Bluegrasspreps' Eastern Kentucky Power Rankings 10-14
1. Johnson Central Golden Eagles (4A, 7-1)- The Eagles have navigated their regular season swimmingly. All that is left is arguably their two biggest games. Undefeated Ashland and rival Belfry.
2. Ashland Tomcats (4A, 9-0)- The only thing standing in the way of Ashland's pursuit of a flawless 10-0 regular season is #1 Johnson Central on the road. Folks this one may be the biggest game in the History of this contentious rivalry.
3. Corbin Redhounds (3A, 7-1)- The Hounds get the bump after taking care of business against undefeated rival bell County. Corbin still is not out of the woods yet, Casey County and Knox Central are both solid squads.
4. Belfry Pirates (3A, 7-1)- The Pirates stick another District Championship year number to the decorations of Haywood Field by outshining Lawrence County. The Pirates now eye momentum into a brutal playoff path.
5. Southwestern Warriors ( 5A, 8-0)- The Warriors are on a slimming list of undefeated teams and are starting to look like they have what it takes to play deep into November. Two games remain between them and perfection, rival Pulaski County and Offensive juggernaut Lexington Catholic.
6. Raceland Rams (1A, 7-1) - The Rams are looking stout and save a 7 point loss to Ashland, may be the best team in Northeastern Kentucky. The Rams still have some work to do. Paintsville is a tough draw to close out their District Title, and Russell is always a hotly contested rivalry game.
7. Somerset Briarjumpers (2A, 7-2)- Somerset navigated the Danville and LCA District clashes swimmingly and have a very do-able path to the Semi-Finals ahead. With their lone losses coming to #6 Raceland and 1A's top team Beechwood, Somerset is a team to watch.
8. Pikeville Panthers (1A, 5-2)- Pikeville has a pair of out of State foes before finishing off their regular season. If the Panthers can get healthy they still have all their goals in front of them.
9. Bell County Bobcats (3A, 7-1)- Bell County played tough in their first game challenging a Top 5 Eastern Kentucky foe, but the Bobcats are still not ready for prime time just yet. Bell County versus Corbin Take 2 may be a better game, but we will have to wait until Round 3 to see it.
10. Knox Central Panthers (4A, 6-2)- After winning their District against Wayne County, the panthers took a "L" to fellow 4A Franklin County in a measuring stick game to see if they were a contender or pretender in Class 4A. Knox has some work to do if they want to challenge for a Title.
11. Paintsville Tigers (1A, 7-2)- All roads have lead to here for the Tigers. Paintsville wraps up the regular season at Raceland a week after surviving a battle with Hazard. If Paintsville can pull off the mild upset, expect them to firmly return to the thick of being a Class A contender.
12. Hazard Bulldogs (1A, 4-3)- Hazard has played a veritable "Who's Who" of small school powerhouses in Eastern Kentucky. The Bulldogs' 1-point loss to Paintsville proves they are close, but right now Hazard is down the pecking order a bit of the most likely culprits to reach the Finals.
13. Montgomery County Indians (5A, 6-2)- It was a great game, but Montgomery County ended up on the losing side against undefeated Anderson County. The Indians validated they are for real, but they still need to close the season out strong before looking at how they can get back to a playoff rematch with the Bearcats.
14. Wayne County Cardinals (4A, 5-3)- The Cardinals could not take down Knox Central and will now look to make corrective actions so they can navigate their way back to another Regional Finals birth.
15. Pulaski County Maroons (5A, 6-2)- The Maroons have rallied to win six straight and now have all their goals in front of them heading into a huge clash with rival Southwestern. This could be a watershed moment for Pulaski, a loss and their playoff path becomes very difficult, a win and they suddenly start getting the respect they are accustomed to.
Breathitt County Bobcats (3A, 6-3)- Speaking of six in a row, breathitt County defeated Powell County to essentially lock up a District Title in a very rewarding win for the once powerhouse program.
Lynn Camp Wildcats (1A, 8-0)- Lynn Camp keeps their dream season alive with a romp of Harlan. The Wildcats will be a big favorite in their season finale, so this week's District clash with Williamsburg now becomes monstrous on multiple levels.
Shelby Valley Wildcats (2A, 7-1)- Shelby Valley outlasted Leslie County to secure homefield advantage throughout the playoffs until they are knocked off. It has been a great season for the Wildcats who have a legitimate shot at a 9-1 regular season.
Perry Central Commodores (5A, 7-1)- Perry Central went on the road to London and eeked out a tough 2-point victory. PCC now needs to defeat Harlan County and hope Whitley County can take down Letcher Central and a District Title will be their reward.
Three Big Games:
3A Russell Red Devils at 3A Bath County Wildcats- The winner takes the Class 3A District 5 Title. This is kind of a big deal due to Cross Bracketing. You don't want to be heading to Louisville if you don't have to.
#11 1A Paintsville Tigers at #6 1A Raceland Rams- Paintsville does not want to be written off yet, but standing in their way is one of the better Raceland teams in recent memory. Raceland feels like they have unfinished business to attend to and it all starts with winning this game.
#5 5A Southwestern Warriors at #15 5A Pulaski County Maroons- In recent years this has been a reversal roles. Southwestern now finds themselves as the "hunted" favorite and Pulaski County enters as the team striving for respect after some early season losses. This is always a great game.
Game of the Week:
#2 4A Ashland Tomcats at #1 4A Johnson Central Golden Eagles- These two teams have played in some amazing games and often times with huge implications on the line. With that said, this may be the biggest match-up. Both teams are on the short list of 4A Title contenders and Ashland has an undefeated regular season on the line. This may be the game of the year in Eastern Kentucky.
Player of the Week:
RB/LB Jayden Neace, Perry Central- Neace put on a show in a "must-win" game for the Commodores. Neace toted the rock 26 times for 231 yards a 4 TD's on Offense, might we add, those four scores were all four of Perry Central's TD's. Neace was equally as impressive on Defense with 6 assisted tackles, 5 solo tackles, and 3 of those solo's going as Tackle for Losses.
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