes ago, nikeman49 said:

Much to early for this discussion and hard to debate after one week of football.

You're not wrong. To reiterate myself, it's a marathon, not a sprint.

At this juncture, you can think of it more as a way to keep tabs on the weekly happenings involving the top contenders. I'm pulling it all together under one roof for readers to get their fix in a matter of a few short minutes.

Of course, for others it's never too early to start debating Mr. Football. I strongly encourage those folks to continue the conversation I start each week.

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2 hours ago, MaddenCurse44 said:

OL/DL Aba Selm SK had 6 tackles and help the Pioneers offense get 350 yards offense and 4 tds.

I wish there were a better way to handle the inclusion of linemen in the watchlist. I truly believe Selm is one of the best football players we have, but he plays a position that's hard to translate here. I've featured several linemen before, but their presence is spotty, at best. Even Jager Burton, who actually won the award.

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A candid message from the author:

If the watchlist reads a little breezier than in year's past and is perhaps a little more repetitive, that's because I no longer have the leisurely time to deep dive on it like I used to. From now on, I'll be hitting the high spots only. 

In the early years of this project, the watchlist included upwards of 20-25 players each week. I downsized it some last year to 8-10. There may be some weeks this season where it's only 4-5 names depending on how the weekend's events unfold and how much time I have to devote to it.

I have a feeling you'll be reading a lot this season about the duos at LCA and Boyle County, as well as CAL's QB. Early indications are pointing toward those five being at the forefront of this thing all season. Hopefully, all regions of the state will receive varying degrees of coverage as it's warranted.

I say this every year, but it bears repeating... Just because a player doesn't appear in the watchlist one week doesn't mean they've fallen out of favor. It doesn't mean they're any less of a contender than they were before. It just means that nothing of significance happened to greatly enhance or diminish their position in the race. 

If you're a weekly reader, thanks for taking the time to help me indulge my sportswriter fantasy. I hope to continue this project for years to come. 

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11 hours ago, DevilMayCare said:

I wish there were a better way to handle the inclusion of linemen in the watchlist. I truly believe Selm is one of the best football players we have, but he plays a position that's hard to translate here. I've featured several linemen before, but their presence is spotty, at best. Even Jager Burton, who actually won the award.

Selm has unreal speed for a 300 pound kid.

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Spotlight Games Tonight (8/26)

Highlands vs. CovCath - Benke has a chance to notch a second win as starting quarterback in the rivalry. Another night like he had last week should do the trick. 

Male vs. Ballard - Gainey looked good on limited touches last week. He missed one of last year's two meetings with Ballard and notched only one reception in the other.

Simon Kenton vs. Woodford County - Selm helped pave the way for nearly 400 rushing yards and recorded a sack in last year's memorable conrest.

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