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  1. As we bridge the gap toward the anticipation of the start of football season I wanted to do a study on Geography and Football Success. Using data from 2000 until the present I have broken down the entire State of Kentucky by County (for those that play football). I developed a formula which takes into account State Titles, State Runner-Ups, Semi-Finals Appearances, and Regional Championship Appearances. I figured up a win percentage and the number of total winning seasons. I also factored for the total number of teams and the subsequent "Wins Per Season Average" for the teams in the County. Most importantly of all, I factored in the total population of the County based off the 2012 Census. The end result is a "Strength Rating" which can be used to compare and rank the Counties. Without further ado... let's begin our study with the Ten Counties That Ranked The BEST #15 Crittenden County Population: 9,274 Number Of Schools: 1 Finals: 0 Titles: 0 Record: 107-91 (54.04%) Winning Seasons: 8 Regional Finals: 3 Semi's: 1 W.P.S. Average: 6.29 Strength Rating: 0.983 #14 Pulaski Population: 63,607 Number Of Schools: 3 Finals: 5 Titles: 1 Record: 382-231 (62.32%) Winning Seasons: 37 Regional Finals: 20 Semi's: 12 W.P.S. Average: 7.49 Strength Rating: 1.147 #13 Simpson Population: 17,558 Number Of Schools: 1 Finals: 2 Titles: 0 Record: 132-73 (64.39%) Winning Seasons: 14 Regional Finals: 4 Semi's: 2 W.P.S. Average: 7.76 Strength Rating:1.179 #12 Caldwell Population: 12,937 Number Of Schools: 1 Finals: 1 Titles: 0 Record: 123-77 (61.50%) Winning Seasons: 12 Regional Finals: 5 Semi's: 1 W.P.S. Average: 7.24 Strength Rating: 1.184 #11 Greenup Population: 36,757 Number Of Schools: 3 Finals: 2 Titles: 1 Record: 355-253 (58.39%) Winning Seasons: 33 Regional Finals: 15 Semi's: 7 W.P.S. Average: 6.96 Strength Rating: 1.214 #10 Bell Population: 28,158 Number Of Schools: 3 Finals: 1 Titles: 1 Record: 352-248 (58.67%) Winning Seasons: 30 Regional Finals: 14 Semi's: 5 W.P.S. Average: 6.90 Strength Rating: 1.244 #9 Monroe Population: 10,841 Number Of Schools: 1 Finals: 0 Titles: 0 Record: 115-87 (56.93%) Winning Seasons: 11 Regional Finals: 4 Semi's: 3 W.P.S. Average: 6.76 Strength Rating:1.432 #8 Rockcastle Population: 17,049 Number Of Schools: 1 Finals: 2 Titles: 0 Record: 137-75 (64.62%) Winning Seasons: 11 Regional Finals: 5 Semi's: 4 W.P.S. Average: 8.06 Strength Rating: 1.565 #7 Perry Population: 28,283 Number Of Schools: 2 Finals: 4 Titles: 1 Record: 239-166 (59.01%) Winning Seasons: 21 Regional Finals: 11 Semi's: 6 W.P.S. Average: 7.03 Strength Rating: 1.596 #6 Johnson Population: 23,406 Number Of Schools: 2 Finals: 2 Titles: 1 Record: 270-141 (65.69%) Winning Seasons: 23 Regional Finals: 13 Semi's: 6 W.P.S. Average: 7.94 Strength Rating: 1.737 #5 Pike Population: 64,066 Number Of Schools: 7* (Elkhorn City played two seasons before becoming part of East Ridge) Finals: 11 Titles: 7 Record: 621-564 (52.41%) Winning Seasons: 44 Regional Finals: 30 Semi's: 18 W.P.S. Average: 6.09 Strength Rating: 1.935 #4 Breathitt Population: 13,627 Number Of Schools: 1 Finals: 2 Titles: 1 Record: 144-66 (68.57%) Winning Seasons: 13 Regional Finals: 7 Semi's: 3 W.P.S. Average: 8.47 Strength Rating: 2.018 #3 Campbell Population: 90,884 Number Of Schools: 7 Finals: 22 Titles: 13 Record: 721-618 (53.85%) Winning Seasons: 60 Regional Finals: 35 Semi's: 24 W.P.S. Average: 6.44 Strength Rating: 2.077 #2 Graves Population: 37,556 Number Of Schools: 2 Finals: 10 Titles: 6 Record: 313-132 (70.34%) Winning Seasons: 26 Regional Finals: 19 Semi's: 16 W.P.S. Average: 9.21 Strength Rating: 2.806 #1 Boyle Population: 28,924 Number Of Schools: 2 Finals: 13 Titles: 9 Record: 366-95 (79.39%) Winning Seasons: 30 Regional Finals: 23 Semi's: 18 W.P.S. Average: 10.76 Strength Rating: 4.452
  2. The first game in the 2023 Pike County Bowl was played in a steady rain with cooling temperatures at Belfry High School. The rain and some untimely issues by each team kept this not only a low-scoring game but a very competitive one. Freshman Pike Central quarterback, Jamere Knuckles would scamper for a nice 12-yard gain. One thing that was very noticeable with the Freshman was if his first option was not open he would take off running. He was able to use this method of operation to pick up yards all game long. Cameron Flannery one of the Central running backs was crushed by Tyler Gantt for a loss of three, then the Martin County defense got a nice play from Peyton Hamilton, who slung Mason Hess for a 1-yard loss after a catch. Pike Central had to settle for a school-record 42-yard field goal from Steven Gonzalez-Santes to make this a 3-0 game, with 4:52 left in the opening quarter. Link to my article along with the link to all of the pics. https://pafootballnews.com/news/pike-central-edges-martin-county-9-6/ https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10227942174214149&type=3
  3. @newarkcatholicfan is going to keep us updated, thanks ncf!
  4. Well folks it's that time again. Basketball in the Bluegrass. The 14th Region has been an exciting one over the past several years and this season shouldn't be any different with any of the top 5 teams capable of bringing home the hardware. 1) Hazard Bulldogs: Hazard made it to the regional championship game last season but came up short to crosstown rival, Perry County Central 53-48. The Bulldogs open up the 2019/20 season as the odds on favorite to claim the 14th region crown with both leading scorers, Logan Hall and Wade Pelphrey returning along with a good core of players could make for long games for their opponents. The Bulldogs finished the season 26-9 last season failing to win both the district championship and regional championship. Hazard is aching to get revenge against Perry County Central the same way Perry County Central won last season. 2) Cordia Lions: It's not very often that you see two or more teams from the same district in the top 3, that however, is the case this season with Hazard being #1 and Cordia #2. The Lions had a rough season last year, only winning 8 games and failing to make it to the regional tournament. The good news for the Lion faithful is that Cordia return all but 1 from a year ago, this includes both leading scorers, Darryen Pringle and Kalil Harris. If the Lions can re-group and build off last season, they could have a tremendous season. 3) Knott County Central Patriots: The Patriots barely escaped an upset from Estill County in the first round of the region tournament last season, edging out the Engineers 43-39 but that would be it as the Patriots would be bounced in the semi-finals by Perry County Central. The Patriots lose several from last season but only one of their leading scorers, Khlil Slone who averaged 14 points a game. The Patriots will be in contention this season especially with them being the region host. 4) Perry County Central Commodores: The defending 14th region champs come in at #3 this preseason. It could be rough sledding for the Commodores this season as they lost both top scorers Noah Back and Noah Caudill among 5 others, 7 total from last season. Despite losing that many players from a regional championship team, Perry County Central will find a way to be in the hunt for another regional championship. 5) Wolfe County Wolves: The Wolves had a disappointing season last year only winning 10 games and getting blown out in the first round of the regional tournament to Perry County Central by 24. The good news for Wolfe County is that they return all of their leading scorers including junior to be, Jaz Johnson, this should make for a great season for the Wolves. Wolfe County will always be in the hunt for a regional crown as long as Coach Creech is walking the sidelines. In my opinion, one of the best coaches in the region considering he does what he does at a small school. 6) Estill County Engineers: After back to back 20+ win seasons, Estill County hit a rough spot last season only winning 10 games. Theirs good news and bad news to this season for Estill County. The good news is they return all but 3 with those 3 not seeing much playing time. They also return top 5 region player, Joe Benton. The bad news? Estill County opens up the season against 2 of the top 5 preseason teams with both being on the road. December 3rd at Wolfe County, December 6th at Knott County Central. 7) Buckhorn Wildcats: Buckhorn had a good season last year going 21-10 before being eliminated in the opening round game of the 54th district tournament. They return leading scorer Kobe Browning who averaged right at 23 points a game last season. The Wildcats however, are in a district where they have to deal with both Perry County Central and Hazard both. With that said, the Wildcats should still have another tremendous season this season. Coach Hoskins has a great crew coming back. 8) Breathitt County Bobcats: The Bobcats finished 20-10 last season and were hot towards the end of the season before falling off at the end of the season where they went 3-3. Breathitt County loses 7 from last season including both leading scorers Jalen Taulbee and Kyle Fraley, that's 30+ points a game gone. Breathitt County does return Cameron Stacy and Bradyn Slaughter who both had great seasons last year. As long as John Noble is walking the sidelines in Jackson, never count out Breathitt County. 9) Letcher County Central Cougars: Letcher County Central had a good season last year and was hot right up until the last several games of the season where they fell apart, losing 5 of their final 7 games. The bad news doesn't stop their either, they lost both leading scorers Tyler Boggs and Gregory Kincer. Could be a long and stressful season for the Cougars and Cougar faithful. 10) Leslie County Eagles: The Eagles had it rough last season and were near the bottom of the pack. The only good news for the Eagles this season is that both leading scorers, Trenton Day and Wyatt Hensley return. With those two returning, will it be enough to get them back to the regional tournament? They had 3 top ten teams standing in their way. 11) Powell County Pirates: The Pirates opened up last season awful, in fact, their first win didn't come til about mid December. They finished strong though after a coaching change about mid-way through the season as coach David Fraley had to resign due to health concerns and interim coach, Blake Williams (who is now the head coach) took over and won the 56th district and made it to the semi-finals of the 14th region tournament. 12) Owsley County Owls: For a long time now, the Owls have struggled to get past either Powell County and Estill County. With Powell County, seemingly having a rebuild season, could this finally be the year the Owls knock off either Powell County or Estill County and make it back to the regional tournament? 13) Jackson City Tigers: The Tigers finished the season last year 7-21 but coach Kyle Pertuset is optimistic about this season, especially with both leading scorers, Alexander Terry and Slayden Sizemore returning. 14) June Buchanan Crusaders:The Crusaders have fallen off since Elisha Justice left to coach Pikeville. Past two seasons, they have won a combined 18 games. Can newly head coach, Brandon Gearheart change that? Only time will tell. 15) Lee County Bobcats: After coming off a winless season, the Bobcats won 6 games last season. Can coach Perdue get the Bobcats back to where they once were? Top 10 Players: 1) Jaz Johnson (Wolfe County): As a sophomore last season, Jaz led the Wolves in scoring at 22.1 points a game. Jaz should have another breakout year and will be hard for anyone to stop. 2) Joe Benton (Estill County): Mr. do it all for Estill County. Can score from just about anywhere on the court and will be the motor that makes Estill County go this season. During the offseason, Joe shot up to 6'2. 3) Wade Pelphrey (Hazard): Arguably Hazard's best player and the region's best 3 point shooter. Wade will be the one that Coach Holland calls on the most this season. 4) Darryn Pringle (Cordia): Lead the Lions in scoring last season at 20.3 points a game. He's gonna have a lot on his shoulders carrying this Cordia team this season. 5) Braydn Slaughter (Breathitt County): Despite averaging just 8 points a game last season, Braydn showed improvements all year long last season. Braydn will be one of several players that will get his name called on a lot by coach Noble. 6) Kobe Browning (Buckhorn): Lead Buckhorn in scoring at 22.3 points a game. Was dynamite from free throw line last season with 220 trips to the strip, making 170 of those attempts. 7) DeAndre Reed (Perry County Central): Was a key piece to the regional championship team last season despite only averaging 6 points a game. With Perry County Central losing a lot to graduation, DeAndre should get a lot of playing time this season. 8) Josh McGuire (Knott County Central): Was the 3rd leading scorer on his team last season at 10.3 points a game. His number should get called on a lot this season by coach BB King. 9) Wilgus Tolson (Wolfe County): Another leading scorer from Wolfe County last season at 15 points a game. Tolson along side Jaz Johnson could be hard for anyone to stop this season. 10) Logan Hall (Hazard): Was Hazard's 2nd leading scorer from last season and another weapon for Coach Al Holland.
  5. The Butler Bears prevailed as the champions of the Sixth Region last season, putting an end to Fern Creek’s two-year streak as regional champion. With several key contributors returning, Coach K.C. Goodin is sure to have the Bears at or near the top of the region again this year. But Fern Creek’s outstanding trio of sophomores return as an outstanding trio of juniors. And they won’t be the only challengers for Sixth Region supremacy, as there are a number of teams that might end up at the top of the heap by season’s end. As has been the case the past several years, the competition in the Sixth Region will be fierce. TEAM RANKINGS 1. Fern Creek Tigers Last season’s 14-12 record and not reaching the Sixth Region tournament is not what Coach James Schooler has come to expect from the Tigers. Just three seasons ago, the Tigers went 35-2, won the Sixth Region, and advanced to the semi-finals of the state tournament. Two years ago, Fern Creek was 27-7, again won the Sixth Region, and made it to the state tournament quarterfinals. The Tigers may return to those lofty heights this season. Returning for Fern Creek are three of the best players in the region, all juniors, in Jaden Rogers (17.5 ppg), Darrius Washington (12.2 ppg, 7.6 rpg), and Zek Montgomery (11.7 ppg, 6.9 rpg). Rogers is a 6’0” guard who can score in a variety of ways. Washington is 6’8” and recently received his first Division I scholarship offer from Morehead. I suspect more will follow. At 6’6”, Montgomery adds size and athleticism to the Tigers’ frontcourt but can also score from the outside. A pair of sophomores, Andru Markham (5.3 ppg) and Darien Lewis, should see significant minutes for the Tigers. Coach Schooler also expects newcomer junior Ce’Arius Warren, who averaged 7.6 ppg and 8.3 rpg at Southern last year, to add energy and be a major contributor. I think we will see that last season’s 14-12 record was an aberration. Look for Coach Schooler to have the very talented Tigers back at the top of the region this year. 2. Butler Bears The Butler Bears are coming off two outstanding seasons. After finishing 27-4 in the 2017-18 season, the Bears went 26-8 last season, won the Sixth Region, and advanced to the second round of the state tournament before losing to Scott County. Veteran coach K.C. Goodin has got something good going at Butler. In trying to achieve a similar level of success this season, the Bears must deal with the loss of their top scorer Maurice Tolley (13 ppg). While Tolley definitely will be missed, Coach Goodin welcomes back the next three leading scorers from last year, seniors Trey Minter (10 ppg), Jordan Lamb (8.3 ppg), and Cameron Underwood (7.6 ppg). Underwood also was the leading rebounder at 5.5 rpg. Other returnees with substantial playing experience are seniors Yusef Chandler-Westbrooks (30 games last season) and Tom Dozier (32 games). Coach Goodin will look to juniors Tae Dozier, Mershon Dickerson, and Corey Mucker to see increased minutes and become important contributors. In addition, Turrell Cleaves is a talented sophomore who likely will see plenty of action for the Bears. While the loss of Maurice Tolley should not be downplayed, the Bears have a veteran coach, multiple returning starters, and additional talented players. That sounds like a recipe for success. Look for the Butler Bears to again compete for the Sixth Region championship. 3. Bullitt East Chargers Coming off a 20-13 season in which they advanced to the Sixth Region championship game against Butler, the Bullitt East Chargers look to have a similar season this year. Their ability to do so is enhanced by the presence of one of the best returning players in the region in 6’0” senior Zak Perdew. Perdew averaged 15.8 ppg last season and should again be one of the region’s leading scorers. The big question facing the Chargers is who will step up to fill the void created by the loss of their next three top scorers from last season. Junior Josiah Morris (6.1 ppg, 4.6 rpg) and senior Hunter Brogan (5.7 ppg) should see their offensive numbers increase. The Chargers ended last season winning eight of their last nine games, with most of those wins coming against Sixth Region opponents. With Zak Perdew leading the charge, Bullitt East could see similar stretches of success this season. 4. Pleasure Ridge Park Panthers First year head coach Larry Kihnley faces the impossible task of replacing Dale Mabry, who coached the Panthers for 38 years, amassed an overall record of 937-283 (second most wins in KHSAA history), and led PRP to the 1989 state championship. In his remarkable career, Coach Mabry also led the Panthers to two state runner-up finishes and six Louisville Invitational Tournament titles. But Coach Kihnley is no stranger to PRP basketball, having graduated from the school and serving as an assistant to Mabry since 1983. And he is intimately familiar with the substantial talent that returns for the Panthers. Leading the way for the Panthers will be senior point guard James Taylor Jr., who moved to PRP at the beginning of last season and played in 19 games, averaging 8.3 ppg. Taylor is very talented and is expected to have a tremendous senior season. Three additional seniors expected to contribute are Josh Williams ( 6’4”, 5.5 ppg), Jake Miller (5’10”, 6.6 ppg), and Antwan Lockhart (6’2”). Williams should lead the team in rebounding, while Miller was one of the city’s top shooters last season at 47% from 3-point range (61/131). 6’2” junior Nevin White is expected to be the fifth starter. The Panthers should have plenty of depth, including 5’7” freshman Zek McCown, who Coach Kihnley says is the best freshman to enter the PRP basketball program in the last nine seasons. 5. DeSales Colts DeSales lost its top two scorers from last year in Keegan Brewer (21.4 ppg) and Matthew Ruckriegle (19.3 ppg, 11 rpg), but Coach Damien Anderson welcomes back three seniors, including Logan Lautzenheiser (9.6 ppg) and starting point guard Antione Johnson (4.8 ppg). The Colts’ 2019-20 season got much more interesting when senior Eduardo Tostado and 6’10” junior Sekou Kalle decided they would stay at DeSales and play for the Colts this season. Tostado and Kalle attended DeSales last year while playing for Aspire Academy. The injection of two very talented players elevated DeSales into a regional contender. The Colts should get a quick sense of where they are when they open the season against the defending state champion Trinity Shamrocks. 6. Fairdale Bulldogs With four starters returning, Coach David Hicks is excited about the Bulldogs’ potential this season. The Bulldogs likely will again by led by seniors Ty Walter and Stephen Moore, each of whom averaged 15.1 ppg last season. Walter is 5’10” and hit almost 100 3’s last season, shooting them at a 36.6% clip. Moore is 6’2” and can both score and distribute. The other two returning starters are 6’2” senior Tristan Bertrand (7 ppg, 4.8 rpg) and 6’1” junior Isaac Tedford. The Bulldogs’ outlook for this season took an upward turn at the end of the school year when 6’5” Charles Ward transferred into the school when his family moved from Chicago. Ward will be a senior. Coach Hicks also believes there will be a number of freshmen who may end up being significant contributors. 7. Bullitt Central Cougars Coming off a 23-11 season that saw the Cougars advance to the semi-finals of the Sixth Region tournament where they lost to eventual champion Butler, the Cougars lost leading scorer Aiden Terry (13.6 ppg) to graduation but return their next two leading scorers and their top two rebounders in seniors Jacob Mann (13.8 ppg, 4.9 rpg) and Chandler Ocasio (11 ppg, 5.4 rpg). Junior Gavin Hedges (2.2 ppg) and Senior Warren Coogle (1.5 ppg) are expected to see more minutes and provide increased offensive production. Bullitt Central has won at least 20 games in each of the past two seasons; it will be interesting to see if Coach Shane Popplewell can get the Cougars to a similar level this season. 8. North Bullitt Eagles Alex Young returns in his second year as head coach of the Eagles, and he brings back everyone from last year’s team that went 9-22 and had wins against teams like Bardstown, Doss, and South Oldham. Back for his fourth year as a starter is senior Logan Steinmacher, who averaged 16.1 ppg and 4.6 rpg. Steinmacher will again be the focus of the offense, but the returnees include plenty players who will again contribute significantly, including Ron Still (9.8 ppg, including 32 points in a win over Doss), Ethan Phillips (8.8 ppg), Brendan Hill (7.7 ppg, 7.2 rpg), Alec Blankenship (6.2 ppg), and Michael Richerson (6.2 ppg). With everyone back, the Eagles could have a very interesting season. Keep an eye on them. 9. Jeffersontown Chargers Jeffersontown won 18 games last season and advanced to the Sixth Region tournament, losing to eventual champion Butler in the opening round. The Chargers lost from that team two of their top three scorers, including leading scorer and rebounder Blake Butler (16.5 ppg, 9.3 rpg) and Chris Trigg (12.7 ppg, 6.5 rpg). The leading returner around whom the Chargers will build is sophomore Brandon Rayzer-Moore, who averaged an impressive 12.4 ppg as a freshman last year. Also returning are junior Sincere Owens (2.8 ppg) and senior Jacoby Johnson (2.2 ppg). A newcomer expected to contribute significantly is senior Quintin Anderson, who averaged 10.1 ppg last season at Moore. 10. Southern Trojans The Trojans look to build on last season’s winning record (13-12) and have several key performers returning from last year’s squad. Junior Camden Pfeister (8.8 ppg) will be joined by seniors Kaden Crawley (7.1 ppg), Ronyell May (4.4 ppg), and Quincy Murrell (4 ppg) to give Coach Shedrick Jones a number of experienced players with which to work. While the Trojans don’t shoot a lot of three’s, they hit a high percentage of them, with Crawley shooting 46.6% (34/73) and May shooting 41.7% (10/24) last year. It could be another good year for the Trojans. 11. Moore Mustangs The Mustangs had an impressive season last year, going from seven wins in 2017-18 to a 16-14 record last year. Coach Roy Sutton believes four year starter senior Rae Von Vaden (5.3 ppg, 4 rpg) and fellow senior Dowan Green (7.2 ppg) should lead the Mustangs this season. Junior Darius Carver (4.5 ppg) will be looked upon to step up. Additional help will come from newcomers Damontre Ellis, a senior transfer from Fairdale who should help on the offensive end, and juniors Gakary Thompson and Jarah Anderson, a transfer from New Albany, IN. 12. Holy Cross Cougars Holy Cross welcomes back to the sideline Coach Jody Thornsberry, who last coached the Cougars in the 2005-06 season before becoming the school’s Athletic Director. Coach Thornsberry is excited to be back at the helm of the Cougars, perhaps in part because of the return of Sam Bearden for his senior year. The 6’4” Bearden averaged 12.5 ppg and 7.4 rpg last season. Coach Thornsberry will need a new supporting crew for Bearden, as the next 3 leading scorers from last season were lost to graduation. Juniors Chaz Geraghty (4.8 ppg) and Chase Davis (3.8 ppg) return, as does senior Josh Minor (2.6 ppg). If they are able to provide some support for Bearden, the Crusaders may be able to end up with a winning record, which they just missed last year at 14-15. 13. Doss Dragons After a tremendous five-year run in which the Dragons compiled a 125-39 record, including finishing as the state runner-up in 2015-16, Doss dropped to 10-20 last season. The top three scorers from last season’s team were lost to graduation, including Jeremiah Boyd (11.8 ppg). A number of other contributors from last year return, including sophomores Innslee Carrol (4.2 ppg) and Kenye Green (4.1 ppg) plus juniors Tony Moss (4 ppg) and Chris Anderson (3.6 ppg). Coach Blake Stone will need some of those returnees to step up for the Dragons to improve on last year’s 10-win total. 14. Western Warriors The Warriors improved their win total from 4 wins in 2017-18 to 10 wins last season, including a noteworthy win over Bullitt Central in mid-January, under first year head coach Brandon Britt. Coach Britt returns and has the good fortune of getting back the two leading scorers from last season in seniors Neairon Finisson (14.8 ppg) and BAngelo Anderson (14.6 ppg). Also returning is senior Jaden Neal, who averaged 8.2 ppg in 12 games last season. With those top scorers having another year of experience under their belt, look for the Warriors to improve on their 10-win total from last season. 15. Valley Vikings The Vikings lost their top five scorers from last year’s 12-14 team, including 17.5 ppg scorer Cam Wilson. The leading returning scorer is K. J. Savage, who contributed 6.2 ppg last season. Coach DeJuan Wheat will seek to find increased contributions from seniors Javon Warren and William Vaughn plus junior Armani Carr. Valley will be challenged to match last season’s 12-win total. 16. Iroquois Raiders The Raiders face the upcoming season without Keshawn Dixon, who graduated after leading Iroquois in scoring last year at a 18.4 ppg pace. That is a big loss for veteran coach Jeff Morrow, but the good news is that there are a number of returnees with substantial playing experience, including seniors Derrick Goodloe (7.8 ppg), Antoine Butler (5.1 ppg), Dendheno Saunders (4.1 ppg), and Barry Abdoul (3.6 ppg). Juniors Jamontre Anderson (3.3 ppg, 3.4 rpg) and Gary Morris (3 ppg, 3.7 rpg) will also be expected to contribute. The Raiders dropped from 20 wins in the 2017-18 season to 7 wins last year, and will need players to step up their production to improve on that win total this season. 17. Whitefield Academy Wildcats Whitefield welcomes back one of the region’s top scorers from last year in senior Trevor Nauert (17.4 ppg) and also returns its leading rebounder, Luke Wheatley (5.9 ppg, 6.2 rpg). Senior A. J. Bruckert (8.3 ppg) joins them to give the Wildcats a trio of experienced contributors. Coach Chris Vaughn returns for his fourth season with the Wildcats, who have hit double digits in victories in each of the past two seasons. Look for Whitefield to improve on last year’s 10-win total. 18. Beth Haven Bears While head coach Doug Phillips will be a new face on the sidelines for the Bears, the faces on the court largely will be familiar as Beth Haven lost only one player to graduation. Senior guards Isaiah Mahoney (15.3 ppg) and Austin Whitehouse (12 ppg) led the Bears in scoring last year and likely will do so again this season. Athletic junior Luke Easley (8.5 ppg) should once again be a significant contributor. Coach Phillips believes freshman Jordan Harris has the potential to be a special player. Look for the Bears to improve on the 6-win mark it has achieved in each of the last two years. 19. Evangel Christian Eagles The Eagles’ 12-19 record last season was a big step forward from the 3 wins the Eagles achieved the year before. Coach Jeremiah Hoagland returns for his second year with the Eagles and will look to senior Nick Cruse and freshman Markel Merriwether to lead this season’s squad. . PLAYER RANKINGS 1. Jaden Rogers, 6’0”, junior, Fern Creek Point guard who can score (17.5 ppg) will lead the Tigers once again. 2. Darrius Washington, 6’8”, junior, Fern Creek Averaged 12.2 ppg and 7.6 rpg last season and is beginning to receive Division I offers. 3. James Taylor, 6’1”, senior, Pleasure Ridge Park Standout point guard will benefit from playing full season with the Panthers. 4. Zek Montgomery, 6’6”, junior, Fern Creek Athletic wing player averaged 11.7 ppg and 6.9 rpg last season and will join with Jaden Rogers and Darrius Washington to give Fern Creek a powerful trio of juniors. 5. Zak Perdew, 6’0”, senior, Bullitt East Leading scorer (15.8 ppg) for last year’s regional runner-up returns for his senior season. 6. Sekou Kalle, 6’10”, junior, DeSales Big man with tremendous potential played at Aspire Academy last season. 7. Trey Minter, 6’0”, senior, Butler Leading returning scorer (10 ppg) for the defending regional champions. 8. Brandon Rayzer-Moore, 6’3”, sophomore, Jeffersontown Averaged an impressive 12.4 ppg last season as a freshman. 9. Sam Bearden, 6’4”, senior, Holy Cross Expected to again lead the Crusaders in both scoring and rebounding, as he did last season (12.5 ppg, 7.4 rpg). 10. Jacob Mann, 6’3”, senior, Bullitt Central Should increase his 13.8 ppg scoring clip for the Cougars this season.
  6. The BGP 1A predictions are clicking on all cylinders going 8 for 8 in predicting the teams left standing as we enter round 3. As we all well know now, round 3 is where the new KHSAA RPI finally kicks in. That also puts a twist in the bracketing and it had an immediate impact in year one. Instead of the brackets flowing straight out by district, the RPI has shifted opponents around on both sides of the state. Here are the RPI standings for the final eight in 1A with their overall ranking in the entire class in parenthesis at the end: 1. Kentucky Country Day ………… .81404 (1) 2. Pikeville ……………………………… .76144 (2) 3. Louisville Holy Cross …………… .69857 (3) 4. Paintsville …………………………… .69460 (4) 5. Williamsburg ………………………. .68442 (5) 6. Newport Central Catholic …… .67431 (6) 7. Crittenden County ……………… .63587 (10) 8. Nicholas County …………………. .53302 (16) So we have the top six RPI teams in 1A still left plus the number 10 and 16 teams in the class. This final 8 is also a list of the favorites in each district. The upset machine has not made an appearance in 1A. Will it finally show up in round 3? Let’s review last week’s action and see if there are ay matchups in round 3 that might lend themselves to an upset. West Round 3 Matchups 4 seed D1 Crittenden County at 1 seed D3 Kentucky Country Day It was starting to look like the scheduling gauntlet Russellville ran early in the season was paying off. After an 0-6 start against an incredibly challenging, the Panthers had won 4 of their last 5 prior to taking the field. Crittenden County was not impressed. The Rockets blasted off on the Panthers in a 41-3 win. Want to know how dominant Crittenden County was in this one? They held Russellville to 50 total yards in the game. Xander Tabor rushed for 139 yards, 3 TDs and had an interception for the Rockets. In District 3, Kentucky Country Day found themselves in an unexpectedly close game against Eminence. KCD defeated Eminence 62-13 during the regular season so naturally they were feeling good leading 27-6 just before halftime. As the game went on in the second half though, Eminence kept creeping closer. With 7:33 to go Eminence was within one score at 27-20. KCD got it back to a two score margin but Eminence came right back at KCD making it 34-26 with 4 minutes to go. Unfortunately for Eminence, that is where the game and season ended for the Warriors. KCD’s rushing attack showed its power going over 300 yards with Dorian Heard gaining 161 yards and Nick Smith gaining 103 yards. That gets us to the 1 versus 4 RPI battle in the west. If we use RPI as a guide, Kentucky Country Day should be a strong favorite here. Crittenden County has been on a tear since inserting So. Luke Crider as the starting QB four games ago. This game features two of the top running backs in 1A. KCD’s Dorian Heard has 1,633 yards and Crittenden County’s Xander Tabor has 1,477 yards. KCD should get the win here. We will stick with the preview prediction on this game: Prediction: Kentucky Country Day 27 Crittenden County 14 3 seed D4 Newport Central Catholic at 2 seed D2 Louisville Holy Cross There is a district competitiveness contrast between these two. District 3 Newport Central Catholic romped through district play in their first time in this 1A district in over ten years. The Breds played 5 district games between the regular season and playoffs and posted a running clock in all 5. Sr. WR Cody Mueller has done an admirable job filling the void left by the absence of the Breds top receiver Caleb Jefferson the past 3 weeks. In District 2 Holy Cross got a chance in the district championship game to avenge their only loss since August when Bethlehem visited. The Cougars continued to impress with a 34-13 win. Cougars QB Chaz Geraghty passed for 134 yards and rushed for 119 while RB Luke Davis added 101 yards and 3 TDs. However, the most impressive part of the win was Holy Cross holding Bethlehem’s offense to the 13 points. Looking to the round 3 matchup, Holy Cross will need another defensive performance like last week to keep Newport Catholic QB Paul Kremer and his wide receiving corps under control. Even if Jefferson is still out with injury, Newport Catholic has weapons at WR that the Cougars will need to keep wraps on. RPI says Holy Cross is the team to beat here. This should be an outstanding game. We went with Holy Cross to win this one in the preview, and we will stick with that, with some reservations. Prediction: Louisville Holy Cross 21 Newport Central Catholic 17 East Round 3 Matchups 4 seed D5 Nicholas County at 1 seed D7 Pikeville The District 5 championship was quite the battle. Nicholas County had defeated Brossart 28-6 in their regular season meeting. The Mustangs learned some lessons in that game. They pushed Nicholas County to the brink of elimination leading 13-21 into the second half. Then Nicholas County was able to punch in the go ahead score on Cain Saucedo’s third TD of the game. Saucedo carried the ball 49 times for 240 yards in leading the Bluejackets to the win. The prize for Nicholas County is a matchup with Pikeville. Pikeville again displayed their power in the District 7 title game 45-12 win over Hazard. In two meetings with rival Hazard, the Panthers never gave the Bulldogs any hope for an upset, dominating them in both games while outscoring them 87-12 in the two games. Again looking at RPI, this is the biggest mismatch of the four round 3 games. The most interesting thing to watch in this game will be seeing how Nicholas County RB Cain Saucedo will do against the Pikeville defense. If Nicholas County can get Saucedo going and control the clock, they may be able to keep it closer than most expect. Here is the prediction from the 1A preview thread: Prediction: Pikeville 62 Nicholas County 7 3 seed D8 Williamsburg at 2 seed D6 Paintsville District 6 has been one of the most entertaining district title games to watch in 1A. The annual matchup between Paintsville and Raceland has produced classic after classic. This year’s playoff version looked to be headed towards classic status again. Instead of a Raceland fourth quarter comeback, it was Paintsville pulling away in the fourth quarter in this one. John Phelps overcame a fumble on the opening kickoff to lead Paintsville to the win. Phelps rushed for 102 yards and 3 TDs in the win. In the other game in this part of the bracket, Williamsburg made easy work of upset round 1 winner Lynn Camp. Dalton Ponder did his usual thing throwing 5 TD passes in the win. That brings us to the final round 3 matchup and it is a very interesting one. Most 1A watchers would say Paintsville QB Jake Hyden is one of the best QBs in 1A. Williamsburg’s Dalton Ponder has more than doubled Hyden’s passing yardage total, 1,561 to 3,485. In fact, Ponder has thrown for almost 1,000 more yards than the second ranked passer in 1A. One of the fun matchups to watch in this game may actually be Hyden the DB versus Ponder. Hyden is tied for #2 in the state in INTs with 5. He will get plenty of chances for another INT facing Williamsburg’s pass happy offense. Williamsburg has scored 528 points on the year to lead 1A. There is certainly potential for an upset here, but we will stick with our preview prediction. Prediction: Paintsville 35 Williamsburg 28
  7. Front Runners Beau Allen (QB, Lexington Catholic) Round 2: Beau Allen closed out his illustrious high school career on a sour note, throwing a couple of interceptions in a 54-7 loss to Boyle County. On the bright side, he'll never have to see the Rebels (aka, the bane of his existence) again. Though his career may not have ended in the fashion he would have preferred, Allen has left an indelible mark on both Lexington Catholic football and the KHSAA record books. He ranks fifth all time in both career passing yards (11,439) and touchdown passes (127) Season to date: 234/341 for 3,682 yards and 38 TDs/8 ints. - 517 yards rushing/12 TDs Reed Lanter (QB, Boyle County) Round 2: For the fifth time in a row, Lanter got the better of his rival and Lexington Catholic counterpart, Beau Allen, on the scoreboard. He also bested him again statistically, as well. He fell well short of the 494 yards he put up back in Week 8, but no one's going to complain about 11/13 for 238 yards and three touchdowns. Lanter was a laser sharp 35/41 against the Knight in two games this season. His last touchdown pass in Round 2 leaves him on the doorstep of 100 for his career. Season to date: 139/191 for 2,533 yards and 32 TDs/2 int. Round #2 Playoffs - Reed Lanter highlights - Hudl Michael Mayer (TE/LB, Covington Catholic) Round 2: For the second time this season, Conner was no match for Mayer and CovCath, falling to the Colonels with another first half running clock. Mayer caught a couple of touchdown passes and recorded his fourth pick of the season. His defensive contributions continue to be of vital importance to a unit allowing 4 ppg over their last nine games. Season to date: 37 catches for 776 yards and 13 TDs - 2 rushing TDs - 77 tackles/1.5 sacks/4 int./1 pick-six/5 forced fumbles Reese Smith (WR/S, Boyle County) Round 2: Smith continued to display why he is the single most impactful and accomplished football player in Kentucky. He's renowned for his talents on the offensive side of the ball, for which he was rewarded with scholarship offers from UK, UofL, and Tennessee, before eventually committing to WVU, but he achieved a notable accomplishment on defense against Lexington Catholic. He passed former UK, NFL, and Boyle County great Jacob Tamme to etch his name at #1 on the Rebels' all time interceptions list with 24. Smith deposited his latest theft in the endzone and added 109 yards and two touchdowns on six catches as Boyle poured it on LexCath, 54-7. Season to date: 43 catches for 1,164 yards and 16 touchdowns - 3 rushing TDs - 22 tackles/5 ints./1 pick-six Locks Malachi Corley (RB/WR/DB, Campbellsville) 2019 Season: 48 rushes for 541 yards and 10 TDs - 25 catches for 698 yards and 10 TDs - 63 tackles/3 sacks/4 forced fumble - 1 punt return touchdown Career: 2,070 yards rushing/26 TDs - 2,324 yards receiving/30 TDs - 269 tackles/6 ints. - 6 non-offensive TDs Izayah Cummings (WR, Male) Round 2: Cummings was present and accounted for in Male's 27-8 win over Fern Creek, but failed to get his name in the box score. He was held without a catch for the second time this season. With St. X looming, he can't afford another silent Friday night. Season to date: 50 catches for 962 yards and 11 TDs Franklin Hayes (WR, McCracken County) Round 2: It's hard to find any negatives in a district championship clinching, playoff win, but Hayes' performance against Henderson County was his worst of the season. He tied a season low with two catches for 39 yards, his lowest output this year. Hayes was also held scoreless for the first time this season, delaying his pursuit of the receiving touchdown record for another week. Season to date: 64 catches for 1,540 yards and 26 TDs Jeriah Hightower (RB, Madisonville-North Hopkins) Round 2: It was a tale of two halves for Hightower against Hopkinsville last Friday. The Maroons trailed 14-7 at halftime, with Hightower being almost completely shut down. But by game's end, he had 174 yards rushing, two touchdowns, and a district championship. This week, he gets a crack at two time defending 4A champion Franklin-Simpson, who narrowly escaped MNH in last year's semifinals while holding Hightower to just 62 yards. Season to date: 280 rushes for 2,493 yards and 27 TDs Octavious Oxendine (DT, North Hardin) Round 2: North Hardin's top rated defense helped turn a matchup of top ten teams that battled to a 7-0 decision a few weeks ago into a much more comfortable 31-7 outcome. Oxendine (5 tackles/2 sacks) and Co. held Central Hardin to just 14 yards rushing - and seven total yards in the second half - to secure a district title. Season to date: 57 tackles/13 TFL/14.5 sacks Walker Parks (OT/DL, Frederick Douglass) Round 2: The Broncos dispatched Scott County for the second time, behind another strong effort from FD's offensive and defensive fronts. Douglass outrushed the Cardinals again, while holding them well below their usual yardage output. Season to date: 30 tackles/10.5 TFL/5.5 sacks - The Broncos are averaging 8.3 yards per carry and have only allowed one sack this season. Demetri Scott (DE/TE, DeSales) Round 2: Known more for his defensive prowess, Scott's offensive contributions came to the forefront against archrival Christian Academy of Louisville. He accounted for three of DeSales' four touchdowns, all receptions. He also recovered a couple of fumbles and provided his weekly presence in the opposing backfield, applying rabid pressure and sacking CAL's quarterback once. Season to date: 66 tackles/23 TFL/24 sacks - 15 receptions for 289 yards and 7 TDs Christian Academy - Demetri Scott highlights - Hudl Jayden Stinson (QB, Mayfield) Round 2: Stinson might miss playing Murray after this season, but the feeling will almost certainly not be mutual. He threw for 317 yards and six touchdowns in last Friday's 56-24 Cardinals win. He ends his career 5-0 against the Tigers with a 16 to 2 TD/interception ratio. After reaching the 100 career touchdown pass milestone two weeks ago, he surpassed Luke Guhy on Mayfield's single season list. His 43 touchdown passes this year are the new benchmark, that is, until he increases it next week. Season to date: 155/239 for 3,134 yards and 43 TDs/10 ints. Murray High School - Jayden Stinson highlights - Hudl On The Bubble Jayden Barnhardt (QB, Lexington Christian Academy) Round 2: The new playoff format put LCA in a state championship caliber matchup in the second round. It's a tough break for the Eagles, as they fell to Somerset, 28-26. Barnhardt wrapped up a stellar season with four total touchdowns in defeat. Late in the fourth quarter, he snuck across the goal line to pull LCA within two, but unlike the regular season game, the Eagles were unable to make good on the two point conversion. Season to date: 183/301 for 2,843 yards and 33 TDs/10 ints. - 574 rushing yards and 10 TDs Charles Collins (RB/DB, Breathitt County) Round 2: The Bobcats rolled over Middlesboro, 50-15, with Collins playing a central role. Unofficially, he rushed for 152 yards and three touchdowns (2 rushing, 1 receiving) as he closes in on a hundred for his career. That trio of scores last Friday puts him at 96. Season to date: 91 rushes for 1,441 yards and 31 TDs - 2 receiving TDs - one kickoff return TD - 41 tackles/1 sack Drew Hartz (QB, Owensboro Catholic) Round 2: Hartz's season ended abruptly at the hands of McLean County, a team the Aces handled by 34 in the regular season. He threw for 300 yards and four touchdowns, but now has to switch gears and prepare to rep OCath on the basketball court after McLean scored the winning touchdown with 39 seconds left. It was a very anticlimactic end to a historically prolific season. He set a new single season standard for touchdown passes at Owensboro Catholic, beating out Ray Zuberer by one, and finishes tied with Male legend Chris Redman for fourth on the state single season list. Season to date: 246/348 for 4,173 yards and 57 TDs/5 ints. Jackson Hensley (WR, Pikeville) Round 2: Hensley caught a touchdown pass and returned a punt for a score in Pikeville's 45-12 win over Hazard. Over his last two games, he's scored via the run, pass (2), and kick return (2). Season to date: 39 catches for 579 yards and 9 TDs - 61 tackles/2 int./1 fumble return TD - 2 kick return TDs Hazard High School - Jackson Hensley highlights - Hudl
  8. WEST So how did we get here? In District 1, Mayfield did exactly what you would expect Mayfield to do. The Cardinals did not necessarily explode out of the gates against Murray, but once they got going it was an avalanche of points that ensued as Mayfield polished off the Tigers 56-24. Jayden Stinson was superb throwing for over 300 yards and 6 TD's. Moving to District 2, we got the playoff upset we all love seeing. McLean County shocked Owensboro Catholic by following the blueprint laid out last week in The Notebook to secure a 36-36 shocker. The Cougars had two backs eclipse the 100-yard mark and QB Peyton Caraway made his two completions count with 101 pass yards on them including a TD. McLean turned Owensboro Catholic over three times helping their case. District 3 was predictably exciting. As expected, defense ruled the day. In the end QB Jon Smith proved the difference for Edmonson County in their 17-13 win over Clinton County. Smith got a ground score and also connected with Chance Lucas on a 40-yard TD pass. Clinton County put up a valiant fight, but in the end Edmonson was left standing once the dust finally settled in the most exciting District race of 2019 in Class 2A. Then there was this little game in District 4 that may have been on everyone's radar between Somerset and LCA. The regular season meeting was perhaps the best game of the year in Class 2A and the re-match did not disappoint. Somerset got off the mat for a big win in the game that mattered the most 28-26, with QB Kaiya Sheron coming up big. Sheron connected with Kade Grundy for a TD but his ground prowess was the game-breaker, rushing for 104 yards and three huge scores. Dearious Smith was superb for LCA, but in the end a Tate Madden interception ended the drama. Round 3 Showdowns: #4 Edmonson County (6-6) at #1 Mayfield (11-1) Out of the pond and into the ocean. Edmonson County may have won the most dramatic 2A District, but they also won the District most agree was the weakest. The Wildcats must take a significant step up in class heading to Mayfield and don't expect them to simply have enough artillery to stand up to the heavyweight incumbent. Mayfield's offensive explosion and Defensive big play ability should allow the Cardinals to press the accelerator once they get a lead. Edmonson County will play with pride, but expect this one to snow ball Prediction: Mayfield 56 Edmonson County 12 #3 McLean County (8-4) at #2 Somerset (11-1) McLean will make the long trip to the Briar Patch where the mighty Purple and Gold await them. Somerset's biggest enemy will be let down. After winning a game that might have the potential to prove to be a pseudo-State Championship, it will be easy to overlook a team most did not expect to still be playing. McLean can play and has great Senior experience. They used this to upset O'Cath and you can bet they are only thinking of victory as they take the long bus trip. With that said, their run-heavy offense will be a Catch 22 against a strong Somerset Front 7. If McLean can chew clock and keep themselves in the game it gives them a puncher's chance, but if they get behind they will struggle to be able to come back. Expect McLean to earn respect, but Somerset is just too good. Prediction: Somerset 46 McLean County 20 EAST So how did we get here? Walton-Verona just continues to reign over their District competition in the Coach Barth era. Owen County made some big plays, but in the end the Bearcat defense ruled the day 48-20 by completely stonewalling Owen's rushing game. Walton-Verona racked up over 300 total yards as they kept the time of possession in hand and broke Owen County's will. Newport's Cinderella season struck midnight in Fort Mitchell as Beechwood simply outclassed them 38-19. Cameron Hergott did his thing and so did the Tiger D, well sort of. Newport actually out-gained the Tigers by a fair clip, but Beechwood simply bent but never broke. Breathitt County kept their express train rolling. The Bobcats scored early and often on their way to a 50-15 win. Outside of two games which were mercifully shortened from the start with a running clock, the Bobcats have scored over 40 points in every game and only had one outcome that did not feature a running clock. West Carter continues to fly under the radar and their District 8 Championship demonstrated that you should take the Comets lightly at your own peril. West Carter ambushed Shelby Valley 50-12 with surprising balance. Perry Orr threw for over 200 yards and 5 scores in his best performance of the season. Round 3 Showdowns: #4 Walton-Verona (8-4) at #1 Breathitt County (12-0) A year ago Walton-Verona shocked the State by knocking off one-loss Glasgow and securing a spot in the Semi's for the first time in school history. The Bearcats hope to do it again, but this time it will have to be on the road in hostile Jackson. The good news is not only will Walton-Verona be Breathitt's toughest opponent to date, they also play the style that is most conducive to an upset if W-V can keep it close. The ground and pound offense and stingy defensive approach is the recipe, but unlike 2018 Walton-Verona may not have enough ingredients in their pantry. Charles Collins had been looking for a breakout opportunity with limited reps needed, and this may be his platform. Breathitt's big play ability may simply be too much as the Bobcats should get the job done up front. Prediction: Breathitt County 50 Walton-Verona 22 #3 West Carter (9-3) at #2 Beechwood (7-5) Many will judge this game off name alone. One team is one of Kentucky's most storied programs ripe with State Titles and post-season success, the other is a relative unknown with very few trips to even this very round. Judge on the past at your own caution. Beechwood should be the favorite in this game and should be the better class of opponent. West Carter's style of play and Beechwood's sometime sluggish offensive efficiency should make this one a tough game. West Carter will battle the Tigers up front and will be able to move the ball at times. One big question will be whether this game will pivot on the play of an established great player (Hergott) or an upcoming great player in West Carter's LeeTavious Cline. Cline will need to shine. Any Comet upset bid begins with him making key conversions and finding the end zone. Expect this one to be tight throughout. At the end of the day, many Tiger players have been in games this big in the past seasons and West Carter has not. Additionally, the Tigers' brutal regular season schedule was put together for a reason and it should pay dividends here. Prediction: Beechwood 24 West Carter 20 Projected Semi-Final Games: #4 Beechwood (0.62970) at #1 Mayfield (0.75316) #3 Breathitt County (0.65959) at #2 Somerset (0.75279)
  9. District 1 We start with District 1, but they were the last game played in the state this week for any class. With the snow days earlier in the week, it was agree to delay the #8 Hopkinsville/#7 Madisonville-North Hopkins game until mid-day on Saturday. Tens of Tiger fans lined the home side. Unlike the first matchup where Madisonville got out to a great start, it was the Tigers who jumped out first with a long and sloooow march up the field, draining nearly 7 minutes on the game’s opening drive to take a 7-0 lead. The Tigers briefly held a 14-0 lead before settling into a 14-7 halftime advantage. Madisonville’s Jeriah Hightower had -2 yards in the second half, but immediately tied the game three minutes into the third quarter and a three yard touchdown run gave Madisonville their first lead at 21-14. Bland pushed across for his third rushing touchdown of the game to tie it at 21 with 5:29 left, but Hayden Reynolds went right up the gut for a 55 yard score to make it 28-21. The Tigers drove to the MNH 19, but turned over on downs there to give Madisonville the district title. Jeriah Hightower rushed for 174 yards in the second half along with two scores, and he was ultimately the difference maker. Javier Bland was just 14/32 for 217 yards to go with his three rushing scores, and star Reece Jesse was held in check with only two receptions for 34 yards. Madisonville may have been the #3 seed, but they ultimately were the more complete team, and enter the region final round with a 10-2 record and two losses by a combined five points. District 2 I got to take this game in personally. Franklin-Simpson has surged since an 0-4 start, entering this game at just 6-5, but winners of six of their previous seven games. For their part, Allen County-Scottsville had gotten off to four straight wins, but it was clear who was the dominant team in this one. The Wildcats won the toss and elected to receive, and they set the tone immediately. Very few offensive plays they ran on the night went for negative or even no positive yardage, and they ran, ran, ran the ball. They took a 7-0 lead on the first possession, and after the Patriots tied it to end the first quarter, Franklin scored 14 unanswered to take a 21-7 lead at the half. They unloaded in the third quarter, outscoring the Patriots 20-6 in the period, and eventually gained a running clock with the final margin of 56-20 with 6:23 left in the game. The game did feature an interesting stretch where there were 20 points scored between the two teams in 25 seconds of gametime, as a Rookstool touchdown run and Patriot kickoff return for TD were sandwiched around a 65 yard touchdown run for Franklin’s Stutzman at the end of the third into the beginning of the fourth. Stutzman racked up 195 yards and two scores on just 11 rushes, while Malik Carter added 124 yards and three scores on 20 rushes for Franklin. They held the Patriots to just 120 yards of offense in winning their fourth consecutive District 2 title. Now they face Madisonville-North Hopkins, trying to keep District 2’s run alive – the district has had a state final representative in each of the last four seasons. District 3 #3 Franklin County vs. #9 Central was one of the most highly anticipated games in the state this weekend, but the sad reality is that the game may have been determined by an event the week before. Franklin County moved to 11-0 with their win over Waggener in the first round, but lost QB Nick Broyles to injury in the game, which would ultimately keep him out against Central’s dominant defense. Broyles was 133/204 this season for 2,437 yards, throwing for 32 touchdowns against only 4 interceptions. He is not a player easily replaced. The Flyers did get out to a fast start, driving 64 yards in 6 plays to take a 7-0 lead just 2:30 into the game, capping the drive with a 5 yard run by backup QB Jayden Mattison. But that would prove to be the highlight of the night. Central scored one touchdown per quarter the rest of the way, taking their first lead 5 minutes into the third quarter and ultimately winning 18-7. Mattison was sacked three times and threw for only 98 yards on 8/17 passing. Franklin County was held to just 108 yards of offense in the contest, gaining only 44 after their opening drive. As usual, Dayshawn Mucker carried the load for Central, rolling to 200 yards on 44 rushing attempts, adding a pair of scores. 3A champions a year ago, Central has not failed to advance past the second round in any of the past 14 seasons. They are a model of consistency, and one of the greatest postseason forces in the state. District 4 Moore/John Hardin was not a heralded matchup, but provided possibly the most thrilling game in the state. When the teams met in the regular season, Moore was a surprise 22-14 winner, and ultimately leveraged that into the #1 seed. They moved out to a 10-0 lead by mid-second quarter, behind a Horatio Willis 15 yard touchdown run and a Romero 24 yard field goal. The field goal launched a flurry of scores to end the first half, as the next four drives resulted in touchdowns, leaving Moore with a 24-13 halftime advantage. But John Hardin would reel them in during the third quarter behind a field goal and touchdown (plus two-point conversion), making 24 all heading into the final quarter. The score would stay there through regulation with John Hardin securing a goal line INT late, setting up the only overtime game of the round in any class. Moore would gamble on the opening possession, as RaeVon Vaden hit DeWayne Tarver for a nine yard score – with the Mustangs going for two as Vaden ran it in to put them ahead 32-24. John Hardin scored to make it 32-30, but Xavier Boone was stonewalled at the one yard line on the conversion attempt, lifting Moore to a 32-30 victory in overtime. John Hardin, once a staple of the late rounds, has failed to advance past the second round in the last three seasons, while Moore advanced to the region final round for the second straight year. They’ll face an extremely uphill battle when they meet Central this week. District 5 Boyle County just keeps impressing, even when you think you have placed the bar as high as you can go. Their 54-7 victory over Lexington Catholic was never competitive, in the same way their regular season meeting was not competitive. Reed Lanter was clinical again, going 11/13 for 238 yards and three touchdowns. Andrew Sacco had 14 rushes for 114 yards with two scores and Reese Smith had 109 yards on six receptions with two scores. It was the seventh victory of 40 points or more for the Rebels this year, their eighth game posting 50 points or more, and their eighth game holding their opponent to single digits. The point total was the lowest score of the year for Lexington Catholic by 14 points, and that includes their game against Frederick Douglass, which has posted nine shutouts. In fact, it was their lowest score in two years. Dominance, pure and simple – nuff said. District 6 Holmes stunned Scott on the road on October 25th, winning 50-38 behind two pick-sixes. That gave the Bulldogs the #1 seed in the district in what was viewed as an upset. Scott set out to prove that they truly were the better team in the rematch this week. It certainly looked that way early, as they gained a 14-0 advantage after one, highlighted by Gus Howlett finding Nate Meyer for a 57 yard touchdown – Howlett’s only touchdown pass of the night and the only reception for Meyer. But Holmes would strike back with three touchdown runs by Quantez Calloway, staking them to a 22-20 halftime lead. They extended the lead to 29-20 after three quarters after another Quantez Calloway touchdown run, and it appeared Holmes was on their way to the next round. But as with the first game, a defensive play turned the game around. In this case, a bad snap on a punt was recovered in the end zone for a score to draw Scott within 29-27, and after forcing a three and out, Scott took the lead for good on a 10 play, 70 yard drive. An interception in Holmes territory set up one more score, and Scott advanced with a 40-29 victory, outscoring Holmes 20-0 in the final quarter. Quincy Perrin fought off cramps for Scott, and proved to be a workhorse with 35 rushes for 199 yards and two scores. Tayquan Calloway had 106 scoreless yards on 16 rushes, while Quantez Calloway had 84 yards passing and 72 yards rushing from the quarterback position. Scott’s reward? They visit #1 Boyle County next week. District 7 In their first matchup, #5 Wayne County seized the district from #6 Corbin behind a whirlwind finish, scoring a touchdown, recovering an onside kick, and kicking a game-winning field goal to take an 18-16 win and ending Corbin’s long district winning streak. The rematch would prove to be less dramatic and about a full 180 degrees in terms of offense. It was all Wayne County early, forcing turnovers and running all over Corbin, pushing to a 35-7 lead in the second quarter as Braedon Sloan ran for four touchdowns in the half along with 220 yards. Corbin would battle back and fight off a running clock, trimming the lead to 42-22 at the break. The Redhounds would continue to battle back, closing to 49-36 after Combs found Massengill for a 53 yard touchdown pass to end the third quarter. Corbin forced a punt and then made it 49-43 with 7:27 left after Combs found Patterson for a score. But just when it looked like Corbin might pull off an incredible comeback victory, Braedon Sloan appeared again, rushing for back to back scores – the last a 43 yarder for his seventh rushing TD of the night, making it 63-43 with 1:48 remaining and effectively ending the game, with the final of 63-49. The score equaled Wayne County’s highest offensive output of the season while it was their most points allowed as well. Still, the Cardinals forced five turnovers and Braedon Sloan had a game for the ages. His seven scores went with 408 yards on the ground on 37 attempts, as he literally carried them to victory. Cameron Combs was almost equal to the task in the loss, throwing for five scores and 457 yards for Corbin. Dakota Patterson posted 190 yards on 9 receptions with three scores, but it was not to be for the Redhounds. It’s their earliest postseason exit in six years – they lost to Wayne County that year too. District 8 The Johnson Central invitational came to a close in the typical fashion – a blowout Johnson Central victory, this one a 50-6 result over Harlan County. For the Golden Eagles, it marked their sixth game in their last seven where they held their opponent to less than 10 points, and it was their fourth game scoring 50 or more. Devin Johnson scored on three of his four rushes, posting 131 yards on the ground. That’s roughly 33 yards per rush, which I think is pretty good. Riley Preece was 4/6 for 102 yards and 2 scores. In total, Johnson Central didn’t even need 20 offensive plays to score 50 points. The defense held Harlan County to 138 yards, all on the ground. There really isn’t much to say as Johnson Central hasn’t been remotely challenged since August. But that may end in this next round. Unlike the other three matchups, which all project to have a heavy favorite on one side, Wayne County is a team that may actually be able to push Johnson Central. But if the Golden Eagles were to win this one in blowout fashion…. let me just say that the likely title game between Boyle County and Johnson Central would become even more of a must watch than it already is.
  10. Defending Region 2 Champions: Madisonville North-Hopkins Last Year was the first year in a very long time a team from District 8 didn’t win the Region 2 Championship. This will be the first time in a long time that a District 8 team didn’t sit a top the preseason standings. In fact, it has been a while since there was so much separation between first place and second place. Madisonville North-Hopkins is the team to beat hands down this year. If they do not win the Region 2 championship, it will be considered a big upset. After that it gets really tricky on the rankings. Some teams have quite a bit of experience, but they don’t have the talent to go with that experience. Other teams have a good deal of talent, but its raw and immature so there are a lot of unknowns to go with it. District 8 in particular has always been a powerhouse district, but this year there are no stand out players, no top 20 state teams, and quite frankly, not a lot of buzz like in the past. That being said, these rankings will most likely shift quite a bit throughout the season, but these seem to make the most sense at this time. 1. Madisonville North Hopkins - Coach Matt Beshear 2018-19 record: 30-6 Key Losses: Cade Cunningham, JD Gilbert Key Returners: Ksuan Casey, Kenny White Last year was an excellent year for the Maroons. They had one of the best seasons in Madisonville history winning 30 games, including 23 in a row. They also won the district and region championships and the opening round of the Sweet Sixteen. They were eventually topped by Warren Central 66-62 in the second round. This year they hope to continue their dominance from last year although they will be without two important pieces, guards Cade Cunningham and JD Gilbert. Both averaged more than 10 ppg last year and were an integral part in both the offense and defense. This year the Maroons will have one of the strongest frontcourts in the state with Casey and White. Both will be candidates for Region 2 Player of the Year. Casey at 6’9” and White at 6’6” should dominate the boards in region 2. Not many teams in Kentucky will be able to match up well in the front court. The backcourt is where the Maroons are inexperienced, especially on the offensive side of the ball. Coach Beshear expects Marquis Parker and Deljuan Johnson to step up and fill those roles. While they will not be able to replace Cunningham and Gilbert, they should be able to hold their own. Defense is where Madisonville hopes to focus their attention this year. The goal of Coach Beshear and the team is to be one of the best defensive teams in Kentucky. They believe if they can play great defense, they have the weapons on the offensive side of the ball to win games, win region, and advance deeper into the Sweet Sixteen than last year. 2. Henderson County - Tyler Smithhart 2018-19 record: 16-14 Key Losses: Corey Stewart Key Returners: Daymian Dixon, Myekel Sanners, Holden Raley Last year was a tough year for the Colonels as they were young and inexperienced. They found themselves in an unfamiliar position. They didn’t win the district championship for only the second time in 6 years. This year everyone has gotten older and they only lose one piece of the pie, but its significant. Corey Stewart has moved on, and while he is tough to replace, there is good news. Stewart only averaged 8 ppg his junior year, but being the leader in the system he averaged 17.5 ppg while setting the Henderson County three point record his senior year. Coach Smithhart is really good at getting the best out of his players. Lots of guys were able to get significant playing time last season while they were young. That will translate into better players this season. Look for Daymian Dixon to lead the charge for the Colonels. Last year he averaged almost 10 ppg and has the ability to increase that significantly. He should be the team’s most dangerous offensive player. Holden Raley will be the team’s best outside threat. He is the only player that hit a significant amount from behind the arc that is returning, however he will need to be more efficient than 30% this season. Myekel Sanners will also be relied upon to step up his offensive numbers this season. Last year Sanners got just over 9 ppg. Smithhart would like to see that increase at least 3 or 4 points per game. Edmund Brooks is someone to watch too. He shot 67% from the field last season while averaging 8 ppg. If he keeps that efficiency and gets more shots, watch out. Coach Smithhart knows that one player won’t replace Stewart, however he does believe that the group effort of improvement can more than overcome the loss on the offensive side of the ball. The focus through the preseason has been rebounding and getting to the free throw line, something they struggled with last season. 3. Christian County - Coach Kerry Stovall 2018-19 record: 15-17 Key Losses: Fred Tandy, Eric Brody Key Returners: Stephon Bussell, Damikeon Mathis It has been quite a few years since we have seen both Hopkinsville and Christian County struggle, but that is exactly where each program is at right now. The Colonels limped to a 15-17 season last year after losing a ton of talent the previous season. This year, they lose their top two scorers from last year in Tandy and Brody. Just like Hopkinsville, Christian County has a lot of raw talent and athleticism, but not much experience or maturity. There are two major contributors returning for CCHS. Stephon Bussell averaged 11.5 ppg and was second on the team in 3 pointers. However he shot under 30% from that range. He will need to be more efficient from behind the arc. Mathis averaged just under 10 ppg, but he to also shot less than 30% from three. Two big problems from last season was their awful free throw shooting (57%) and lack of rebounding. Not one Colonel averaged more than 5 rpg. Someone will have to step up and take control of the boards, and the they will have to get better from both three point land and the charity stripe if they want to have a chance at the region tournament. Good thing is this is most likely the worst district 8 as a whole in the 21st century, so whichever team improves the most, will likely win the district. 4. Hopkinsville - Coach Larry Miller 2018-19 record: 16-14 Key Losses: James Nicholas, Jamarion Sharp, Jacarius Burks Key Returners: Don Victor Last year Larry Miller took over a Hopkinsville team that was in disarray the previous season. He goal was to get things back on track and create a vision under his tenure. The Tigers had been on one of the most dominating runs in the state winning the region all but 2 years under Tim Haworth. Hopkinsville managed a winning season last year, but it still wasn’t the same powerhouse teams Hopkinsville had been known for. A lot of talent, especially underneath the basket, graduated last season. This is has left a void of leadership and experience. Talent, is one thing that District 8 teams seem to always have an abundance of. However, turning talent into winning on the court is another thing. Coach Miller will again have a lot of raw talent on this squad. It will be a very young team, so he has the chance to mold them into what he envisions. Don Victor will be the key this season. He can score from anywhere on the floor, but his biggest asset will be his leadership. If he can stay poised and lead the team, Hopkinsville has a fighting chance of being competitive and giving the top teams a run for their money. If he struggles to lead, and no one picks up that leadership, we may see the Tigers struggle. They have lost almost all their size, but they will be extremely quick and athletic and can cause havoc on defense. Their offense will have to progressively get better throughout the season. Look for Jamarcus Burks and Cabiness to play down low and McKnight and Rudd to fill out the backcourt. 5. Caldwell County - Coach Daniel Kukahiko 2018-19 record: 19-11 Key Losses: Derrin Boyd, John Davis Key Returners: Cayden Fraliex, Tripp Branch Add Caldwell County as another team who lost their top two scorers from last season. Derrin Boyd was one of the most prolific scorers in the region as he averaged 24 ppg and 7.3 rpg. He, like Tandy from UHA, will not be able to be replaced. Davis averaged 12.4 ppg and was one of the leaders on the floor. Cayden Fraliex at 11.5 ppg, will be the team’s top returning starter. He is a 44% three point shooter and a 84% free throw shooter. If he can keep up that efficiency, his ppg will soar as he will take a whole lot more shots this season. Boyd attempted 413 fg to Fraliex’s 224 fg last year. Add in Davis 145, and Fraliex will be looked upon to make up some of those. Tripp Branch will also be needed. He averaged 8 ppg last year and also hit 43% from deep and 82% from the stripe. It’s obvious these two can shoot, but they will now be team’s focus, so the Tigers will need others to step up. Coach Kukahiko is excited because many of those guys had significant minutes last year. He said his job is to help each of them defined their roles for this season. He is looking for Jamarius Blaine to handle the point while Cole Smiley crashes the boards. The Tigers strength will be their shooting and teamwork. If things click right, the Tigers can be in for a big season! 6. Union County - Coach Shane Smith 2018-19 record: 19-9 Key Losses: Elex Dunford, Cade Duncan Key Returners: Kale Gaither Union had a solid season last year almost winning 20 games and the 6th district championship. They did not lose their top scorer, however they did lose their second and third top scorers in Dunford and Duncan. Duncan was also the teams best big man and leading rebounder. Union’s season will depend on how Kale Gaither is surrounded. Gaither is arguably the most prolific scorer in region 2. He averaged 23 ppg last year as a sophomore on a new team. With a year under his belt with the Braves, look for him to increase that even more. Gaither is not a huge threat from three point range, although he will take it if you give it to him. He hit 30% from behind the arc. His specialty is driving into the lane and either finishing at the rim, or pulling up for a short jumper. He is quick, agile, and very athletic. He can’t do it on his own however, and how his teammates respond to helping will be the biggest factor in their success this season. Look for juniors Kaleb Kanipe, Iverson King, and Eli Wilkes to step up for Union. All three average about 6 ppg last season and all gained valuable experience at sophomores. They all should improve and contribute more on both sides of the ball. The glaring weakness now for the Braves is the lack of size and the inability to consistently knock down the three. Union plays a much more difficult schedule this season than they have in the past, which is good. Their out of region foes are Owensboro, Owensboro Catholic, Bracken County, Fleming County, Ashland, Paducah Tilghman, Apollo, and Davies County. Good prep for the region 2 tournament. 7. Webster County - Coach Jon Newton 2018-19 record: 16-14 Key Losses: Malachi Douglas Key Returners: Tyler Camplin, Hunter McNaughton Webster County didn’t have quite the season they hoped for last year, but this season looks very promising. The Trojans return two of their top three players from last season. Tyler Camplin led the team scoring almost 18 ppg and Hunter McNaughton averaged almost 13 ppg. They did lose their second best scorer and outside shooter in Douglas. Destin Allen will be called upon to step up and add to the 8 ppg he averaged last season. He is not the outside shooter Douglas was, so someone else will have to step up to hit from deep. The team doesn’t want to become one dimensional with Camplin only from the outside. Teams could focus on him and squeeze the middle and make everyone else shoot from an uncomfortable place, so getting better from the outside is very important. One of the big knocks about Webster over the years is the lack of a competitive schedule. This year proves much of the same. The only significant opponents outside region 2 is Davies County and McLean County, and both of those have not be as competitive lately. This makes it tough to know how good Webster really is. It will be tough for Webster to get the experience necessary when Union is learning about pressure playing the schedule they are. They will have to get their experience playing the better teams in Region 2. 8. Lyon County - Coach Jeff Embrey 2018-19 record: 21-10 Key Losses: Gabe Board Key Returners: Travis Perry, Jackson Shoulders, Kade Blackburn Lyon County surprised a lot of people last year with their 20 win season, especially their early wins against Caldwell, Webster, and Union Counties. While they could not keep up with the top tier teams, they proved to be one of the better mid-tier teams. They only lost Gabe Board and Gabe Defew from their starting lineup. Board was the leading scorer his junior year and second in scoring last season as a senior. Defew played a supporting role as the teams 5th best scorer. Travis Perry took over last year and became the teams leading scoring threat at almost 21 points per game. Look for that to continue this season. He can score from almost anywhere including from behind the arc. He led the team in threes and free throws. Jackson Shoulders shores up the glass. He averaged 12.5 ppg and 7.5 rpg. The was second in free throw attempts as well. Shoulders is really good within 12 feet of the basket, outside of that he is out of his comfort zone. The other outside threat for the Lyons is Kade Blackburn. He 40% of his threes last season and should continue to play that role this season. The level of competition in the 2nd region has increased because so much talent left last season, however, look for Lyon County to play a similar role as last season. They should be one of the better mid-tier teams, but won’t be able to hang with the top teams. 9. University Heights - Coach Grant Shouse 2018-19 record: 30-5 Key Losses: DeKeyvan (KyKy) Tandy, Drew McGowan, Taquan Hollowell Key Returners: KJ Crump Expectations were so high last year with Mr. Basketball candidate KyKy Tandy senior campaign and a cast that had played together for a few years. They were coming off a Region 2 championship and planning on another. Madisonville derailed that dream in defeated them in the region finals. Gone now are the Blazers top 3 scorers in Tandy, McGowan, and Hollowell. Between the 3 of them is 53 ppg that will have to be found somewhere this season. That is a tall order from a team that will not have a ton of experience returning. In fact all those returning combined averaged less than 20 ppg last season. KJ Crump, who is a junior, will step up to lead the Blazers this season. He averaged just over 8 ppg last season and will have to be in charge of a very young and inexperienced team. While UHA may not have the talent they had last year, they are young. Only two seniors on this team. Lots of freshman and sophomores will need time to allow them to grow and learn. This team should be much improved as the season progresses. They have enough talent where they still will be favorites to win the region 2 all A Classic and advance to the state. Depending on how things develop, they still may have a chance for the district 8 championship as well. 10. Crittenden County - Coach Denis Hodge 2018-19 record: 11-19 Key Losses: none Key Returners: Gabe Mott, Preston Turley, Hunter Boone Crittenden increased their season win total by 4 last year. A small but important improvement. This season could be Crittenden’s first winning season since the 2014-15 season when they went 16-12. The reason for the optimism is that the Rockets return almost their entire starting lineup. They lose Sawyer Towery, but return their top 3 scoring threats in Mott, Turley, and Boone. Gabe Mott led the team last year with 14.5 ppg. Preston Turley was second in scoring with 11.6 ppg and led the team in rebounding with 7.5 rpg. Hunter Boone was third in scoring with 8 ppg. Mott and Boone both were scoring threats from the outside, while Turley tended to stay around the basket. That trend will continue this season. All three guys are only juniors this year, so look for continued improvement as they mature further and become more comfortable in their roles. Crittenden is a team that could make some noise again in the 5th district. It should have some great competition with most of the teams returning a lot of starters. Big question for the Rockets will be can they get over the .500 mark this year. Looking at their schedule, it can happen, but they will have to improve their play from last year to accomplish it. 11. Hopkins County Central - Coach Michael Fraliex 2018-19 record: 12-15 Key Losses: Tylan Mann Key Returners: Blasin Moore, Adrian Stringer Hopkins County Central didn’t lose as many players to graduation as other teams, but the player they lost really hurts. Tylan Mann was the leading scorer on the team with 22 ppg, and second in rebounding at 6.5 rpg. While he will be missed, there are two players who have the opportunity to step up, and together, they may be able to make of some of that. Adrian Stringer averaged 10 ppg last year, but he led the team in rebounding at 8.2. The Storm will need a double/double out of him this season. Look for 13 ppg/10 rpg. Blasin Moore averaged 11.5 ppg and 6.5 rpg. Look for him to improve closer to 15 ppg/7 rpg. Neither Moore or Stringer are a great outside shot. They do most of their damage within 12 feet of the basket. They will need guys like Sam Almon to step up and hit more consistently from the outside to keep teams from crowding the middle. When talking to first year coach Michael Fraliex, he express how his focus is currently on working together as a team, and keeping the team focused on today. He already recognizes one of the strengths of this team is hard work. If they can continue to work hard and play together, things will work out, and that is the message he is trying to relay as he gets to know the team, and the team gets to know him. 12. Trigg County - Coach Chad Burgett 2018-19 record: 11-17 Key Losses: Kyron Grubbs Key Returners: Kendric Adams, JaKobe Bridges Trigg County is another district 5 team that is not losing much from last year and will return their starting 5 pretty much in tack. However the big change is at the top. Coach Croft left and went to Mayfield, and Chad Burgett has taken over for the Wildcats. The guys will have to learn a new system while continuing growth from last year. This is young talent here with their leading scorer Adams only being a sophomore. Kendric Adams led the team in scoring and rebounding as a freshman. He averaged 13 ppg and 7.5 rpg. He should continue to improve as he matures and gets more experience at the high school level. Trigg lost their second leading scorer in Kyron Grubbs, but JaKobe Bridges the teams third leading scorer last year hopes to pick up some of those numbers. The Wildcats will have some growing pains under a new coach, but there is some good base talent there to work with. The development of Adams will be key in the success this season. District 5 will be very competitive, full of good mid-tier teams. Trigg’s schedule isn’t anything super difficult, so they can come away with an above .500 season if things go their way. 13. Dawson Springs - Coach Chad Burgett 2018-19 record: 9-20 Key Losses: Ethan Huddleston Key Returners: Skyler Clark, Landon Pace, Dylan Dawson Dawson Springs had a rough season last year, but they also had a lot of room to grow because they were so young. So this year, they are ready to take on more challenges. They only lose one contributor on offense. Their top 2 scorers return. Senior Skyler Clark will lead the Panthers into year as last year’s leading scorer. He averaged over 18 ppg and can score off of driving or from deep. Dylan Dawson averaged 7 ppg but 9 rpg. He will need to improve his scoring for Dawson to be competitive. Landon Pace was the second leading scorer for the Pathers. He averaged 13 ppg and 5 rpg. If Dawson can come together and keep their poise and continue to improve this year, there is a good chance they get to .500. 14. Livingston Central - Coach Chris Green 2017-18 record: 15-14 Key Losses: Cameron Head, Kobe Ringstaff, Bryce Stein Key Returners: Max Downey A pretty good season last year for the Cardinals, although it didn’t meet expectations. The window for the district championship closed at the end of last season, without one. Now unlike all the other district 5 teams, Livingston Central loses almost everyone out of their starting lineup. This looks like it will be a tough year. Max Downey looks to be the only returning starter. He averaged 7 ppg and 4 rpg. He is the only person with any significant experience on the roster. And as of right now, there are only 8 listed on the roster. 15. Fort Campbell - Coach Stacey Harrell 2017-18 record: 5-21 It is tough to have a basketball program where not only do you lose player consistently to graduation, but also to families being transferred. As of right now, Ft. Campbell has 9 on their roster right now including a 7th grader. It is tough and almost unfair for this school to play in district 8, one of the most talented districts in the state. Top 10 Players to Watch 1. Ksuan Casey, Madisonville North-Hopkins Casey help lead Madisonville to the Region 2 championship, finally ridding district 8’s hold on it. He stand 6’9” and is the frontrunner for region 2 POY and has a great chance of playing at the next level. He averaged 15.3 ppg and 9.6 rpg. Both those numbers will go up this season, maybe even as high as 20/12. He is the premier big man in region 2, and one of the best in Ky 2. Kale Gaither, Union County (Guard), Junior Gaither average 15 ppg as a freshman, he increased that to 23 ppg as a sophomore. He maybe the most talented and athletic player in the region. He is the top player in the junior class. He still needs to get better at shooting from the outside, but he has an amazing knack at getting to the rim, and he is a great finisher. Look for more 25 ppg out of him this season. 3. Kenny White, Madisonville North-Hopkins White plays along side Casey and will be his competition of Region 2 POY. He averaged 14.2 ppg while pulling down 8.4 rpg. His numbers are expected to go up as well. He could see 16/10 this season or better. Imagine two guys averaging a double/double on the same team. 4. Travis Perry, Lyon County Perry is a huge part of why Lyon County has been successful. He averaged almost 21 ppg last season. He is dangerous from both inside and out, hitting 36% from three point range. He also is great from the foul line shooting 80%, which is big considering he took almost 200 free throws last year. 5. Tyler Camplin, Webster County Camplin averaged almost 18 ppg last season while shooting 48% from the field including 33% from three. He could improve on his free throw shooting since he took 200+ last season. He has nice touch, just needs better efficiency and needs not force the shot. 6. Don Victor, Hopkinsville Victor wasn’t the leading scorer on his team last year and only averaged 8.4 ppg. This ranking is more about potential and leadership. He has worked hard and will most likely vastly increase those numbers this season. He is smart, a hard worker, and very talented. 7. Stephon Bussell, Christian County Many things that can be said about Victor can also be said about Bussell. He is the new leader for the Colonels and a lot is expected of him. He averaged 11.5 ppg last season and his coach expects that to increase 3 or 4 ppg. He really needs to improve his outside shooting as he prefers to drive to the basket. 8. Skyler Clark, Dawson Springs Clark is a very good all around player with a weak surrounding cast. He still manages to score 18 ppg. He hit around 32% of his threes, but only 65% of his free throws. He will need to work on both of those to really open up his game. 9. Gabe Mott, Crittenden County Mott led the surprise that was Crittenden County last year. He averaged 14.5 ppg and hit 32% of his threes. He is another who struggles from the free throw line. He has been working to improve that this off season. 10 Kendric Adams, Trigg County Adams is the only sophomore on this list. He led the Trigg County Wildcats in scoring last season as a freshman. He poured in 13 ppg and pulling down 7.5 rpg. Look for both of these to improve as he matures and gets a better understanding of how to play the game. Very talented young man. Honorable Mention Myekel Sanners, Henderson County Holden Raley, Henderson County KJ Crump, University Heights Jackson Shoulders, Lyon County Cayden Fraliex, Caldwell County
  11. 6A Notebook: Regional Championships After two rounds of District play, we are down to 8 teams with the four winners of this round being regional champions. Four of the top 5 teams remain with #1 Male, #2 Trinity, #4 North Hardin, and #5 St. Xavier. No surprise that Male and Trinity are still alive as they have dominated this decade with winning multiple championships. North Hardin looks to be the best chance for an outside of Jefferson County team to win a championship. Oldham County in their first year of 6A makes it to the regional round. #9 Simon Kenton has played well of late which now is the time to be at your best. McCracken County and Tates Creek have played well and are capable of making it to the final four. Districts 1-4 winners #4 St. Xavier (8-4) at #1 Male (12-0) Previous Meeting Male 51 St. Xavier 14 St. Xavier travels to Male after defeating Manual 28-9. Male is hosting after defeating Fern Creek 27-8. Male is #2 in 6A in scoring average at 40.9 ppg, and #3 in defensive scoring yielding 10.8 ppg. St. Xavier is #15 in scoring average at 28.1 ppg, and #5 in defensive scoring yielding 17.1 ppg. Calpreps.com computer ratings have Male at a rating of 53.6, and St. Xavier a rating of 37.8. Teams that have a larger than 8 point rating over an opponent has historically won 82% of the time. Key offensive players for Male are QB Elijah Parish ( 2001 yds, 21 tds, 3 ints), RB Jaylin Bross ( 1045 yds, 21 tds), WR Izayah Cummings ( 962 yds, 11 tds, WR Briceson Rogers (579 yds, 4 tds), and WR Vincel Anthony (319 yds, 6 tds). Key defensive players for Male are LB Joe Kuerzi (67 tkls), DE/DT Elijah Manning (55 tkls), and DT Selah Brown (36 tkls, 12 tfl). St. Xavier key offensive players are QB Doug Bodhaine (1897 yds, 15 tds, 8 ints), RB Logan Davis (923 yds, 14 tds), WR Michael Duddy (646 yds, 5 tds), and WR Mekhi Smith (618 yds, 4 tds). Key defensive players are LB Hale Bohler (83 tkls, 8 tfl), LB John Reed (81 tkls, 7 tfl) LB Kenneth Shaffner (68 tkls), and LB Kurtis Cotten (66 tkls, 6 tfl). St. Xavier is playing better of late and this should be a more competitive game than the first meeting, but Male’s passing offense against St. Xavier’s secondary will be the difference. Prediction Male 28 St. Xavier 14 #3 McCracken County (9-3) at #2 North Hardin (12-0) No previous meeting McCracken County travels to North Hardin after defeating Henderson County 17-6. North Hardin is hosting after defeating Central Hardin 31-7. McCracken County leads 6A in scoring at 42.2 ppg, and #16 in defensive scoring yielding 27 ppg. North Hardin is #5 in scoring at 34.5 ppg, and #1 in defensive scoring at a stingy 7.9 ppg. Calpreps.com computer ratings have North Hardin at 37.9 and McCracken County at 23.8 with the rating margin more than 8 North Hardin is in the historical 82% chance of winning. Key offensive players for North Hardin are QB Manie Wimberly (2212 yds, 21 tds, 7 ints), RB Lavell Wright (1387 yds, 19 tds), WR Josh Moore (807, yds, 9 tds), and WR Marcus Harris (589 yds, 7 tds). Key defensive players are LB Darren Green (69 tkls, 16 tfl), LB Michael Lunz (64 tkls, 14 tfl), DE Jerrell Campbell (53 tkls, 17 tfl, and DL Octavious Oxendine (52 tkls, 12 tfl). McCracken County’s key offensive players are QB Elijah Wheat (2438 yds, 33 tds, 6 ints), WR Franklin Hayes (1501 yds, 26 tds), and RB Jeremiah Hughes (482 yds, 6 tds). McCracken County’s key defensive players are DB Kolton Reeves (89 tkls), LB Isaiah Keys (75 tkls), and DL LeAndre Bolen (60 tkls). North Hardin’s defense is significantly better than McCracken County’s defense, so North Hardin should win this one. Prediction North Hardin 35 McCracken County 17 Districts 5-8 winners #4 Oldham County (8-4) at #1 Trinity (10-2) No previous meeting Oldham County travels to Trinity after defeating George Rogers Clark 35-21. Trinity is hosting after defeating Ballard 42-12. Trinity is #3 in 6A in scoring at 38.4 ppg and #2 in scoring defense yielding 10.4 ppg. Oldham County is #9 in scoring at 30.2 ppg and #14 in scoring defense yielding 24.7 ppg. Trinity has a Calpreps.com computer rating of 53.5 and Oldham County has a rating of 14.3. Trinity has significantly better rating and has a more than 82% chance of winning according to historical results. Trinity’s key offensive players are QB Nathan McElroy (2155 yds, 25 tds, 9 ints), RB Armon Tucker (951 yds, 17 tds), WR Ryan Miller (855 yds, 6 tds), and TE Kaelan Racculia (484 yds, 9 tds). Key defensive players for Trinity are DE Tyler Roberson, LB Charlie Ely, LB Brandon Stearman, and CB Roman White. Key Oldham County offensive players are QB Sam Young (1752 yds, 24 tds, 4 ints), RB Juan Tapia (968 yds, 8 tds), WR Tyler Holvey (647 yds, 10 tds), and WR Parker Caudill (510 yds, 9 tds). Key defensive players for Oldham County are LB Bryce Rochet (68 tkls, 8 tfl), DL Blake Young (45 tkls, 6 tfl), DL Koby Thomas (34 tkls, 8 tfl). Trinity ranks near the top of scoring statistical categories against the toughest schedule in the state and will be too much for Oldham County. Prediction Trinity 42 Oldham County 7 #3 Simon Kenton (8-4) at #2 Tates Creek (8-4) No previous meeting Simon Kenton travels to Tates Creek after defeating Dixie Heights 41-17. Tates Creek hosts Simon Kenton after defeating Paul Dunbar 37-29. Tates Creek is #6 in 6A in scoring at 33.2 ppg, and #15 in scoring defense yielding 26.2 ppg. Simon Kenton is #12 in scoring at 28.8 ppg, and #13 in scoring defense yielding 24.3 ppg. Simon Kenton has a Calpreps.com computer rating of 22.5, and Tates Creek has a rating of 17.8. Key offensive players for Tates Creek are QB Luke Duby (3665 yds, 37 tds, 10 ints), RB Marcus Bosley (360 yds, 7 tds), WR Miles Thomas (1483 yds, 20 tds), and WR Elliot Bryant (609 yds, 6 tds). Key defensive players for Tates creek are DL Isaiah McFarland (64 tkls, 22 tfl), LB Marcus Bosley (64 tkls, 13.5 tfl, and JT Acosta (53 tkls, 9.5 tfl). Key offensive players for Simon Kenton are QB Chase Crone (1740 yds, 14 tds, 12 ints), RB Austin Hammack (1188 yds, 16 tds), WR Evan Mulberry (503 yds, 4 tds), and WR Erik Brown (323 yds, 1 td). Key defensive players for Simon Kenton are DB Zach Koenes (95 tkls, 5.5 tfl), DL Vuk Sajlovic (88 tkls, 7 tfl), LB Nate Walker (84 tkls, 10.5 tfl), and DB Issac Bleier (60 tkls, 41 solo). This looks to be the most competitive of the 3rd round. I think this is a tossup game but will give Simon Kenton the slight edge due to a tougher schedule and better defense. Prediction Simon Kenton 42 Tates Creek 35 Semifinals projection #4 Simon Kenton at #1 Male #3 Trinity at #2 North Hardin
  12. The new playoff format ensured that, one way or another, we'd be saying goodbye to a couple of state powers earlier than usual in the postseason. Scott County did what most expected and played better football in their rematch with Frederick Douglass, but were ultimately outclassed by a superior opponent. And South Warren couldn't overcome its offensive struggles against Bowling Green this season, suffering their earliest playoff exit in eight years. That game was one of four that went down to the wire. Before casting our gaze upon the quarterfinals, let's take a look back at the events of Round 2. District 1 Championship Recap Any hopes of an upset that the Graves County faithful were clinging to, evaporated somewhere between the opening kickoff and halftime, where Owensboro held a 43-0 lead. That was also the final score, as the Red Devils overwhelmed the Eagles with nearly 400 yards of offense and their typically stingy defensive effort. Gavin Wimsatt continued his strong sophomore season with three more touchdown passes - two were hauled in by Tyren Hayden - and a 70 yard scoring sprint on a fake punt. The running room available to Eagles running back Clint McKee (125 yards/8.3 ypc) in the first meeting was nowhere to be found on Friday. He could only manage 23 yards on seven carries this time. When you factor in Owensboro's offensive efficiency, the special teams score, and the three interceptions of Graves quarterback John Brown, one of which was a pick-six, it's easy to see how this game got out of hand so quickly. District 2 Championship Recap Darkness may have fallen long before the opening kick, but for defending state champion South Warren, the sun set on their pursuit of a second straight title much later. We'll have a new king in 5A this year, courtesy of Bowling Green's 20-13 victory at El Donaldson Stadium. Caden Veltkamp was back in the saddle for the Spartans after missing several weeks with a wrist injury. Toward the end of what had been a defensive oriented battle, he threw a touchdown strike to Jantzen Dunn to even the score at 13, leaving the Purples with just over two minutes of regulation to work with. Conner Cooper guided Bowling Green down the field in roughly ninety seconds, including a Cooper keeper for a big pickup down to South Warren's three yard line. Running back JaVyan Collins finished the job, muscling his way across the goal line with 44 seconds remaining to help give BG a seven point lead. On the ensuing drive, a last second Spartan heave was deflected incomplete, giving the Purples a second win over their rival this year and reclaiming the district title they lost to them last season. District 3 Championship Recap Survive and advance. That's the name of the game this time of year. As you read above, Bowling Green knows this, and so now does Fairdale. The Bulldogs found themselves gridlocked at 27 with Bullitt Central as the fourth quarter ticked away its final seconds. This was a team Fairdale had beaten by three touchdowns a few weeks ago, but this time they needed a game winning touchdown drive in the final minutes to keep their dream season alive. With the ball at the Bullitt Central 19 yard line, quarterback Trey McCoy did what he'd previously done 33 times this year… he threw a touchdown pass. But not just any touchdown pass, this was the defining throw of his career, so far. It came with fourteen seconds remaining in the game to extend Fairdale's season. The glass slipper fits for at least another week. As has been the case all year, the Bulldogs' offense was a balance of contributions from several players. McCoy threw for three scores and nearly 300 yards, with each touchdown pass finding a different receiver - the winning throw was caught by Stephen Moore, who topped a hundred yards receiving and returned a pick for a touchdown. Earl Cameron fell just shy and a hundred yards rushing and scored once himself. Fairdale now stands at 11-1, their winningest season since 1991. District 4 Championship Recap The impact of South Oldham's running game on North Bullitt was referenced in last week's notebook. The Dragons punished the Eagles for over 300 yards rushing in Week 8 and pounded out 330 more yards on the ground in Round 2's 50-21 win. Keaton Martin and QB Anthony Pierce surpassed the century mark and JT Benson came within five yards of joining them. Pierce was equally dangerous with his arm, completing all eight of his passes, including two touchdowns. For their part, North Bullitt moved the ball well enough, but they needed a defensive performance unlike any they've had this season, and were unable to summon it. District 5 Championship Recap If you beat Highlands twice in the same season, you're a legend in the hallways of your high school. If you get running clocked twice in the same season by Covington Catholic, you're joining Cooper at a table for two. Conner shifted from one end of that spectrum to the other in a matter of hours on Friday night. CovCath unleashed a torrent of offense on the Cougars, outgaining them in yardage 7 to 1, en route to a 38-0 halftime score. Conner's running game, which has not been a strength this season, was virtually non-existent against the Colonels, finishing with -2 yards on just eleven carries. The lack of conviction in the run game is understandable, though. Covington Catholic has allowed a mere thirty-three yards per game rushing this season. Michael Boydston opened the scoring on the first play of the game, racing sixty yards to paydirt. Overall, CovCath got points on their first six possessions, with Caleb Jacob throwing touchdown passes to Michael Mayer (2) and Ethan Reardon along the way. Jared Hicks closed out his distinguished career at Conner with 153 passing yards and a second half touchdown. District 6 Championship Recap If Scott County was going to direct a sequel to last year's two game series with Frederick Douglass - FD wins the regular season game, SC gets playoff revenge - a positive start Friday night was surely near the top of their list of "must haves". Instead, with a frustrated Jim McKee pacing the sideline, Scott County fumbled and stumbled its way through the opening quarter, trailing by ten at its conclusion. Even after an early second quarter touchdown run by Cade McKee, Douglass responded with another score, a sensational catch and run by Devin Neal that illustrates what the University of Cincinnati saw in him that prompted them to offer him a scholarship, which he has accepted. He struck again in the fourth quarter to stretch FD's lead to seventeen. The Broncos' lead only exceeded ten points for a period of five game minutes, but you never felt like a Douglass win was in serious jeopardy, despite the fact that the Cardinals made a much better account of themselves compared to the first game. Neal and Josh McClurg starred for the winning side, combining for 270 yards of offense and three touchdowns. Whether or not Douglass is ready for its moment in the sun is a question that will reveal its answer in due time, but this win was a big step in the right direction. District 7 Championship Recap Madison Southern utilized a stout defensive effort to reverse the result of a regular season game against East Jessamine and claim another district championship, their fourth in five years. The Eagles didn't completely shut down 5A's top rushing offense, but they kept them contained. When the two met several weeks ago, the Jaguars ran wild for 413 yards in a 49-35 East Jessamine win. This time around, MadSouth shaved two hundred yards off of that total. The teams traded the lead back and forth through three quarters before the Eagles scored the winning points with five minutes remaining in the fourth. A late turnover by the Jags helped seal the win for Madison Southern, 24-21. District 8 Championship Recap It would be hard to blame anyone for questioning the direction of Southwestern's football program following a 2-5 start to this season. The Warriors represent a community accustomed to winning under the guidance of Larry French. It appears now, that Southwestern was just feeling their way through a transitional phase under new coach Jason Foley. They've rebounded to win five straight, including Round 2's district title winning effort against Whitley County. The Colonels were the last team to beat the Warriors, but the visiting team on this night had retribution on their minds. Things were looking good for Whitley County, leading by two scores nearing the end of the third quarter, but an improved defensive showing in the second half and a couple of Tanner Wright touchdown runs catapulted the Warriors to victory, 21-15, making Southwestern the only four seed in the state to claim a district crown. Quarterfinal Predictions Fairdale (11-1) at Owensboro (11-1) Fairdale has put together its finest season in a generation. Through twelve games, no one has been able to muzzle the Bulldogs' offense, which averages a 5A best 46 ppg. But that can be partly attributed to the fact that they haven't seen a defense this year that comes close to what they'll face this Friday. Fairdale's win over Bullitt Central last week sets up a trip to Rash Stadium to clash with Owensboro for a spot in the state semifinals. The Red Devils have been no slouch on offense themselves, but their calling card this year has been a suffocating defense allowing fewer points than anyone in the state besides Frederick Douglass. It's been fun riding along with Fairdale this season, but their schedule strength, or lack thereof, is about to catch up to them as they venture into deeper waters. Prediction: Owensboro 46 Fairdale 14 Bowling Green (8-3) at South Oldham (11-1) This is clearly the marquee quarterfinal in this class, with the feel of a semifinal quality matchup happening a round earlier. The losses sprinkled throughout Bowling Green's schedule have made them a hard read for most of this season. Unlike years past, the offense didn't feature any superstar players to rely on week in and week out. Everything on that side of the ball has been achieved by committee this year. South Oldham's offensive core is smaller, but more productive, man for man. Anthony Pierce, Keaton Martin, JT Benson, and Ethan Bednarczyk are a well seasoned group, which the Crestwood community has been pointing to for some time now. If you're looking for some separation here, the teams' respective schedules are a good starting point. The Purples have three opponents still playing football, while the Dragons have none. The Central Hardin win a couple of weeks ago has instilled a new level of postseason confidence surrounding South Oldham, but facing the likes of Trinity, St. X, McCracken County, and South Warren (×2), makes BG the more battle tested team right now, and that usually counts for a lot this time of year. Prediction: Bowling Green 28 South Oldham 17 Madison Southern (7-5) at Covington Catholic (12-0) Madison Southern's return to the state's football consciousness after a two win season last year has been a welcome sight for those in Berea, but it's about time for them to shift their focus to the hardwood, I'm afraid. The Eagles have a +10 scoring margin against their schedule this year, while CovCath boasts a margin of nearly +400. Strong defense is a recurring theme among the remaining 5A favorites. The top four scoring defenses in the state, regardless of class, reside in this class. Covington Catholic is one of them, MadSouth is not. In fact, of the 48 teams still playing, the Eagles have the worst scoring defense left… period. Prediction: Covington Catholic 43 Madison Southern 7 Southwestern (7-5) at Frederick Douglass (12-0) Expect this quarterfinal to be as ugly as the one directly above. Much like Madison Southern, not many expected Southwestern to still be playing, and also like the Eagles, the Warriors are staring up at a goliath with designs on a December 7th trip to the grocery store. The win over Scott County was a big leap forward in the growth and perception of Douglass' program, and they shouldn't squander that victory by falling prey to the upset bid by Southwestern. Prediction: Frederick Douglass 48 Southwestern 0 Projected Semifinal Matchups Based On The Above Predictions Bowling Green at Covington Catholic Owensboro at Frederick Douglass
  13. District Championship Week Turns into Blowout Friday When the KHSAA implemented intra-district postseason play in 2019 it was guaranteed that the first two rounds would be rematches of regular season games. Six of the eight district championship games played Friday pitted a one seed versus a two, and the two three seeds that won first round games (Union County and Christian Academy of Louisville) were hardly surprises. If you expected round two to be more competitive that the regular season game, you had another thing coming. Average margin of victory in the first meetings between Friday's district championship competitors was 15.6 points. This weekend: 28.5 points. What brought on the wide margins? It's hard to say for certain. But what is true is that Class 3A has a gorgeous setup of quarterfinals games this coming week. DeSales 30 Christian Academy of Louisville 7 Perhaps the most complete domination came in District 4 where DeSales used four touchdown passes from Jayden Scroggins to roll over Christian Academy of Louisville, 30-7. It was a far cry from the double overtime thriller these two played on October 11. And it could be a sign that DeSales, after three consecutive years of falling to CAL in the postseason, is primed for a championship run in Class 3A. "I think it could be the most complete game we’ve played," DeSales coach Harold Davis to the Louisville Courier-Journal. "This is a tremendous sign." (Kentucky high school football: DeSales beats Christian Academy). After a scoreless first quarter, Scroggins threw his first of three touchdown passes to Demetri Scott to start the second frame. CAL would tie the game before DeSales took the lead for good with another Scroggins to Scott touchdown pass with just two minutes remaining in the half and cemented their lead with another touchdown pass with forty-three seconds remaining. Paired with Elizabethtown's loss to Bardstown, DeSales is assured of at least one more home game this season. The Colts will host Bardstown this Friday night. Bardstown 51 Elizabethtown 27 One of two road teams to win district championships on Friday, Bardstown used a second quarter defensive stop to change the flow of the game then rolled to three second half scores to best Elizabethtown, 51-27. E'town led 27-21 midway through the second quarter but chose to go for it on a fourth down in their own territory and came up short. Bardstown would score a touchdown and then a field goal to give the Tigers a 30-27 lead and all of the momentum heading into the break. "I can’t say enough about that effort by our defense," Bardstown coach David Clark told the Elizabethtown News-Enterprise. "At that time, it made a huge difference. We were back on our heels a little and E’town had a ton of confidence. It says a lot for those kids to accept the challenge to get that confidence back." (PREP FOOTBALL 3-A PLAYOFFS: Bardstown wins second half, eliminates E’town | Sports | thenewsenterprise.com) The game was an offensive showpiece completely different from the 20-14 overtime game played in October. Bardstown rushed for 199 yards and passed from 222 in the victory. Even in defeat, Elizabethtown piled up 345 yards of total offense. For Bardstown it sets up a second consecutive road game in a challenging environment as they travel north to DeSales. And for Elizabethtown, its five consecutive seasons of playoff wins but not able to make it to a state final. Taylor County 20 Glasgow 14 Staying in the west and keeping our theme of turning tables in the playoffs, Taylor County topped Glasgow by six points four weeks after losing to the Scotties on a last second field goal. Tre Goodin, who didn't play in the first meeting, returned the second half opening kickoff 95 yards to give the Cardinals a 14-7 lead. Later in the period, Wes Oliver, who has rushed for 1,971 yards on the season, scored from sixty yards out to give Taylor a two score lead. A fourth quarter Glasgow score wouldn't be enough as Taylor County advanced to the quarterfinals for a second straight season. "We wanted to do the things to get back here to be able to have a shot again," Taylor County coach Sam Marple said to the Bowling Green Daily News. "I’m just proud of the kids." (Scotties can't repeat last-drive match against Cards | Prep Sports | bgdailynews.com) Taylor County will travel to Paducah Tilghman for the quarterfinals. Meanwhile, the loss was a difficult end to a terrific season for Glasgow. For the third time in as many seasons the Scotties won double digit games but it wasn't enough. "It’s tough out there for both teams," Glasgow coach Jeff Garmon said in the article linked above. "I thought both teams played really well. It got down to the last possession and we came up short." (Scotties can't repeat last-drive match against Cards | Prep Sports | bgdailynews.com) Paducah Tilghman 36 Union County 7 Four Damien Ford touchdowns was all it took for the Blue Tornado to roll past rival Union County in the district championship. Paducah Tilghman will host Taylor County in the quarterfinals this Friday, their first quarterfinal appearance since falling to South Warren in 2014. Ashland 33 Russell 14 One of the best regular season games in Class 3A was Ashland's 21-14 win at Russell on October 18. The Tomcats fell behind by two scores then clinched the win with a long touchdown pass from Jake Gregg to J.T. Garrett. Game two would prove to be much less climatic, as Ashland rolled the Red Devils, 33-14. "The kids were so dialed in this week on attention to detail," Tomcats coach Tony Love told the Ashland Daily Independent. "I thought it was our best practice week in a long time. Our guys had laser focus day in and day out." (Tomcat-apult: Ashland springs past Red Devils | Sports | dailyindependent.com) Ashland jumped ahead early behind first quarter touchdown runs from Keontae Pittman and Blake Hester. A second quarter touchdown pass from Gregg to Andy Layne gave the Tomcats a 20-0 lead, but Russell still had life. The Red Devils scored on a three-yard pass from Charlie Jachimczuk to Josh Griffith right before half and then on a Nathan Conley run on their opening drive of the third quarter, cutting the deficit to six points. It was all Ashland from that point forward, specifically Pittman and Hester, who each scored another rushing touchdown and combined for over 300 yards rushing on the evening. Now the Tomcats, new to Class 3A in 2019, will be on the road at old rival Belfry for a chance to advance to the state semifinals for the first time since their 1990 championship season. Belfry 60 Pike County Central 0 While Ashland was widening their margin of victory from the regular season to the playoffs, Belfry was doing the same in a domination of county rival Pike County Central. The Pirates scored early and often while holding Pike Central to negative first half yardage on the way to a 60-0 win. Belfry will host Ashland in the quarterfinals, rekindling a series last played in 2012. The two have met five times previously in the postseason, the last a 35-20 Ashland victory in 1990. Ashland leads the series 17-3. Bell County 39 Rockcastle County 0 Bell County continues to play dominant football, rolling Rockcastle County 39-0, the Bobcats' twelfth win in as many tries. Dudley Hilton's club, dogged by questions all season about their strength of schedule, lead Class 3A in scoring offense at 44.2 points per game and scoring defense at 10.1 points per game. William Dean scored two rushing touchdowns and caught a touchdown pass for the Bobcats. The catch was London Stephney's second touchdown pass of the evening; he also added a third quarter touchdown run to set the final margin. Bell will remain home for yet another week, this time hosting Fleming County in the quarterfinals. Fleming County 35 Mason County 7 In the first meeting between old rivals Fleming County and Mason County, it wasn't until a late pick six from Fleming's Carsen Gulley that coach Bill Spencer could feel comfortable that his Panthers were going to win. That comfortable feeling came much quicker on Friday as Fleming used a stellar performance from Jonathan Maher to dominate the visiting Royals, 35-7. Maher was a one-man wrecking crew, rushing for 182 yards and passing for 162, accounting for four of the five Fleming County touchdowns on the evening. The game was never in doubt as Fleming won their fifth district title in school history and hit the 10-win plateau for the first time since 2004. Fleming County will now travel to Bell County for the quarterfinals, but you'll forgive them for taking a few moments to glory in an accomplished goal. "We’ve talked about this since December. This has been our goal and what we set out to do. We knew if we played to our potential it was something we could do," said coach Bill Spencer to the Maysville Ledger-Independent. (https://maysville-online.com/sports/175063/dare-to-stop-maher-panthers-claim-district-title). Setting the Stage for the Quarterfinals Taylor County at Paducah Tilghman Paducah Tilghman comes in winners of four of their last five and having rarely been challenged. Meanwhile, Taylor County has won four straight but none by more than two scores. The long road trip could be a challenge for the Cardinals, but Tilghman has struggled to advance past this round in several previous tries. Prediction: Paducah Tilghman 28 Taylor County 21 Bardstown at DeSales In what could be a beauty of a game, Bardstown will try to win a second consecutive road playoff game while a DeSales and a little bit of help could give the Colts home field advantage for the state semifinals as well. Bardstown has been undervalued all season and is highly productive on offense scoring over 43 points per game. The defense has proven a bit more susceptible in late season when the schedule stiffened. After a confounding loss to Meade County to end the regular season, DeSales has looked like their old self in the first two weeks of the playoffs. Coach Harold Davis likes how his Colts are playing. I do too. Prediction: DeSales 28 Bardstown 24 Fleming County at Bell County The 3A Notebook has decided that even though Bell County's schedule was weak, the results speak for themselves. Dudley Hilton's Bobcats have been impressive on both sides of the ball all season. They'll face a stiff challenge in Fleming's do-it-all quarterback Jonathan Maher, but that will only delay the inevitable. Prediction: Bell County 38 Fleming County 14 Ashland at Belfry The most exciting game in the mountains this weekend pits two of the most storied programs in Kentucky history against one another. Ashland will look to run the ball behind their two headed monster of Keontae Pittman and Blake Hester, while Belfry will counter with its terrific rushing trio of Peyton Hensley, Ben Bentley, and Isaac Dixon. Look for a classic at CAM Stadium. Prediction: Belfry 27 Ashland 20 One Last Look at the RPI Quarterfinals pairings were determined by the RPI. Semifinals will be determined the same way, although the next round will not separate into east and west but will instead include all four remaining teams. Below is the RPI for the eight remaining teams in Class 3A. The state semifinals will pit the highest rated RPI team remaining against the lowest, along with second versus third. The two best rated teams will host the semifinals. 1. Bell County (.703) Forecast: Bobcats are assured of hosting a state semifinal game provided they defeat Fleming County. 2. Paducah Tilghman (.665) Forecast: Blue Tornado are assured of hosting a state semifinal game provided they defeat Taylor County. 3. DeSales (.639) Forecast: Colts would need to beat Bardstown and hope either Bell County or Paducah Tilghman lose this weekend. If Bell, Tilghman, and DeSales all win, the Colts will make a second trip to Paducah Tilghman this season. 4. Belfry (.637) Forecast: Ashland beating Russell assured Belfry of a third home playoff game this season, but a fourth home game could be a tough task. First, the Pirates will need to beat Ashland on Friday. They would also need at least two of the three teams ranked ahead of them to lose. Worst case scenario from a travel standpoint for Belfry would be Bell and Tilghman winning and DeSales losing, which would mean a six-and-a-half hour road trip to Tilghman for the state semifinals. 5. Ashland (.632) Forecast: Tomcats would need to beat Belfry and hope two of the Bell, Tilghman, DeSales triumvirate lose to get a state semifinal game at Putnam Stadium. 6. Bardstown (.624) Forecast: Coach David Clark's Tigers would need a win at DeSales, along with losses by both Bell County and Paducah Tilghman to get a home game in the state semifinals. Bardstown has proven to be road warriors thus far and odds are they'll need to continue that both this week and in the future. 7. Fleming County (.603) Forecast: Fleming County can't host another playoff game in 2019. If Fleming can upset Bell, the best case travel scenario for the Panthers would be a Tilghman loss, DeSales win, and Ashland win, which would send Fleming to Ashland for the state semifinals. 8. Taylor County (.591) Forecast: Like Fleming, Taylor County can't host another playoff game in 2019. For the sake of travel, the shortest potential state semifinal route for Taylor would require a DeSales win and a Fleming County upset of Bell County, which would send Taylor to DeSales to play for a trip to the state championship.
  14. 1. Male (6-0): Undefeated top-ranked Male notched its first shutout win in the 2019 high school football season during Week 7, blanking Pleasure Ridge Park 47-0. Quarterback Elijah Parish led Male to the victory, completing 11 of 23 passes for 135 yards and three touchdowns. Parish completed two scoring passes to Vinny Anthony. Male rushed 34 times for 277 yards an four touchdowns. Quantrell Wright and Jaylin Bross each rushed for over 125 yards for the Bulldogs. Wright led Male on the ground, rushing 16 times for 132 yards and three touchdowns. The Bulldogs are scheduled to visit Southern on Friday night. 2. Trinity (5-2): The Shamrocks slipped back into the loss column on the road as Indianapolis-based Cathedral pulled away to win 28-7 on Friday, Oct. 4. Trinity was limited offensively in its latest setback. On the ground, Trinity rushed 24 times for 62 yards. Quarterback Nathan McElroy completed 12 of 34 passes for 169 yards and one touchdown while throwing three interceptions in the loss. Ryan Miller led Trinity in receiving, hauling in five receptions for 123 yards and one touchdown. The Shamrocks are slated to host Ballard on Friday night. 3. St. Xavier (4-2): Following a lopsided loss to rival Trinity its opening week, St. Xavier will host Manual on Friday night Through the Tigers' first six games, quarterback Douglas Bodhaine has complete 67 of 121 passes for 992 yards and eight touchdowns while throwing five interceptions. Running back Logan Davis leads St. Xavier on the ground. Davis has rushed 92 times for 446 yards and eight touchdowns. 4. North Hardin (7-0): The Trojans continued to roll in Week 7, dismantling Meade County 47-10. Quarterback Manie Wimberly and receiver Josh Moore combined to lead North Hardin to the victory. Wimberly completed 15 of 20 passes for 287 yards and three touchdowns. Emerging as the North Hardin quarterback's top target, Moore hauled in seven receptions for 232 yards and three TDs. North Hardin is open the week of Friday, Oct. 11. 5. Central Hardin (6-0): Another team perfect thus far in the 2019 season, Central Hardin beat Butler 47-22 in Week 7. Quarterback Chase Elmore led Central Hardin to the win, completing eight of 12 passes for 243 yards and two touchdowns while throwing one interception. Elmore's top target, Deonco Wilkerson, hauled in six receptions for 172 yards and one touchdown while adding two rushing TDs. TreJean Sanders led Central Hardin on the ground, rushing seven times for 102 yards and one touchdown. The Bruins are due to visit Barren County on Friday night. 6. DeSales (4-2): Class 3A title contender DeSales claimed its third straight win in Week 7, upending host Paducah Tilghman 49-14. Running back James Johnson and quarterback DeMarcus Avery combined to lead DeSales to the win. On the ground, Johnson rushed 13 times for 118 yards and two touchdowns. Through the air, Avery completed all three of his pass attempts for 117 yards and two touchdowns. The Colts are due to visit Christian Academy-Louisville for a key district matchup on Friday night. 7. Manual (5-1): In a dominant effort, the Crimsons rolled past visiting Eastern 49-8 in Week 7. Much-improved Manual notched its third straight win. Manual thrived on the ground in the victory over Eastern, rushing 31 times for 304 yards and six touchdowns. The Crimsons will face a tough test versus visiting St. Xavier on Friday night. 8. Fern Creek (5-2): Notching its third consecutive win in Week 7, Fern Creek topped Oldham County 35-13. Running back Terrance Mitchell led Fern Creek to the victory, rushing five times for 181 yards and three touchdowns. Fern Creek piled up yardage on the ground, rushing 35 times for 385 yards and four TDs. The Tigers are poised to visit Bullitt East on Friday night. 9. Ballard (3-3): Following a week off, Ballard will face the challenge of visiting Trinity on Friday night. Offensively, running back Jayden Farmer continues to lead the Bruins. Farmer has rushed 80 times for 815 yards and nine touchdowns. Ballard has won two of its last three games. 10. South Oldham (6-1): After falling to Christian Academy-Louisville in a season opener, South Oldham has reeled off six straight wins. The Dragons leveled Atherton 50-6 in Week 7. Running back Keaton Martin rushed 14 times for 183 yards and three touchdowns in South Oldham's win over Atherton The Dragons are set to host North Bullitt on Friday night. Big Risers 1. Central (3-4): Reigning Class 3A champion Central has claimed back-to-back wins after suffering through a three-game losing skid. The Yellow Jackets blanked Shelby County 14-0 in Week 4. Central is set to host Waggener on Friday night. 2. Kentucky Country Day (6-0): After being open in Week 7, Kentucky Country Day will have an opportunity to notch another win and remain undefeated when it visits Berea on Friday night. Both Kentucky Country Day and Berea are unbeaten. Big Droppers 1. Butler (3-4): Following a lopsided loss to Central Hardin in Week 7, Butler has dropped back-to-back games. After three straight games on the road, the Bruins will look to return to the win column when Pleasure Ridge Park visits on Friday night. 2. Eastern (2-5): After wining back-to-back games Eastern has suffered two consecutive losses. The Eagles have been held to eight points in each of the last two weeks. However, Eastern is open the week of Friday, Oct. 11. Last Week's Game of the Week Central Hardin pulled away to beat Butler 47-22, thanks to an offensive attack which rolled up 477 total yards. The Bruins' offense was balanced. Central Hardin rushed for 234 yards in the win. Defensively, Central Hardin limited Butler to 135 rushing yards in its impressive victory. Player of the Week Deonco Wilkerson, Central Hardin, Sr., RB/WR/DB Wilkerson led Central Hardin in receiving while finishing as the Bruins' second-leading rusher. He hauled in six catches for 172 yards and one touchdown. On the ground, Wilkerson rushed nine times for 83 yards and two TDs. Defensively, Wilkerson returned an interception 29 yards for a touchdown and registered two tackles. Game of the Week St. Xavier vs. Manual St. Xavier (4-2) and Manual (5-1) will meet on the Crimsons' home field in a key Class 6A, District 3 matchup. The game will serve as a district opener for each team. St. Xavier defeated Manual 25-7 when the two tradition-rich Louisville high school football teams met in 2018. But after compiling three straight wins, Manual carries momentum into the upcoming game. Kickoff for the 2019 edition of the St. Xavier-Manual football game is set for 7:30 p.m.
  15. I want to open this weeks power ranking with a special shoutout to the Pirates of Berea. They have started the season 6-0. To put that in perspective that is more wins than the Pirates have had from 2014 to 2018 COMBINED! Leading the way for the offense has been QB Jaylen Whitaker (546 passing yards and 584 rushing yards with 11 total touchdowns) and RB’s Jaiden Cunningham (534 yards 8TD) and Timmy Thompson (330 yards 8 TD). Defensively they are led in tackles by Tanner Hayden who has 49 tackles and a sack. The trio just mentioned carries their weight on the defensive side as well combining for 71 tackles, 12 Tackles for loss and 6 sacks. They have an opportunity to make a statement in their district this Friday night in a game vs also undefeated Kentucky Country Day. Go get win #7 and good luck on the rest of your season! The top ten 1. Boyle County (4A, 6-0, RPI .733) Last week: Boyle was able to get some players rested and healed up before they start district play. This week: the most important game the Rebels have played so far is up next. Lexington Catholic will come to Rebel stadium to play in what should end up as the game for the 1 seed in the district. 2. Frederick Douglass (5A, 7-0, RPI .687) Last week: Douglass put up their 5th consecutive shutout and their 6th of the season in their 62-0 drubbing of Grant County. Some unfamiliar names led the stat lines for the Broncos this week. QB Cameron Dunn had 3 passing TDs and a rushing score. RB TJ Horton had 69 yards and 2 scores on just 6 carries. The receiving was led by Dane Key who had 108 yards and a score on 4 receptions. This week: the Broncos will be on bye. 3. Scott County (5A, 6-1, RPI .669) Last Week: Scott County was able to bounce back from their loss to Frederick Douglass by defeating Ryle 57-21. The Cardinal rushing attack was back to its familiar ways led by Bronson Brown’s 171 yards and 3 scores. Philip Garner added 127 yards and 2 TDs as well. This week: Scott County traveled to Grant County for a Thursday night game and won 56-0, moving them to 7-1 on the year. 4. Franklin County (4A, 7-0, RPI .729) Last week: The Flyers flew on their way to a 62-0 win over North Oldham. QB Nick Broyles had 5 TD passes on 6 completions with 244 yards. Leading receiver was Cameron Phelps who caught 2 passes for 106 yards and both went for scores. Defensively Brady Holleran led the way with 9 tackles and a sack. This week: Franklin County will have a bye. 5. Lexington Christian Academy (2A, 5-1, RPI .768) Last Week: LCA had a bye week before they start district play. This week: the battle for the top seed in one of the toughest districts in 2A begins with a trip to Washington County. The Commanders are 4-2 on the season and are led dual threat QB Jatavian Churchill (694 yards passing, 824 yards rushing, 19 total TDs) and RB Mike Ellery (699 yards and 11 TD). 6. Lexington Catholic (4A, 4-2, RPI .700) Last week: the Knights rested up on their bye week. This week: The Knights travel to Boyle County looking to avenge 3 losses to the Rebels in the last 2 seasons and secure home field in a probable second round playoff matchup. 7. Mercer County (3A, 6-1, RPI .725) Last week: Mercer got off to a slower start than they would’ve liked but pulled away winning 44-6 over Western Hills. Brayden Dunn had a nice night on both sides of the ball. He ran for 114 yards and a score and had 14 tackles, 5 for loss and 2 sacks. Malachi Yulee ran for 111 yards and 3 scores on 12 carries. Defensively Bryson Yeast was solid as well with 11 tackles and 2 tackles for loss. This week: Mercer County is on bye. 8. Taylor County (3A, 6-1, RPI .597) Last week: Taylor County rolled to a 57-0 victory over Hart County. Gabe Burress led the Cardinals in rushing yards with 143 on just 3 carries and had 3 scores. Tre Goodin added 96 yards and a TD with his 3 carries for the night. This week: The Cardinals will be on bye. 9. Campbellsville (A, 5-2, RPI .580) Last week: the eagles jumped out to a Quick lead and then coasted for a 39-0 nothing. QB Arren Hash was 10/14 for 324 yards and 4 TD. Malachi Corley caught 5 of those passes for 192 yards and 3 scores. This week: Campbellsville is on bye 10. Anderson County (4A, 4-2, RPI .661) Last week: Anderson County was on a bye week. This week: Anderson will begin district play by hitting the road to take on Bourbon County (3-3). This will be the most favorable district matchup for the Bearcats before they take on Boyle and Lexington Catholic in back to back weeks. The next five 11-15 11. East Jessamine (5A, 5-2, RPI .577) Last week: The Jaguars overcame a early 28-14 deficit to eventually win 49-35. The Triple threat of McHolan, Moore and Miles was at it again. McHolan ran for 114 yards and 3 TDs and threw for another. Dylan Moore rushed for 117 yards and Valdon Miles 116 yards and a TD. This week: East Jessamine will travel to Collins. The Titans only have one win so far this season but have kept the games close in their last couple of outings. 12. LaRue County (3A, 4-3, RPI .534) Last week: The Hawks soared past Thomas Nelson 46-0. RB Jeremiah Belton tallied 127 yards and 2 TDs on 9 carries. Preston Self led all receivers with 108 yards and 2 TDs on as many receptions. He also had 10 tackles on the other side of the ball. Tucker Shelton added 9 tackles of his own with 2 sacks. This week. LaRue County is on bye. 13. Tates Creek (6A, 2-4, RPI .464) Last week: Tates Creek was on bye This week: In what is an intriguing matchup between the city’s best public school QBs, the Commodores will travel out on Man O War to take on Dunbar (3-3). The next couple of weeks will either clear up the pecking order of FCPS football or make a mess of it all. 14. Lincoln County (4A, 3-3, RPI .535) Last Week: The Patriots were on Bye This week: Lincoln has the fun task of finding a way to slow down RB Braedon Sloan of Wayne County (4-1). Sloan is easily the best RB I’ve watched so far this season. The Patriots schedule doesn’t do them many favors from this point forward. 15. Woodford County (5A, 4-2, RPI .539) Last Week: Woodford County got a comfortable district win by taking care of West Jessamine 56-16. RB Amartae Rice led the way for the Yellow Jackets, Rushing for 221 yards and 5 Touchdowns! This week: Woodford will travel to historic Berea to take on Madison Southern (3-4). Teams 16-20 16. George Rogers Clark (6A, 2-4, RPI .385) Last Week- Lost 21-14 to 6A Cooper. This week @ 6A Bryan Station. 17. Madison Southern (5A, 3-4, RPI .442) Last Week- Lost 49-35 to East Jessamine. This week- vs Woodford County 18. Washington County (2A, 4-2, RPI .663) Last week: Bye This Week- vs LCA 19. Dunbar (6A, 3-3, RPI .451) last week- BYE. This week- vs 6A Tates Creek. 20. Danville (2A, 2-4, RPI .525) Last Week- won 41-13 vs Allen County Scottsville. This week- @ Somerset. Teams on the rise 1. Berea- the pirates are 6-0 and playing for a shot at a district 1 seed after years and years of futility. 2. East Jessamine- East has ran off 3 straight victories in convincing fashion. Teams on the decline 1. George Rogers Clark- after a promising 2-1 start, GRC has now lost 3 straight. 2. Metcalfe County - coming off back to back blowout looses Metcalfe is sitting at 1-6 on the year. Beau Allen Watch Last week: Bye On the Season: 140/192 2034 yards, 22 TD, 2 INT. 74 carries 277 yards 7 TDs. Players of the week 1. RB Amartae Rice, Woodford County- 20 carries 221 yards 5 TDs. 2. QB Jaylen Whitaker, Berea- 5/6 127 yards TD INT. 10 carries 212 yards 3 TDs. 3. RB Malachi Corley, Campbellsville- 5 receptions 192 yards 3 TD 4. QB Nick Broyles, Franklin County- 6/10 244 yards 5 TD. 3 carries 58 yards. 5. RB/LB Brayden Dunn, Mercer County- 11 carries 114 yards TD. 14 tackles, 5 TFL, 2 Sacks. Last weeks game of the week East Jessamine 49 Madison Southern 35 Both teams traded scores on their first couple drives. Madison Southern then got up to a 28-14 lead in the first half before East scores twice to tie it up at the half. The third quarter was all East Jessamine as they pushed their lead out to 42-28. Both teams scored once more to give us our final. This weeks game of the week The obvious choice would be Boyle County vs Lexington Catholic. While it is a very important Game for both teams and one they have had circled on the calendar since the day schedules were released, I will go in a different direction instead. Tates Creek vs Dunbar QB Luke Duby for Creek and QB Jake Smith for Dunbar will be on display Friday night in a matchup between teams that I feel are very evenly matched. If you are in Lexington Friday night and want to catch a game, Head on over to Dunbar to catch this one.
  16. 1) 5A Covington Catholic (7-0) – Friday’s game in Park Hills was the fastest game yet this season for the Colonels, with Cov Cath starting a running clock 9 seconds into the 2Q against 5A Boone County (2-5). The Colonels started off by scoring TD’s on 4 of their first 7 offensive plays, and won the game 45-0 to get them off to a 2-0 start in district competition. QB Caleb Jacob was 7-9 passing for 171yds and 4 TDs. TE Michael Mayer led the team in scoring, with 3 receptions for 71yds and 3 TDs, and WR Andy Molique also had 1 reception for a 51yd TD. On the ground, Ryan Schneider led the team with 51yds and a TD on his 1 carry, and Owen Nally added a TD on 1 of his 2 rushes, good for 11yds. LB Luke Stegman led the team’s defense with 7 tackles, and Michael Thelen, Owen Nally, and Carter Martin each had 4 tackles a piece. Kicker Trey Gronotte was 6-6 on PATs and also had a 29yd field goal. The Colonels will have a major challenge this Friday when they take on OH-DII LaSalle (6-0), currently ranked nationally at #64 by MaxPreps. 2) Conner (6-1) – Sometimes the “who beat who” puzzle just doesn’t seem to work out. That definitely the case this week with the rankings, with Conner jumping from the #6 spot to #2 after beating 5A Highlands 20-17 on a TD scored in the final minute of the game on Friday. QB Jared Hicks had a commanding performance in the game, going 25-40 passing for 244yds and 2TDs, while rushing 19 times for another 69yds. WR Drew Cobble had 9 receptions for 119yds and 1 TD, WR Caleb Ervin had 4 receptions for 68yds, and WR Colton Roy had 7 receptions for 47yds and 1 TD. Kicker Nicholas Keller added 6 points on field goals. Conner’s defense was led by LB Parker Hitzfield with 9 tackles, Timothy Leiprecht had 8 tackles in the game, and DL Chase Kurtz had 7 tackles. Conner plays district competitor 5A Cooper (4-3) tomorrow night. 3) 5A Highlands (4-3) – The Birds had their first home loss since October 2019 on Friday when competitor 5A Conner (6-1) came to Ft. Thomas and pulled off a last-minute upset, beating Highlands 20-17. The loss came despite the Bluebirds starting off with a 14-0 lead, and leading the entire game until the final 44 seconds of the 4Q. QB Collin Hollingsworth was 6-10 passing for 45yds and 1TD, and QB Jake Fahlbusch was 3-8 for 26yds. RB Griffin Richter led the running game with 48yds on 10 carries, and WR Joey Deschler had 42yds and 1 TD on 2 receptions. LB Brycen Huddleston added the remaining Highlands TD on a kickoff return. Huddleston was also tied for the lead with defensive tackles in the game, with 15, and DP Sawyer Depp also had 15 tackles. The two accounted for over half of the teams tackles in the game. Highlands will head to Florence tomorrow to take on 5A Boone County (2-5) in their second district game. 4) 6A Simon Kenton (3-3) – No action this week. The Pioneers return to action tonight at home in their first district game of 2019, playing 6A Dixie Heights (2-4). 5) 6A Ryle (3-4) – The Raiders moved to the wrong side of the .500 mark on Friday with a 57-21 loss to 6A Scott County (6-1). Ryle kept the game interesting early on, keeping things close and tying the Cardinals up at 14 early in the 2Q, but after that, it was basically all Scott County’s game. QB Keegan Stanken was 10-24 passing for 86yds, 1 TD and 2 INTs. WR Johnathan Coker led the receiving corps with 1 reception good for a 23yd TD, and RB Kyle England led the running game with 15 carries for 79yds and 1 TD. Johnathan Coker also scored the remaining Ryle TD on a returned kickoff. On defense, the Raiders were led by DB Mathias Cusick and LB Dillon Talmon who each had 7 tackles. Sophomroe LB Jackson Belk also had 7 tackles in the game. Ryle will head east to Claryville to take on 6A Campbell County (0-6) in their first district game of the season. 6) 2A Beechwood (2-4) – It was a tough game for Beechwood on Friday, but they Tigers pulled of their first win on the road of 2019 and improved their record with a 14-10 win over 6A Dixie Heights (2-4). Beechwood trailed in the game until the halfway-point of the 4th quarter, when they took a 14-0 lead on the second of two TD connections between QB Cam Hergott and WR Brady Moore. Hergott ended up going 21-28 passing for 18yds and 2 TDs in the game, in addition to leading the Tigers’ running attack with 34yds on 16 carries. Moore led the receiving effort with 86yds and 2 TDs on 11 receptions. RB Cole Stammer had 21yds rushing on 8 carries, and 37yds receiving on 3 receptions, in addition to a key interception in the 4Q from his position at DB to stop Dixie’s final chance at scoring in the game. Further defensive stats were not reported for the game. This week brings Beechwood’s first ever 2A district game when they play 2A Covington Holy Cross (2-4) at the Indians’ new home field at Thomas More University. 7) 5A Cooper (4-3) – The Jaguars put their last couple of weeks happily in the rear-view with a 21-14 win on Friday over 6A George Rogers Clark (2-4). Cooper won the contest despite the Cardinals’ offense rolling up a full 123 yards more than the Jags’ offense. QB Drew Warth was 8-14 passing for 64yds, 1 TD and 1 INT, and WR Xavier Smith led the receiving corps with 33yds and 1 TD on 4 receptions. RB Brendon Tye had 11 carries for 45yds, WR/RB Jeremiah Lee ran the ball 7 times for 23yds and 1 TD, and RB Chester Hale had the remaining TD on his 1 run for 9yds. Chester Hale also had a big game at defensive back, leading the defense with 19 tackles. LB Joe Poage also came up big with 13 tackles, a fumble recovery, and an interception with a 27yd return after the interception. Cooper will resume their district competition tomorrow when they head to Hebron to take on 5A Conner (6-1). 8) 1A Newport Central Catholic (4-2) – No action this week. The Thoroughbreds to start off their district competition tonight when they host 1A Ludlow (4-1). 9) 4A Scott (5-2) – Scott improved to 2-0 in district play on Friday with a 33-7 win over the 3A Harrison County Thorobreds (3-3). QB Gus Howlett had another solid night passing, going 9-16 with 161yds and 2 TDs in the air. RB Quincy Perrin may not have topped his breakout performance from last week, but he still put up a solid 161yds and 2 TDs on 16 carries, along with 1 reception for 41yds and another TD. WR Cam Patterson also had 4 receptions for 64yds and 1 TD. On the defensive flipside, LB Nigel Robinson led the team with 9 tackles, including 3 tackles for losses and a sack. LB Robert Pence had 8 tackles, and LB Damond Hacker had 7 tackles. The Eagles have the week off this week, and will head on the road again for their next district matchup against 4A Boyd County (1-5). 10) Lloyd Memorial (4-2) – The Juggernauts returned from their bye week with a commanding 37-7 win over 1A Ludlow (4-2). QB Jacob Davidson had a huge game, going 14-24 in the air for 265yds and 5 TDs, and rushing 12 times for another 48yds. WR Treshawn Cody led the receivers with 4 receptions for 96yds and 3 TDs, Keion Alexander had 2 receptions for 66yds and 1 TD, and Braxton Irwin had 2 receptions for 32yds and 1 TD. On the ground, RB Michael Sassin led with 12 carries for 81yds and 1 TD. On the defensive side of things, LB Isaac Abdon led with 7 tackles, DB Lennon Stolz had 6 tackles, and DL Mike Wallington, DB Keesean Crim, and DL Tyson Maynard each had 5 tackles a piece. Lloyd will take on 2A Newport (6-1) in their first district came on Friday. TRENDING UP 2A Beechwood (2-4) – The Tigers may not have led their game for long on Friday, but they were leading when time ran out in the 4th quarter, and Beechwood got their second win of the season with a 14-10 victory over 6A Dixie Heights. 5A Conner (6-1) – The Cougars showed that they are not about to sit quietly and let other teams run the show in their district. Conner upset 5A Highlands with a big 20-17 win in Ft. Thomas. TRENDING DOWN 1A Bishop Brossart (2-4) – The Mustangs’ losing streak extended from two games to three on Friday when Bishop Brossart lost 28-6 to 1A Nicholas County. 5A Highlands (4-3) – There’s no denying that the Bluebirds were disappointed on Friday, who headed back to the locker room as one of two teams in northern Kentucky who led for the first three quarters of a game, only to be upset in the fourth with a loss. Highlands lost 20-17 to 5A Conner. GAME OF THE WEEK (RESULTS): WEEK 6 2A Beechwood vs. 6A Dixie Heights Dixie was leading for nearly all of the game on Friday, but it just wasn’t enough to hold off the 2A Tigers from finally getting their second win of the season. GAME OF THE WEEK: WEEK 7 5A Conner vs. 5A Cooper This week we’re going to have another look at what 5A District 5 is made of. With questions continuallt being asked about how Cooper adds up against the rest of the competition in northern Kentucky, and after we saw Cooper best Highlands last week, this should tell us a little more about how it all fits together.
  17. For all intents and purposes, playoff time is here. Teams have played most of their out of district games. Some teams have played tough opponents to get ready for the tough games to come in the playoffs. Some teams have scheduled to boost confidence and get wins. Now it is time for district games and there is a new twist this year. The first two rounds of the playoffs are against your own district opponents. In the tough, competitive districts, that puts extra weight on winning the regular season district games and avoiding a tough first round match up. In a couple districts, it makes things a lot easier for the top teams to slide through to round 3. Things will certainly be interesting to watch as the new playoff schedule plays out and the new RPI system puts its impact into rounds 3 and 4. Let’s take a quick tour through last week’s results. Then we will preview each district in 1A looking at what the teams have done to position themselves for district play and how they have performed. Then we will wrap up with our Friday night preview for this week. Weekly Review More than half the 1A top ten chose last week as their open date, presumably to rest up, heal up and prepare for district play. The teams that were open last week with no game include #1 Pikeville, #4 Newport Central Catholic, #7 Williamsburg, #8 Kentucky Country Day, #9 Louisville Holy Cross and #10 Bethlehem. Three of the four top ten teams that played not only did not take the week off, they put a challenging opponent on the schedule. #2 Raceland – Raceland always puts a challenging out of district schedule together. Last week’s opponent was area rival Ashland. Ashland came into the game ranked #3 in 3A and they proved that is no fluke as they handed the Rams a 26-0 pasting. In some ways the game was closer than the score. In other ways, it was an even worse defeat than the 26-0 final. Raceland actually hung tough through most of the game. Ashland scored a touchdown in each quarter so it was a methodical beating they put on the Rams. The score was 13-0 at halftime. In the third quarter, the Rams drove to the 12 yard line, hoping to get back within one score but were stopped there on downs. That is when the play of the game sealed the Rams’ fate. Tomcats RB Blake Hester took off on an 87 yard touchdown run stretching the lead to 20-0. The reason I say the game wasn’t that close is Ashland outgained Raceland 358 yards to just 157, with 335 of those Tomcats yards coming on the ground. The Rams put themselves through a tough test. They need to take the lessons learned, shake off the loss and move forward to district play. #3 Hazard – Hazard also took on a huge challenge last week as they faced the #1 team in 2A, the Somerset Briar Jumpers. Somerset has been one of the most impressive teams in the state through the first half of the year. The Bulldogs took the loss 21-9, but that score says good things about Hazard. The closest any other team had come to Somerset was Beechwood taking a 32 point loss. That makes the 12 point defeat for the Bulldogs one to take note of. Even more impressive, the yardage totals were fairly even in the game. Somerset totaled 304 yards and Hazard put up 246 yards. Hazard looked as they might take a 3-0 lead to the half after Jonah Helm kicked a 49 yard field goal. However, Somerset went 68 yards in 52 seconds to get a last second score and gain a 7-3 halftime lead. Hazard took the lead back in the third quarter at 9-7 but Somerset once again responded immediately to get back on top at 13-9. Somerset then scored on a 54 yard fake punt play midway through the fourth quarter to get the win, 21-9. A very impressive effort for Hazard. #5 Paintsville – Paintsville took on a challenging opponent as well. The Tigers were able to pull out a 21-14 victory over Union (VA), a very tough opponent. Union entered the game undefeated and ranked in the top 5 in Virginia’s 2A division. They compare almost equally to Paintsville so this was a very nice matchup for both teams. The game did not disappoint going down to the final seconds. The game was tied at 14 in the fourth quarter when Harris Phelps scored the go ahead touchdown with 8:30 to go. Jonah Porter then sealed the win with his second interception of the game at the 3 yard line in the final moments of the contest. Paintsville’s strength of schedule is #1 in 1A and this was another excellent win over a very strong opponent. #6 Campbellsville – Our final top 10 team that saw action last week is the Campbellsville Eagles. Campbellsville’s opponent, 2A Metcalfe County, had only one win on the season. The Eagles took care of business with a 39-0 win. QB Arren Hash and WR/RB Malachi Corley dominated this game. Hash threw for 4 touchdowns and 3 of them went to Corley. Corley had 192 yards receiving on 5 receptions, with 3 of those going for scores. 1A Districts Preview District 1 Russellville 1-6; 1-0 in district Crittenden County 4-2 Caverna 1-5 Fulton County 5-2; 0-1 in district We have one district game played in this district. Looking at the records of Russellville and Fulton County, it looks like a major upset. However, Russellville has played a schedule that is among the toughest in 1A and Fulton County’s schedule is among the weakest in 1A. This is another good example that in evaluating teams, strength of schedule is just as important as a team’s won loss record. Crittenden County is the clear favorite in this district. Under the new playoff format, if Crittenden County wins the top playoff seed out of district, Fulton County will get a chance to avenge their 34-31 loss to Russellville in round 1 of the playoffs. Look for the Rockets to go undefeated in the district and move on through the playoffs to round 3. District 2 Campbellsville 5-2; 1-0 in district Louisville Holy Cross 5-1 Bethlehem 4-1 Fort Knox 2-4; 0-1 in district District 2 is much tougher to evaluate. Three of the top 10 in 1A are in this district. This will be one of the most competitive districts in 1A. With the new playoff format, winning the top seed out of the district will be a big prize. The #2 and #3 seeds will have to face each other in round 1 of the playoffs. That will send one of the top 10 teams in 1A home after the first round. Bethlehem and Holy Cross have a common opponent, Providence (IN). Holy Cross won 29-15 and Bethlehem lost 29-20. Campbellsville’s 2 losses were to the best 2 opponents any of these three teams have played. Campbellsville features one of the best players in 1A, WR/RB Malachi Corley, as well as one of the top QB’s in 1A, Arren Hash. Give the slight edge to Campbellsville for the top seed, but watch closely. Any one of the top 3 teams here is very capable of taking the top seed. District 3 Kentucky Country Day 6-0 Berea 6-0 Eminence 5-1 Frankfort 2-4 Top to bottom, District 3 is arguably the toughest district in 1A. Once again we have a district featuring three very good teams. You could also say all three of the top teams in this district are outperforming expectations year to date. Undoubtedly, the undefeated Berea Pirates are doing things no one thought could happen this year. The strength of schedule puts big question marks on Berea but their 49-6 win last week over 4-1 Dayton shows Berea may be even better than we might think. We will find out soon enough as the Pirates host Kentucky Country Day in their district opener this Friday. Meanwhile, Eminence gets to test themselves in their return to KHSAA district play with a visit to perennially tough Frankfort. We will go with Kentucky Country Day as the pick out of District 3. The #2 seed will most likely be Eminence but the new Berea Pirates could surprise us even further and grab that #2 spot. Frankfort is the long shot. There is a lot of fun football to come as we watch this district unfold. District 4 Dayton 4-2; 1-0 in district Ludlow 4-2 Newport Central Catholic 4-2 Bellevue 1-5; 0-1 in district Dayton is another resurgent, surprising program. The KHSAA has Dayton’s 36-12 win over Bellevue in week 2 listed as a district win, but I am not sure that is accurate. Those two teams face off again this Friday and I believe that game may actually be the one these two teams will count as their district contest. The big game this Friday in this district is Ludlow visiting Newport Central Catholic. The Thoroughbreds have played a strong schedule which positions them as the district favorite. Ludlow is the one team in the district with some chance at upsetting the Thoroughbreds, but don’t expect that to happen. Newport Central Catholic is the overwhelming favorite with Ludlow a solid number 2. District 5 Nicholas County 4-3; 1-0 in district Paris 2-4; 1-0 in district Bishop Brossart 2-4; 0-1 in district Bracken County 0-7; 0-1 in district Nicholas County is the only team in the district with a winning record, and they are the favorite to win this district. The Bluejackets posted a 28-6 district win last week over Brossart. Meanwhile, Paris eeked out a district win of their own, 30-28 over Bracken County. That sets up a showdown this Friday between Paris and Nicholas County. The winner of that game will almost surely be the district winner. Brossart and Bracken County also face each other this Friday and the loser of that game will almost surely be the #4 seed. Look for Brossart to get the win in that game and Nicholas County to get the win over Paris. That will set the stage for Paris and Brossart battling in two weeks for the #2 seed and home field advantage in round 1 of the playoffs. Nicholas County should emerge as the round 3 playoff representative from District 5. District 6 Paintsville 4-2 Raceland 3-3 Fairview 2-3 Betsy Layne 2-4 Two of the top 5 in 1A reside in District 6. Paintsville and Raceland has turned into one of the top district rivalries in the state. This year should once again bring us a couple classic confrontations. Both teams have lost their starting QB’s to injury, but both should be back at some point this year. The face off does not happen for 3 weeks so there will be plenty of time for those QB’s to get back in time to face each other. We can safely say this district is between those 2, but there is no predicting the winner between the two of them. Don’t count on the regular season game to tell you who will win the playoff game as the regular season winner has lost in the playoffs the past two years. District 7 Pikeville 6-0 Hazard 4-2 Phelps 3-3 Jenkins 0-10 (forfeiting season) District 7 is another two team race, and these two teams could very well be the two best in all of 1A. Pikeville is undefeated, ranked #1 and the favorite to win the district and state. Both Hazard and Pikeville have wins over Paintsville, the #3 team in 1A, and Hazard’s win was more convincing. The regular season showdown, and the battle for home field in the playoffs, happens in two weeks. That will be a dandy. District 8 Pineville 5-1 Williamsburg 4-2 Lynn Camp 2-3 Harlan 1-5 Williamsburg is the favorite in District 8, but Pineville is putting together a very nice season and shows some upset potential. However, that thing we talked about all the way back in our District 1 commentary comes into play here as well. Pineville’s strength of schedule factor is woeful and betrays their 5-1 record. For that reason, it is much more likely that Pineville will be battling with Lynn Camp for the #2 seed than with Williamsburg for #1. Look for Williamsburg to be the #1 seed and to be representing District 8 when round 3 of the playoffs are here. Friday Night Lineup The district battles get started a day early with #4 Newport Central Catholic hosting their top district threat Ludlow on Thursday night. There are two other key 1A district contests. The upstart Berea Pirates host #8 Kentucky Country Day in a game we will call judgment day for the Pirates. Then perhaps the top game in 1A this week will feature #9 Holy Cross on the road at #10 Bethlehem. We will look forward to those games and recap them for you in next week’s 1A Notebook. 1. Pikeville vs. Phelps 2. Hazard -- OPEN 3. Paintsville at Fairview 4. Newport Central Catholic vs. Ludlow (10/10) 5. Raceland vs. Betsy Layne 6. Campbellsville -- OPEN 7. Williamsburg at Harlan 8. Kentucky Country Day at Berea 9. Louisville Holy Cross at #10 Bethlehem 10. Bethlehem vs. #9 Louisville Holy Cross
  18. 6A Notebook: Rundown of 6A In this edition and the rest of the regular season, the 6A notebook will look at 6A district by district. Weekly RPI will be included, and upcoming top games will be covered. Let’s see how the districts are shaping up. District 1: #10 McCracken County leads the district standings with a 3-0 record after defeating Daviess County 50-36 behind their strong offense. Henderson County is 1-0 after defeating Marshall County 42-7. Daviess County is 1-1 after losing to McCracken County. Apollo is 0-1 after losing to McCracken County on 9/27. Marshall County is 0-3 after losing to Henderson County 42-7. This district still looks like it’s going to come down to McCracken County and Henderson County for the championship. 3rd place is looking like it will come down to Apollo or Daviess County. Marshall County at 0-3 has last place locked up. District 2: #4 North Hardin is 1-0 after defeating Meade County 47-10. #6 Central Hardin is still 0-0 after defeating out of district foe #9 Butler 47-22 and opens up district play with Barren County this week. Barren County is 0-0 coming off a bye week and open district play this week with Central Hardin. Meade County is 0-1 after losing to North Hardin 47-10. North Hardin has bye this week. Meade County goes out of district to 3A #6 Elizabethtown. District 3: #3 St. Xavier is 0-0 and coming off a bye week with a big game against #5 Manual this week. Manual is 0-0 after defeating out of district foe Eastern 49-8 and has big opening game with St. Xavier. Butler is 0-0 after losing to out of district foe #6 Central Hardin 47-22. Pleasure Ridge Park is 0-0 after losing to out of district foe #1 Male 47-0. Butler hosts Pleasure Ridge Park this week. District 4: #1 Male is 0-0 after defeating out of district foe Pleasure Ridge Park 47-0. #7 Fern Creek is 0-0 after defeating out of district foe Oldham County 38-15. Bullitt East is 0-0 after having a bye week. Southern is 0-0 after losing to out of district foe Kentucky Country Day 27-7. Male opens district play at Southern. Fern Creek opens district play at Bullitt East. District 5: #2 Trinity is 0-0 after losing to out of state foe Cathedral (IN) 28-7. Ballard is 0-0 and coming off a bye week. Eastern is 0-0 after losing to out of district foe #5 Manual 49-8. This week Trinity hosts Ballard with the winner most likely being the district champ. Eastern has a bye week. District 6: Ryle 0-0 lost to out of district foe 5A #3 Scott County 57-21. Simon Kenton 0-0 is coming off a bye week. Dixie Heights 0-0 is coming off a 14-10 loss to 2A #4 Beechwood. Campbell County 0-0 is coming off a loss to out of state foe Mt. Healthy (OH) 21-7. Ryle opens district play with Campbell County. Simon Kenton hosts Dixie Heights on 10/10. District 7: Tates Creek 0-0 is coming off a bye week. Paul Dunbar 0-0 is coming off a bye week. Lafayette 0-0 is coming off a 21-7 loss to 4A #6 Corbin. Henry Clay 0-0 lost to Bryan Station 19-17. Tates Creek opens district play at Paul Dunbar. Henry Clay hosts Lafayette. District 8: Oldham County 0-0 is coming off a 38-15 loss to 6A #7 Fern Creek. George Rodgers Clark 0-0 is coming off a 21-14 loss to 5A Cooper. Bryan Station 0-0 is coming off a 19-17 win over Henry Clay. Madison Central 0-0 is coming off a bye week. Oldham County opens district play at home vs. Madison Central. George Rogers Clark travels to Bryan Station. Games of the week: #3 St. Xavier (4-2) at #5 Manual (5-1). Manual has been playing well and would like to break a St. Xavier 26-year win streak. St. Xavier is coming off a bye week and is hoping to open district play with a win. Last year St. Xavier defeated Manual 25-7. Manual is beating their opponents by an average of 17.5 pts a game and St. Xavier has an average margin of victory of 6.7 pts a game. Manual gets most of their yards on the ground with an average of 206 per game. St. Xavier will counter with a rushing defense of 131 yards per game. St. Xavier gets most of their yards through the air averaging 188 yards per game. Manual will counter the St. Xavier passing attack with a pass defense holding opponents to 114 yards per game. The only common opponent between the two is Central with Manual defeating them 7-0 and St. Xavier defeating them 23-0. This should be a competitive game and most likely they will meet a 2nd time in the playoffs. #2 Trinity (5-2) hosts #8 Ballard (3-3). Ballard is coming off a bye week and Trinity looks to improve after a defeat to Indiana power Cathedral. Trinity’s average margin of victory is 19 points per game, and Ballard’s avg margin of victory is 8.7 points per game. Trinity brings a balanced offense attack with an average of 177 yards on the ground and 188 through the air. Ballard will counter with a defense holding opponents to 114 on the ground and 110 in the air. Ballard’s offense is primarily on the ground averaging 169 yards per game with 102 through the air. Trinity will counter with a stiff defense holding opponents to 150 total yards per game with only 48 rushing yards per game. Trinity has also played a tougher schedule than Ballard. Last year Trinity defeated Ballard in the playoffs 50-0. The only common opponent between the two is Male with Male defeating Trinity 20-17 and Male defeating Ballard 41-14 With Trinity’s stout run defense and having played a tougher schedule, they should win this game by a comfortable margin. 6A RPI: 1. Male .718 2. North Hardin .681 3. Central Hardin .632 4. Manual .632 5. Trinity .617 6. Henderson County .599 7. McCracken County .598 8. St. Xavier .595 9. Fern Creek .581 10. Ballard .535 11. Bullitt East .534 12. Ryle .533 13. Simon Kenton .516 14. Southern .501 15. Butler .498 16. Oldham County .496 17. Barren County .490 18. Tates Creek .464 19. Daviess County .458 20. Paul Dunbar .451 21. Dixie Heights .450 22. Apollo .439 23. Eastern .421 24. Lafayette .412 25. Madison Central .397 26. Bryan Station .395 27. Meade County .393 28. Campbell County .385 29. George Rogers Clark .385 30. Marshall County .382 31. Henry Clay .368 32. Pleasure Ridge Park .356
  19. Front Runners Beau Allen (QB, Lexington Catholic) Week 7: The Knights were off last week. The most important game of LexCath's season is two days away versus Boyle County. This game holds major implications for both the Mr. Football race and Class 4A. For his career, Allen is 1-3 versus the Rebels, with his lone victory coming in his freshman year. Since then, he's lost three straight by an average score of 48-15. His career stat line against Boyle County: 54/110 (49%) for 549 yards and 5 TDs/2 ints. Season to date: 140/192 for 2,034 yards and 22 TDs/2 ints. - 250 yards rushing/6 TDs Michael Mayer (TE/LB, Covington Catholic) Week 7: Mayer struck gold on three of his four receptions against Boone County, meaning nine of his twenty-one catches this season have gone for touchdowns. A sturdy challenge awaits in the form of La Salle, a GCL South power. Season to date: 21 catches for 408 yards and 9 TDs - 3 carries for 37 yards and a TD - 36 tackles/1.5 sacks/1 int. Reese Smith (WR/S, Boyle County) Week 7: Boyle County was off last week. A golden opportunity to upstage the guy at the top of the page is just around the corner. Reece's career stat line against Lexington Catholic: 11 catches for 225 yards and 5 TDs with 3 interceptions. Season to date: 22 catches for 597 yards and 8 touchdowns - 11 tackles/4 ints. Locks Malachi Corley (RB/WR/DB, Campbellsville) Week 7: Corley continued to fill up the stat sheet last week, albeit against one of the weakest teams on Campbellsville's schedule. He caught five balls for 192 yards and three touchdowns on offense to go with a sack and two forced fumbles in his defensive role. Season to date: 37 rushes for 413 yards and 9 TDs - 14 catches for 333 yards and 5 TDs - 45 tackles/1 forced fumble/1 fumble recovery - 1 punt return touchdown Metcalfe County High School - Coach Corley highlights - Hudl Izayah Cummings (WR, Male) Week 7: Dominant defense and a strong running game set the tone for Male against PRP, leaving few opportunities for Cummings to make an impact catching the football. He did, however, manage to snag a touchdown grab in the Bulldogs' 47-0 rout of the Panthers. Season to date: 27 catches for 543 yards and 9 TDs Jackson Hensley (WR, Pikeville) Week 7: The Panthers were off last week. They open district play this Friday against Phelps. Season to date: 25 catches for 346 yards and 5 TDs - 31 tackles/2 int./1 forced fumble Jeriah Hightower (RB, Madisonville-North Hopkins) Week 7: Hightower carved up a helpless Hopkins County Central defense to the tune of 259 yards and four touchdowns on just nine carries. He's gone for 200+ in six straight games and is averaging 270 yards and 3 TDs per game during that stretch. One of the biggest games this week involving a watchlist member is MNH's clash with district adversary Hopkinsville. Season to date: 159 rushes for 1,723 yards and 19 TDs Hopkins County Central High School - Jeriah Hightower highlights - Hudl Reed Lanter (QB, Boyle County) Week 7: The Rebels were off last week. Despite being far more successful at the high school level, Lanter has never been viewed as Beau Allen's equal from a talent and prospect standpoint. This Friday, he gets a chance to go head to head with Allen for the fifth time in perhaps the biggest quarterback duel Kentucky has to offer this season, unless of course they meet again in the playoffs. Lanter's career numbers against Lexington Catholic: 44/68 (65%) for 557 yards and 6 TDs/3 ints. Season to date: 64/92 for 1,160 yards and 14 TDs/1 int. Octavious Oxendine (DT, North Hardin) Week 7: North Hardin's front seven resembled a brick wall against Meade County, holding the Green Wave to -13 yards rushing for the game. Oxendine registered two more sacks, pushing him into double digits this season. Midway through the second quarter, Double O experienced every lineman's dream - a scoop and score from 25 yards out, representing the first touchdown of his career. Season to date: 28 tackles/6 TFL/11 sacks Walker Parks (OT/DL, Frederick Douglass) Week 7: In a non-competitive contest that bordered on unfair, the Broncos posted 334 yards and eight touchdowns on just 23 offensive snaps in a 54-0 demolition of Grant County. The defense pitched its fifth consecutive shutout and sixth in seven games this season. Parks may not have even broken a sweat on the coolest Friday night we've seen so far. Jake Sloan (WR, Pulaski County) Week 7: Sloan's 96 yards and a touchdown on six catches helped propel the Maroons past South Laurel, 48-0. This was the first time this season Pulaski was able to coast to the finish line. Sloan leads the state in receptions by twenty over the next guy. Season to date: 66 receptions for 777 yards and 5 TDs - 1 kickoff return TD Jayden Stinson (QB, Mayfield) Week 7: Stinson was on point early, tossing three touchdown passes in the first half to guide the Cardinals to a commanding 35-7 halftime lead over top ten ranked Caldwell County. With Kylan Galbreath turning in a career performance on the ground (223 yards) and the defense putting forth a season best effort, the lefty gunslinger ended up with a lighter workload than most would have anticipated. Season to date: 96/147 for 1,830 yards and 22 TDs/7 ints. Caldwell County High School - Jayden Stinson highlights - Hudl On The Bubble Drew Hartz (QB, Owensboro Catholic) Week 7: The competition is weak, but the numbers are impossible to ignore. He shredded McLean County's defense for 468 yards and seven touchdowns last Friday. Since the Owensboro loss, Hartz has thrown for 1,647 yards (412 ypg) and 25 TDs/0 ints. He leads the state in both passing yards and touchdowns, with a substantial lead in the latter category. Season to date: 143/205 for 2,475 yards and 35 TDs/2 ints. 2
  20. Class 1A The East never fails to disappoint when you are looking for Class 1A drama, and even on a week when the district battles had not heated up, it once again proved to provide plenty of story-lines. Paintsville rebounded from their tough loss to shock one of the top teams in Southwestern Virginia. The team who had defeated Paintsville was Hazard, the Bulldogs were just a few self inflicted wounds away from a shocking upset of Somerset but fell just shy. Raceland looked for their own statement but could not get anything working as the rival Tomcats ousted them. The statement game this week will be when Holy Cross travels to Bardstown for a mammoth district clash with Bethlehem. Special mention also needs to go out to 6-0 Berea after a big win over Dayton! 1. Pikeville vs. Phelps 2. Hazard -- OPEN 3. Paintsville at Fairview 4. Newport Central Catholic vs. Ludlow (10/10) 5. Raceland vs. Betsy Layne 6. Campbellsville -- OPEN 7. Williamsburg at Harlan 8. Kentucky Country Day at Berea 9. Louisville Holy Cross at #10 Bethlehem 10. Bethlehem vs. #9 Louisville Holy Cross Class 2A It sure was not easy, but #1 Somerset survived a super competitive Hazard team and a throng of penalties to remain undefeated. It may have been a costly win as the Briarjumpers will play Danville with a heavy heart after their star RB had an injury that may cost him his season. Mayfield made a statement that for better or worse, the 2A Championship still has to come through War Memorial Stadium. The Cardinals crushed Caldwell County. Northern Kentucky has been a hot spot in the class recently. Walton-Verona all but clinched a district title by defeating Carroll County, and Beechwood got back on track with a 4th quarter comeback against 6A Dixie Heights. This week, Lloyd Memorial and Newport square off in a game with gigantic implications. Surprising Martin County looks to stay hot against Shelby Valley and with it keep a district championship shot in their picture. 1. Somerset vs. Danville 2. Mayfield -- OPEN 3. Lexington Christian Academy at Washington County 4. Beechwood at Covington Holy Cross 5. Murray at Ballard Memorial 6. Owensboro Catholic -- OPEN 7. Breathitt County -- OPEN 8. Caldwell County vs. Fort Campbell 9. Lloyd Memorial at #10 Newport 10. Newport vs. #9 Lloyd Memorial Class 3A DeSales IS the 3A story line right now. The Colts trekked all the way to Paducah and promptly left little doubt that they are the team to beat in 3A by taking the wind out of the Blue Tornado. They now return to Jefferson County for their monster rivalry game against CAL, as they look to sure up their district title hopes and home field advantage. Eastern Kentucky might not have a true marquee game, but will boast three huge district showdowns. Ashland will look to hold off a very surprising East Carter squad. Russell will take on County rival Greenup County. Pike Central will look to extend their winning streak against Lawrence County. 1. DeSales at #8 Christian Academy of Louisville 2. Belfry -- OPEN 3. Ashland at East Carter 4. Bell County vs. Garrard County 5. Mercer County -- OPEN 6. Elizabethtown vs. 6A Meade County 7. Russell at Greenup County 8. Christian Academy of Louisville vs. #1 DeSales 9. Bardstown -- OPEN 10. Paducah Tilghman -- OPEN Class 4A District 1 is almost figured out. Following Hopkinsville's defensive gem against Logan County, the Tigers now must defeat Madisonville to take home the regular season trophy. Free of their brutal non-district schedule, Central made in roads to another district title by outlasting Shelby County. The Yellowjackets now get 5-1 Waggener next. Corbin got above .500 by defeating 6A Lafayette and now square up rival Knox Central. Oh yeah! There is kind of a big game in Danville. When Boyle County welcomes Lexington Catholic there will be a lot of D-1 talent on display in perhaps the biggest 4A vs. 4A showdown of the year. 1. Boyle County vs. #3 Lexington Catholic 2. Johnson Central at Perry County Central 3. Lexington Catholic at #1 Boyle County 4. Franklin County -- OPEN 5. Hopkinsville at #9 Madisonville-North Hopkins 6. Corbin at Knox Central 7. Wayne County at Lincoln County 8. Logan County -- OPEN 9. Madisonville-North Hopkins vs. #5 Hopkinsville 10. Central vs. Waggener Class 5A The Bluebirds were left blue indeed as Conner showed a flare for the dramatic and pulled out a win in the witching hours of the 4th quarter. Most everyone was excited for the October 18th game featuring Covington Catholic and Highlands, but now it may be the season finale that actually means the most. Bowling Green broke free of an offensive quagmire to make the big plays down the stretch and defeat rival South Warren to secure the inside track they wanted for the first couple of playoff rounds. Pulaski County and South Oldham keep rolling after Week 1 losses and each finally see a move up in the rankings. Both teams cannot fall victim to upset minded foes. 1. Frederick Douglass -- OPEN 2. Covington Catholic vs. La Salle (OH) 3. Scott County vs. Grant County (10/10) 4. Bowling Green -- OPEN 5. South Warren -- OPEN 6. South Oldham vs. North Bullitt 7. Pulaski County at North Laurel 8. Conner vs. Cooper 9. Owensboro -- OPEN 10. Highlands at Boone County Class 6A Central Hardin and Trinity each caught the majority of the 6A attention this week for different reasons. Trinity finally found an Indiana team who would call their bluff as Cathedral won all disciplines and helped the Shamrocks experience how their opponents usually feel. Central Hardin viewed Butler as a chance to announce their presence on the 6A scene and boy did they fulfill their obligations to make the most of their spotlight. The Bruins were absolutely dominant and a Hardin County collision course is fully in the works. The one team in the Top 10 who seemingly has been flying under the radar and playing at a very high level is Manual. The Crimsons have a chance to get the spotlight with St. Xavier this week. 1. Male at Southern 2. Trinity vs. #8 Ballard 3. St. Xavier at #5 Manual 4. North Hardin -- OPEN 5. Manual vs. #3 St. Xavier 6. Central Hardin at Barren County 7. Fern Creek at Bullitt East 8. Ballard at #2 Trinity 9. Butler vs. Pleasure Ridge Park 10. McCracken County -- OPEN
  21. Bowling Green delivers the opening salvo in a battle of 5A powers With their stranglehold on Bowling Green area supremacy beginning to slip over the past two seasons, and the external doubts surrounding the team this year, the Purples were in need of a spark to help ignite the 2019 campaign. What better opponent to provide the necessary flammable materials than South Warren, the very team vying with the Purples for the privilege of carrying the torch for WKY 5A football? The Spartans, owners of a state best 21 game winning streak, had been tested greatly the previous two weeks against ranked opponents Central and Glasgow, needing a last second touchdown pass to survive the latter. Their combatant on this night - the first of the season to feature what most consider "real football weather" - was coming in off an unexpected midseason hiatus, lasting a fortnight due to the cancellation of their game with Corbin. There stood the home team, clad in all black, juxtaposed to the visiting Purples, dressed clean in their white pants, white jerseys, and gold helmets, the contrast inspiring a good vs. evil vibe. The first half was a surprisingly mundane series of possessions between the two teams that bore no fruit, other than a 27 yard field goal by SW's Eldar Dervisevic. Both defenses stood tall, holding the opposition in check. But you just had a feeling that the Spartans' 3-0 lead would not hold up to the final whistle. Perhaps the biggest development of the first 24 minutes was the appearance of Vito Tisdale on the offensive side of the ball. His absence in the weekly Bowling Green offensive game plan had become a hot topic here at BGP. He had little to no impact on the outcome offensively, but just the sight of him out there had to bring a measure of joy to the BG faithful. After leading the Purples in the first half, QB Max Payne was replaced by Conner Cooper. The teams traded possessions in the third quarter until the Purples crossed the goal line first on a 13 yard run by Javeius Bunton with 2:26 to go in the frame. A failed fake punt by South Warren set the Purples up in Spartan territory to begin the go-ahead scoring drive. Tisdale made his presence felt with a blocked field goal two and a half minutes into the fourth quarter to keep the score at 7-3 Bowling Green. Following a turnover on downs by the Spartans at the BG 34 two possessions later, the Purples turned to the running game to punish the South Warren defense and punctuate a 66 yard drive with another Bunton scoring jaunt, this time from 27 yards out. The men in black never really threatened Bowling Green's endzone, and Evan Spader's second interception of the game put a bow on the night's festivities. The Purples emerged victorious and are now in position to host a potential second round/district championship rematch. They enter their second hiatus, this one a scheduled bye, meaning this victory will be the only game they play in a span of 27 days. The Spartans are left to regroup, their winning streak now a thing of the past. They too enter a bye week before tackling Christian County and Greenwood to finish sorting out the district. With another encounter likely to occur in about six weeks, think of Week 7's events as merely a prelude to the main event. The anticipation is sure to build as the Friday nights get cooler and cooler. Hungry Cougars taste victory over Highlands for the first time since 1993 Coming off a 30 point loss to a very strong Boyle County squad, the general assumption seemed to be that Highlands would rebound against Conner with little trouble. The Bluebirds were sporting a 21-2 lead in the all-time series and hadn't dropped a game to the Cougars in twenty-six years. But a funny thing happened on the way to the win column… Conner was in a very uncooperative state of mind. All was going according to plan through the first quarter, with the Birds establishing a 14-0 lead. But the Highlands offense fell mute over the final three quarters. Conner ate up all but a couple of minutes of the third frame with two time consuming drives that resulted in field goals, drawing the Cougars to within a score at 14-6. At the 9:29 mark of the final quarter, Conner QB Jared Hicks connected with Drew Cobble for a 33 yard touchdown, making it a two point game and further stoking the anxiety of Highlands fans. Following a successful Highlands field goal that extended their lead to 17-12, an effective kickoff and pursuit left Conner with 81 yards to cover in less than three and a half minutes. That's when Hicks - one of the state's most underrated quarterbacks - channeled his inner John Elway, right down to the #7 on his jersey. He engineered a game winning drive, culminating with a 20 yard touchdown pass to Colton Roy, triggering an eruption of jubilation from the Conner contingent that pierced the mild October air. Highlands had one last opportunity to strike back, but could only muster one first down at mid-field before giving the ball back to the Cougars, allowing Hicks and his teammates to dust off the single greatest play in anyone's playbook… the victory formation kneel down. This wasn't supposed to happen. Not on this night, a night to celebrate the late Jared Lorenzen. October 4th was the date designated to retire Lorenzen's iconic #22 and welcome him to the Highlands athletics hall of fame. Someone forgot to tell Conner there was a script to follow. The story on Highlands all season has been that the defense is good enough to keep them in nearly every game on the schedule, but the offense has been lacking in certain areas - o-line play, a dependable running game, contributions from certain game changing, but strictly defense only players. All of those issues flared up in Week 7. Conner registered five sacks of Highlands quarterbacks and held the Birds to just 40 rushing yards. Brycen Huddleston scored his first points of the season, but they came on a kickoff return. Obviously that's preferable to no points at all, but with Joe Buten out, what's the harm in getting Huddleston 8-10 offensive touches a game in his absence? For Highlands, this loss is a major step in the wrong direction. For Conner, a giant leap forward in the right one. The Birds have one more game to find themselves before welcoming Covington Catholic. Boone County should provide an opportunity to put this loss in the rearview mirror, but the last two weeks have done irreparable damage to the belief that they can turn the CovCath series back in their favor this year. Conner turns its attention to Cooper in a very tricky game nestled between Highlands and CovCath on the Cougars' schedule. The high times in Hebron could easily be undone if Conner is unable to come down in time for their clash with the Jaguars. Hurry Up Offense - Frederick Douglass (7-0) is sitting on an incredible run of six shutouts in seven games following a 54-0 pasting of Grant County. At this point, it seems likely that the Broncos will carry an eight game shutout streak into the regular season finale against Lexington Catholic. Great Crossing and Montgomery County are all that stand between the FD defense and its greatest challenge of the season - the right arm of Beau Allen. - Covington Catholic (7-0) pounced early and often, nearly achieving a first quarter running clock in a 45-0 demolition of Boone County. Michael Mayer caught his third touchdown of the night nine seconds into the second quarter to trigger the perpetual ticking of the clock. Aside from the sore thumb defensive performance against Beau Allen and LexCath, the Colonels have allowed nine total points in their other six games. - The duo of Bronson Brown and Philip Garner combined for 300 yards rushing and five touchdowns to help power Scott County (6-1) past Ryle, 57-21. This was a strong bounce back performance following last week's humbling setback at Frederick Douglass. The Cardinals have won 17 games in a row against teams from NKY dating back to 2012. - South Oldham (6-1) continued the relentless assault of its post-CAL schedule with a 50-6 thrashing of Atherton. Keaton Martin rumbled for 183 yards and three touchdowns. The Dragons have held six of their seven opponents this season to single digit points or less. - Pulaski County (6-1) mauled South Laurel 48-0 behind a 5-0 advantage in the turnover battle. Jake Sloan added six more catches to his state leading total, accounting for 96 yards and a score. - Owensboro (6-1) had no trouble dispatching Muhlenberg County behind contributions from numerous players and a suffocating defensive effort. Six different Red Devils found the endzone, led by Treyvon Tinsley with three scores on four touches. They held the Mustangs to only 31 yards of offense, including -8 yards rushing. Scanning The Periphery - Fairdale's (6-1) annihilation of Western on Thursday night featured the program's largest margin of victory since 2010. The Bulldogs more than quadrupled the Warriors in total yardage and led 49-6 at halftime, despite being tripled up in time of possession. Trey McCoy tossed three touchdown passes, raising his season total to 21, which is tops in 5A. Fairdale hasn't been 6-1 since 2002, when they finished the regular season 9-1. With the games they have left on the schedule, a one loss regular season is well within reach. - Greenwood (5-2) ended a two game skid with a 20-14 win over Christian County, fueled by gritty defense and special teams. Reed Slone returned a punt for a score and had a 55 yard touchdown run for the victors. This is the Gators' first ever win over the Colonels. On the flip side, Christian County (0-7) has been the victim of youth and a rugged schedule. They'll need a win against Bowling Green, South Warren, or McCracken County to avoid a winless regular season before a first round playoff trip to face either the Purples or Spartans. - The three pronged rushing attack of Turner McHolan, Dylan Moore, and Valdon Miles proved more than Madison Southern could handle on Friday night. The East Jessamine backfield trio each topped the century mark in the Jags' 49-35 win. East Jessamine (5-2) is averaging 383 yards per game on the ground, which leads 5A and ranks second in the state overall. GOTW for Week 8 Pulaski County at North Laurel - Seven weeks into the season, we have a firm handle on who the Maroons are. They're squarely entrenched in the BGP top 10 and have faced a challenging schedule. The same cannot be said of North Laurel. An experienced Jaguars squad stumbled out of the gate, falling to Dunbar in Week 1 and, overall, dropped two of their first three. They've rebounded to win four straight, but it's hardly been a dominant stretch. Those four wins have come with an aggregate score of 93-49 against teams sporting a combined record of 8-17. Here lies an opportunity to put their stamp on the 2019 season. A win over Pulaski would deliver an unexpected jolt to 5A District 8 as we approach the home stretch of the regular season. The Jaguars feature a balanced running game with four ball carriers rushing for at least 350 yards on the year, and QB Dalton Sizemore is coming off a career best passing performance against Southwestern - 252 yards and 3 TDs. Pulaski counters with the aerial combo of QB Drew Polston and Jake Sloan, 5A's leaders in passing and receiving, respectively.
  22. Since Hopkinsville began their turnaround in 2014, most season’s have been filled with disappointment and/or unfulfilled promise. In 2014 it was having to forfeit three games, turning a winning season into a losing one. In 2015 and 2016, it was bowing out a round early at home, failing to close out a close game. In the last two seasons, it has been entering the season as the favorite in the district, only to fail to grab a top seed in-district and going on the road each season in the playoffs. A big reason for that is the rise of Logan County. In 2017, the Cougars announced their arrival after a 6-0 start against a soft schedule by knocking off the favored Tigers 13-12 on a last second touchdown run. The Tigers would get revenge via a blowout in the playoffs, but in 2018 there it was again – a poor start to the season and a disappointing 10-6 loss to Logan County knocked them back down to the 3 seed again. And thus, the stage was set for a Thursday night thriller in Logan County, between a 4-2 and 6th ranked Tiger team full of promise against a 6-0 and 7th ranked Logan County team fresh off of a victory over Madisonville and looking to essentially wrap up the top seed. The Cougars had success in the first quarter. An opening drive made it to the Tiger 6 before a turnover ended the threat, but an interception set Logan County up inside the Hopkinsville 10 and an Ezell TD pass to Sears gave them a 6-0 lead just before the end of the first. But that was to be the only Cougar score. A blocked punt set up a Hopkinsville scoring drive capped by a Bland TD pass to Rushing making it 7-6. Another special teams miscue by Logan County – this one a bad snap on a punt – gave Hopkinsville the ball inside the 10 yard line and Bland kept it for a 3 yard rushing TD to make it 14-6 at the break. The second half was more of the same, with the Tigers finishing with three interceptions of Ezell, who was just 15/34 for 184 yards. Star Logan County RB Gary Hardy was carted off the field, compounding the damage for the Cougars. Bland had another rushing TD for Hopkinsville to give the final 21-6 margin, lifting the Tigers to their first regular season win over Logan County in three years. That sets up an important matchup at Madisonville-North Hopkins next week. If Hopkinsville wins, they will clinch the top seed in the district, avoiding another matchup with either Logan County or Madisonville in the first round of the playoffs. If Madisonville wins, then assuming all other expected results hold, we will have a three-way tie at the top of District 1. BIG game. Other games of Note: With the matchup of two top ten teams described above and three other top 10 teams on bye, it was a very light week for big name games. #5 Corbin was in action for the first time since September 13th, thanks to a bye week followed by a rainout. The rust showed early as Lafayette got out to a 7-0 lead eight minutes in, but over the next eight minutes Corbin scored three times, all on the ground as Combs ran in from two yards, Longmire from 11, and Yaeger from one yard. That was all the scoring in the game as Corbin won for the first time since August, 21-7. #10 Central had the other competitive result in the top 10, a 14-0 shutout over Shelby County. It was the second shutout of the year for the Yellow Jackets, who have held four opponents under 10 points this season. Shelby County managed only 131 yards of offense, which Dayshawn Mucker exceeded by himself with 134 yards on the ground for Central. The highlight of the game was a Jaylen Thomas 80 yard touchdown throw to Deondre Howard on a flea-flicker. #2 Johnson Central doesn’t get much mention in this space because, frankly, their games have been pretty uncompetitive. They enjoyed a highly efficient 44-0 win over Clay County, running 28 offensive plays to rack up 387 yards. Devin Johnson had two scores on his five rushes for 119 yards. Riley Preece was a perfect 4/4 for 135 yards, and Seth Dalton took his only reception 66 yards to the house. #4 Franklin County posted their fourth score of the year of 50 points or more in a 62-0 win over North Oldham. The Flyers have been completely unchallenged since their 35-28 win in the opener at East Jessamine, and have won by an average of 40 points per game in the last six. Upcoming Game of the Week There are two clear contenders this week. Most weeks #5 Hopkinsville at #9 Madisonville-North Hopkins would be the clear choice. But the old rivalry between #1 Boyle County and #3 Lexington Catholic takes honors this week. This is almost certainly the last potential challenge of the year for a Boyle County team that has not played a game closer than 30 points. That came in their last outing, a 30-0 shutout of Highlands that represented their third shutout of the season, though their lowest point total. The Rebels have not lost a regular season game since August of 2017, and haven’t lost at home since September of 2016. Meanwhile, Lexington Catholic has not won on the road since their season opener, although they lost those two games by a combined two points to some pretty good teams in Covington Catholic and Lexington Christian. The Knights have yet to score below 21 points this season, and Beau Allen continues to rack up yards and scores, throwing for 2,034 yards (339 YPG), 22 touchdowns against just 2 INTs, and completing almost 73% of his passes.
  23. BluegrassPreps 2019 Western Kentucky Power Rankings – Week 7 Edition The top story line this week is the BYE Week Cometh! EIGHT (8) of the Top 10 Teams are on the BYE Week come October 11. And another 4 teams in spots 11 thru 20. So 12 of the Top 20 Teams are now on the Bye! WOW! That just seems like more than I can ever remember. But on the other hand, it is a good time to stretch your legs after 6 or 7 straight weeks of the grind! Some teams use the Bye Week better than others. What about your team? Do they usually improve or decline after the break? You tell me… Week 7 Western Kentucky Game of the Week: 5A Bowling Green (4-2) 14 at 5A South Warren (6-1) 3. Terrific game at Spartan Stadium on Friday Night! BG received 3 South Warren Turnovers in the first half and still could not get on the board thanks to a fantastic South Warren defensive effort. The Spartan offense did manage to get into range for a 27 yard field goal and led Old-School Style 3-0 at the half! BG made a significant adjustment at halftime and that led to being able to keep South on their own end of the field early in the 3rd Quarter. BG then methodically moved deep into South territory late in the 3rd Quarter and JR RB Javy Bunton took the draw and scrambled into the end zone to finally put the Purples on top 7 to 3. Now into the 4th Quarter; South Warren managed to get into field goal range, but the kick was blocked and after a wild scramble, BG recovered on the South 45 yard line. BG then went to work on the clock, but South forced a 3rd and 18 from roughly the Spartan 25 yard line. Javy Bunton then took it around the left end and made about 3 Spartans miss in route to the final score of 14 to 3. Great Game! But this is only Round 1 between these 2 IMO! Much more analysis below! Week 8 Western Kentucky Games of the Week: 4A Hopkinsville (5-2) at 4A Madisonville North-Hopkins (6-1). 4A District 1 - The District that keeps on giving! The top 3 teams in this District are all worthy of representing 4A District 1 come the 3rd week of the playoffs, but only 1 will get that honor! And this game right here will help decide that as it will at least help ensure seeding for the first round of the playoffs! Madisonville comes into this one after taking a crushing home loss vs Logan County 2 weeks ago; then throttles County Mate Hopkins County Central. The Tigers come into this one after a terrific performance against a very gritty Logan County team. Hoptown now controls their destiny in this district. And with a win in this game, will become District Champs and avoid the other 2 worthy district adversaries until Week 2 of the playoffs! But if the Maroons win, then we have ourselves a fun 3-way tie and we’ll have to get our tiebreaker charts out! BIG GAME! Honorable Mention: Graves County at Grayson County and Apollo at Henderson County. Try to make it out to one of these great games! Week 7 Top 10: 10) Glasgow (3A) – Preseason Rank: 12 - 2019 Record 6-1; District Record 1-0] Week 7 Results: Win 50-22 vs 3A District Mate Adair County (2-5). The Scotties took out their South Warren near miss frustrations on the Indians, but give Adair County credit as the Indians battled admirably and played awfully well into the second quarter before Glasgow pulled away! I think both of these teams are going in the right direction for where they are presently. Also Scottie Fans, don’t make much of dropping to #10 this week. That simply has to do with turbulence above you, but I am still very high on Glasgow! Week 8: BYE WEEK. The Scotties have to feel good about where they are at this stage of the season. They are laying in the tall weeds at #10 in the BGPs 3A Poll! That’s a steal from where I’m sitting! I like Glasgow against most of those teams in front of them. Not all, but most. They should have light work to get to the 3rd Round. The new RPI ranking tool isn’t the Scotties friend as they are below all those top 10 teams, but 1. But a LOT to like if you’re a Scotties Fan! 9) Paducah Tilghman (3A) – Preseason Rank: 7 - 2019 Record 5-2; [District Record 1-0] Week 7 Results: Loss: 49-14 vs 3A DeSales (4-2). When a running team can’t run – that’s a problem! DeSales is currently the #1 Team in 3A right now for a reason and they have one of the best defenses around! That showed last Friday night as Tilghman only gained roughly 50 yards on the ground. Well below their typical output. But I would put this to you Tilghman Fans, what have you lost by this game? Yes, you took a loss on your record. Yes, the neigh-sayers can take their shots, but who cares about them. If you take this film and experience and take care of business in your district and come out ready to go in Week 3, I still believe you have the talent to make some noise beyond that! Go Tilghman! Week 8: BYE WEEK! Rest up Blue Tornado’s, but don’t sleep on Union County! Be ready for a tough game on October 18th, as that will put you in the District Driver’s Seat for sure! 8) Logan County (4A) – Preseason Rank: 10 - 2019 Record 6-1; District Record 1-1] Week 7 Results: Loss: 21-6 at 4A District Rival Hopkinsville (5-2). Rough loss for the Cougars! No doubt about it! But like our good friend @TackleTrap said, I have a great deal of respect for the Cougars, who never quit even when players were going down injured throughout this game! QB Tyler Ezell and RB/LB Gary Hardy are undoubtedly the heart and soul of this team! Ezell played his heart out; got banged up and went back in any way! Hardy was carted off the field in the 3rd Quarter! There’s no question the physicality of the Madisonville and Hoptown games on the road in back to back weeks took their toll on the Cougars! Even through all that, they took the early lead and chose to play aggressively going for the 2 point conversation and just after an on-side kick. We learned in the Update threads the regular Logan kicker/punter wasn’t in Hoptown, as the young man is also a soccer player and Logan had a soccer game that night as well. Logan won that soccer game vs Butler County 11 to 1. Sure seems like the coaches could have spoken in advance to get the young man where he was most needed, but I digress. Sending a pray for Mr. Hardy to get better soon! Terrific player! Week 8: BYE WEEK! No one has earned a Bye Week more than Logan County! Getting your 2 district rivals out of the way knowing you are still in the District Race at this point has to be a good thing! But Logan County has multiple injuries and a mild schedule upcoming until they go to South Warren the last game of the year. I’d look to get those injured some time off in order to make a playoff run no matter who you face! Good luck Cougars! 7) Madisonville – North Hopkins (4A) – Preseason Rank: 5 - 2019 Record 6-1; [District Record 1-1] Week 7 Results: Win: 48-14 at 4A District Mate Hopkins County Central (0-7). The Storm just can’t buy a break. Arguably the worst week of the whole season to play Madisonville was likely this week, as the Maroons were surely still angry from their whisker close loss to Logan County. This game seemed more of a scrimmage than a District game, as these two teams are just at such different levels! Week 8: Western Kentucky GAME OF THE WEEK - vs District Rival 4A Hopkinsville (5-2). Well 4A District 1 is down to this final game between the Big 3! If Hoptown wins, they are District Champs and get a much easier game in Round 1 of the playoffs! If the Maroons win, then it’s a 3 way tie! The attached link will take you to the KHSAA rules page. The Tie-breaker rules for the District Championship are to the right on the first page. https://khsaa.org/common_documents/handbook/competitionrules/fbcompetitionrules.pdf I simply don’t have time this week to go through that in details, but maybe one of you might. But again, if Hoptown wins, it’s a moot point. But will they? I think Madisonville is in a good spot, playing at home with a chip on their shoulder. What say you… 6) Hopkinsville (4A) – Preseason Rank: 6 - 2019 Record 5-2; District Record 2-0] Week 7 Results: Win: 21-6 vs District Rival Logan County 4A (6-1). This was a very physical, hard-nosed football game. Thanks to our good friend @FSfan who brought us excellent updates for this game! Star QB Jay Bland played a whale of a game! He had success passing the ball, but it was likely his gutty, tough, physical runs that ultimately made the difference for the Hoptown offense. Concerning the Hoptown defense, LB Eric Grubb was a solid as the Rock of Gibraltar! And remember the name of the young Freshman DB Dejaun Mercer, who really stepped on the scene in a BIG way for the Tigers! You’ll see him later, but he is already near the top Tiger for INTs in a single season this year at 7! Impressive for a Freshman! Huge win for Hoptown! Week 8: Western Kentucky GAME OF THE WEEK - at District Rival 4A Madisonville-North Hopkins (6-1). Another HUGE District Game! When this game is complete, we should have a much clearer picture of which team will basically get a first round bye (District Champ), while the other two teams will have to play each other a second time. That’s what makes these games so big, as they are almost like playoff preseason games! I look for the Tigers to try to establish just enough of a run game to have some play action take hold prior to just lining up in the shotgun and slingin it all over the field. I think Hoptown comes in really focused in this game. Coach Clayton and staff have done a terrific job this year! I see this game as pretty even and should be one HECK of a game! Get out to support your team Tiger Fans!!! 5) Owensboro (5A) – Preseason Rank: 8 - 2019 Record 6-1; [District Record 3-0] Week 7 Results: Win: 54-0 vs 5A Muhlenberg County (2-5). The Mustangs simply got mauled! Owensboro is playing well and a very good team. QB Gavin Wimsatt had a big game and you’ll see him and his stud WR Treyvon Tinsley (Oh, another Tinsley!) later! Their District Mates are simply not on their level, for right now at least. But that holds the Red Devils back from being able to compete with BG & South at the top of these Rankings. But that’s not to say, I don’t think O would be able to win those games because I do. If Owensboro played BG and/or South, I think they would be close competitive games, but we wouldn’t see that now until Week 3 at the earliest. Onward! Week 8: BYE WEEK. Might as well get this out of the way Red Devil Fans! But I will say that I really like how Coach Fallin got backup QB Taquan Robinson a couple series in this game! SO SMART! Nobody knows when injuries will come your way and you need to be prepared. The Red Devils coaching staff should be applauded for that! Rest up Owensboro! 4) Mayfield (2A) – Preseason Rank: 1 - 2019 Record 6-1; District Record 1-0] Week 7 Results: Win: 45-7 at 2A District Rival Caldwell County (5-2). As our good friend @WKY_Football said, Caldwell played hard, they just didn’t have the horses to keep up with Mayfield. It feels like Mayfield was very focused this week and played a sharp, clean game. QB Jayden Stinson played really well again passing for over 200 yards on the night. Also RB Kylan Galbraith had a big game for Big Red and you’ll see him later! Mayfield clearly seems to be ramping up to me going into the Bye Week. What say you… Week 8: BYE WEEK! The Cardinals roll into the Bye Week in fine shape. Yes, I’m sure they’d like to have another shot at McCracken County, but I also think that this loss will help/has helped the Cardinals focus this season. I’m not aware of the Cardinals injury report, but don’t know of any serious losses yet this season. If I’m wrong, I’m sure our good friend @Squirrel will let us know! Looking down the road at the Cardinal schedule, a HUGE District Tilt at War Memorial Stadium sees the Murray Tigers coming in as strong as they have been in some time! That will be followed by a long drive east to Madisonville to take on rock solid Maroons squad who have deep playoff hopes as well. Madisonville is a VERY physical team. Mayfield will need to prepare for that. Finally, our good friend @Mayfieldsportsfan provided us with such a cool video of Mayfield during the Graves County game and really shows what the Cardinals mean for the entire Mayfield community! It’s inspirational and I’d like to add it here as well: Access Denied Good luck Cardinals! 3) McCracken County (6A) – Preseason Rank: 9 - 2019 Record 5-2; District Record 2-0] Week 7 Results: Win: 50-36 vs 6A District Mate Apollo (2-5). Thanks to our good friends @Brown and @redleg13 who brought us updates on this one! Early on SR RB Shane Riley for Daviess County had roughly 4 carries for 165 yards and 2 scores to give the Panthers the early lead. But he got hurt and the Mustangs regrouped and settled down and led 43-14 at the half and started the running clock at 9:37 in the 3rd quarter. The Mustang offense is playing really, really well and if their Big 3 of QB Elijah Wheat, RB Hunter Bradley, and WR Franklin Hayes stay healthy there is no reason McCracken County can’t go into Week 3 of the playoffs looking to compete for a Regional Championship! Week 8: BYE WEEK! I’ve been sayin it for a while now! McCracken County is in a good spot with the rest of their season looking for them to be the favorites in every game. Even the likely district showdown at Hendo! I would make a point to get in younger Mustangs who will be needed next year. The teams that understand this are the teams that stay at the top! If you just blow through the mop-up time, that’s on you! If you put it to good use with getting some younger guys some snaps with the Bright Friday Night Lights, things will continue to look up for Mustang Nation! Good luck Mustangs! 2) South Warren (5A) – Preseason Rank: 3 - 2019 Record 6-1; District Record 0-1] Week 7 Results: Western Kentucky GAME OF THE WEEK - Loss: 14-3 vs 5A District Rival Bowling Green (4-2). I realize it is difficult to lose to your rivals Spartan fans, but you have no shame here! Your defense played super! And honestly, I thought your offense was ok as well, especially SO RB Kobe Martin, who I still believe will be a special RB before he’s done in a South uniform! I also felt young SO QB Mason Willingham played well in only his second varsity start in a very difficult position, as BG didn’t make it easy on him. Consider this Spartan fans, Mr. Willingham did throw 3 picks, but remember the first one gave BG the ball at their own 2 yard line, where the Spartans forced BG to punt soon after. The second, BG didn’t do anything with that possession. And the 3rd INT was in Hail Mary mode and that will happen when Joe Montana is in the pocket. However, it is also fair to say that the full measure of Caden Veltcamp’s absence was felt in this game. As I predicted last week, those 3rd and long/medium throws were just not there. If Veltcamp were in the game, it opens up more running lanes and South could likely have attacked BG up top as well. BUT, you play with who ya got! My South friends suggest Veltcamp “could” be back for the next BG game. But they also say that seems awfully aggressive for a broken wrist on your throwing hand. I agree, but we will see Week 2 of the Playoffs at El Donaldson Stadium! Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t spotlight star JR WR/DB Jantzen Dunn, who was all over the field for South in this game. He caught passes, he returned kicks and he was a stalwart on defense tripping up countless Purples who would have broken much bigger plays had it not been for his stellar efforts. Outstanding! Week 8: BYE WEEK! The Spartans can use the Bye Week to heal up, as they have some injuries that could use a week off! Good luck Spartans! 1) Bowling Green (5A) – Preseason Rank: 2 - 2019 Record 4-2; District Record 1-0] Week 7 Results: Western Kentucky GAME OF THE WEEK - Win 14-3 at 5A District Rival South Warren (6-1). The Purples have to feel good to travel to South Warren and break their 21 game win streak and also snap a 2-game losing streak to South and evening up the series record with the Spartans at 2 games each! Most Purples fans were very concerned at halftime when you are given 3 turnovers while not turning it over yourself and still find yourself losing at halftime. But such it is when you play a very good team! The BG offense can be said a Tale of 2 Halves, with the first half being mired in conservative run plays and incomplete pass plays. But halftime saw a change in QBs and IMO a change in the outcome, as BG moved the ball in the opening possession to keep South pinned in their half of the field. Add some key pass completions and QB scrambles along the way and you could tell BG had improved coming out of the locker room. In many ways, this second half was JR RB Javy Bunton’s coming out party. Many staunch Purples fans already know of Bunton’s talent, but he put it on display Friday night against arguably the best run defense in the West and had a BIG game! You will see him later! And how bout that BG Defense! They had to hold the fort the whole first half and made huge plays in the second half as well. Well done! Finally, IMO this was HUGE from a mental standpoint for the Purples, as you don’t want to lose 3 straight to South knowing you’d have to come back in 6 weeks to play them at South again! Big! Week 8: BYE WEEK! I would think Coach Spader is pleased with getting this win and this South film will be invaluable to ironing out strategy to get the next one (hopefully if you’re a BG fan)! Rest up Purples! Next 10 – 11 to 20: 11) Owensboro Catholic (2A) (6-1) – Week 6 Results: Win 55-21 at 2A McLean County. I think McLean hoped to have a little bit better team than their 3 and 4 record would let on. Let’s see how they do down in Elkton taking on a good Todd County Central Club for the #2 spot in this district. But this is what it’s come to in the Hansel and Gretel District of 2A with OCATH being the domineering Witch! All OCATH different Day! Star QB Drew Hartz has a monster game along with his supporting cast and you’ll see them later. But wouldn’t you get the backup in and throw a few passes with him now in the weak district schedule? I’m not complaining; I’m looking out for your future Aces! Think about it… Onward! Next up: BYE WEEK! Maybe our good friend @zoneblitz2 can shed some light on the injury report for OCATH. Outside of that, it pretty business as usual for the Aces! Looking at the Aces schedule ahead, I only see routes except for possibly at home vs 6A Apollo. That game has another 81-51 feel to it to me! What say you… 12) Henderson County (6A) (5-1) - Week 7 Results: Win 42-7 at 5A Marshall County. The Colonels get back in the win column in comfortable fashion, as the fighting Marshals just aren’t that good this year. Hendo playing well right now. On to District play! Week 8: vs 6A District Mate Apollo. Interesting game here. HENDO has certainly played better this season, but with 51 points on the board vs McCracken County, even in defeat for Apollo, you have to think they are dangerous. At least with a punchers chance if everything falls into place! Still, the game being in Henderson is an advantage for the Colonels and I like them to pull this one out by a couple TDs! Good Luck Hendo! 13) Franklin Simpson (4A) (3-4) – Week 7 Results: Win 35-21 at 4A District Mate Russell County. According to our good friend’s @macdon and @FSfan, the Wildcats are dealing with many injuries, but their replacements are now starting to hit their stride! Of particular importance are the offensive and defensive lines are seeing continued improvement. Just what the doctor ordered! Next up: BYE WEEK! The Wildcats enter the Bye Week after having gotten up off the mat from 4 straight losses to start the season against medium to tough competition and are now on a 3 game win streak against low (Russellville) to medium competition. I look for the win streak to continue, but I will admit that I’m intrigued by the Wildcat games with Warren East and at a Gritty Glasgow squad. While I “think” Franklin will be the favorites in both those games, I’ll certainly be paying attention to them! Good Luck Wildcats! I still look for the Wildcats to be a dangerous team come Week 3 of the playoffs! 14) Murray (2A) (5-1) – Week 7 Results – Win 49-17 vs 2A District Mate Fort Campbell. The Tiger knocked the feathers off the Falcons yet again. It’s been a rough 2019 campaign for Fort Campbell. Star QB Hunter Utley was outstanding again, but a BIG Game is just up over the horizon. But not next week! Next up: at 2A Poor Ole’ Ballard Memorial. I’m shaking my head as I type this, as Murray could easily win this game with their JV team. I’m not trying to slap the Bombers in the face; I’m trying to tell you the disparity in these 2 teams! But hey, the Bomber earned their first win of the season last week – Yeah Bombers! Go Tigers! 15) Caldwell County (2A) (5-2) – Week 7 Results: Loss 45-7 vs District Rival 2A Mayfield. I don’t have any stats for the Tigers on this one, but just feel Mayfield jumped on the Tigers and that was pretty much it. I do think Caldwell County put up good effort. They just don’t have the horses this year to run with Mayfield. It’s that simple. But the seasons not over Tiger fans and this sets up a great game just over the horizon, but not next week! Next up: vs District Mate Ft Campbell. Poor ole’ Fort Campbell has lost all 7 games this year and yes it’s likely, make that, very likely to be 8 straight! Would be a great chance to get some younger Tigers into action in this one as the Falcons are about to get flogged again! Tigers roll! 16) Graves County (5A) (3-3) – Week 7 Results: Win 37-7 vs New District Mate Ohio County! Graves blew the doors off Ohio County more than doubling the Eagles in yardage. QB John Brown had a great game and you’ll see him later! Next week: at District Mate Grayson County. This is an interesting game! From Mayfield to Leitchfield is roughly 2.5 hours by bus one way. That’s a haul! Graves has easily played the tougher schedule by a mile and should be the more prepared team because of it. But Grayson County is coming off the Bye Week and Coach Smart is a pretty good coach. So I think this game can go either way. I’d say regardless these 2 will meet up again in the first round of the playoffs. But where will that game be played? This game should determine that and with a 5 hour round trip on the line, it’s a big deal! What say you… 17) Barren County (6A) (5-1) – Week 7 Results: BYE WEEK! The Trojans are just now empting the last bottles of Dom Perignon ’53 from the Vino cellars deep inside the Barren County Fieldhouse after their eye-popping win 19-16 at 5A Greenwood! It’s been a fun ride leavin the old broken down chassis on I-65 formerly known as 5A District 2 and fielding a new Formula 1 inspired 6A District 2 chassis! That along with a Neosporin-inspired schedule, have the Trojans riding high! But now it’s time to pay the Band! Next up: vs New District Mate 6A Central Hardin. This is probably the best Central Hardin team I can recall. They have a really talented offense with playmakers all over. On defense, they aren’t as talented. Central Hardin has played 3 6A teams this year winning on average 50-20. I look for that margin to continue here. But prove me wrong Trojans! 18) Grayson County (5A) (6-0) – Week 7 Results – BYE WEEK! Grayson County called up the Trojans to see if they had any more spirits left after enjoying their best pre-district campaign since 2012! But I’m hopeful the Cougars have used this time wisely, as likely their most important game of the season is upon them! Next up: vs. District Mate 5A Graves County! Why did I say it was Grayson’s most important game you ask? It’s because of all the remaining Cougar games, this is likely the only one still up in the air. I look for them to beat Ohio County at home and Hart County on the road, while losing to Owensboro at Rash Stadium. So here you go Cougars! It’s your opportunity to win a home playoff game right here! And as I said before, with a 5 hour round trip bus ride and getting the gate for the playoff game is a pretty Big Deal to me! Good luck! 19) Greenwood (5A) (5-2) –Week 7 Results: Win 20-14 at 5A Christian County. Big District Win for the Gators! Congratulations! While I don’t see any other District Wins for Greenwood, this win was important for momentum, as I could see Greenwood beating John Hardin even on the road in a close scrap in Week 10! Mr. Everything Reed Sloan did it all for the Gators running a punt back and running another TD in to help Greenwood avoid a winless district slate! I feel bad for Christian County, who will not likely have a winless season this year. That’s tough! Better luck next year Colonels! Next week: BYE WEEK! Getting back in the win column is more important than you think going into the Bye Week as mentally it sets the tone for the rest of your season. Yes, the coaches can yell at you and tell you to suck it up, but nothing helps more than winning! Rest up Gators! You’re going to need it! 20) Warren East (4A) (4-3) – Week 7 Results: Win 53-12 at 4A District Mate Warren Central. Welcome to the Top 20 Ra-Ra-Raiders! JR QB Nolan Ford had a super game and you’ll see him next. Also SR RB/DB Damontra Pillow had a big game to for the Raiders with nearly 100 yards rushing and 1 INT and 4 tackles on defense! Interesting team here! Could the Ra-Ra-Raiders have anything for Franklin this year? You tell me… They are dangerous! Next up: BYE WEEK! The Raiders last 3 games of the season are challenging at home vs Allen County, at Franklin Simpson and then at Daviess County! Tough slate, but that should get you ready to battle in Week 1 of the playoffs! Go Raiders! Week 7 Players of the Week: *I don’t have all stats available, so please add as you see fit! 1) Dejaun Mercer – DB – Hopkinsville - 3 INTs vs Logan County! Outstanding! 2) Javy Bunton – RB – Bowling Green – 14 carries for 82 yards and 2 TDs vs South Warren! And against South Warren that’s sayin something! 3) Jantzen Dunn – WR/DB – South Warren – I don’t have specific stats yet for South, but I watched the game vs BG and IMO Dunn played a significant role in all 3 phases for South Warren and contributed on all 3 levels and that’s why he is here! Great effort! 4) Drew Hartz – QB – Owensboro Catholic – 22 for 32 for 468 yards and 7 TDs vs Ohio County! Add ultra-talented WR Hagan Edge 7 catches for 152 yards and 3 TDs and WR Braden Mundy with 6 catches for 169 yards and 2 TDs! Then there’s another Boarman for OCATH! LB Chris Boarman with 19 tackles! Outstanding! 5) Kylan Galbraith – RB – Mayfield – 17 rushes for 223 yards vs Caldwell County! 6) Gavin Wimsatt – QB – Owensboro – 11 for 19 for 185 yards and 3 TDs vs Muhlenberg County! Add talented WR Treyvon Tinsley with 3 catches for 102 yards and 2 TDs! 7) Hunter Utley - QB – Murray – 8 for 9 with 236 yards and 2 TDs vs Fort Campbell! Add talented WR Jordan Duffy with 4 catches for 101 yards and 2 TDs! 8) Nolan Ford – QB – Warren East – 10 for 14 for 148 passing yards and 3 TDs AND 14 rushes for 131 rushing yards and 1 TD vs Warren Central! Outstanding! 9) John Brown – QB – Graves County – 24 for 38 for 309 yards and 4 TDs vs Ohio County! GREAT WORK GENTLEMEN!!! Week 7 “Teams Trending Down” Paducah Tilghman (3A) – Down – I’m not here to beat the Blue Tornado’s down. If you read their section above, you will know that. But to be fair, the DeSales game was a Big Game! It highlighted the Blue Tornado’s need to build a more balanced offense. That is a process because you have to play the players you have. BUT, to have such a powerful run game, I think Tilghman should look to enhance their play action package to help them going forward. Just a suggestion when teams stack the box on them! Good luck Tilghman! Logan County (4A) – Down – Let me start by saying I thought the Cougars gave everything they had last Thursday night and really appreciate their effort! But I also felt they were too aggressive at times with the 2 point conversion and on-side kick right out of the gate that I felt gave Hoptown a chance to a short field early in the game. Did that have to do with not having their starting kicker? You tell me… That and the poor snaps have to be corrected. That’s easy really. But the kicking game has to improve the next time Logan County sees either Hoptown or Madisonville. I hope Logan County’s injured players heal soon! Good luck Cougars! Fulton County (1A) – Down – The Pilots went to Russellville with a 5 and 1 record and looked to go up in the District race. But fate would serve up a brutal 34-31 loss. The Pilots are not here for that so much as they are for late in the 4th Quarter back to back RB passes were called with the last one being a Pick 6, which ultimately proved to be the deciding score. My point is when you have a horse as fine as RB Caleb Kimble, you ride him to the end! Teams “Trending Up” Bowling Green (5A) – Up – Excellent win Purples Nation! In my book, Bowling Green broke through several thresholds last Friday Night! Beat South for the first time since early 2017. Used Vito Tisdale on offense for the first time since the humbling loss to Owensboro in 2018 (even if it was only 2 plays – baby steps Purples Fans!). Hopefully, based upon the results Friday night, a full time QB can be named (we’ll see!). The BG defense played as well as they have all year. And the running back tandem of Javy Bunton and Jayvan Collins is really coming into their own! And as long as after playing Trinity, there aren’t more Purples in Greenview than the BG Fieldhouse, I feel really good about where this team is! Go Purples! Hopkinsville (4A) – Up – Coach Clayton has to be extremely proud of his team! Their physicality may have been the difference in the critical District win vs Logan County! With talent all over the field, this Tiger team is really playing well. They should have supreme confidence going up the Pennyrile Parkway Friday Night with the District Championship on the line! Hoptown playin as well as anyone right now! Go Tigers! Hancock County (2A) – Don’t look now but Coach Eubanks club has jumped out to a 2 and 0 record in the district! The Hornets just knocked off a good Todd County Central club 36-18 last Friday! While I don’t see the Hornets stinging the Aces, I do think they are a shoe-in for #2 in the district! The Hornets played a tough pre-district slate with now a 3 and 4 record, but I think that tough early season schedule is paying off now! Good luck Hornets! “Broke Their Maiden” – In horse racing, when you break your maiden, you win your first race. Well this category is for teams that don’t get as much love, but did get their first victory of the season here and I think that’s significant: 1. Ballard Memorial Bombers dropped the BIG MOMBA on Fulton City 26-8! Congrats to Coach Mark Brooks and the Bombers Players on their first win in 2019! 2. Russellville Panthers pulled out a thrilling 34-31 win against solid Fulton County on Friday Night for their first win of the season! Congrats to Coach Benton and the entire Panther Nation! They have played a very tough schedule and to their credit, never quit and battled to the end to get this critical District win! THE HAVES AND THE HAVE NOTS – It’s that time of year, when I try to recognize teams that are currently undefeated (The Haves) and teams who have yet to win a game (The Have Nots). Concerning the Haves, I don’t think any of us realize how difficult it can be going through 6 or 7 games and winning them all, even with less difficult games, I think that should be spot-lighted! The Haves – Thru Week 7 – Only 1 left after this week (2 dropped out this week)! 5A Grayson County (6-0) – Have not played Murder’s Row, but have played very well against the team in front of them. Likelihood to stay undefeated – 5% Tough teams ahead – Graves County (Home), Owensboro (Away). Concerning the Have Nots, I admit I have a soft spot in my heart for the teams that do not win even 1 game all year long. I am not on the “everybody deserves a trophy” train. I just know the long, arduous, demanding schedule these young men endure in order to simply put on that uniform and step out onto that field to represent their school. It is one of the most noble, dedicated paths we still have left in our society. As you know, these young men are roughly committed to football year around now. After the season, and at least by the first of the year, they move to winter conditioning, followed by spring condition, spring practice, before things move into the summer with more conditioning, followed by the 7v7 scene and then your back into active football season again. So: The Have-Nots – Through Week 7 - 5A Christian County (0-7) – The Colonels are strangers to being down here and they’ve been really close in a number of games this season including last week. But they simply are too young to make the plays down the stretch at the moment. Likelihood to get a win this year – 5% It pains me to say it, but with BG, South Warren and McCracken coming up, it’s goodnight Irene I’m afraid. Better luck next year Colonels! 4A Hopkins County Central (0-7) – After falling 20-14 at Webster County, the Storm really haven’t been close since. They also play in a very tough district. Likelihood to get a win this year – 40% Teams they might beat – Calloway County (Away) - Might as well go all in Storm! 4A Calloway County (0-6) – The Lakers have competed well in 3 games and were just overmatched in 3 games. But I applaud their effort. Likelihood to get a win this year – 40% Teams they might beat – Hopkins County Central – It’s the Basement Bowl! And I’m glad someone will get a win here, but the loser with almost definitely go winless in 2019! Good luck Lakers! 4A Warren Central (0-7) - According to our good friend @All State Baseball, the Dragons have lost 42 straight games. I am speechless with that stat, as I still see the Dragons as an old rival, but maybe just in my memories now. Regardless, I am pulling for those kids to get a win! Likelihood to get a win this year – 50% Teams they might beat – Monroe County (Away) and Russellville (Home) 2A Fort Campbell (0-7) – The Falcons played Grayson County & Fort Knox well, but not well enough. But there’s still time! Likelihood to get a win this year – 50% Teams they might beat – Ballard Memorial (Home) Now that the Bombers got a win, I’m pulling for the Falcons to get one also!
  24. 1) 5A Covington Catholic (5-0) – Covington Catholic has now won 13 of its last 15 games against Beechwood after a 49-3 win over the Tigers on Friday. Running backs Michael Boydston and Daniel Felix were the go-to rushers again, and combined for 189 total yards of the offensive game and 3 TDs. WR Ethan Reardon also had a solid game receiving, with 3 catches for 95yds and 1 TD. The remaining touchdowns came on a run by QB Caleb Jacob, who had 181yds passing for 3 TDs, and a run by backup QB Adam Holtz. Daniel Felix led the defense from linebacker with 5 tackles, and LB Noah Powers had 4 tackles. The Colonels host 5A Cooper (3-2) tonight in their first 2019 game of district competition . 2) 5A Highlands (4-1) – Highlands is looking more and more like Highlands each week. On Friday the Birds hosted 6A Ryle (3-2) and beat the Raiders 27-0, their second shutout win of the season. The game was a bit of a defensive battle, with Highlands posting 201 total offensive yards and Ryle only posting 76 total offensive yards. QB Collin Hollingsworth was 9-18 passing for 110yds and 3 TDs. Sophomore RB Griffin Richter led the running game with 84yds on 11 carries. WR Hunter Ahlfeld had 35yds and 2 TDs on 3 receptions, and WR Joey Deschler had the remaining TD on an 18yd reception. LB Brycen Huddleston led the defense for yet another week with his 13 tackles and 2 sacks. Highlands plays 4A Boyle County (5-0) tonight on the road. 3) 6A Simon Kenton (3-2) – The Pioneers have continued their “every other” win/loss record for 2019 with a 39-7 win on Friday over 3A Taylor County (4-1). QB Chase Crone was 8-8 passing for 71yds, 1 TD and 1 INT in the game, with the team’s only passing touchdown in the game coming on a connection with WR John Ivey. RB Austin Hammack had a big night on the ground, racking up over half of the team’s total offensive yard with his own 178yds and 3 TDs on 22 carries. The remaining TD came via RB Quincy North. DL Vuk Sajlovic had 8 tackles and a sack, and LB Nate Walker & DB Zack Koenes logged 6 tackles each. Simon Kenton makes the drive to Paintsville this evening to take on 4A Johnson Central (4-0). 4) 6A Ryle (3-2) – Ryle dropped their second game of the season on Friday in Fort Thomas, losing 27-0 to 5A Highlands (4-1). It was the second shutout loss of the season for the Raiders, who also lost 37-0 to 5A Covington Catholic (5-0) on August 23rd. The offense struggled to get started in the game, and only came up with 39 passing yards, with QBs Keegan Stanken and Luke Worley combining to go 7-20, with no TDs and 1 INT. RB Kyle England led the team with his 50 yards rushing. The bright spot in the game was respectably holding the Bluebirds to 201 total yards of offense, with Mathias Cusick leading Ryle’s defense by tallying an impressive 14 tackles including 6 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks. The Raiders are going to have their work cut out for them tonight, heading over to The Pit in Cincinnati to take on OH-DI Elder (3-1). 5) 2A Beechwood (1-3) – It wasn’t too much of a surprise that Beechwood didn’t get to add any checks in the win column this past week, but it’s more than likely that Coach Rash is a little disappointed in the Tigers’ inability to get into the endzone in their 49-3 loss to 5A Covington Catholic (5-0). Beechwood’s offense managed to scratch their way just north of 100 total yards in the game, finishing with 115 yards. 95 of those came thanks to QB Cam Hergott’s arm, with completed passes, including 8 to WR Mason Williams for a team high 54 yards. Sophomore RB Avery Courtney ran the ball 6 times for 19 yards, and junior RB Cole Stammer totaled for the 1 remaining positive yard on 5 carries. Kicker Colin Graman was the lone scorer in the game with his 38yd field goal in the second quarter. The Tigers host OH-DV Taft (3-1) tonight. 6) 5A Conner (4-1) – Conner improved to 4-1 on Friday with their 28-0 win over 6A Campbell County (0-5), which made for the Cougars second shutout win of the season. QB Jared Hicks was 15-23 passing for 179yds and 2 TDs, and he ran the ball 9 times for an additional 31yds. Their running game was led by RB Roy Colton, who carried the ball 5 times for 60yds, and Colton’s performance was followed closely by RB Douglas Abdon, who carried the ball 11 times for 54yds, and scored Conner’s 2 rushing TDs. Abdon also had 2 receptions good for 25yds and an additional TD, while WR Caleb Ervin scored the team’s remaining TD on one of his 2 pass receptions. The defense was led again by middle linebacker Parker Hitzfield, who tallied up 13 tackles, an Caleb Ervin had 10 tackles from his position as defensive back. Conner takes on 5A Boone County (2-3) tonight in Florence in their first game of district competition. 7) 5A Cooper (3-2) – Cooper was down in Louisville on Friday, and came home with a disappointing 40-7 loss at the hands of 3A DeSales (2-2). QB Drew Warth had a decent night for the Jags, going 8-20 for 124yds and 1 TD, but the Colts managed to get ahold of his thrown balls three separate times in the game. RB Brendon Tye led the team in yardage with his 70yds running the ball on 15 carries, and WR Jeremiah Lee was the receiving leader with his 64yds on 4 receptions, including the team’s lone TD. DB Anthony Witschey led the defense with 15 tackles and an interception, LB Ethan Bosway and DB Chester Hale each had 12 tackles a piece, and LB Bryan Yelton had 10 tackles in the game. Cooper will face their first district opponent of the year when they head to Park Hills this evening to take on 5A Covington Catholic (5-5). 8) 1A Newport Central Catholic (3-2) – New Cath is back in the books with a winning record for the 2019 season at current after a 50-14 win over 2A Covington Holy Cross (1-4) on Friday. QB Paul Kremer had a phenomenal 284yds passing, going 10-11 for 5 TDS…that’s averaging nearly 30yds per pass, and a TD every other reception. The remaining TD came via pass from backup QB Malaki Herndon. Receivers Cody Mueller & Caleb Jefferson each had 2 TDs, and Malaki Herndon & Jahmir Ackerson both had 1 TD a piece. Herndon also had a 49yd pick-six in the game, giving Malaki touchdowns passing, receiving, and on an interception all in the same game. The Breds will play for the right to hoist the Firefighters Bell for a 20th straight year when they take on cross-town rival 2A Newport (5-0) tonight. 9) 4A Scott (3-2) – The Eagles also made their way back to a winning record on Friday when they went to Florence and got a 30-8 win over 5A Boone County (2-3). QB Gus Howlett was a solid 11-18 passing for 168yds and 1 TD. WR Jackson Hardin had a really solid game, with 6 receptions good for 120yds and 1 TD and WR Cam Patterson added 48yds on 5 receptions. RB Quincy Perrin put on a show, running the ball 24 times for 1818yds and scoring the team’s remaining 3 TDs. The Eagles’ defense was led by DL Michael Nicholas and DE Sage Lalley who each had 7 tackles a piece. Scott will be at home tonight when they host 4A Rowan County (3-2) for their first game of district play. 10) Lloyd Memorial (3-2) – Lloyd improved their record to 3-2 as well this past Friday with a 55-27 win over 3A Mason County (2-3). Sophomore QB Jacob Davidson had a VERY big night for the Juggs, going 12-19 passing for 313yds and 2 TDs. That’s an average of 26yds per reception, for the readers at home. WR Keion Alexander had 4 of those receptions, good for 144yds and 1 TD, and WR Treshawn Cody had 4 receptions of his own, food for 136yds and 1 TD. QB Davidson also ran the ball 20 times for 91yds and 1 TD, and the teams two remaining TDs were scored on runs by Michael Sassin and Amari Riley. On defense, Isaac Abdon was the team leader with 8 tackles, 1 sack, and one of the team’s THREE pick-sixes. Keion Alexander and Tayvonne Coleman-Ewell had the two remaining interceptions-for-touchdown. Lloyd is on their bye week this week. TRENDING UP 1A Dayton (3-1) – Not only did the Greendevils add on their 3rd straight win on Friday, but they did so by beating a 3-0 Pendleton County team. Dayton is stepping up when they need to step up, and they head down to Bracken County to take on the 0-5 Polar Bears tonight. 2A Newport (5-0) – It’s been a long time since we saw a 5-0 start for the Wildcats – 20 years, as a matter of fact. The last time was 1999, which is also the last time Newport got to take home the Newport Firefighters Bell, which they’ll be fighting for once again tonight against New Cath. TRENDING DOWN 1A Beechwood (1-3) – It’s been a tall order for the Tigers to beat 5A Covington Catholic in recent years, but it’s never a good week when your offense can’t make it into the endzone, and it’s even less of a good week when the defense is scored on 7 times. Beechwood plays OH-DV Taft (3-1) tonight. 2A Walton-Verona (2-3) – The Bearcats have dropped back to having a losing overall record after dropping two straight games, this time losing to a 3-1 Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy (OH) team. Walton-Verona has 2A Gallatin County (0-5) tonight. GAME OF THE WEEK (RESULTS): WEEK 4 5A Highlands vs. 6A Ryle The Bluebirds didn’t have their greatest of games on Friday, but they proved that they are still one of the best teams in northern Kentucky by beating Ryle, and doing so with an extra little goose-egg exclamation point in the game. Highlands sent the Raiders home with a 27-0 shutout loss. GAME OF THE WEEK: WEEK 5 2A Newport vs. 1A Newport Central Catholic The “Battle For The Bell” in Newport has been pretty lopsided in recent years, with the New Cath Breds hanging onto the Firefighters Bell every year for the past two decades, but things are looking noticeably different for the Newport Wildcats this season, who are 5-0 for the first time since 1999…which also happens to be the last time they got to carry the bell back from Newport Stadium. With Newport Central Catholic entering the game with a 3-2 record, could this be the first time we see the Wildcats win this one in 20 years?
  25. 1. Male (4-0): The Bulldogs pulled off a hard-fought win over rival Trinity in Week 5. Male has passed two early tests in the 2019 high school football season, defeating both Trinity and St. Xavier. Through its first four games, Male has outscored opponents 158-58. Next up for Chris Wolfe-coached Male is a home game versus Butler on Friday night. 2. Trinity (4-1): The Shamrocks were limited to 223 yards of total offense in the heartbreaking double overtime loss to Male. Trinity visited rival Male for its first game against an in-state opponent in Week 5. Through five games for the Shamrocks, quarterback Nathan McElroy has completed 71 of 108 passes for 879 yards and 10 touchdowns while throwing three interceptions. Trinity is due to face nemesis St. Xavier on a neutral field at Cardinal Stadium Friday night. 3. St. Xavier (4-1): The Tigers remained in the win column in Week 5, doubling up host Bowling Green 28-14. Quarterback Douglas Bodhaine led St. Xavier to the win, completing 20 of 29 passes for 220 yards and two touchdowns while throwing two interceptions. Leading St. Xavier on the ground, Logan Davis rushed 21 times for 118 yards and two touchdowns. St. Xavier owns momentum heading into the annual matchup versus Trinity. 4. North Hardin (5-0): Off to one of the best starts in the state, North Hardin dominated rival John Hardin 42-7 in Week 5. Quarterback Manie Wimberly led North Hardin, completing 20 of 26 passes for 328 yards and two touchdowns while throwing one interception. Lavell Wright ranked as North Hardin's leading receiver and rusher with 300 total yards. On the ground, Wright rushed 16 times for 172 yards and four touchdowns. The Trojans are slated to host Bullitt East on Friday night. 5. DeSales (2-2): Without a doubt the best 2-2 team in the state, DeSales topped visiting Cooper 40-7 in Week 5. Quarterback DeMarcus Avery and running back James Johnson combined to lead DeSales to the victory over Cooper. After returning to the win column, DeSales is set to host Henry County on Friday night. 6. Manual (3-1): The Crimsons were open in Week 5. Quarterback Zach Recktenwald has completed 26 of 44 passes for 394 yards and five touchdowns while throwing only one interception in Manual's first four games. Manual is poised to entertain North Bullitt on Friday night. 7. Central Hardin (4-0): Remaining undefeated in Week 5, Central Hardin outlasted Elizabethtown 57-40. Quarterback Chase Elmore led the Bruins to the victory, passing for 300-plus yards and three touchdowns. Following its fourth straight win, Central Hardin is set to host Henry Clay on Friday night. 8. South Oldham (4-1): Continuing to dominate, South Oldham shut out rival Oldham County 49-0 in Week 5. Nearly perfect through the air, quarterback Anthony Pierce completed seven of eight passes for 150 yards and three touchdowns in the Dragons' win. Through five games, South Oldham has outscored opponents 188-13. The Dragons are headed into a matchup versus visiting Jeffersontown on Friday night. 9. Ballard (2-3): The Bruins' record is deceiving. Following an upset loss to Fern Creek, Ballard ended the first half of the 2019 high school football regular-season 2-3. Still, Ballard is among the Top 10 high school football teams in Louisville. The Bruins are prepared to visit George Rogers Clark on Friday night. 10. Butler (3-2): The Bears continued to win in Week 5, defeating host Doss 37-6. Quarterback Kenyon Goodin led Butler to the victory, completing 14 of 20 passes for 358 yards and three touchdowns while throwing one interception. After notching three straight wins, Butler will have the tough task of visiting Male on Friday night. Big Risers 1. Fern Creek (3-2): The Tigers pulled off an impressive win in Week 5, upsetting Ballard 15-12. Terrance Mitchell and Herve Blode rushed for one touchdown apiece as part of Fern Creek's victory. Fern Creek is due to host Eastern on Friday night. 2. Waggener (4-1): Much-improved Waggener leveled Jeffersontown 46-7 for its fourth straight win. Offensively for the Wildcats, quarterback Alijah Sickles passed for two touchdowns and Jamikel James and Desrick Allen rushed for one TD apiece in the victory. Waggener is due to host North Oldham on Friday night. Big Droppers 1. Christian Academy of Louisville (3-2): Reigning state champion Christian Academy-Louisville suffered its second straight loss as Class 4A frontrunner Boyle County pulled away to win 71-28. Following the lopsided loss, Christian Academy-Louisville will have an opportunity to return to the win column at home in a game versus Mercer County on Friday night. 2. Central (1-4): Another reigning state champion, Central suffered its third straight loss as South Warren prevailed 22-8 in Week 5. However, Central has shown improvement and will be looking to claim a victory on the road at Meade County Friday night. Last Week's Game of the Week Defending Class 6A champion Male persevered in Week 5, knocking off rival Trinity, the state's top-ranked team, 20-17 in double overtime. Quarterback Elijah Parish continued to lead the Bulldogs, completing nine of 17 passes for 173 yards and two touchdowns. Izayah Cummings, Parish's favorite target, hauled in six receptions for 145 yards and two touchdowns. Linebacker Joe Kuerzi led Male defensively, recording 10 solo tackles. Limited offensively in the loss, Trinity quarterback Nathan McElroy completed 10 of 15 passes for 107 yards and two touchdowns while throwing one interception. Armon Tucker led the Shamrocks on the ground, rushing 27 times for 108 yards. Player of the Week Chase Elmore, Central Hardin, Sr., QB/DB Senior quarterback/defensive back Chase Elmore completed 15 of 18 passes for 308 yards and three touchdowns to lead Central Hardin over visiting Elizabethtown 57-40 in Week 5. Defensively, Elmore recorded nine tackles. Game of the Week St. Xavier vs. Trinity St. Xavier is looking to pull of an upset and notch its third straight win. Trinity is looking to return to the win column following a double-overtime loss to Male. The stage is set for the annual gridiron showdown between the Tigers and Shamrocks. St. Xavier notched a win over Trinity in 2018, prevailing 21-7 when the two teams met for a regular-season matchup. Kickoff for the St. Xavier-Trinity game is set for 8 p.m. on Friday night.
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