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  1. 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)
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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?
  6. The Boyle County / Christian Academy of Louisville game was one of the most hyped games in the state last week. The matchup pitted the #1 team in 4A against the #1 team in 3A, and for Boyle County, was supposed to represent their first real test of the season. So much for that. The Rebels unloaded for 71 points and 621 yards in the 71-28 beating. QB Reed Lanter was almost perfect, throwing for 245 yards on 11/13 passing, with five of his 11 completions going for scores. Andrew Sacco averaged just shy of 10 yards per carry in posting 13 rushes for 129 yards and 3 scores. Will McDaniel averaged 13 yards per carry on 8 rushes, with 104 yards to show for it. In all, as a team Boyle County gained 13 yards per play, were perfect on third down, and gained a running clock on the top team in the class they just vacated. In every sense of the word, it was dominance. The Rebels have now won 30 of their past 31 games and haven’t lost in the regular season in two years. They dealt CAL their second consecutive loss, which hasn’t happened in 11 years. The next two games for Boyle County continue to represent their proving ground for the season as they host both Highlands and then Lexington Catholic – the latter after a bye. But after this performance, it is growing harder and harder to believe that anyone in 4A might challenge Boyle County, with the possible exception of Johnson Central. They are simply that good. Games of Note Speaking of #2 Johnson Central, they remained unbeaten by defeating their third straight out of state opponent, knocking off Bishop Sycamore (OH) 34-8. The Golden Eagles needed only 245 yards of offense to put up their points, aided by a pick-six. Sycamore Bishop is not much of a test – the school has had a lot of trouble even getting games this year – and at this rate we may not see Johnson Central take on another team that can truly stand toe to toe with them until Belfry in the last week of the season. #3 Lexington Catholic has now lost two games on the year by a grand total of two combined points, losing both via two point conversions for the lead in the waning minutes of the game. In this case, it was a 43-42 loss to 2A #3 Lexington Christian. The Knights got their usual standout play from Beau Allen, who threw just four incomplete passes on his way to 232 yards and two touchdowns, as well as rushing for three touchdowns and 142 yards. LexCath trailed by 14 at halftime before roaring back to take a 42-35 lead midway through the final quarter. Allen’s lone miscue of the night was a fumble to set up LCA’s go-ahead touchdown, and drove them into position for a 33 yard field goal that went wide right in the final seconds. LexCath gets a breather from their brutal schedule with a home game against 2-3 Tates Creek this week, then into a bye before their showdown with top-ranked Boyle County. No one can say that #8 Central dodged anyone this season, as they took on yet another power in South Warren. But they have no wins to show for their marquee matchups, falling 22-8 against the powerful Spartan defense. Central has historically been known for their ground game, but could only manage 17 yards on 18 rushing attempts, and were little better through the air, gaining only 71 yards on 3/14 passing. On a positive note, the 22 points scored by South Warren were a season low. Thankfully for the Yellow Jackets, the hard part is over. While teams like Shelby County and Waggener are capable, they are far more manageable than the Manuals, South Warrens, and St. Xs of the world. Our lone top-10 matchup was no game at all. #9 Wayne County dominated #10 Harlan County by a 55-22 margin. The Cardinals gained the running clock midway through the third quarter, and Braedon Sloan had a frankly ridiculous night. Sloan rushed for 206 yards on FIVE ATTEMPTS. And he took each of those five rushes to the house. He also had a reception for 73 yards, also a touchdown. Six touches, six touchdowns, 279 yards? That’s a good night. Brody Weaver was also economical, going 5/8 for 189 yards and three touchdown passes. Matthew Brown had 6 catches for 146 yards and a score in the losing effort for Harlan County. Upcoming Game of the Week With respect to the Boyle County / Highlands matchup, which may have flashier records, the game of the week for 4A has to be #10 Logan County at #4 Madisonville-North Hopkins. Since 2017 when Logan County began to ascend, this district has provided one of the most competitive district races in the state. The two games between these two teams have been decided by a combined six points in the last two years, and the winner has gone on to win the district both years. They enter Friday as two of the last five undefeated teams in the class. Logan County just entered our top 10 after a running-clock victory over previously unbeaten Greenwood, and has yet to score less than 35 points in a game. Senior RB Gary Hardy has rushed for over 600 yards already, and Senior QB Tyler Ezell has posted 1,210 yards and 19 passing touchdowns. Meanwhile, Madisonville has been a thresher on both sides of the ball. Their 43 points allowed on the year is just one point more than Boyle County for tops in the class. They are averaging 40 points per game. And Jeriah Hightower has already topped 1,000 yards, with 1,163 yards on 107 attempts and 14 scores. This one has everything.
  7. 1) 5A Covington Catholic (6-0) – Covington Catholic had another domintating performance over the latest of their northern Kentucky opponents, with a 45-6 win over 5A Cooper (3-3) in their first game against a district opponent. QB Caleb Jacob was 10-13 passing in the game for 177yds and 3 TDs, and junior Jacob Danneman also stepped in for his first varsity appearance at QB, going 1-1 for a 4yd completion, and rushing 3 times for 18yds. The Colonels had 11 different players rush the ball on Friday for a total 239yds on the ground, with Michael Boydston leading with his 82yds on 5 carries. Reid Hummel had 59yds and 1 TD on 8 carries, and Daniel Felix had 39yds and 2 TDs on his 5 carries. TE Michael Mayer led receiving with 83yds and 2 TDs on 4 receptions, and Ethan Reardon had 58yds and 1 TD on 3 receptions. Mayer also led the team in tackles with 4 total tackles from his spot at linebacker. Cov Cath will host 5A Boone County (2-4) on Friday in their second district matchup. 2) 5A Highlands (4-2) – Highlands has taken road trips south twice this season, and both times ended up taking one on the chin. On Friday they made the drive to Danville and took on 4A Boyle County (6-0), ending up with a disappointing 30-0 shutout loss. The Birds offense was shut down by the Rebels, only scratching out 97 total yards. QB Colling Hollingsworth was 5-20 passing for 62yds and was intercepted twice. WR Jacob Welch made Highlands’ biggest single offensive play of the night with a 39yd reception, the only pass he was able to haul in in the game. Their running game was led by RB Griffin Richter who came up with 29yds on 12 carries. Defensively, it came as no surprise to see LB Brycen Huddleston leading things – he had 12 tackles including 1 sack. DL Zach Lewin had 7 tackles including 2 for losses. The Bluebirds will look to bounce back this week in their first district game when they host 5A Conner (5-1). 3) 6A Simon Kenton (3-3) – The streak continues: win, loss, win, loss, win, and unfortunately another loss for the Pioneers, who made the 3 hour trek to Paintsville, only to make that same drive back with a 49-11 loss at the hands of 4A Johnson Central (5-0). Simon Kenton’s offense had an average night with 274 total yards – their 2019 average has been 284 yards per game, but when you let a team roll up 449 yards rushing in any game, things aren’t likely going in your favor. QBs Chase Crone & Marcus Courtney combined for 106yds passing, but no touchdowns by air. RB Austin Hammack ran 23 times for 84yds and the team’s lone TD in the game, and the other points came via WR Trey Little’s 2-pt conversion and a field goal by K Nick Seger. DB Zack Koenes led the team in tackles with 14, and LB Elijah Weaver & DB Isaac Bleier had 10 tackles a piece. Simon Kenton will have the week off before returning to action in a district game against 6A Dixie Heights (2-3). 4) 6A Ryle (3-3) – The Raiders took their lumps for a second straight week, this time in heading over to The Pit in Cincincinnati and losing 49-7 to OH-DI Elder (4-1). It’s not entirely surprising to see the loss playing against the #2 team in the GCL south, but with 507yds offense allowed compared to their 258yds gained in the game, Coach Engler has to be left wishing to have seen a little more out of the team. With sophomore QB Luke Worley out for the game, senior Keegan Stanken got the start and went 11-22 for 159yds passing and 1 INT. His favorite receivers were Will Mason and Jackson McGinnis who had 52yds and 50yds on their catches, respectively. RB Kyle England was the offensive leader again with 82yds and the team’s 1 TD. On the flip-side of the ball, Ryle’s defense was led by LB Luke Bradshaw with 8 tackles and then DB Johnathan Coker with 6 tackles. Ryle will have their work cut out for them again this week when they host 5A Scott County (5-1) who is fresh off of a stunning 36-0 loss to 5A Frederick Douglass (6-0). 5) 2A Beechwood (1-4) – It’s been a rough first half of the season for the Tigers, who are off to a 1-4 start. Their latest game against OH-DV Taft (4-1) was a significant defensive battle, with two teams combining for a paltry 423 total yards. Despite twice finding themselves in 1st and goal situations as well as winning the yardage battle with 224yds to Taft’s 199yds, Beechwood was unable to get the ball in the endzone and lost the game 7-3. QB Cam Hergott was 13-18 passing for 156yds and 2 INTs. RB Cole Stammer was the offensive go-to with his 7 carries for 40yds on the ground, and his 6 receptions for 45yds. Brady Moore led the team in receiving with 63yds on 4 receptions. Kicker Colin Graman was the lone scorer got the Tigers with his 23yd field goad in the 1Q. Defensive stats were not reported for the game. Beechwood will head to Edgewood to take on 6A Dixie Heights (2-3) on Friday. 6) 5A Conner (5-1) – Conner has successfully strung together 4 straight wins with a 39-7 win on the road against district foe 5A Boone County (2-4) on Friday. Quarterback Jared Hicks had a solid night of passing in the game, going 13-15 for 190yds and 1 TD, and then also running the ball 5 times for 41yds and 3 TDs. Running back Douglas Abdon had 13 carries for 64yds and 1 TD in the Cougars’ win, and wide receiver Colton Roy had 8 pass receptions for 135yds and 1 TD. For the Conner defense, sophomore linebacker Clayton Melcher led things with his 10 tackles, followed closely by linebacker Parker Hitzfield with 9 tackles and then safety Stanley Crawley with 5 tackles. Conner will have their second district match up of the season on Friday when they head to Fort Thomas to take on the 5A Highlands Bluebirds (4-2). 7) 5A Cooper (3-3) – The Jags were dropped for a loss in a second straight week after heading to 5A Covington Catholic (6-0) on Friday and losing 45-6. Both Drew Warth and Jeremiah Lee spent time as quarterback in the game, combining to go 8-15 for 41yds. Cooper’s offense struggled significantly in the game, only coming up with 94 total yards, despite being the first NKY team to score a touchdown on Cov Cath in 2019. RB Brendon Tye was the offensive leader with his 56yds and 1 TD on 10 carries. On defense, LB Jake Harmeyer led the team with 9 tackles, DB Chester Hale had 8 tackles, and LB Joe Poage had 6 tackles. The loss puts the Jaguars at 0-1 in district competition. Cooper will face 6A George Rogers Clark (2-3) this Friday on the road. 8) 1A Newport Central Catholic (4-2) – New Cath took on their crosstown rival 2A Newport (5-1) on Friday, and managed to hang on to the Firefighters Bell for a 20th straight year by beating the Wildcats 37-6. QB Paul Kremer was 11-14 passing, good for 101yds and 2 TDs in the air. WR Caleb Jefferson had 4 receptions for 42yds and 1 of the receiving TDs, and WR Tanner Daunt had the other TD on a 7yd reception, his only catch of the game. RB Jahmir Jackson let the running game with 13 carries for 70yds and 1 TD, and RB Luke Runyon had 6 carries for 40yds and a TD. The remaining 7 points came on kicker Sam Lavin’s 4 made PATs out of 5 attempted, plus a field goal. Defensive stats were not reported in the game. The Breds will have the week off as they rest up and prepare for district play to start against 1A Ludlow (4-1) on October 10th. 9) 4A Scott (4-2) – Scott improved on their record last week with a 54-28 win over 4A Rowan County (3-3), getting the Eagles off to a 1-0 start in district competition. QB Gus Howlett had his best passing game of the 2019 season thus far, going 14-20 for 192yds and 3 TDs. Even more impressive was RB Quincy Perrin’s performance with 16 carries for 252yds and 4 TDs, also his personal high water mark for the season. WR Cam Patterson led the receiving corps with 2 receptions for 74yds and 2 TDs, and Jackson Hardin had 1 TD by air, and 1 TD by land, good for 12 points and 113 all purpose yards. LB Nigel Robinson led the Defense with 10 tackles, including a sack, and DE Sage Lalley had 9 tackles. DB Brennan Bowling and LB Damond Hacker each had 7 tackles a piece. Scott will face 4A Harrison County (3-2) in their second district game. 10) Lloyd Memorial (3-2) – There was no action for the Juggs this week. Lloyd will return to action on Friday when they head to 1A Ludlow (4-1) to take on the Panthers. TRENDING UP 1A Dayton (4-1) – The Greendevils are still at it. They improved with their 4th straight win on Friday, beating 1A Bracken County 41-14. 1A Ludlow (4-1) – The Panthers also have shrugged off a Week 0 loss by following it up with 4 straight wins, with their latest victory taking place last Friday with a 54-14 win over Nicholas County. TRENDING DOWN 2A Beechwood (1-4) – The Tigers faced a meat grinder of a first half to their season, and unfortunately they have a record to show for it, with their 4th loss in 5 games coming last Friday at the hands of OH-DV Taft (4-1). Beechwood lost at home 7-3. 5A Grant County (3-3) – The Braves dropped back down to a .500 record with a 48-16 loss to 5A Montgomery County, putting them off to an 0-1 start in district play. GAME OF THE WEEK (RESULTS): WEEK 5 2A Newport vs. 1A Newport Central Catholic Newport may have gotten off to a 5-0 start, but that didn’t stop the Newport Catholic Thoroughbreds from coming home from their annual crosstown grudge match with a 37-6 win. GAME OF THE WEEK: WEEK 6 2A Beechwood vs. 6A Dixie Heights It’s been a handful of years since we last saw Beechwood play Dixie Heights – 5 years, to be exact. The last time these two teams met, 6A Dixie Heights got the first win of their unprecedented 13-2 season in 2014, which included a trip to the 6A state finals in Bowling Green. Since then, Dixie Heights has dropped down to 5A, and is now once again back in 6A, and Beechwood has now found themselves in a new class for the first time ever, moving up to 2A. Both teams have had less than ideal starts to their seasons, so it will be interesting to see who ends up with the win this week in Edgewood.
  8. 1. Johnson Central Golden Eagles (4A, 5-0)- The Eagles continued to flex their muscles by laying to smack down on traditionally stout 6A Simon Kenton. They now begin District play with rejuvenated Clay County, but expect Johnson Central to do what #1 teams do. 2. Somerset Briarjumpers (2A, 5-0)- Another week and another clinic put on by Somerset. Not only did the Briarjumpers light the scoreboard up against Russell, they also continue to play sound Defensive football. They finalize their Class 1A stretch with Hazard next. 3. Bell County Bobcats (3A, 5-0)- The Bobcats keep rolling and McCreary Central offered little resistance. Bell now faces Rockcastle County in a rivalry renewed, but this should continue to be all Bobcats. 4. Pikeville Panthers (1A, 6-0)- The Panthers left little doubt by jumping on Lawrence County early and coasting to a win. Pikeville will take the week off before beginning District play. 5. Pulaski County Maroons (5A, 5-1)- Pulaski needed every yard they could get but survived a scare against upset minded Whitley County. South Laurel should prove a lighter test as the Maroons continue to try and stake their claim as a legit threat in 5A. 6. Belfry Pirates (3A, 3-2)- A running clock win over Magoffin County was just what the doctor ordered for Belfry to recover from a loss to Pikeville. District play continue with a trip to Floyd Central as Belfry looks to get a win streak cooking. 7. Ashland Tomcats (3A, 4-1)- The Tomcats needed a week away from playing Overtime football and now set their sights on a massive NEKY showdown. Ashland continues to look like a team with big expectations in 3A but will need a win over Raceland to keep those expectations high. 8. Wayne County Cardinals (4A, 4-1)- We finally found someone capable of slowing down Braedon Sloan.... Mother Nature. The lightning cancelled the Cardinals' game against Danville and with a BYE week on us, it will e a while before we see the Cardinals explosive Offense. 9. Corbin Redhounds (4A, 2-2)- It's off only seeing 4 game results to Corbin's name, but a cancellation against Bowling Green will leave them with only nine games. Lafayette will get a well rested Corbin team and should be a nice 6A win for Haddix's Hounds. 10. Russell Red Devils (3A, 5-1)- You have to like where Russell is as they enter the back half of their schedule. The Red Devils obliterated Fleming County and look to be the real deal. They get a fortuitous week off before gearing up for District play. 11. Breathitt County Bobcats (2A, 6-0)- The blowout tour is in full effect. The latest victim was Middlesboro and Morgan County seems to be destined for a similar fate. Say what you want about Breathitt's S.O.S, they are doing exactly what you would hope they would. 12. Raceland Rams (1A, 3-2)- Raceland may have entered as a .500 team, but they made sure that they left their game with Portsmouth West as a team more fitting of their stature by crushing their foe. Can the 1A Rams jump up and get their larger class rival? 13. Hazard Bulldogs (1A, 4-1)- Now that is exactly the statement you would hope Hazard would make! Te Bulldogs asserted themselves squarely in the 1A Title Picture by defeating Paintsville and now have a chance to make an even bigger statement against 2A's top-ranked team Somerset. 14. Paintsville Tigers (1A, 3-2)- Injuries and depth are causing some issues for the Tigers and Hazard exploited it for a head turning win. The road doesn't get easier as Union, VA is a traditionally very stout foe from across the border. 15. Harlan County Black Bears (4A, 5-1)- Clay County was no push over, but the Bears Defense bounced back to carry them to a victory in a hard fought game. Letcher Central has always played Harlan County tight so expect another tough one this week. Trending Up: West Carter Comets (2A, 3-2)- The Comets took a big step forward by handling Shelby Valley and now are the favorites to win their District. Bath County is a fellow class dropper but does not seem to be faring as well. Martin County Cardinals (2A, 4-1)- The Cardinals are off to their best start in a long time and have nice confidence after handling Bath County. Expect them to clinch a .500 regular season with a win over struggling East Ridge. North Laurel Jaguars (5A, 4-2)- After a disappointing 1-2 start, the Jags have reeled off three straight including a win over hated rival South Laurel. Southwestern is a huge game for them as they try to avoid a potential 3-seed and keep their District hopes alive. Trending Down: Williamsburg Yellowjackets (1A, 3-2)- There is no shame in who Williamsburg has lost to the past two weeks as both Somerset and LCA are capable of hoisting a title. With that said, in the the ridiculously loaded 1A East, it is appearing the Jackets are lagging behind specifically on Defense. Perry Central Commodores (5A, 0-5)- This isn't about piling on a winless team, but with a narrow loss to Letcher Central the Commodores are looking like missing the playoffs may be a distinct possibility. They need a good showing against Lee, VA desperately. Morgan County Cougars (2A, 0-6)- The Cougars lost to Knott County Central and with it cost themselves potentially their most winnable game remaining on their schedule. Morgan County has only scored more than single TD one time and help is not coming soon with Breathitt County next. Player of the Week: Trent Asher, Leslie County- The Junior athlete for the Eagles needed to step up in a "must win" type of game for Leslie County, and that he did! Asher carried the ball 8 times for 157 yards and 3 TD's, he also caught 6 balls for 102 yards and 2 more scores. For the cherry on top he even threw in a critical Interception in the 43-27 win. Game of the Week: #12 Raceland Rams at #7 Ashland Tomcats- This has become one of the most competitive and tightly contested rivalries in Eastern Kentucky over the past decade and expect nothing less than a continuation of that. Both teams need a statement win and more importantly the RPI points that come with it.
  9. An Auto-psy Of the Class With a second child on the way my Saturday consisted of a trip to the auto dealership after extensive research to find the best vehicle for my growing family. As I searched numerous listings from numerous manufacturers, it occurred to me that there are some comparisons that can be made to some of the best teams in 2A as we stretch past the halfway point and into the heart of District play. Without further ado, here are some of those comps as we have a light-hearted look at the Class 2A Notebook on one of the slower weeks of games. Somerset- Ford F150 King Ranch At their core they are designed to be rough and tough, but this model does not lack of flash and all the little options you want in an upscale ride. Just as comfortable in the mud and towing a heavy load, it also shines up well and can turn heads on a Friday Night under the lights. Mayfield- Chevrolet Corvette This is a ride designed to run fast and fun. A candy apple red Corvette is a classic and the envy of many a person. There is plenty of excitement and explosion under the hood, but the horsepower and torque is nothing to sleep on. Lexington Christian Academy- Audi R8 Though the Audi may not be familiar or iconic as the Corvette, it has every bit the speed and flash. This is a sleek and finely tuned machine that doesn't get justice meandering in sluggish traffic or slow country roads, this is a machine built to be let loose. There is a question of how it will hold up in Winter conditions. Beechwood- Jeep Wrangler Another iconic ride that will always have a huge following and a sense of nostalgia, the Wrangler has been a consistent performer for years. Known for being rugged and tough, the Wrangler is built for when the conditions are not favorable and other rides can't take the beating. There is question if quality is beginning to lack a little though. Murray- Dodge Challenger This sweet ride has plenty of history but kind of disappeared off the map for a while before making it's return. A muscle car with some serious curves, but by comparison it usually is not preferred or even in the same breathe when compared to the Corvette (Mayfield). Breathitt County- Ford Ranger Speaking of a familiar make and model that almost disappeared but is making a reemergence, the jury is still out if this one is back for good or just making a brief appearance that has many people happy to see it. How "Ford Tough" is this truck? The jury is still out and we may not know until the going gets tough. Danville- Ford Mustang There is no denying the name of this ride holds a lot of weight and probably always will, but there is also no denying that the popularity of this ride and market power is starting to take a significant hit and dark clouds around it's future is starting to form. Will the brand re-invent itself? Walton-Verona- Nissan Titan You might not be familiar with this particular model as it does not have the brand recognition as some of the more well known establishments, but it is consistently getting attention as one of the best values and most underrated trucks on the market. Does it have all the options and versatility to be considered the best? Probably not yet. Washington County- Kia Cadenza It is easy to pass judgment based on the name and the lack of History behind the brand, but this is one of those rides that leaves you asking "What kind of car is that again?". A sharp ride without the fanfare, but one that impresses those who see the effort being put to make the band relevant. Three Games We Can't Forget to Mention Taft too Tough Beechwood losing to Taft from Cincinnati is not necessarily a result that should have been unexpected. Taft is a consistently stout public school with no shortage of talent and accustomed to playing strong competition. What does cause a bit of concern is "how" Beechwood lost in their 7-3 defeat. The Tigers Offense reverted back to some negative habits, namely a lack of play-making ability or semblance of a consistent run game. Outside of the Corbin game, the Tiger Offense has yet to score more than 2 TD's in a game. The Defense is showing improvement, but any big picture plans need a foundation of finding more weapons. The First of the Trilogy District 1 is no joke. Not only is Mayfield residing there as we are accustomed to seeing, but Murray is certainly a team capable of big things, and the addition of Caldwell County makes this arguably the toughest path in the Class. Earning the number one seed in this new playoff system is paramount, as otherwise a Top 10 team will be sitting at home after Round 1. The first of the three huge games will be this weekend when Caldwell County hosts Mayfield. The Sheldon Clark, err, Martin County Revival For a period from the late 90's until around 2010, Sheldon Clark was actually a consistently steady and strong small school program. The Cardinals, now going by Martin County High School, fell on very lean times in the past stretch of years as the economy of the area was hit hard and some internal changes re-shaped the face of the program and the feeder system.At the lowest points, the Cardinals even withdrew from District competition. The Cardinals seem to be getting their feet back under Coach Josh Muncy and should be a considerable favorite against East ridge. A win means that Martin County will improve to 5-1. The last time Sheldon Clark had a .500 or better regular season was 2010.
  10. This week, the first rough cut, experimental, etc. version of the RPI was released on the Riherds scoreboard, giving our first view of what this potential playoff game-changer has in store for us. We’re not quite at the season’s midpoint, but this gives a fun, pre-district look at what we might expect down the road. Potential Region Finals: - Franklin-Simpson [District 2, Unranked, RPI .346] at Madisonville-North Hopkins [District 1, #4, RPI .712] -Moore [District 3, Unranked, RPI .520] at Franklin County [District 4, #5, RPI .712] There are many tiebreakers if two teams have the same RPI, but we’re going to use the BGP rank as a tiebreaker here between Madisonville and Franklin County. So far, this is what you’d have gotten from a traditional cross-bracketing setup, assuming the top team in each district won. Notably, teams like Hopkinsville (#7) and Central (#8) would be denied a shot at a region title due to having to play against Madisonville-North Hopkins and Franklin County in their district, respectively. -Scott [District 6, Unranked, RPI .493] at Johnson Central [District 8, #2, RPI .659] -Corbin [District 7, #6, RPI .551] at Boyle County [District 5, #1, RPI .648] Here we get a bit more mixing going on, as the even and odd districts get matched up. Notably, the RPI grants Johnson Central, our #2 team, the far more favorable matchup against Scott. It forces Boyle County into a rematch from the 2018 playoffs against Corbin, albeit in Danville this time. In the traditional setup, Boyle County would have hosted Scott, and as the odd numbered district representative in an odd numbered region in an odd numbered year, the Rebels would have had homefield throughout the playoffs regardless. Obviously, there are weeks for this to change, but this would be the first team negatively impacted by this setup. Potential State Semifinals: -Boyle County [RPI .648] at Madisonville-North Hopkins [RPI .712] -Johnson Central [RPI .659] at Franklin County [RPI .712] While these are probably the types of matchups we would expect in this system – with Boyle County and Johnson Central on opposite sides – this is not exactly the setup that we would anticipate. For Boyle County, that’s a nearly 3 hour trip to Madisonville when, again, they would have been expected to be at home for the entire playoffs in the old setup. It’s a relatively modest 2 hours and 16 minutes for Johnson Central to Franklin County. Aside from hosting the games, this setup probably isn’t the favorite for Madisonville or Franklin County, both of which would see their state title appearance hopes diminished by playing superior opponents. Games of Note -#3 Lexington Catholic continued their standout play with a tight 34-31 win over DeSales, the #2 team in 3A. The game started out in dominant fashion with the Knights getting out to a 24-3 lead, but DeSales came all the way back for a 31-27 lead. Beau Allen just used that to set up a come from behind drive, breaking off a 40 yard run before throwing a 5 yard pass to JD Woodall for the winning touchdown with 4 minutes left. -It was a brutal week for the back half of the top 10. #5 Corbin fell to Beechwood 26-10, managing just 212 yards of offense in the game, suffering their second straight loss. They have to tangle with Bowling Green after the bye week, a likely third straight loss. #8 Central continued their brutal schedule, getting blanked in a 23-0 result against St. X. They failed to top 100 yards rushing or passing in that one. The bad news is they have South Warren this week, but the good news is that the schedule clears up completely after that. They’ll have a chance to be 5-4 going into their game against Franklin County at the end of the season. #7 Hopkinsville had their first bad misstep of the season, falling 28-13 to a resurgent Henderson County. Javier Bland was a scud missile in this one, throwing for 247 yards but completing just 16 of 45 passes. Reece Jesse continues to be a stud though, hauling in 7 catches for 121 yards. Finally, and most importantly, #9 Knox Central fell on the road to Harlan County by a 28-21 score, and Harlan County used that result to hop into the top 10. The Black Bears fell behind Knox 21-0 in the first half, but Harlan County hammered away with a punishing ground attack led by Ben Landis (27 rushes, 170 yards) to score the win. Upcoming Game of the Week There are quite a few highlights on the schedule this week. Lexington Catholic visits rival Lexington Christian, Central hosts South Warren, and Wayne County hosts newly ranked Harlan County. But the honor this week has to go to the battle of #1s . 3A #1 Christian Academy of Louisville travels to 4A #1 Boyle County for a clash of the titans. CAL is coming off an OT loss to Ballard, which snapped an 18 game winning streak. The Centurions have not lost in consecutive games since 2011. For Boyle County, this is expected to be the first significant test of the year, and their next three games represent the proving grounds. After CAL, they host Highlands, have a bye week, then the crucial game against Lexington Catholic.
  11. 1) 5A Covington Catholic (4-0) – Covington Catholic did essentially what was expected of them, they soundly beat a struggling 1-3 team from 6A Dixie Heights with a final score of 45-0. It was the third shut-out the Colonels’ four games played thus far in 2019. Caleb Jacob was 10-17 passing for 201yds, 1 TD and 1 INT. It’s tough to pick a “workhorse” from the offensive backfield, with Daniel Felix, Michael Boydston, and Owen Nally all having regular touches from RB, but the both Felix and Boydston had a pair of touchdowns each. The remaining two touchdowns were scored on a run by RB Adam Holtz and a 24yd reception by WR Ethan Reardon. Despite a quiet offensive game, LB Michael Mayer led the defense with 10 tackles and a half a sack. The Colonels head to Fort Mitchell tonight for the 39th edition of their rivalry game against 2A Beechwood (1-2). 2) 5A Highlands (3-1) – Highlands made it two in a row on Friday; their second straight win of the season, and their second win in row over 6A Simon Kenton (2-2). Highlands was on the road in Independence on Friday, and the Birds put the game away in the second half, scoring 2 unanswered TDs to end the game in a 28-7 win. Collin Hollingsworth was 19-36 passing for 193yds and 2 TDs thrown to receivers Jacob Welch and Hunter Ahlfeld. RB Tyler Brune had 89yds and 1 TD on 15 carries, and Hollingsworth ran it 14 times for another 42yds and a TD. Brycen Huddleston led the defense with 31 tackles including a sack and 3 tackles for loss, while Jacob Brass and Jason Noe each had an interception. Highlands will host 6A Ryle (3-1) tonight. 3) 2A Beechwood (1-2) – Beechwood came out in their Friday home-opener with a chip on their shoulder after dropping their first two 2019 games, and sent the 4A Corbin Redhounds (2-2) back down I-75 with 26-10 loss. It was a big game for the Tigers, who many folks conjectured could face a 0-4 start to their season. QB Cam Hergott came out strong, going 11-20 passing for 206yds and 1 TD and rushing 6 times for another 52yds. RB Cole Stammer carried the ball 13 times for 78yds and 1 TD, and RB Mitchell Corts had 5 carries for 17yds and 1 TD. WR Mason Williams led the receivers for the night with 107yds on 5 receptions, including 1 TD. Kicker Colin Graman added 8 points on 2 FGs and 2 PATs on 3 PAT attempts. Beechwood has their work cut out for them this evening when they host 5A Covington Catholic (4-0). 4) 6A Ryle (3-1) – Ryle has jumped Simon Kenton in the rankings – for now. The Raiders are appearing to show that their week 0 loss appears more and more to have been little more than an early-season stumble after they drummed 5A Boone County (2-2) out of town on Friday with a 46-0 beat-down. Bradyn Lyons was the primary QB again this week, and was 9-13 passing for 161yds and 1 TD thrown to WR Connor Lee. RB Kyle England once again racked up the TDs, with 4 trips to the endzone after 12 carries for 148yds. Connor Lee also had 1 TD rushing in addition to his TD reception. Sophomore LB Dylan Talmon led the Raiders D with 8 tackles and 2.5 sacks. Ryle has a big challenge tonight when they head to Fort Thomas to take on 5A Highlands (3-1). 5) 6A Simon Kenton (2-2) – Win loss, win loss. That’s the record thus far for Simon Kenton in 2019, who had their second home loss of the season on Friday, falling 28-7 to 5A Highlands (3-1). The Pioneers scored late in the 1Q to tie the game at 7, and were still only down by 1 TD going into the 4Q, but late turnovers sealed the deal in the loss. QB Chase Crone was 11-22 passing for 125yds, 1 TD, and 2 INTs, and Simon Kenton’s lone touchdown came on a 19yd connection with WR Evan Mulberry. The ‘Neers defense was led by LB Aric Hoffman and DB Zack Koenes, who had 12 and 10 tackles each, respectively, and the defense was also able to get to Highlands’ quarterback 4 separate times. Simon Kenton hosts 3A Taylor County (4-0) this week. 6) 5A Cooper (3-1) – Friday was a big night for Cooper. After scratching out two hard-fought wins and following that with at tough loss to Ryle, the Jags pulled off a win with their largest margin of victory since November of 2015. Cooper hosted 6A Campbell County (0-4) and sent the Camels home with a 36-0 loss. QB Drew Warth had his biggest passing game of the season thus far, going 10-17 and throwing for 1 TD and 2 INTs. The touchdown came on a connection with WR Xavier Smith, who had 75yds and 1 TD in the game on 5 receptions. Brendon Tye had a big night running the ball, with 167yds and 2 TDs 14 carries. Rushing TDs also cam from Jeremiah Lee and Anthony Witschey. Defensively, the team was led by LB Spencer Handel with 10 tackles, and DL Adam Sand and DB Anthony Witschey each had 8 tackles in the game. Cooper is heading southwest tonight to take on the 3A DeSales Colts in Louisville. DeSales may be 1-2, but their losses include a 31 point loss to 6A St. Xavier and a 3 point loss to 3A Lexington Catholic. This one is going to really test the Jaguars’ mettle. 7) 1A Newport Central Catholic (2-2) – A win is a win is a win. Although it may not have been the biggest win over the most powerful of teams, it was still another game where the Breds finished things on the right side of the scoreboard. New Cath had a 10-7 win over 2A Walton-Verona (2-2) Friday. It was the second time this season that their passing game wasn’t what they had likely hoped it to be, with QB Paul Kremer only connecting with receivers enough for 96yds and 1 TD, with 1 INT. Kremer let the running game, with 79yds on 9 carries, and RB Joey Runyon had 59yds on 16 carries. Runyon also had 3 pass receptions, good for 18 yards and the 1 Thoroughbred TD, and WR Caleb Jefferson had 26yds on 3 receptions. The remaining 3 points were scored on a 34yd Sam Levin field goal in the 3Q to re-gain the lead and take home the win. Defensive stats were not reported for the game. New Cath hosts 2A Covington Holy Cross (1-3) tonight. 8) 5A Conner (3-1) – The Cougars made it two in a row on Friday, this time by beating the 2A Lloyd Memorial Juggernauts (2-2) at home in Hebron with a 24-12 win. QB Jared Hicks came up huge, going 23-39 for 300yds on the nose, 2 TDs, and 1 INT. It was “Hicks and Roy” all night for Conner, with Hicks finding RB/WR Colton Roy 8 times for 126yds and 1 TD, and Roy also led the ground attack with 45yds on 7 carries. RB Douglas Abdon added 11yds and 1 TD on 12 carries, and WR Justin Daniels had 7 receptions for 78yds and scored the team’s remaining TD. On the defensive side of the ball, sophomore middle linebacker Parker Hitzfield had a really big night, racking up 14 total tackles in the game. Conner plays host to 6A Campbell County (0-4) tonight. 9) 4A Scott (2-2) – The Eagles are one of three teams in the NKY top ten that took a loss on Friday. And this one is one of those games that Coach Turner and the Eagles wish they could have back. Scott’s offense put up a respectable 269 total yards in the 38-33 loss, but their problems came on the defensive side of the ball, with the OH-DV Bethel-Tate Tigers (2-1) rolling up either 388 or 416 yards passing on them, depending on whose book you’re looking at. Offensively, QB Gus Howlett was 16-31 passing for 173yds, 4 TDs, and 2 INTs. RB Quincy Perrin led the game on the ground with 87yds and 1 TD on 17 carries, and WR Cameron Patterson had 6 catches for 95yds and 1 TD. WR Jackson Hardin had 3 catches for 51yds and 2 TDs, and WR Carson Craycraft had 3 catches for 28yds and 1 TD. Sophomore LB Damond Hacker led the Eagles defense with 7 tackles, including 1 for a loss. Scott will play 5A Boone County (2-2) tonight in Florence. 10) Lloyd Memorial (2-2) – Lloyd makes the final of the three NKY top ten who dropped one on Friday. The Juggs were on the road in Hebron, and took a 24-12 loss on the chin compliments of the 5A Conner Cougars (3-1). Sophomore QB Jacob Davidson had a decent night passing, despite the loss, connecting with receivers 8 of 24 times attempted, good for 173yds and 1 TD. WR Treshawn Cody was his favorite receiver, with 4 receptions for 101yds and the team’s 1 TD by the air. Their rushing TD came thanks to RB Michael Sassin, who carried the ball 6 times for 12yds. RB Dakota Theil led the team’s rushing attack with 27yds on 14 carries. Defensive stats were not reported for the game. Lloyd will face 3A Mason County (2-2) tonight at home. TRENDING UP 1A Dayton (2-1) – If you wanted to find the last time the Greendevils won two games in a row, you would have to go back the better part of a decade October of 2012. But Dayton put up a second straight win on Friday with a 49-14 victory over 2A Gallatin County (0-4). 2A Beechwood (1-2) – Beechwood managed to get their first win of the season, beating 3A Corbin (2-2) on Friday 26-10. The Tigers set themselves up with a wood-chipper of an early season schedule, but it will undoubtedly have them tough for their first ever run at the 2A playoffs. 2A Newport (4-0) – The Wildcats continued their undefeated season with a 63-8 win over 1A Bracken County (0-4), and Newport’s defense is doing it in lights out style, only having allowed 28 points in their first 3 games. They have outscored their opponents 162-28 so far this season. TRENDING DOWN 1A Bracken County (0-4) – It’s been tough sledding in Brooksville for new head coach Tim Carver thus far in 2019, with the Polar Bears unable to scratch out a win yet. Their loss on Friday was a big one, with 2A Newport (4-0) beating them 63-8. 2A Covington Holy Cross (1-3) – After a win in week 0 to end a 23 game losing streak, the Indians have slipped and now dropped 3 games straight, with the latest 38-20 loss coming at the hands of Cincinnati Country Day (OH). 5A Boone County (2-2) – After starting out 2-0, the Rebels have now dropped to 2-2 after losing two straight. Their loss on Friday was a 46-0 shutout by 6A Ryle (3-1). GAME OF THE WEEK (RESULTS): WEEK 3 5A Highlands vs. 6A Simon Kenton The Bluebirds topped the Pioneers for a second week in a row, but the 28-7 final score doesn’t make it look quite as close a game as it actually was. Highlands came out first to score, and then Simon Kenton tied it at 7-7 just before the end of the 1Q. Highlands scored again in the 2Q, and the score remained 14-7 until midway through the 4Q when Highlands intercepted the ball and returned it deep into the redzone for a go-ahead touchdown. Then the Birds’ fourth TD of the game once again came thanks to an interception. A tough game, and a good win for Highlands. GAME OF THE WEEK: WEEK 4 5A Highlands vs. 6A Ryle You’ve got to like seeing how things pan out when you have two top-five teams playing one another in any region. Most folks will be looking at Highlands as the favorite in this one, but Ryle is going to bring all they have to David Cecil Memorial Stadium to knock out the Birds.
  12. Breaking Down the New RPI Ratings and What to Expect With Friday's games in the books here is your updated Class 2A Top 15: 1. Somerset- 0.790 2. Mayfield- 0.746 3. Caldwell County- 0.725 4. Newport- 0.722 5. Lexington Christian Academy- 0.720 6. Washington County- 0.674 7. Beechwood- 0.668 8. Murray- 0.663 9. Owensboro Catholic- 0.655 10. Middlesboro- 0.649 11. Shelby Valley- 0.646 12. Breathitt County- 0.645 13. Lloyd Memorial- 0.642 14. Martin County- 0.597 15. Walton-Verona- 0.566 ** KHSAA DOES NOT SHOW THEIR LOSS FROM LAST NIGHT What have we learned so far about the RPI? Wins are king, but wins over other winning teams from Kentucky are King Supreme! The best case study is comparing Todd Central (5-0), Washington County (3-2), Shelby Valley (4-1), and Newport (5-0). Newport illustrates the value of a win in this system. Though the Wildcats have yet to defeat a team that has a winning record, all of their wins excluding Bracken County have been teams who have posted two wins of their own. Todd County Central is undefeated but outside of the Top 15. The reason being that they have defeated three winless teams and one team with only a win. Five wins certainly help their resume, but those lack of Oppponents' Wins dings them, especially when you compare it to what Newport has done. If You Are Going to Play Out of State Teams, You Better Win Shelby Valley illustrates the role out of state opponents play. The Wildcats have four wins including a pretty solid win over Pike Central (3-1). The lone loss for Shelby Valley was a Ridgeview, VA team that is undefeated and ranked in their state. Unfortunately, this loss simply does not factor heavily though it was by far the best team they have played. Losses Can Help, As Long as the Team You Lose to Wins a Lot in Kentucky Washington County scores really highly despite two losses. Their resume of wins compares very similarly to Shelby Valley, but it is their losses that separate them from the Wildcats. Both losses were to in-state teams with a ton of wins in Bardstown and Kentucky Country Day. Despite the fact Ridgeview may be a better team than either of those schools, the fact they are Kentucky teams weigh heavier in this system it appears. The RPI is simply a work in progress and at this point in time it is probably unfair to either praise it or condemn it. In the span of one week's worth of games from the time it was released it significantly changed, and for all intents of purposes, seemingly improved. There are flaws that have been well documented and discussed. It is still undetermined how those flaws will ultimately effect the system big picture, but at the core of the RPI it does seem to be doing what it is intended. It is rewarding teams for winning and it is rewarding teams from playing other winning teams. We will continue to monitor it, but as of now the best way to describe the system is that it "Is What It Is". Hate or love it, it is the standard and for teams who want to improve their score one simple rule reigns above all others. Just Win Baby! District 4 Will be a District War! Through five weeks there is no question that District 4 is going to be an absolute treat to follow. Somerset, the top-ranked team in Bluegrasspreps' rankings, continues to look like a buzzsaw. The Briarjumpers continued their dominant run by pulling away from a heavily ranked 1A Williamsburg for 41-13 win on the road. The 28 point margin of victory is actually their closest of the season. Somerset has been consistently strong on both sides of the football. They have not allowed a team to score more than twice, and their Offense has maintained great balance. Lexington Christian Academy made the biggest headlines of the week by shocking Central Kentucky and perhaps the entire state by knocking off 4A Lexington Catholic 43-42 in an instant classic. Jayden Barnhardt was superb! The nimble Quarterback threw for 200 yards and three scores, but it was his feet that proved the difference. Barnhardt not only extended plays, but toted the mail 24 times for a team high 126 yards and three TD's. The Eagle's Offense has been lethal early this season and they have done it a variety of ways according to the scheme of the teams they are playing. Though Lexington Catholic lit the scoreboard up, LCA has gotten enough plays from their Defense to win games. Mattie Lebryk and Andrew Long both came through with key tackles and plays. Washington County took down Marion County and has been continuing the trend of Offensive firepower. Excluding their loss to Bardstown, the Commanders have averaged just shy of 50 points in their other four games. Surprisingly enough, it is a traditional powerhouse who may be staring down the 4th seed.Danville has been the victim of a brutal schedule and their heartbreaking one point loss to Hazard resulted in their fourth straight loss. The tunnel still seems dark, with Wayne County up next and Allen County-Scottsville it is not out of the realm of possibilities that the Admirals may enter District play at 1-6. Will the East be Won? It is hard to imagine that the District Champions in two District may be settled before the end of September, but that may very well be the case this Friday for both District 7 and District 8. It is a huge game in District 8 when Shelby Valley treks to Olive Hill to take on 2A newcomer West Carter. The Comets have played a more challenging schedule against more larger schools and enter 2-2, but the Wildcats from Robinson Creek have the confidence of four wins under their belt and an Offense that seems to be finding it's groove. QB Dalton Meade and RB Ethan Bentley will test a West Carter team that for the most part has been pretty solid defensively. We documented the turnaround season Middlesboro is having a couple weeks ago, and the Yellowjackets have now improved to 4-1 with their latest victory a 20-19 win over upstart Pineville. With Leslie County suddenly struggling to find a Defensive identity, the Yellowjackets will take aim at District 7 front-runner Breathitt County as they host the Bobcats at perhaps the biggest game at Lee Majors Field in several years. Breathitt County will certainly enter as the favorite, led by an Offense that has been chewing up opponents to an average final score of 48-8 so far. Any hopes of a Yellowjacket upset will hinge on slowing down RB CA Collins and QB Braxton OHara. The 1-2 combo are accounting for over 250 yards per game. The Fork in the Road We are officially at the Halfway point and both Todd County Central and Newport sit at perfect 5-0 marks. Todd County Central defeated Caverna 57-27 for their best start in recent memory. The Rebels started 4-0 in 2017 previously, but you would have to search hard for the last time the Rebels were assured not to have a losing regular season before the conclusion of September. Newport had a challenge but was able to grind out a win against 4A Holmes 27-12. RB Giaunte Jackson came up huge with 159 yards and two scores as star QB Kaleal Davis was held relatively in check. For both teams perhaps their stiffest regular season tests will both come this week. Todd County Central will host Owensboro Catholic. Drew Hartz has been putting up video game numbers this season and the Rebels will better hope they can find a way to cloud his vision to have a chance. Newport will look to claim bragging rights for their shared homefield as they take on Newport Central Catholic. The Thoroughbreds have rebounded from a two game skid to win their last two, but may be the more vulnerable option for the Wildcats to improve to 6-0. Quick Hitters: - Caldwell County and Murray both turned in impressive performances for the second consecutive week. Murray romped previously unbeaten 3A Trigg County 64-27 led by Charvelle McAllister's 237 All-Purpose yards and 4 TD's. Caldwell County pummeled Union County 50-13. - If you were trying to find out how Walton-Verona did, the KHSAA scoreboard might not be of help. The Bearcats added a late game to the schedule and traveled to Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy. Walton-Verona was no match for the Eagles and fell 42-7. If the Ohio team sounds familiar, LCA defeated them on September 6th 47-37. - Leslie County was over matched and outscored by 4A Clay County 47-30. The Eagles have allowed 91 points their past two games. They hope to get the ship turned around in an unusual matchup with fellow 2A Owen County.
  13. 1. Johnson Central Golden Eagles (4A, 4-0)- The Eagles continue to represent Kentucky's good game with yet another out of state victory. Up next is a very intriguing game with 6A Simon Kenton. 2. Somerset Briarjumpers (2A, 4-0)- Somerset vanquished yet another quality team in dominating fashion by destroying Williamsburg. Russellville will actually be a step down in competition. 3. Bell County Bobcats (3A, 4-0)- The Bobcats extend their undefeated dreams for another week by pulling away from Whitley County and should not expect those hopes to falter against McCreary Central. The Bell offense is rolling! 4. Pikeville Panthers (1A, 4-0)- Pikeville secured a huge statement win by coming from behind at Pond Creek to knock off the rival Pirates. They will look to continue to flex their muscle with another 3A team in Lawrence County up next. 5. Pulaski County Maroons (5A, 4-1)- The Maroons win over Madison Southern wasn't exactly eye opening, but they got the job done nonetheless. Whitley County will be a vital District game. 6. Belfry Pirates (3A, 2-2)- The questions abound at Belfry after another lackluster Offensive performance and some critical errors in their loss to Pikeville. Expect Magoffin County to feel the wrath of a rough week of practice. 7. Ashland Tomcats (3A, 4-1)- A week after a tough loss in Overtime to Wheelersburg on the road, Ashland gets off the mat with an impressive overtime win over Ironton at home. The Tomcats get a week of rest before resuming their march in 3A. 8. Wayne County Cardinals (4A, 4-1)- The Cardinals left little doubt in a statement win against Harlan County and now have their 4A path in hand. Danville is reeling and the Cards should be able to keep rolling on. 9. Corbin Redhounds (4A, 2-2)- Corbin took a week off and will look to jump back into action against a mighty foe in 5A Bowling Green. This is a huge opportunity to reverse Corbin's trend, but will they be up to the challenge? 10. Russell Red Devils (3A, 4-1)- The Devils keep impressing and had no stress with Montgomery County. Fleming County is next and will be a good opportunity for a Class 3A statement. 11. Paintsville Tigers (1A, 3-1)- Paintsville returns into action this week with 1A Hazard on the road. The Tigers have to think they can still achieve all their goals and can't afford a slip up. 12. Breathitt County Bobcats (2A, 5-0)- The Bobcats just keep rolling and Powell County was left in their wake. Not many would have penciled Middlesboro to be one of their biggest games, but the Jackets are playing well and this has major District implications. 13. Raceland Rams (1A, 2-2)- The Rams were one of many teams seemingly with off dates and they saw some of their biggest rivals all winning. Raceland gets back into action against a Portsmouth West, Ohio team that they should stand a good chance of taking care of. 14. Williamsburg Yellowjackets (1A, 4-1)- The Yellowjackets fell on hard times against a red hot Somerset squad and now must regroup. Things don't get easier this week as LCA is also a team on a mission in Class 2A. 15. Harlan County Black Bears (4A, 4-1)- Harlan County's roll came to an abrupt halt as Wayne County's Offense was too much to "bear". Clay County is a sneaky team coming in off a nice win. This one may be interesting to follow. Three Much Needed Wins: Fleming County Panthers (3A, 3-1)- The Panthers got the win by a point over East Carter and substantially improved their resume in the process. Old District foe Russell is a monster game for them to earn further validation. Southwestern Warriors (5A, 2-3)- With their season heading the wrong direction after a blowout loss to Wayne County the tough win over 6A GRC was a big moment for the Warriors. Have the Warriors found some continuity? Hazard Bulldogs (1A, 3-1)- It was hard earned, but the Bulldogs narrow win over Danville keeps them in the 1A arms race. The Bulldogs draw Paintsville next with a chance to really cause people to take notice. Three Cringeworthy Losses: Leslie County Eagles (2A, 1-2)- It wasn't necessarily the worst team to lose to as Clay County is much-improved. The problem for Leslie County is allowing 47 points when your Defense is supposed to be your strong suit is not good form. Knox Central Panthers (4A, 1-4)- Playing a brutal schedule, most assume the Panthers may have a losing record. One of those losses was not expected to be a Bourbon County squad that only won three games a year ago. Especially in blowout fashion. Lynn Camp Wildcats (1A, 2-3)- After a promising start and a Top 10 ranking, the Wildcats are now on a three game skid with the latest coming to an Estill County team not expected to make major waves. Player of the Week: QB Kaiya Sheron, Somerset- The Junior signal caller for Somerset is having a breakout year and his dominant play is why the Jumpers are the top ranked 2A team. Sheron was sensational in a big win over Williamsburg completing 17/22 passes for 300 yards and 2 TD's. He also used his feet for another 88 yards on only 6 carries. Game of the Week: 2A Shelby Valley Wildcats at 2A West Carter Comets- It is odd seeing these two teams in the same District, but between realignment and District shakeups, here we are. This is a huge game for District 8 standings and both teams are more than capable of winning. Can the Comets slow down a Wildcat rushing attack that is capable of big yardage?
  14. 10 Questions, 10 Answers. What We Know and Don't Know About the Class' Top Teams Somerset Answer- We know that the Briarjumpers are a balanced and complete team so far. Somerset has maintained a great Offensive balance, but have also proven to be a consistently stout Defense and sound Special Teams unit. The Briarjumpers may not be the "best" at any grouping, but you can argue they are one of the Top 5 teams in essentially each discipline. Question- What will the aftermath of Friday's game against Hazard reveal? The Bulldogs gave the blueprint for beating the Jumpers and even more concerning was an apparently significant leg injury to Somerset star RB Alex Miller. The Jumpers have other backs in the stable, but Miller was special and also brought an experience factor that will be very hard to replace. Mayfield Answer- The Cardinals certainly do not lack for any explosion on Offense. With a pace for almost 5000 Offensive yards the Cards have big play ability all over the field and their ability to explode at any point will make them a tough match-up for even the stiffest of Defenses. Question- Will Mayfield be able to hold up in the Secondary if the planets align and things aren't clicking? There is no shortage of great QB's and passing Offenses in Class 2A and to this point the Cardinals have not exactly been the Legion of Boom reinvented in their back half. It may come down to match-ups, the RPI is a wildcard that could give or take away from the Cards. As crazy as it may seem, Mayfield may prefer a long road trip to Breathitt County or Beechwood over hosting a LCA or Somerset. Lexington Christian Academy Answer- The Eagles may very well have the best collection of game changers in Class 2A. QB Jayden Barnhardt, RB Xavier Brown, WR Dearious Smith, and DE Andrew Long are each capable of completely changing the complexion of a game on any snap. Almost each player can do it in a multitude of ways as well and the Eagle staff is smart enough to scheme around this ability with creative looks. Question- Can the Eagles win ugly? As the weather cools and as the games mean more and fundamental errors are less prevalent, it will be curious to see what happens when LCA is not aided by blown coverages, missed tackles on the perimeter, or a loss of contain. At some point it is going to come down to relying on their Defense and interior run game to come through. Beechwood Answer- The Tigers will not be surprised by any talent level at this point. It can't get much harder than what Beechwood has already seen. Playing by far the toughest S.O.S of any Class 2A team it has certainly made an impact on their Win-Loss record, but the ultimate hope is it will pay off in November. Question- Can someone not named Cameron Hergott take over the game on Offense? Entering Friday's game against Beechwood there was not a single Tiger besides Hergott who had contributed more than a single TD. With the number of proficient Offenses in the class, at some point the Tigers are going to have to score more than 20 points to win a State Title. Who can step up and provide that secondary option? Murray Answer- In a Class full of really good QB's, Hunter Utley is the most underrated. The prototype sized QB has been the picture of efficiency with a 7:1 TD to INT ratio, a 15 yard per completion average, and a 69% completion percentage. Roughly one out of every five passes he completes ends up going for a TD as well. The kid can play. Question- Have they scheduled hard enough to prepare them for Mayfield? There is no secret that District 1 will run through Cardinal Country, and this may be the best shot Murray has had in recent years at the Red Helmets. To date Murray ha splayed no teams currently ranked in the Bluegrasspreps Polls and with the exception of Caldwell County (a team Mayfield just crushed), they most likely won't have a game of note prior to their October 25th showdown. It is hard to prepare for the speed and explosion Mayfield brings without having seen it across the other side of the field previously. Owensboro Catholic Answer- The Aces have found their bread and butter to accompany Hartz in the passing game. There was no question Drew Hartz had every tool to have a big year in the O'Cath pass happy Offensive system. The question was who would step up and be his primary targets. Hagen Edge and Braden Mundy are each on pace for 1000-yard receiving seasons and Edge may put up an astounding 20+ TD year catching the ball. Dre Thurston has been efficient and effective both as a runner and a receiver. Thurston may put up over 1300+ yards of all-purpose performance. Question- Will the Defense be able to help the Offense out? Truth be told the Aces have played a substantially lighter non-district slate than we are accustomed to seeing and their District mates all are not exactly a fearsome lot. The lone game against a ranked foe was 5A Owensboro, the Aces suffered a season low of points and a season high for points allowed. In fact their Offense that has averaged over 50 points in games since, managed only a lone score. Breathitt County Answer- It will be shocking if the Bobcats are not 12-0 entering the seeded Quarterfinals. Breathitt has been a buzz-saw posting running clocks in every single game (some even starting at kickoff), and this trend may very well continue with their season finale against Pike Central potentially being the only game capable of breaking the trend. CA Collins has been stellar. The Senior has toyed with defenses so far. Question- What in the world will happen when Breathitt finally plays a team expected to have some post-season success? Even the most ardent Bobcat fans will tell you that this schedule has done them no favors for their Title hopes with the exception of potentially helping to keep the risk of injury down. The Breathitt Strength of Schedule to this point is in the bottom 10% of teams in the State. Where this may play out the most is on the Offensive and Defensive Lines. To be blunt, we still have no clue how good Breathitt is up front because the teams they have played have simply been unable to compete up front. Caldwell County Answer- Unfortunately for Caldwell, it is clear they are now in a second tier of teams following their losses they have suffered. There is no shame in losing to Mayfield and Hopkinsvile, two teams certainly capable of still playing in the Semi-Finals. With that said, losing by a combined score of 87-21 certainly speaks volumes that the Tigers just may not have the firepower to string together multiple wins of teams of a similar likeness. Question- Can they play spoiler? In a District with three Top-10 teams, the Tigers still may be able to have a dramatic impact on the Class 2A race. It might be too steep of a hill to ask them to potentially beat four consecutive top teams, but if they can just disrupt Mayfield and Murray and create a little chaos it could potentially have a major impact with the new playoff system and seeding. Lloyd Memorial Answer- A team though to be deficient of playmakers have found them. When you lose over 80% of your Offensive production it is fair to wonder if the dropoff should be expected, but Lloyd has actually done an admirable job of finding guys who could step into new roles and get the job done. Dakota Thiel has been more than serviceable at RB, Jacob Davidson has managed the game well at QB and added some additional options in the ground game, and Treshawn Cody is a matchup problem at WR. Question- Can the Juggs peak at the right time? Three of their last four games are all Top-10 teams including two huge District contests that will determine seeding. With Beechwood's Offensive struggles the brass ring is there for the taking, but Lloyd Memorial will need to put complete games together and with the new RPI system they ideally need to go 4-0 to help their potential seeding. In their two previous losses the Defense played "good" and their offense showed signs, but they have yet to put the puzzle together. Newport Wildcats Answer- This is definitely not a fluke that Newport is 6-1. The Wildcats are off to their best start in several years and have shown marked improvement from 2018 alone. Their lone loss was deceiving as they were in the game against Newport Central Catholic until some late breaks did not go their way. Kaleal Davis has been outstanding in every capacity and the Wildcats have a handful of supporting cast members who have carried their own weight as well. Question- What happens if the worst case occurs? It is easy to stay hot when momentum is on your side, but lets say that Newport falls by one point or by forty points to Lloyd and Beechwood. Will the Wildcats spirit be broke? Newport has the weapons to beat either team if the ball bounces the right way and they execute flawlessly, but it will be very hard to do it on the road in back to back rounds with a prior loss already fresh in their minds. The Forgotten Districts: District 3 Rundown- For many fans it would be a tall task even to list the teams in District 3 without a resource, let alone have an idea who is going to win the District Title for the regular season. Edmonson County (2-5) seemingly had a massive win by handling Monroe County (3-4), 33-0 in Brownsville. In fact, I would be lying if I didn't see the score and automatically assume this made the Wildcats the favorite to win the District Title. The truth is it is actually (1-6) Metcalfe County who is sitting in the catbird seat! The Hornets' lone win of the year was big one as they defeated Edmonson County 22-20 in Overtime back on September 20th and now control their own destiny. The Hornets are off this week but can clinch the District when they play Monroe County on 10-18. District 8 Rundown- The story-line right now is Class Droppers. In a District featuring three teams dropping down from Class 3A, two teams are still alive to potentially take the prize, one more surprising than the other. West Carter (4-2) has lived up to expectations and their dominating win over Shelby Valley (5-2) two weeks ago may prove to be the defacto District Title game. The Wildcats may finish 8-2, but their hopes hinge exclusively on surprising Martin County (5-1). Shelby Valley has to travel to Inez to beat the Cardinals and then hope the Cards can shock the Comets forcing a three-way tie. For Martin County, if they can knock off the Wildcats this week they control their own destiny. Something no one may have predicted entering the year. District 5 Rundown- Not much to see here. Walton-Verona (4-3) hosted Carroll County (3-3) this past Friday and came away with a convincing 33-14 victory. The Bearcats technically have work to do, but with the remaining District foes a combined 2-9, anything short of a DubVee District title will be shocking to say the least. The Bearcats seemingly have a lot of work to do come November to hang with the rest of the class, so expect the next five weeks to be focused on fine tuning their Offense that has yet to find it's stride.
  15. 1. Johnson Central Golden Eagles (4A, 6-0)- The Golden Eagles did what they are accustomed to doing, put up a running clock in a District game. Expect more of the same against floundering Perry Central. 2. Somerset Briarjumpers (2A, 6-0)- The perfect season continues, but the Briarjumpers got a great scare put in them to begin the Halloween month. Hazard gave Somerset all they wanted but the Briarjumpers made the big plays. They now get Danville but will do so without Alex Miller. 3. Bell County Bobcats (3A, 6-0)- Bell chipped away at The Rock and posted a shutout of the Rockets. Bell continues on with a Garrard County team that they should be able to win going away against. 4. Pikeville Panthers (1A, 6-0)- The Perfect Panthers will get some District action against Phelps. The Hornets may very well boast the single longest losing streak to a single team in the State, so expect Pikeville to keep that streak extended. 5. Pulaski County Maroons (5A, 6-1)- South Laurel was no match for the Maroon Monsoon of points. The other Laurel County team will try their hand as Pulaski looks to be a team on a mission. 6. Belfry Pirates (3A, 4-2)- It was a business trip as Belfry went to Floyd Central and left no doubt. The Pirates wish they were playing this week instead of taking their second BYE in the midst of a 9-game schedule. Belfry is starting to get healthy though. 7. Ashland Tomcats (3A, 5-1)- The Tomcats used the explosive play to take down rival Raceland and with it cemented their status as a team firmly in the 3A race. East Carter is next and will be a little bit tougher of a game than the Tomcats are used to from the Raiders. 8. Wayne County Cardinals (4A, 4-1)- The Cardinals will hit the road for Lincoln County as they dig deeper toward earning another District Title. Coach Thompson's group is slowly climbing the 4A rankings and growing in confidence as well. 9. Corbin Redhounds (4A, 3-2)- Corbin looked a little rusty at first after the layoff but found enough points and enough defense to secure the win over 6A Lafayette. Knox Central is a rivalry game but the Hounds should be fine if they stay to task. 10. Russell Red Devils (3A, 5-1)- Rusell seemingly plays a rivalry game every week. It is something that comes with the territory when you are a NEKY powerhouse. Greenup County is next with District implications a plenty. 11. Breathitt County Bobcats (2A, 7-0)- With a running clock pre-determined to start the game, the Bobcats became one of the first 7-0 teams in Kentucky with their win over Morgan County. Breathitt will let the other undefeated teams catch up to them with an OPEN week that might be as tough of competition as the rest of their schedule. 12. Hazard Bulldogs (1A, 4-2)- "Good Losses" are an oxy-moron, but the Somerset defeat had to ,eave Hazard feeling pretty good as they were every bit in the fight and a few self-inflicted wounds from an upset. With a pre-determined Jenkins forfeit, the Bulldogs will get a win and a week off. 13. Paintsville Tigers (1A, 4-2)- The Tigers secured a really nice win over arguably the best team in Southwest Virginia. Fairview has really been on the wrong end of the scoreboard and expect the Tigers to put an effort that should let some younger guys get some minutes. 14. Raceland Rams (1A, 3-3)- The Rams just simply did not have enough Offensive firepower and their best laid plans fell victim to a handful of big yardage plays as Ashland set the Rams back to a .500 win percentage. Raceland will get on the right side with Betsy Layne coming up next. 15. Harlan County Black Bears (4A, 6-1)- The Bears will just a notch above Letcher Central as they kept the Cougars at bay on their way to a convincing enough victory. The Black Bears get a week off before their schedule takes a significant step up in competition. Three of Note: East Carter Raiders (3A, 5-1)- Anytime you dominate a #3 ranked team it is a good night. Granted, Tolsia was the #3 ranked team in West Virginia Class 1A, and may not even be a Top 10 1A team if they were in Kentucky... but it was still a nice confidence booster heading into a big game. Pike Central Hawks (3A, 5-1)- Speaking of 5-1 3A teams with blowout wins over West Virginia foes, Pike Central went full on scoreboard exploding against Tug Valley. They have a massive showdown with Lawrence County as they pursue bigger things. Whitley County Colonels (5A, 3-3)- Whitley ended a two game slide by going all the way to Paris and punishing the host Bourbon County squad. With three losses to ranked teams, the Colonels look to make their move against some more level competition. Three Teams Who Already Hate October: Southwestern Warriors (5A, 2-4)- With a loss to North Laurel where their Offense continues to sputter, the Warriors are now staring at the prospects of a 4-seed if they don't start rallying the troops. Prestonsburg Blackcats (2A, 2-5)- The once proud program just continues to wallow in misery in recent years. A 61-14 score is what they used to put on Shelby Valley in victory, now it is what they are seeing in defeat. Harlan Green Dragons (1A, 1-5)- Thomas Walker, Virginia is one of those schools you schedule win you want to post a win. The Green Dragons are only boasting a forfeit win, otherwise they may be looking up at a potential winless season. Player of the Week: RB Matt Anderson, Pike Central- The Freshman phenom Anderson has had a great season to date with the potential for a 1000-yard season even prior to Friday's game against Tug Valley, WV. Anderson almost single handily elevated himself to that milestone by rushing for 329 yards on 18 carries and 6 TD's in the Hawk's blowout win. Game of the Week: Lynn Camp Wildcats at Pineville Mountain Lions- It is a huge clash in 1A District 8 as these two teams go after it with an all important playoff seed on the line. Any hope of a District Title basically hinges on winning this game, and with Williamsburg still looming on both schedules, a loss most likely means taking to the road for the playoffs.
  16. 1) 5A Covington Catholic (10-0) – No action on the field this week. Off the field, however, Cov Cath’s 4-star tight end, Notre Dame commit Michael Mayer received his jersey officially welcoming him onto the roster for the 2020 Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio. The Colonels’ 5A playoff run will start at home on Friday against Cooper (5-5). The Colonels previously beat the Jaguars 45-6 on September 27. In that game, Cov Cath had 420yds of offense (239 rushing/181 passing) to Cooper’s 94yds of offense (53 rushing/41 passing). 2) 6A Simon Kenton (6-4) – The Pioneers finished off their regular season with a loss. It was a hard-fought game by Simon Kenton, who led for the entire first half of the game, but the OH-DII Little Miami Panthers ended up sending the ‘Neers home with a 48-35 loss. QB Chase Crone was 5-19 passing in the game for 168yds, 2 TDs and 2 INTs. WR Caleb Livers led the receivers in yardage with 2 catches for 64yds. WR Evan Mulberry had 1 catch for 18yds and a TD, and RB Austin Hammack also had 1 catch, good for 31yds and a TD. Hammack also had 145yds on the ground rushing, and scored 3 TDs on his 24 carries. LB Nate Walker led the defensive side with 10 tackles, and DL Vuk Sajlovic had 9 tackles. Simon Kenton will start their 6A post-season schedule against Campbell County (1-9). The Pioneers previously beat the Camels 34-7 on October 18. In that game, Simon Kenton had 481yds of offense (188 rushing/293 passing) to Campbell County’s 41yds of offense (21 rushing/20 passing). 3) 5A Highlands (6-4) – No action on the field this week for Highlands. The Bluebirds return to action at on Friday for a rematch in the 1st round of the playoffs against Conner (7-3) who previously beat the Birds 20-17 on October 4. In that game, Highlands had 125yds of offense (54 rushing/71 passing) to Conner’s 307yds of offense (72 rushing/235 passing). 4) 6A Ryle (5-5) – No action on the field this week for Ryle. The Raiders have their first round rematch in the 6A playoffs against Dixie Heights (4-6). Ryle previously beat Dixie 13-8 on October 18. In that game, Ryle had 227yds of offense (76 rushing/151 passing) to Dixie’s 327yds of offense (122 rushing/205 passing). 5) Conner (7-3) – After spending most of the regular season showing folks around northern Kentucky that they were not to be overlooked in 2019, Conner finished their regular season with two losses in a row, with the second coming on Friday at the hands of 6A George Rogers Clark (6-4). The Cardinals beat the Cougars 38-34. QB Jared Hicks had a phenomenal game, going 22-29 passing for 376yds and 4 TDs, and rushing for another TD. But the team’s net -15yds rushing was the nail in the coffin for Conner. WR Caleb Ervin was the team’s leading receiver in the loss, with 121yds and 1 TD on 4 receptions. WR Justin Daniels had 109yds and 1 TD on 5 receptions, and Douglas Abdon and Colton Roy each had a receiving TD. Defensive stats were not reported in the game. Conner’s first round rematch in the 5A playoffs will be against Highlands on Friday in Hebron. The Cougars previously beat the Bluebirds 20-17 on October 18. In that game, the Cougars had 307yds of offense (72 rushing/235 passing) to Highlands’ 125yds of offense (54 rushing/71 passing). 6) 5A Cooper (5-5) – No action on the field this week for Cooper. The Jags will have their start in the 5A playoffs with another game against Covington Catholic (10-0) in Park Hills. The Colonels previously beat the Jaguars 45-6 on September 27. In that game, Cooper had 94yds of offense (53 rushing/41 passing) to Cov Cath’s 420yds of offense (239 rushing/181 passing). 7) 1A Newport Central Catholic (8-2) – The Thoroughbreds finished up their regular season with a big non-district win over rival Beechwood on Friday, upsetting the 2A Tigers (5-5) at home, and winning 17-14. QB Paul Kremer was 12-18 passing for 198yds and 1 TD, and Kremer also led the Breds’ ground attack with 30 yards and 1 TD on 12 carries. RB Cody Mueller led the offense in receiving yards with 3 receptions for 88yds, and the team’s one receiving touchdown was scored by TE Tanner Daunt on one of his two receptions. New Cath’s other score came on a 40yd field goal from kicker Sam Levin. LB’s Luke Landrum & Daniel Craig led the defense with 8.5 tackles each. DB Joe Doeker and LB Daniel Craig each had an INT for the Breds, and LB Landen Davis also recovered a fumble. The Thoroughbreds have their first bout in the 1A playoffs in a rematch against 1A Dayton (4-6). They previously beat the Greendevils 49-0 back on October 18. In that game, New Cath had 463yds of offense (219 rushing/244 passing) to Dayton’s 237yds of offense (215 rushing/22 passing). 8) 2A Beechwood (5-5) – Beechwood had a tough go of things during their regular season, and finished up things on a down note heading into the playoffs after a deflating 17-14 loss on senior night to rival 1A Newport Central Catholic (8-2). QB Cam Hergott was 10-22 in the air for 83yds, 1 TD and 1 INT. Hergott was in on both of the Tigers’ touchdowns, first scoring on a 1 yard punch-in in the second quarter, and then connecting with WR Brady Moore for a 5yd TD in the third quarter. Stats have not yet been reported for the game. Beechwood is going to be starting their program’s first ever run in the 2A playoffs on Friday at home with a rematch against Covington Holy Cross (2-8). The Tigers previously beat the Indians 68-6 on October 11. In that game, Beechwood had 365yds of offense (180 rushing/185 passing) to Holy Cross’ 151yds of offense (29 rushing/122 passing). 9) Dixie Heights (4-6) – No action on the field this week for Dixie Heights. The Colonels will begin things in the 6A playoffs on Friday in Union against Ryle (5-5), who previously beat Dixie 13-8 on October 18. In that game, the Colonels had 327yds of offense (122 rushing/205 passing) to Ryle’s 227yds of offense (76 rushing/151 passing). 10) 4A Holmes (7-3) – The Bulldogs finished off their best regular season in a decade with a 7th win, beating 1 Bellevue (2-8) with a final score of 53-6. The Dawgs battled out the game on the ground, with QB Quantez Calloway only passing once, good for a 10 yard connection with WR Tyelon Tate. RB Miguel Garcia led the team in yardage with 4 carries good for 71yds and 1 TD. Curtez Hill had 3 carries for 63yds and 1 TD, Quantez Calloway ran the ball 4 times for 51yds and 1 TD, and Quantez’s twin brother Tayquan ran the ball 6 times for 47yds and 2 TDs. Tayquan Calloway also scored a touchdown on a punt return, and freshman LB Emauryon Arnold added defensive points on a fumble recovery for a 52yd TD return. Defensive stats were not reported for the game. Holmes will host 4A Harrison County (4-6) in the first round of the playoffs after previously having beaten the Thorobreds 8-7 on October 18. In that game, the Bulldogs had 176yds of offense (113 rushing/63 passing) to Harrison County’s 158yds of offense (120 rushing/38 passing). TRENDING UP 1A Newport Central Catholic (7-3) – The Breds finish their regular season on a high note after beating rival 2A Beechwood 17-14 at Beechwood. 4A Holmes (7-3) – The Bulldogs put an exclamation point on their district-winning regular season with a 53-6 win over 1A Bellevue. TRENDING DOWN 2A Beechwood (5-5) – This is the first time the Tigers haven’t had a winning record in the regular season in well over 20 years. Their 5th loss of the season came on Friday at the hands of rival 1A Newport Central Catholic in a 17-14 heartbreaker for Beechwood. 6A Simon Kenton (6-4) – It’s not a horrible regular season record, but 2019 was the Pioneers’ worst regular season in 8 years, with their latest loss coming on Friday thanks to OH-DII Little Miami, who beat Simon Kenton 48-35. GAME OF THE WEEK (RESULTS): WEEK 10 2A Beechwood vs. 1A Newport Central Catholic In the 43rd meeting between Beechwood and New Cath, the Thoroughbreds managed to notch their 15th win over the Tigers with a 17-14 win in Fort Mitchell. It was somewhat of a defensive battle, with both teams fighting hard to keep the other out of the end zone. Beechwood controlled the first quarter with their offense eating up most of the time on the field. A fumble on the 1 yard line recovered by New Cath ended the Tigers’ best threat to score in the first quarter though. But Beechwood brought the ball right back down the field on their next possession and scored on a 1 yard leap over the scrum by QB Cam Hergott. New Cath would get their first points towards the end of the second quarter with a 40 yard field goal by Sam Levin that came after a controversial pass interference call to set up the kick. The Thoroughbreds were the first team to score out of the half, with QB Paul Kremer capping of a 79 yard drive with a 4 yard touchdown run. Beechwood would answer with their own 63 yard drive that finished with a 6 yard touchdown pass from Hergott to WR Brady Moore. The Tigers had another opportunity to score on a field goal attempt with less than 2 minutes left in the game, but after missing the field goal, the Breds came back with an 80 yard drive that ended with a 6 yard touchdown pass from Kremer to WR Tanner Daunt with 24 seconds remaining. The Tigers were pinned back at their own 16 yard line following the kickoff, and threw up 3 pass attempts to try to come back and win, but were unable to put anything together. 2019 NKY Regular Season Passing Leaders: 2358 – Jared Hicks (Conner) 2034 – Caleb Jacob (Covington Catholic) 1633 – Paul Kremer (Newport Central Catholic) 1571 – Gus Howlett (Scott) 1537 – Chase Crone (Simon Kenton) 2019 NKY Regular Season Rushing Yards Leaders: 1283 – Quincy Perrin (Scott) 1214 – Matthew Young (Owen County) 1153 – Cody Kramer (Ludlow) 1132 – Conner Knipp (Grant County) 1081 – Tayquan Calloway (Holmes) 2019 NKY Regular Season Receiving Yards Leaders: 1078 – Brandon McClendon (Covington Holy Cross) 789 – Gunner Barnes (Bellevue) 746 – Colton Roy (Conner) 721 – Simon Keating (Newport) 691 – Treshawn Cody (Lloyd Memorial) 2019 NKY Regular Season Tackling Leaders: 139 – Cody Kramer (Ludlow) 104 – Devon Carson (Bishop Brossart) 96 – Parker Hitzfield (Conner) 96 – Brycen Huddleston (Highlands) 93 – Nigel Robinson (Scott) 2019 NKY Regular Season Defensive Sack Leaders: 8 – Nathan Anderson (Ludlow) 8 – Chase Kurtz (Conner) 7 – Sage Lalley (Scott) 7 – Nigel Robinson (Scott) 6 – Damond Hacker (Scott) 2019 NKY Regular Season Interception Leaders: 8 – Brandon McClendon (Covington Holy Cross) 6 – Jacob Brass (Highlands) 6 – Tyler Parks (Simon Kenton) 5 – Griffin Henderson (Scott) 5 – Emery Woods (Bracken County)
  17. The six class system has given us many years of poor matchups in all playoff rounds. This year, we saw the debut of the new RPI version of the region finals, and as expected, it was terrible. Essentially, it flipped the games that we’d normally see in the region finals into the second round, and vice versa. In this year’s second round, five of the eight games were decided by 14 points or less, with two games decided by a single score – one in overtime. The average margin of victory for the round was 21.5, and even that high margin owed a lot to the 47 and 44 point victories by Boyle County and Johnson Central, respectively. That gave way to an atrocious region final round that was decided by an average of 34 points per game, and only one game closer than 29 points. In my opinion, that serves up the failure of the intra-district format perfectly. If you can say anything for the RPI format, it’s that the higher rated team won every game, so… I guess that part works? The only game that was truly competitive matched a pair of familiar foes. #7 Madisonville-North Hopkins and Franklin-Simpson met for the third straight postseason, and had squared off in seven of the previous nine playoffs. Franklin had won the previous season’s matchup by a mere 12-10 score, en route to their second straight state title. Madisonville had been entrenched in close games for weeks, with their previous three games and five of their previous seven games decided by 7 points or less. They found themselves in a similar situation against Franklin. After the teams traded scores in a 7-7 first quarter, Franklin-Simpson pulled ahead, and took a 24-20 lead into the half. That too was a familiar situation for the Maroons, who trailed at the half in each of their victories in the first two rounds. The third quarter’s first drive would provide the turning point of the game. Madisonville received, and drove to the Wildcat 30. Per @FSfan, a shotgun snap on 2nd and 1 was low and rolled past Reynolds. He dove on the ball, but it squirted free, eventually being recovered by the Wildcats. However, the officials, thinking that Reynolds had recovered it, blew the play dead for the dreaded inadvertent whistle. That meant no fumble recovery for Franklin. It meant not even a devastating loss to make it third and long. No, it was 2nd 1 right back on the 30 – and Jeriah Hightower took the next play straight into the end zone. The Maroons never trailed again, running off 25 straight before coasting in for a 45-31 victory. It was a bitter end to Franklin-Simpson’s back to back title defense, but they still closed strong with a 7-2 finish after an 0-4 start, claiming their fourth consecutive district title. With their loss, the District 2 champion will not make the title game for the first time since 2014. For Madisonville, this is their first region title since 1971, when they advanced to the state title game. Jeriah Hightower was stupid good in the game, running 37 times for 324 yards and SIX touchdowns. Hightower is up to 2,817 yards on the season, and will face a stiff test to try to get to 3,000 when he faces Johnson Central, but it’s a distinct possibility. The rest of the games, it must be said, were horrendous. #2 Johnson Central/#5 Wayne County had real potential, but QB Brody Weaver was lost after the very first offensive play of the game for the Cardinals, robbing them of one dimension of their attack. Braedon Sloan became 100% of their offense, taking snaps at QB and running for 101 yards, but Johnson Central was just way too much, advancing to the state semifinals yet again in a 36-7 victory. The Golden Eagles didn’t put the ball in the air a single time, running 35 times for 364 yards and five scores. Devin Johnson was his usual efficient self, with 121 yards on just 10 rushes, scoring twice. #9 Central hosted Moore and posted their eighth game giving up less than 10 points in holding the Mustangs down in a 46-8 victory. For Central, that equaled their highest score of the year, fueled by Jeremiah Thornton’s 273 yards and four scores on the ground. Thornton entered the game with just 145 on the year. The loss ended a seven game win streak for Moore, finishing an 8-5 campaign. Finally, the favorite and #1 Boyle County kept it rolling in a 55-0 domination of Scott. That was their fourth shutout of the season, and ninth time holding an opponent to seven points or less. The 55 point offensive output was only their sixth highest of the year – that’s how good they’ve been. They have the top scoring offense and defense in the class. Reed Lanter was perfect on the night, going 11/11 for 257 yards and five scores for the Rebels. Reese Smith had four receptions for 87 yards and converted two of them into scores. They still have not played a single game that was decided by less than 30 points. They’ll host Central this week, which should be their toughest test of the year thus far. All in all, it was pure chalk in a year (and playoff system) that seems designed for it. Only five road teams have won in the 28 playoff games played so far in 4A – two of those came from Madisonville-North Hopkins which entered each game higher rated than their opponent, relegated to the third seed only because of a Hail Mary loss during the regular season and a three-way tiebreak that went against them. We don’t figure to see upsets this week either. Central and Madisonville-North Hopkins are both very capable teams, but they’re up against true monsters in Boyle County and Johnson Central. In Madisonville’s case, the 300+ mile trip to Johnson Central – where a Kentucky team hasn’t beaten the Golden Eagles since 2016 – won’t help.
  18. Class 4A District 1 Coming into the season we knew that District 1 would be one of the most competitive at the top of any district in 4A, and that bore out in the form of a three-way tie for the #1 seed. Logan County drew first blood, knocking off Madisonville-North Hopkins with a Hail Mary in a 26-24 victory in September, but fell to Hopkinsville 21-6 just six days later. Madisonville climbed back into the race with a 20-18 win over Hopkinsville on October 11th, and the tiebreak was pretty much sealed. When the dust settled, Hopkinsville’s 17-15 win over Paducah Tilghman in Week 11 vaulted them to the #1 seed, and gave them the coveted matchup with Calloway County, a team they defeated 43-0 on September 27th. The Tigers have spent the entire year in the 4A Top 10, and have run up an impressive 7-3 record against a moderately challenging schedule. As in recent years, they feature a passing-first offensive attack. Javier Bland has thrown for 25 touchdowns against 7 interceptions and 1,842 yards, completing just under 50% of his passes. Reece Jesse has been a stud receiver with 54 receptions for 1,018 yards and 14 touchdowns. Defensively, the Tigers are allowing just over 200 yards per game and 15.7 PPG. They’ve been very stout against the run, giving up just under 75 yards per game on the ground. They probably won’t be the highest ranked team in the district entering the playoffs, but their first round game amounts to a bye, and they’ll get to host the survivor of the Madisonville/Logan County matchup. Logan County slides into the #2 seed with an 8-2 record. The Cougars have continued their program renaissance with another sterling season, but they are not coming into the playoffs with the strongest momentum. They are 2-2 in their last four, and were knocked around in their Week 11 matchup with South Warren, falling 53-6. QB Tyler Ezell has thrown for 2,140 yards, 33 touchdowns, and just 8 interceptions on the year, but had to leave the South Warren game with a leg injury, and appeared on the sideline in an air cast. If he can’t go against Madisonville, it’s a devastating blow to their chances. They’ll have to lean more heavily on Gary Hardy, who has 900 yards on 98 rushes this season with 10 touchdowns. Hardy has run for nearly 4,000 yards in his career for the Cougars. The Cougars were able to run for only 55 yards the last time they met Madisonville but threw for 308 yards. The health of Ezell is going to be crucial. For Madisonville, they are 3-2 in their last five, but their 53-50 loss to Mayfield is a much more solid indicator for the postseason. A win there would have given them the district, but they more than proved their mettle in the contest. Madisonville was the preseason favorite, and at 8-2, they have proven worth that designation, even if the Hail Mary loss ultimately dropped them to #3. When you talk about the Maroons it invariably centers around stud RB Jeriah Hightower. Hightower has run for 2,231 yards on 233 attempts with 23 touchdowns this year. He leads the state in rushing yards and yards per game. He had 301 in the first matchup with Logan County, and figures to be dominant again. Hayden Reynolds doesn’t throw as much as some other quarterbacks because of Hightower’s presence, but he has thrown for 23 scores against just 3 interceptions this year, rolling up 1,409 yards. The Maroon defense is allowing 80.4 yards rushing per game, and 17.5 PPG. In short, they control the clock with their ground attack and they limit the same from the opposing team. Projected District Final: Madisonville-North Hopkins 21 Hopkinsville 14 District 2 District 2 has placed a team in the state championship for four straight seasons, but it appears this will be the year that comes to a close. No one in the district is above .500. Franklin-Simpson appears to still be the dominant force, even moreso as they are getting healthy. Winners of three straight district titles, the Wildcats uncharacteristically started 0-4 as they adjusted to graduation losses and injuries. Once mid-September rolled around the Wildcats appeared closer to their old selves, scoring five straight wins by an average of 30 PPG. Franklin features one of the most balanced rushing attacks you’ll see. No player rushed for more than 67 attempts or 653 yards through 9 games, but the team had nearly 260 yards per game as a unit. Leandre Stutzman was the leader in both categories with 653 yards on 67 attempts, but Omar Harrison (42/406), Tedric Partinger (44/3540, Chase Gooch (46/349), and Malik Carter (64/257) all topped 250 yards for the team. Luke Richardson still passes only when desperately needed, with only 556 yards through the air through 9 games. Stutzman carried the load when they played first round opponent Russell County the first time, with 144 yards on 10 rushes. While the 35-21 result was closer than expected, the Wildcats have appeared much healthier since, culminating in a 28-21 barnburner loss to Glasgow in the season finale. Russell County has strong speed from leading rushers Dylan Bland (140/1,279/16) and Collin Darnell (155/1,186/12), and can give some problems if they can get to the edge. But ultimately, if they couldn’t defeat a diminished Franklin team at home in early October, it makes them a longshot to do so on the road in November. Allen County-Scottsville and Warren East would both also track as longshots to knock off Franklin, with a 10 point loss and 27 point loss to the Wildcats respectively. ACS defeated Warren East for the first time in three years with a 27-10 result on the road on October 18th, and that ultimately brought them their first home playoff game in 7 years. The Patriots started the season with a slightly more pass-oriented attack, but have shifted to the traditional ground game that they are known for in the latter half of the year. Landon Witcher is their speed back and leading rusher, while Jaquez McPeak is a hammer, frequently breaking tackles and dragging players with him. Defensively, the Patriots are a bend don’t break type, but their previous matchup with Warren East marked their best defensive performance of the year. Warren East enters on a three game losing streak that began with the loss to ACS, and are just 3-6 since opening the year with a victory. The Raiders lack the home run threat at running back that they have enjoyed in previous years, and lean heavily on QB Nolan Ford. Ford is their leading rusher with 103 attempts for 760 yards and 13 touchdowns. He is completing just over 50% of his passes and has 1,107 yards passing with 10 touchdowns. Their 10 points against ACS was their second lowest score of the year, and Ford threw two interceptions in the contest, as penalties also derailed the Raiders. Look for a more focused effort this time around from the Raiders, but the Patriot’s field that has been chopped up slightly from weather over the last two weeks may be an equalizer compared to the turf at Warren East. Projected District Final: Franklin-Simpson 42 Warren East 14 District 3 District 3 is a bit of a red-headed stepchild in the “western” half of the bracket. The district is overshadowed this year by District 1 and 4 with their top tier teams, and lacks the historic prestige of District 2. Moore has the 3rd highest RPI of the #1 seeds in the western four districts, and put together a solid 6-4 campaign, closing the year with five straight wins. They climbed to the top by surviving close calls against John Hardin (22-14) and Valley (31-27). The Mustangs slant heavily towards the run with 73% of their yards coming from rushing, with QB Rae Von Vaden accounting for almost as many yards on the ground (748) as through the air (819). Jamari Wilson leads the team with 1,045 yards on 119 attempts with 7 touchdowns. It always sounds common sense that the more you score the more you win, but for the Mustangs, the key number is three touchdowns. They haven’t lost when scoring 22 or more. They haven’t won when scoring less. Their opening game may be the most possible of 4 seed upsets in the entire class as Valley lines up against them. Valley has just two wins on the season, but has lost three games by six points or less. The Vikings are just two years removed from beating Moore, and it will have been just three weeks since their close call when the two meet, albeit this time at Moore. Even less time will separate the rematch between Spencer County and John Hardin that handed Spencer County the 2 seed. The Bears went on the road and came up with a 45-31 victory over John Hardin on October 25th, part of their three-game winning streak heading into the playoffs. The result was a bit surprising given their blowout loss to a Moore team that John Hardin was right there with. In that game, Spencer County threw a single pass, with Jon Smith completing it for 26 yards. Seth Thompson exploded for 233 yards on 20 rushes with three touchdowns, and Lawrence McLemore added 105 yards on 15 rushes, also with three scores. That is right in-line with Spencer County’s offensive attack for the year. 83% of their yards come on the ground, with Thompson turning 143 rushes into 1,015 yards with 9 scores. As a team, Spencer County has completed only 40 passes this year. John Hardin rushed for 236 yards in their matchup with Spencer County on the 25th – a season-high – but could find no success through the air either, as Kadon Wilson was just 4/13 for 35 yards. The Bulldogs are just 4-6 this year, and three of those four wins have come by single digit margins. Offensively, the Bulldogs did not average 200 yards per game through their first nine games, and have topped 14 points only four times on the season. Projected District Final: Moore 28 Spencer County 14 District 4 While the district race shook out cleaner than District 1, this district was almost every bit as competitive. Franklin County emerged as the favorite as the season ran along, and ultimately finished undefeated overall for the first time in seven seasons. In fact, they have won 18 of their last 19 games stretching to last season. They played only two games decided by less than 10 points, the last of which was a thrilling 14-12 victory over Louisville Central to clinch the #1 seed in the district when they turned away a two point conversion for the tie midway through the fourth quarter. Behind QB Nick Broyles, the Flyers live up to their name and let it fly through the air. Broyles completed 64% of his passes this year, throwing for just shy of 2,000 yards through nine games, and sports an impressive 26:3 TD:INT ratio. Broyles leads the team in rushing as well, with 686 yards on 89 attempts with 7 scores. Tariq Lester compliments the rushing attack as the lead back with 80 rushes for 566 yards and 12 scores. No other Flyer has rushed for more than 75 yards. Fred Farrier leads the team with 35 receptions for 602 yards and 7 scores. Franklin County features a 55/45 split in favor of throwing the ball – a modern passing offense. Defensively, the Flyers allowed only 12.7 PPG and forced an average of just shy of 2 turnovers per game. They’ll meet a game Waggener squad that they beat 37-20 in mid-October. Broyles threw for 226 yards and ran for 125 in that contest. Waggener has lost four straight, but was competitive in most of them, with three decided by 12 or less and the 17 point loss to Franklin County the only outlier. They have almost a 50/50 split in terms of passing/rushing, but like Franklin County they rely heavily on their QB. Alijah Sickles has 1,593 yards passing and 645 yards rushing, leading the team in both aspects. The Wildcats allowed no less than 26 points in any of their five losses, and held four of their five opponents in their wins to ten points or less. They will have to find a way to slow down Franklin County’s attack to have a realistic shot. Central, the defending 3A state champions, fell to the #2 seed with their loss to Franklin County, but are still formidable. They are known for their “Dark Side” defense, they have shut out three opponents this year and held three others to 14 points or less. But scoring has proven challenging at times too, as they’ve had six games of 14 points or less as well. Dayshawn Mucker virtually is the offense, with 240 rushes for 1,238 yards and 11 touchdowns this season. He has 74% of their rushing total this season and 52% of all offense for the team. The team has forced 22 turnovers, with an impressive 16 interceptions. They have returned three interceptions and one fumble for scores. Their margin of error is going to be very thin because of their extreme reliance on defense, but no team in the district managed more than 14 points against them – if they can score at all, they have a real shot. They won 14-0 against their first round opponent Shelby County, in a game where Dayshawn Mucker had 26 rushes for 134 yards and a score and Shelby County was held to 131 yards of offense. That was the last game Shelby County lost, and they enter on a three-game winning streak, and winners of five of their last seven. It’s easy to see why Central is a bad matchup for them – they almost exclusively run the ball, with 2,417 rushing yards and just 381 yards passing on the season. That sort of one-dimensional offense doesn’t work well against Central. Anthony Bradford leads the team with 683 yards rushing and 13 scores, averaging over 7 yards per carry. That dropped to 28 yards on 10 attempts against Central in their first matchup. Projected District Final: Franklin County 14 Central 6 District 5 It’s not an argument that most would entertain, but there is an argument to be made that Boyle County is the best team in the entire state, regardless of class. They’re averaging 50.7 PPG while allowing only 9.7 PPG. Only two teams all season long have scored more than 13 points against them, and in those two games the Rebels dropped 71 and 64 points. Boyle County has won 35 of their last 36 games and didn’t have a game all year closer than 30 points. They have been purely and simply dominant. QB Reed Lanter has completed 73% of his passes for 2,000 yards through 9 games, throwing only one interception against 24 touchdowns. WR Reese Smith has caught only 36 passes, but has turned that into 1,043 yards and 14 touchdowns. That’s a touchdown on just barely every 1.5 catches. No player had more than 500 yards rushing on the season, but the team has put together 1,569 yards on the ground through a diverse rushing attack. Will McDaniel leads the way with 62 rushes for 488 yards and 9 scores. Defensively, they have forced 16 turnovers and returned three for scores. They are an overwhelming favorite in the district and likely only Johnson Central is a team that can conceivably challenge them classwide. They’ll open with Anderson County, who they torched for a 52-7 result on October 18th. Lexington Catholic is the only other team that could conceivably pull a miracle in the district. They fell 64-28 to Boyle County on October 11th, but have otherwise proven their mettle against a difficult schedule to finish 6-4. Those losses include a 39-38 loss to CovCath, 42-31 to Frederick Douglass (who had allowed only 14 points on the season), and 43-42 to Lexington Christian. The Knights can typically score with anyone, but they have also allowed 31.4 PPG. QB Beau Allen is a Mr. Football candidate, possibly the frontrunner. He is 196/285 and 3,025 yards on the season, with 33 touchdowns against just 4 INTs. He also leads the team with 403 yards rushing and 9 scores. He has a pair of 800+ yard receivers in Jackson Corbett (60 receptions, 1,021 yards) and Blake Busson (42 receptions, 874 yards). If they were in virtually any district other than this and perhaps Johnson Central’s, they’d be at worst co-favorites. But it is hard to see them as anything but drawing dead against Boyle County in a final. They open with Bourbon County, who they beat 48-15 on October 18th. Projected District Final: Boyle County 55 Lexington Catholic 21 District 6 Like District 3 on the western half, District 6 in the eastern half is rather overlooked. No team is ranked in this district, and they overturned what we thought we knew when Holmes pulled a surprising 50-38 win on the road against Scott on October 25th to take the #1 seed. Scott had entered that game 6-2 and had blown out their district opponents, while Holmes had nearly lost to Harrison County the week before. Tayquan Calloway was huge in that game, with three touchdowns on 14 rushing attempts for 203 yards and a pick-six – one of two pick-sixes for the Bulldogs. Holmes is 7-3 and winners of five in a row, scoring a combined 103 points in their last two games. Tayquan Calloway has 1,034 yards rushing on the season while brother Quantez has 911 yards passing on 54 completions. The Bulldogs are a run-first team, accounting for 64% of their production on the ground. They’ll open with Harrison County, who despite their 4-6 record lost only 8-7 to Holmes on October 18th. Harrison County opened that game with a score and led 7-0 at the half. Holmes did not take the lead until a Calloway pass to Tate on 4th down for their only score of the game. QB Tyler Hudgins has completed only 16 passes all season – the team has rushed for nearly 2,000 yards on the ground. Expect them to run and try to control possession during this one. They have won only two of their previous seven games, and one of those was a 20-17 win over Boyd County that ultimately put them in the postseason. Meanwhile Scott has been licking their wounds since the loss, falling to Dixie Heights a week later to limp into the postseason on a two game losing streak. Quincy Perrin is the start of their offensive attack, rushing 128 times for 1,129 yards and 17 scores. He had 252 yards and four scores on just 16 rushes when they met first round opponent Rowan County in September, keying them in a 54-28 victory. QB Gus Howlett turned in a good performance in that game, going 14/20 for 192 yards and 3 touchdown passes. Scott’s challenge will not be looking ahead to a potential rematch and taking Rowan County for granted. But if they get to that game against Holmes, they should feel confident that if they can take care of the ball better than they did in the first matchup that their offense should be able to carry the day. Projected District Final: Scott 42 Holmes 28 District 7 This district came down to the last week of district play and indeed, the closing seconds of play. Wayne County trailed 16-15 against Corbin with less than a minute left, and lined up to go for two and the district #1 seed. They didn’t get it. Forced to onside kick, they made the most of that opportunity, recovering the ball, driving the field, and kicking a field goal for the win. That win was part of a seven game winning streak entering the postseason, with a 35-27 decision against Pulaski County their only loss on the year. QB Brody Weaver has put up solid numbers with 1,253 yards passing and 14 touchdowns, but he has been called on much less this season that last, when he attempted 6 more passes per game. That’s because RB Braedon Sloan has stepped up to fuel the offense. Sloan has piled up 1,752 yards on 159 rushes, and has 29 scores on the ground. He is also the team’s leading receiver with 413 yards on 17 receptions, with six scores. He was already a 1,000 yard back from the previous season, but he has amped it up to another level. The Cardinals are averaging 46 PPG and have scored less than 41 points only twice – the Corbin game and Pulaski County game. The Cardinals have dropped only two home contests since 2015, and will have the benefit of the first two rounds at home. They’ll open with Lincoln County, who they topped 55-21 on October 11th. Naturally, Corbin is the team that would be expected to seriously challenge Wayne County. Corbin hasn’t closed particularly strong, dropping four of seven games, but has the postseason pedigree, going to the state finals in 3A a season ago. Three of their four losses have come by two points or less, and as detailed before, the margin against Wayne County could scarcely have been closer. The Redhounds score just over 25 PPG while allowing 20 PPG, so they don’t often have room for error. Cameron Combs leads the balanced offensive attack, with 1,076 yards passing and 239 yards on the ground. Nick Yeager leads the team with 639 yards rushing and 8 scores while Jacob Steely serves as the go-to receiver with 38 catches for 568 yards and five scores. The team has forced ten turnovers with 29 tackles for loss on the year, led by Austin Lewis’s 56 total tackles, 2 sacks, and 1 TFL. They open with Knox Central, who they knocked off by a 38-21 margin on October 11th. That marked their season high score as they racked up 420 yards of offense. Combs threw for a touchdown and ran for two more in that contest. Knox Central started the year with two “quality losses” against Ashland and Bell County, then knocked off Southwestern before promptly losing five games in a row. Their 34-33 OT victory over Lincoln County moved them into the 3 seed to match up with Corbin, but this likely remains a rebuilding year for last year’s state semifinalists. Projected District Final: Wayne County 21 Corbin 13 District 8 Johnson Central has made the state finals in each of the last four seasons, winning one title during that span. While Boyle County has a theoretical peer in Lexington Catholic, Johnson Central has no such peer in what will almost certainly be two blowout rounds against their district mates. The Golden Eagles have numbers almost as gaudy as Boyle County. Their 10.1 PPG allowed to competition is second behind only Boyle County, as are their 46.9 PPG scored. They haven’t allowed more than 16 points against a Kentucky team – only South Charleston (WV) scored more in a 59-29 blowout – and they have held five opponents to less than ten points. They completed their first unbeaten regular season since 2014 after several near misses in the previous four seasons. Their closest margin of victory in district play was 43 points, in a 49-6 win over Perry County Central. Their first-round opponent is Letcher County Central, who they beat 48-0 on the road two weeks ago. By virtue of their RPI, they won’t have to travel away from home for any of the first four rounds of the playoffs, and they haven’t lost at home to a Kentucky team since 2016. The table is set up well for the Golden Eagles, aside from more difficult games in the region final and state semifinal rounds than Boyle County will face. The Golden Eagles do what they normally do, run first, run later, run some more, and then, when you least expect it….. run again. Devin Johnson has 1,074 yards on just 92 rushes for a ridiculous 11.7 YPC, and has 12 scores on the ground. Three other Johnson Central players have 470 yards or more – Bryce Tackett (63/491/7), Cody Rice (59/487/10), and Riley Preece (48/471/11). QB Riley Preece is averaging nearly a first down every carry himself, and has added 711 yards on 26 completions for 12 touchdowns in those extremely rare occasions that they throw the ball. The team has forced 19 turnovers, and Preece shines there too. He has three INTs, and took two of them to the house. Both Cody Rice and Hunter McCloud had two INTs, and they housed all of them. There is no dark horse to this district – Johnson Central will win it. Their district final will be against either Harlan County or Clay County. Harlan County earned the two seed with a 21-7 win over Clay County on September 27th. They have a 7-3 record, and are led by Ben Landis with 122 rushes for 784 yards and 10 scores. Like Johnson Central, they very rarely pass it, with 319 rushing attempts against 54 passing attempts on the season. They attempted only five passes in their first game against Clay County, but rolled to 301 rushing yards in the game, with Landis putting up 151 yards and 2 TDs. Clay County has won four in a row entering the postseason en route to a 7-3 record, a turnaround that hasn’t been noticed much thanks to their prominent district mate. It’s their first winning record since 2010, and they are seeking their first postseason win since that year. Chandler Hibbard is one of the top rushers in the state, with 1,711 yards rushing on 231 attempts with 12 touchdowns, and he went for over 100 in their first matchup with Harlan County. Projected District Final: Johnson Central 56 Harlan County 7 Projecting beyond this isn’t as easy as it was before the RPI, but these are our predictions based on projected results and the matchups those RPIs would create. Projected Region Final Districts 1-4 RPI #1 vs. RPI #4: Franklin County 42 Franklin-Simpson 21 Projected Region Final Districts 1-4 RPI #2 vs. RPI #3: Madisonville-North Hopkins 49 Moore 14 Projected Region Final Districts 5-8 RPI #1 vs. RPI #4: Boyle County 56 Scott 14 Projected Region Final Districts 5-8 RPI #2 vs. RPI #3: Johnson Central 28 Wayne County 14 Projected State Semifinal Remaining RPI #1 vs. RPI #4: Boyle County 49 Madisonville-North Hopkins 20 Projected State Semifinal Remaining RPI #2 vs. RPI #3: Johnson Central 49 Franklin County 28 Projected 4A State Final: Boyle County 35 Johnson Central 21
  19. District 1 #4 Fort Campbell Falcons (1-9) at #1 Mayfield Cardinals (9-1) Previous Meeting: Mayfield 42-0 on 9/27 Let's not waste words on this one. The Falcons are just happy to be here after winning their way in against Ballard Memorial, but this one is going to be over early. The Cardinals have their eyes on greater things and should be able to impose their will from the jump in all disciplines. Prediction: Mayfield 49 Fort Campbell 0 #3 Murray Tigers (7-3) at #2 Caldwell County Tigers (8-2) Previous Meeting: Caldwell County 42-40 on 10/18 The first meeting of these two teams was one of the best match-ups featuring two teams in Class 2A as the back and forth tussle came down to the very end. Murray may not be with their star QB Hunter Utley who was superb in the previous meeting before getting injured the next week versus Mayfield. Without Utley the Caldwell County Tigers are certainly the team to beat. Prediction: Caldwell County 36 Murray 28 District 1 Championship Projected District 1 Championship: #2 Caldwell County at #1 Mayfield Previous Meeting: Mayfield 45-7 on 10/4 District Championship Prediction: Mayfield 42 Caldwell County 20 District 2 #4 Todd County Central Rebels (6-4) at #1 Owensboro Catholic Aces (8-2) Previous Meeting: Owensboro Catholic 48-24 on 9/27 When these two teams collided in September, Todd Central entered on their highest water mark and played with great confidence early. Ultimately, Owensboro Catholic just had way too many weapons and pulled away. The Rebels have had some confidence bruisers along the way and although O'Cath enters still smarting from a rough loss to Apollo, the Aces should take care of business here. Prediction: Owensboro Catholic 56 Todd Central 14 #3 Hancock County Hornets (3-7) at #2 McLean County Cougars (6-4) Previous Meeting: McLean County 34-13 on 10/25 McLean County has turned their season into a solid showing very quietly and enter November with wins in 6 of their last 7 games. The Cougars three headed rushing attack has found their footing and will continue to propel them in Round 1 against a Hancock County team seemingly going the wrong way. It may not be Halloween anymore, but Andrew Munster will be mashing the Hornets. Prediction: McLean County 40 Hancock County 14 District 2 Championship Projected District 2 Championship: #2 McLean County at #1 Owensboro Catholic Previous Meeting: Owensboro Catholic 55-21 on 10/4 District Championship Prediction: Owensboro Catholic 48 McLean County 28 District 3 #4 Green County Dragons (1-9) at #1 Edmonson County Wildcats (4-6) Previous Meeting: Edmonson County 39-8 on 10/18 In the wild and dramatic District 3, it was Edmonson County who came out on top. The Wildcats had a shocking loss to Metcalfe County but outside of that went undefeated against the other teams. QB Jon Smith may have a plain name, but it will be his skill-set that determines how far the Wildcats go. Expect Smith to take care of business against Green County. The Wildcats simply are the better team. Prediction: Edmonson County 33 Green County 6 #3 Clinton County Bulldogs (6-3) at #2 Monroe County Falcons (5-5) Previous Meeting: Monroe County 28-14 on 9/20 Monroe County really wishes they could have October 3rd back. The Falcons laid an egg against Edmonson County and the game wound up being much worse than it should have been. Since that night the Falcons have played pretty good football and seem to have found a nice offensive rhythm. The receivers have really started to develop timing with QB Curtis Petett and it should give them enough to overcome a pretty stout challenge from Clinton County. Prediction: Monroe County 28 Clinton County 20 District 3 Championship Projected District 3 Championship: #2 Monroe County at #1 Edmonson County Previous Meeting: Edmonson County 33-0 on 10/3 District Championship Prediction: Monroe County 28 Edmonson County 26 District 4 #4 Washington County Commanders (5-5) at #1 Lexington Christian Academy Eagles (9-1) Previous Meeting: LCA 36-0 on 10/11 LCA may be one of the hottest teams in Kentucky. After losing in Week 2 at Belfry, the Eagles have been flying high and lighting up the scoreboard in the process. LCA boasts the top overall seed in the RPI and have homefield advantage at their disposal. The Commanders have great pieces, but a brutal schedule has taken the wind out of their sails as they enter November. Perhaps no team wishes the old system still existed more than Washington County, as a sweep of District 3 would be a real possibility if so. Prediction: Lexington Christian Academy 42 Washington County 6 #3 Danville Admirals (3-6) at #2 Somerset Briarjumpers (9-1) Previous Meeting: Somerset 40-21 on 10/11 Is this a trap game? Somerset has been one of the elite teams in Class 2A all season and are entering the playoffs as a top threat to take home the Title. Well... if they can avenge their loss to LCA and win District 4. Danville may be the most improved team in Class 2A from the start of September until now as their young team is getting battle hardened each week. This is a game Somerset needs to play in the present instead of looking forward to what may come in Round 2. If Somerset stays to task they win. Prediction: Somerset 38 Danville 20 District 4 Championship Projected District 4 Championship: #2 Somerset at #1 Lexington Christian Academy Previous Meeting: LCA 35-24 on 10/18 District Championship Prediction: Somerset 34 Lexington Christian Academy 28 District 5 #4 Gallatin County Wildcats (1-9) at #1 Walton-Verona Bearcats (6-4) Previous Meeting: Walton-Verona 48-0 on 9/27 Walton-Verona is the clear cut above in this District and have been in recent years as well. Gallatin County just do not have the horses in their barn to match up at the line of scrimmage and will struggle to stop the Bearcats' "ground and pound". Prediction: Walton-Verona 42 Gallatin County 0 #3 Owen County Rebels (3-7) at #2 Carroll County Panthers (7-3) Previous Meeting: Carroll County 48-18 on 10/18 Carroll County is quietly 7-3 and have done a very good job of navigating their light schedule. Dual-Threat QB Andre Mumphrey has been consistently solid all season and in the previous meeting he orchestrated a game-plan that resulted in three Panthers rushing for over 100 yards. Owen County should be able to keep this within reach through the first 3/4 of the game, but expect Carroll to simply deliver too many body blows to a Rebel team lacking depth. Prediction: Carroll County 38 Owen County 14 District 5 Championship Projected District 5 Championship: #2 Carroll County at #1 Walton-Verona Previous Meeting: Walton-Verona 33-14 on 10/4 District Championship Prediction: Walton-Verona 28 Carroll County 14 District 6 #4 Covington Holy Cross Indians (2-8) at #1 Beechwood Tigers (5-5) Previous Meeting: Beechwood 68-6 on 10/11 Of all the First Round mis-matches, no team probably welcomes the opportunity more than Beechwood. The Tigers used the first meeting to springboard their offense and carry them with newfound confidence through District play after sputtering all season. Beechwood took a tough luck loss in the season finale to 1A Newport Central Catholic in a game where old habits reared their head. The Tigers need to get back to feeling good about themselves against the porous Holy Cross defense. Prediction: Beechwood 56 Covington Holy Cross 13 #3 Newport Wildcats (7-3) at #2 Lloyd Memorial Juggernauts (6-4) Previous Meeting: Lloyd Memorial 26-7 on 10/11 The first meeting ended up being a three score margin, but it was a nip and tuck affair until the 4th Quarter. The Juggernauts made the big plays and just seemed to be the more battle tested team. Kaleal Davis was rendered to being a non-factor while Lloyd RB Jacob Davidson ground out yardage and key scores. The Wildcats have the luxury of a Week 11 BYE entering this game while Lloyd took a tough loss in a physical game against a stout 3A Elizabethtown. Call me crazy, but in a Class where First Round upsets seem unlikely, this might be a shocker. Prediction: Newport 20 Lloyd Memorial 16 District 6 Championship Projected District 6 Championship: #3 Newport at #1 Beechwood Previous Meeting: Beechwood 38-0 on 10/25 District Championship Prediction: Beechwood 37 Newport 6 District 7 #4 Knott County Central Patriots (2-8) at #1 Breathitt County Bobcats (10-0) Previous Meeting: Breathitt County 56-8 on 10/18 Welcome to the Breathitt County Sacrificial District. Much like the regular season where it was seldom seen a game where Breathitt did not have the game firmly in hand by the end of the 1st quarter, expect more of the same for the first two rounds. The Bobcats will begin their tour of terror by over matching Knott Central. Prediction: Breathitt County 54 Knott Central 6 #3 Leslie County Eagles (5-4) at #2 Middlesboro Yellowjackets (7-3) Previous Meeting: Middlesboro 28-27 on 10/4 This should be a fun game for an opener. The Yellowjackets were a single point better in Hyden the first go round in what has proven to be a watershed for a Middlesboro team who had lost a ton of games in recent years. Leslie County has the ability to win this game, but with the battlefield set for Middlesboro, this will be a tough task for the Eagles. Prediction: Middlesboro 36 Leslie County 28 District 7 Championship Projected District 7 Championship: #2 Middlesboro at #1 Breathitt County Previous Meeting: Breathitt County 57-7 on 9/27 District Championship Prediction: Breathitt County 56 Middlesboro 14 District 8 #4 Bath County Wildcats (4-6) at #1 West Carter Comets (7-3) Previous Meeting: West Carter 26-6 on 10/4 The two class droppers had different fortunes in their inaugural 2A campaigns. West Carter rode their defense to the top seed following the regular season as Bath County's defense never could get them enough stops. The Comets are a bit of a sleep team if they can continue to win against their District foes. If they compete like they did against 3A Russell in their season finale they may be in position to surprise someone. Prediction: West Carter 33 Bath County 0 #3 Martin County Cardinals (7-3) at #2 Shelby Valley Wildcats (8-2) Previous Meeting: Shelby Valley 41-12 on 10/11 Regardless of the outcome it has been a feel good type of season for the boys from Inez. Martin County dropped to 2A and exceeded expectations en route to a winning season. Unfortunately, they just don't match up well with the bigger and more physical Wildcats and the yard churning offense it creates. Shelby Valley has a chip on their shoulder after getting embarrassed by West Carter and should take care of business here. Prediction: Shelby Valley 46 Martin County 20 District 8 Championship Projected District 8 Championship: #2 Shelby Valley at #1 West Carter Previous Meeting: West Carter 33-7 on 9/27 District Championship Prediction: West Carter 20 Shelby Valley 7 Projected Remaining Teams- West (Round 3 Projections): (4) Monroe County- 0.45121 at (1) Mayfield- 0.75316 (3) Owensboro Catholic- 0.64483 at (2) Somerset- 0.75279 Projected Remaining Teams- East (Round 3 Projections): (4) Walton-Verona- 0.54003 at (1) Breathitt County- 0.65959 (3) West Carter- 0.58113 at (2) Beechwood- 0.62970
  20. It has became customary that any time our regular season ends, so too will the Eastern Kentucky Power Rankings. At this time we do a FULL ranking of all the teams covered in Eastern Kentucky and also hand out some superlatives. 1. Johnson Central Golden Eagles (4A, 10-0)- If there was any doubt, let it be gone. Johnson Central handed Belfry the worst loss they ever sustained at CAM Stadium and made a statement that they are the class of EKY. 2. Pikeville Panthers (1A, 10-0)- The Panthers take the title as the top small school team after obliterating a team ranked as high as #1 in Virginia Class 2A. 3. Bell County Bobcats (3A, 10-0)- The Bobcats polish off a perfect regular season and set their sights on going after a 3A Title. Simply put, despite the perfect season so far their schedule simply is not near where the top two teams are. 4. Belfry Pirates (3A, 6-3)- The Pirates were humbled in their season finale but great things are still possible in Class 3A with a mediocre field at best competing for the crown. The Pirates need to regroup and hope for some favorable playoff match-ups. 5. Ashland Tomcats (3A, 8-2)- Ashland had a chance to make a big statement against Spring Valley heading into November and instead had the statement made against them. The Tomcats need to calibrate and hope the RPI hit doesn't come back to haunt them. 6. Somerset Briarjumpers (2A, 9-1)- Somerset squeaked past Corbin and can lay claim to being the best team in the Southern Kentucky/Lake Cumberland region. The Briarjumpers need to focus on Danville and Round 1, but the huge rematch with LCA looms in Round 2. 7. Wayne County Cardinals (4A, 8-1)-Wayne County has had a monster season, especially on the offensive side. This trend continued against North Laurel and now they enter the post-season red hot and ready to make a run. 8. Breathitt County Bobcats (2A, 10-0)- Breathitt polished off the perfect regular season with a beneficial win against Pike Central. Between the victory and a Beechwood loss, the Bobcats now will have a favorable path to the Semi-Finals. 9. Corbin Redhounds (4A, 5-4)- Corbin has had some rotten luck. The Redhounds have lost three of their four games by a combined 4 points, as Somerset handed them their latest defeat. Corbin still has the ability to go deep into November, but they need to do it all on the road starting in Round 2. 10. Russell Red Devils (3A, 8-2)- Russell wasn't exactly in Championship form, but they were able to fend off upset-minded West Carter to lock up the regular season and potentially a Third Round home game if they can beat Ashland in Round 2. 11. Paintsville Tigers (1A, 7-3)- The Tigers had a tough schedule and emerged from it in decent shape, although they took one on the chin in the finale versus the top ranked 2A team. Paintsville's motive is simple, but can anyone catch Pikeville? 12. Raceland Rams (1A, 6-4)- Raceland put a hurting on Lawrence County and now head into November looking to create some chaos. The Rams are a tough team, but have an uphill battle with plenty of road games ahead. 13. Whitley County Colonels (5A, 7-3)- Whitley County won a battle of defense to jump Hazard and improve their standing. The Colonels are playing very good football and have won five straight after their 2-3 start. 14. Pulaski County Maroons (5A, 7-3)- Pulaski is in a tough spot and after back to back losses and a key injury they will need to circle the wagons in a hurry or else Round 2 may be their last. 15. Hazard Bulldogs (1A, 6-4)- The schedule has finally caught up to Hazard as the Bulldogs have dropped three of their last five with the latest being Whitley County. Hazard suddenly has went from one of the most trendy teams in EKY to a team who will be be a surprise to see make a deep run. The Top 25 Remainder: 16. Harlan County Black Bears (4A, 7-3) 17. Williamsburg Yellowjackets (1A, 8-2) 18. Fleming County Panthers (3A, 8-2) 19. East Carter Raiders (3A, 7-3) 20. West Carter Comets (2A, 7-3) 21. North Laurel Jaguars (5A, 5-5) 22. Southwestern Warriors (5A, 5-5) 23. Rockcastle County Rockets (3A, 7-3) 24. Rowan County Vikings (4A, 6-4) 25. Knox Central Panthers (4A, 3-7) The Rest: 26. Shelby Valley Wildcats (2A, 8-2) 27. Pike Central Hawks (3A, 7-3) 28. Greenup County Musketeers (3A, 4-6) 29. Mason County Royals (3A, 5-5) 30. Clay County Tigers (4A, 7-3) 31. Martin County Cardinals (2A, 7-3) 32. Middlesboro Yellowjackets (2A, 7-3) 33. Pineville Mountain Lions (1A, 8-2) 34. Casey County Rebels (3A, 5-5) 35. Nicholas County Blue Jackets (1A, 7-3) 36. Leslie County Eagles (2A, 5-4) 37. Letcher Central Cougars (4A, 4-6) 38. Estill County Engineers (3A, 5-5) 39. Montgomery County Indians (5A, 3-7) 40. Lynn Camp Wildcats (1A, 4-5) 41. Boyd County Lions (4A, 1-9) 42. Bath County Wildcats (2A, 4-6) 43. Lawrence County Bulldogs (3A, 4-6) 44. Floyd Central Jaguars (3A, 3-7) 45. Magoffin County Hornets (3A, 3-7) 46. Phelps Hornets (1A, 4-6) 47. South Laurel Cardinals (5A, 2-8) 48. Prestonsburg Blackcats (2A, 2-8) 49. Powell County Pirates (3A, 3-7) 50. Perry Central Commodores (4A, 1-9) 51. Betsy Layne Bobcats (1A, 4-6) 52. Fairview Eagles (1A, 3-6) 53. East Ridge Warriors (2A, 1-9) 54. Knott County Central Patriots (2A, 2-8) 55. McCreary Central Raiders (3A, 1-9) 56. Jackson County Generals (3A, 2-8) 57. Harlan Green Dragons (1A, 1-9) 58. Morgan County Cougars (2A, 0-10) 59. Lewis County Lions (3A, 0-10) Small School Superlatives (Classes 1A-3A) Small School Coach of the Year Larry French, Middlesboro Small School Offensive Player of the Year RB C.A. Collins, Breathitt County Small School Defensive Player of the Year DB Gunnur Lewis, Raceland Small School MVP QB Dalton Ponder, Williamsburg Large School Superlatives (Classes 4A & 5A) Large School Coach of the Year: Michael Sizemore, Clay County Large School Offensive Player of the Year: RB Braedon Sloan, Wayne County Large School Defensive Player of the Year: LB Devin Johnson, Johnson Central Large School MVP: QB/DB Riley Preece, Johnson Central
  21. How We Got Here: Mayfield 58 Edmonson County 14- There was no phase of the game that Edmonson County was expected to be able to outshine the Cardinals, and that played out to form as Mayfield made short work of an outgunned Wildcat squad. Somerset 41 McLean County 6- Second verse, same as the first. McLean County put up a stronger resistance, but Somerset was just the supreme team in every discipline and made sure there was little doubt as they took down the Cougars. Kaiya Sheron was efficient, only mis-firing on two passes, and Kade Grundy was unstoppable. Breathitt County 57 Walton-Verona 28- After taking a 3-0 lead on their first possession, it seemed Walton-Verona may be up to the challenge of the mysterious Bobcats. That hope quickly faded as Breathitt exploded to a big lead led by their game-breaking ability of C.A. Collins. Walton-Verona was able to sustain success moving the ball, but Breathitt simply was too powerful. Beechwood 42 West Carter 7- The lone game that seemed to play out different than what was expected was Beechwood putting a dominating win on West Carter.It was a statement for the Tigers that they are peaking at the right time and their offense is starting to gel. Beechwood showed great balance by amassing over 350 total yards and the Tiger D stymied the Comet run game. The Semi-Finals: #4 Beechwood Tigers (8-5) at #1 Mayfield Cardinals (12-1) Three Keys: 1. Chunk vs. Change- The way these two teams make their hay on Offense is inherently a contrast. Beechwood relies on moving the sticks and wearing down the opposing Defense with body blows. Mayfield wants to hurt you with game changing big plays. The Cards have explosion all over the field and a QB who can set them up. Whoever can get the other off their mar will have a big advantage. 2. Make the Statement Immediately- The First Quarter may be as important as the 4th Quarter this week. With Beechwood making the long trek and both teams preferring to set the pace instead of being the team having to come from behind, the ability to set the table will be huge. Whichever team can best game-plan to exploit the other's weaknesses will be hard to catch if they can establish a lead. 3. Fail Forward- Mistakes will happen and errors will occur when you play a good football team and a great coaching staff who is specifically trying to force the issue. The key is not to let yourself get beat multiple times but instead to let the time you do get beat on a play to allow for a sharper counter punch later. Adjustments will be paramount, but adjustments and utilizing them at the right time may be a difference maker. Prediction: The real Beechwood is exactly what we all expected them to be entering the 2A scene. The Beechwood team who beat Corbin, destroyed West Carter, and defeated Newport and Lloyd 75-0 in successive weeks can play with Mayfield and even beat them. The problem is there is another Beechwood team that continues to show up. This team lost to Newport Central Catholic, got outgained significantly by Newport in the playoffs, and was a non-factor against Somerset. Mayfield needs to be Mayfield. If the real Beechwood shows up Mayfield can still win but it will be a battle, if the Cardinals take care of themselves they should be able to walk away from this game victorious. Don't let Beechwood have reason to step their game up, put the heat on them early and often. Mayfield 36 Beechwood 17 #3 Breathitt County Bobcats (13-0) at #2 Somerset Briarjumpers (12-1) Three Keys: 1. Who Has the Bigger Play? - Both teams have guys capable of taking it to the house on any given snap from any part of the field. Somerset's law firm of Sheron, Gilmore, and Grundy are a fly pattern away from six at any given flick of the wrist. C.A. Collins and Brandyn Slaughter need the slightest separation and they are going to make you pay. The team who best opens up opportunities for their stars to explode on the scene will be best served. 2. Experience vs. Expectation- Breathitt County is a confident team. There will be no wide eyes or contentment just being on the field Friday, Breathitt County expects to win. The position where confidence matters the most is QB, and this is probably the one spot with the greatest variation or unpredictability of what might happen. We know what Somerset is bringing to the table as Kaiya Sheron is a proven commodity as a Junior and has played in numerous big games. Jaylen Turner and Braxton O'Hara alone are a question as to who will have the ball in their hands when it matters, but neither has faced a team like Somerset.on defense. Will they sink or swim? 3. Break Out or Break Down- If you don't know who C.A. Collins is, it is time to learn. The Bobcat RB is a bonafide star and probably would be a 2000 yard rusher if he saw more Second Half action. This is the moment he has been waiting for all season. He finally sees a defense viewed as top tier and the pressure cannot be greater. Simply put Breathitt cannot win this game without Collins going off. If Collins leads Breathitt to a win his name immediately should rise in the All-State voters' ballots. Prediction: We still don't know who Breathitt is, but we are getting the picture and after this week we will know for sure. The Bobcats did prove they are a strong team by hammering Walton-Verona, but we still have not seen them play a team capable of beating them. Breathitt will enter with a fire in their belly and feeling dis-respected. Somerset has to know it is coming and have to be ready to rebound if Breathitt rides the momentum to an early lead. Somerset has been here before and knows what it takes to rally. Breathitt does not. If Somerset can pull ahead in the Second Half they will be hard to un-seat. Somerset 40 Breathitt County 28
  22. District 1: Mayfield 56 Fort Campbell 13 Reaction: It was business as usual for the Cardinals as they jumped out to an early lead and coasted to a running clock victory as expected. Mayfield should be well rested and ready for the District Championship. Murray 34 Caldwell County 17 Reaction: It was a masterful coaching performance from the Murray staff as they threw some key wrinkles and took advantage of the film from the previous meeting to completely change the outcome and the complexion. Rowdy Sokolowski did an exceptional job in place of Hunter Utley, with Tommy Waldrop continuing his monster season with 167 yards and 3 TD's. District 1 Championship: Murray at Mayfield Preview: The Tiger staff proved their mettle and now draw an even steeper hill to climb as they prepare for Mayfield. The Cardinals dominated every facet of the previous meeting and will enter as a substantial favorite playing at home. Any hope of a Murray upset hinges directly with their ability to slow down the Cardinal Offense. Murray not only needs to find a way to put the Cardinals behind the sticks, they need also to turn Mayfield over and that is something most teams have struggled to do. Murray has been able to play the Cards tighter than expected in November, but unless they can get some unexpected points gifted to them expect a Cardinal Victory Prediction: Mayfield 40 Murray 14 District 2: Owenboro Catholic 46 Todd Central 22 The Hartz/Edge dramatic duo did what we have become to expect of them. The two combined for a major statline as Hartz surpassed 300 yards passing and Edge accounted for nearly half of those yards while adding an Interception on defense as well. It was a concerning effort from the Aces' defense as Todd County rolled up over 300 yards rushing, though a good bit came with the game comfortably at hand. McLean County 36 Hancock County 8 The Cougar triple option proved too much for Hancock to handle. Landen Capps pased the Cougars as they jumped out to a comfortable Halftime lead and continued to grind out First Down and points while making the Hornets more one dimensional along the way. District 2 Championship: McLean County at Owensboro Catholic Preview: In a game featuring contrasting styles, it will be a matter of pride that McLean County's upset hopes hinge on. In the first meeting the Aces rolled up over 600 yards of total Offense as the Cougars had no answers whatsoever for any capacity of the OCath game plan. Simply put, McLean will not be able to "out-athlete" Catholic. The Cougars need to establish their ground and pound style and exploit a vulnerable Ace defense and keep the clock running and limit the number of possessions Hartz has to go to work. They need to keep everything in front of them and force the Aces to beat them by driving the football, also allowing over 100 rushing yards will be a killer. It is a tall task against one of Class 2A's top offensive teams, and one that would be a major upset if they can pull off. Prediction: Owensboro Catholic 48 McLean County 20 District 3: Edmonson County 45 Green County 18 The top-seeded Wildcats handled their business as expected against the one-win Dragons. The Wildcat offense may not be high powered like some of the top teams in 2A, but it is improving each week and this bodes well as they host Round 2. Clinton County 14 Monroe County 7 It was the Bulldog defense that ruled the cold night as they stepped up to avenge an earlier season defeat to Falcons and get the win on the road. Clinton County makes history with the win; this is their first ever playoff win and their first ever 2nd Round birth in program history. District 3 Championship: Clinton County at Edmonson County Preview: No game will resemble what we just previewed in District 2 less than what you can anticipate in Brownsville this week. The previous meeting was a defensive struggle on by the Wildcats 13-0, and with the stingy Clinton County defense and lack of Bulldog firepower, expect this one to hold similar form. The key play in the first game was a 85-yard scoring strike from Jon Smith to Isaiah Johnson. Expect this to be a similar recipe as both teams will most likely struggle to sustain traction when on offense, so a single big play may be the difference in a win or loss. Edmonson County is just a little better equipped to make this happen with Smith at QB and Matthew Shaw running the ball. With an anticipated low scoring game, an upset certainly is possible and with the way District 3 has went it might actually be expected at this point. Prediction: Edmonson County 19 Clinton County 6 District 4: Lexington Christian Academy 43 Washington County 14 The hard luck path for the Commanders continues as they just cannot escape being in Districts with the biggest heavyweights of Class 2A surrounding them. LCA checked all the boxes and kept this game comfortably in hand from the outset to set up the most anticipated 2nd Round game in 2A in quiet some time. Somerset 34 Danville 14 Danville battled valiantly, but Somerset just had way too many weapons. Somerset made it a point to establish their ground game as they ran the ball 31 times led by Freshman Jerrod Smith. Kaiya Sherron was not especially his sharpest, but he hit on numerous big plays as the Jumper play-makers helped them extend their lead and close it out. District 4 Championship: Somerset at Lexington Christian Academy Preview: Well this is what we all have been waiting on since the first one came to a conclusion. In the first meeting LCA really bothered Smoerset with edge pressure and exposed some weaknesses. In recent games the Jumpers have been working on counter punches to help alleviate this pressure, namely an increased focus on the interior run and a new focus on timing and intermediate passing as well as an increased role of throwing to backs in the flats. It is also worth noting that LCA had plenty of room for improvement themselves after somerset exposed them over the top several time and also really stymied the Eagle passing game. The winner of this game will be whoever self-scouted the best and can make necessary adjustments to pivot in the re-match. Dearious Smith was suspiciously quite in the first meeting and will need to be the X-factor this week for LCA. Conversely, the success the Jumpers have in the middle of the field with their interior run game and quick release passing game will be key to setting up the things they enjoy doing the most. At the end of the day, it seems everyone believes Somerset is the team to beat in the re-match and that makes me think LCA still has something left to show. Prediction: LCA 34 Somerset 28 District 5: Walton-Verona 41 Gallatin County 6 Nothing to see here. In a game featuring two mis-matched foes the better team won convincingly. Walton-Verona winning the First Round is now an expectation for their program. Owen County 39 Carroll County 22 Here is an under the radar First Round surprise. The Rebels complete a 47-point turnaround from their 30-point loss in the regular season. Matthew Young had one of the best playoff performances for a single Half as you will find in Owen County's history. The Senior scored 5 TD's as the Rebs jumped out to an early lead and polished off the mild upset. District 5 Championship: Owen County at Walton-Verona Preview: For Owen County this is a pleasant surprise, but rest assured the Rebels should not just rest on their laurels as Walton-Verona is far from a Leviathan than cannot be toppled. It will be a very tall task, the Bearcats simply do not lose District games under Coach Barth. The road map for an upset is similar to what they did against Carroll County. Get early momentum and an early lead of multiple scores and force the extremely ground heavy Bearcats to feel the pressure of a ticking clock in the Second Half and hopefully make them try things they are not accustomed to. Unfortunately for Owen County, Walton-Verona is a better team on defense and less likely to help the Rebels out with unforced errors. This one may be interesting for a while as momentum and optimism fuels Owen County, but in the end Walton-Verona is just a better class of team. Prediction: Walton-Verona 46 Owen County 18 District 6 Beechwood 63 Covington Holy Cross 0 Much like the first meeting, the perfect prescription for an out of sync Beechwood offense is a very thin Holy Cross defense. The Tigers rolled with ease and got any and everything they wanted. Hopefully this serves as a confidence booster like the first outcome did. Newport 28 Lloyd Memorial 16 Newport relied on the big play and a pesky defense to avenge their earlier loss this season and take down the Juggernauts. Kaleal Davis did his best "Most Interesting Man in the World" impression. He may only complete five passes but when he does, they go for TD's! Thre eof his five completions found the endzone and he added a team high 57 rushing yards and another score. The Wildcats also picked off four passes (Davis also had one of those for good measure) as their Defense simply shut down Lloyd. District 6 Championship: Newport at Beechwood Preview: This is a tricky game for Beechwood. The Tigers rolled Newport in the previous meeting and they should be a noted favorite for a reason. With that said, there is minimal room for error on the Beechwood front. The Tigers may enter with a bit of fool's gold and Newport certainly is a tram than can make this game ugly and has just enough athleticism to pop a random big play in a close game. It will be very easy for Beechwood to start "RPI watching" and planning who they will be hosting for Round 3, but with the Tigers' struggles to maintain consistency they need to simply stay focus on the task at hand and eliminate nay hopes of a Newport upset from the jump. This may be feast or famine. If Beechwood leads by two scores in the First Half they should be too hard to catch, but if this one is ugly the Wildcats may shock Class 2A. Prediction: Beechwood 26 Newport 6 District 7: Breathitt County 48 Knott Central 6 Noone expected this to be close and noone felt surprised when Breathitt put this away early and locked in cruise control. The Bobcats simply are two steps ahead of every other team in their District. Middlesboro 57 Leslie County 22 Jabari Kyle is one of the best players in Class 2A you are not familiar with. He single handily took control of the game with six TD's, an Interception, and an on-side kick recovery as Middlesboro left little doubt and eliminated the Eagles. District 7 Championship: Middlesboro at Breathitt County Preview: The good news for Midddlesboro is things can't get much worse than what happened when Breathitt won 57-7 and forced four turnovers. Middlesboro met a buzzsaw that night and though their odds of winning certainly do not look good, expect a better showing as Coach French will make some tweaks. Expect more creative ways to get the ball in Jabari Kyle's hands this go around and with that, a reduced risk of turnover which caused the first game to snowball. Breathitt can use a little more competition as well, but at the end of the day they are the supreme team and should be able to take this comfortably. Prediction: Breathitt County 56 Middlesboro 20 District 8: West Carter 36 Bath County 0 The Comets' Defense is their calling card and a shutout to open the playoffs is exactly what they wanted to see. The Comets gave up negative rushing yards and Leetavious Cline paced the O. Shelby Valley 41 Martin County 24 The Wildcats only attempted one pass and rolled up 447 rushing yards as they simply dominated Martin County at the line of scrimmage. The Cats have some reckoning with West Carter as they feel the first meeting was not an indication of how close these two teams are. District 8 Championship: Shelby Valley at West Carter Preview: Irresistible force meets immovable object. It is the Shelby Valley rushing game against the West Carter rush defense. The first game when the Comets' way as they did not stonewall Shelby Valley, but did get the key stops and Cline ran wild himself. This game will be won on First Down. The team that can consistently stay ahead of the sticks and impose their will ultimately will also have the best chance to open up a big play when the opponent is left stuck on their heels. For Shelby Valley, Dalton Meade has to play the game of his life and find explosive plays. The Comets have seen other teams with equal or better talent and that will prove fruitful. Shelby Valley will tighten the screws on this one and tighten the margin in the process, but expect the Comet Defense to come thru in the clutch. Prediction: West Carter 28 Shelby Valley 20
  23. 1) 5A Covington Catholic (10-0) – 1992, 2017, 2018, 2019. Those are the four times the Colonels’ football program has chalked up “10-0”. Cov Cath finished out their third straight undefeated regular season on Friday by beating 5A Conner 45-7 to take first place in 5A district 5. The Colonels came out and scored quickly, but things escalated quickly late in the 2Q after Conner’s lone TD brought the score to 24-7 with 2:18 to go in the half, only to have Cov Cath change that to a 45-7 running clock with less than 10 seconds left in the half. QB Caleb Jacob was 13-21 passing for 305yds and 4 TDs. RB Michael Boydston ran 6 times for 40yds and 2 TDs. WR Ethan Reardon had 4 receptions for 119yds and 2 TDs, and TE Michael Mayer had 5 receptions for 148yds and 2 TDs. Mayer also had 4 tackles, a forced fumble, and an interception on the defensive side of the ball, and Owen Nally & David Brunson both led the defense with 5 tackles a piece. Cov Cath has their bye week this week before starting their 5A playoff run at home on Friday against Cooper (5-5). The Colonels previously beat the Jaguars 45-6 on September 27. 2) 6A Simon Kenton (6-3) – The Pioneers have won three straight, with their latest win coming in last Friday in a 44-14 victory over 6A Ryle (5-5), giving Simon Kenton the undisputed 6A district 6 title. Freshman QB Chase Crone had his biggest passing game yet, going 17-29 for 279yds, 3 TDs, and 1 INT. He was also the teams #2 rusher in the game, with 11 carries for 91yds and 2 TDs. RB Austin Hammack had 129yds on 20 carries, good for the team’s remaining TD. The defense also provided 2 points in the game on a sack by DL Jack Milton, good for a safety. LB Nate Walker and LB Aric Hoffman both had 9 tackles a piece to lead the defensive effort, and LB Luke Huesman had 8 tackles in the game. Simon Kenton will be wrapping up their regular season in Morrow, OH on Friday against the OH-DII Little Miami Panthers (7-2). 3) 5A Highlands (6-4) – The Birds wrapped up their regular season on Friday with their 4th and final district matchup, beating 5A Cooper (5-5) in Union. Highlands’ offense may have been outgained by Cooper’s, but they were tops on the scoreboard, winning the game 14-7. Their passing was minimal in the game, with QB Collin Hollingsworth going 2-8 in the air for 6yds. Both of the Bluebird touchdowns came via RB Sawyer Depp, who rushed 12 times for 128yds and 2 TDs. RB Joe Buten also provided 76yds on his 16 carries. Defensive stats have not been reported for the game. Highlands will have this week off before returning to action next Friday for a rematch in the 1st round of the playoffs against Conner (7-2) who previously beat the Birds 20-17 on October 4. 4) Conner (7-2) – Things didn’t go how the Cougars would have liked them to on Friday. After showing some fight and resolve early in the 2nd quarter against Covington Catholic (10-0), things came apart for Conner, with the final score ending up at 45-7 in the Colonels’ favor. QB Jared Hicks had a solid game, despite the loss, going 18-25 passing for 170yds, and rushing 6 times for 24yds and 1 TD. WR Colton Roy led the offense in yardage with 67yds on 6 receptions, and WR Caleb Ervin was second with 5 receptions good for 56yds. Parker Hitzfield led the defense with 9 tackles, and Drew Cobble, Caleb Ervin, Frankie Salzarulo and Clayton Melcher each had 4 tackles a piece. The Cougars will be wrapping up their regular season at home on senior night against 6A George Rogers Clark (5-4). 5) 6A Ryle (5-5) – Ryle finished up their regular season on Friday with a 44-14 loss to 6A Simon Kenton (6-3), giving the Raiders the #2 spot in 6A district 6. QB Keegan Stanken was 16-28 by air in the game, good for 157yds and 1 INT. RB Kyle England led the offense with 137yds on his 17 carries, good for both of Ryle’s touchdowns. WR Ryan Planck had 4 receptions good for 40yds, WR Will Watkins had 37yds on 2 receptions, and WR Leonel Galan had 4 receptions for 36yds. DB Mathias Cusick and DB Johnathan Coker each tallies 13 tackles a piece, LB Max Hungler had 8 tackles, and DE Noah Duke had 7 tackles and a fumble recovery. The Raiders will also be taking a week off from football action before returning for their first round playoff rematch against Dixie Heights (3-6). Ryle previously beat Dixie 13-8 on October 18. 6) 2A Beechwood (5-4) – Things are finally looking solid for Beechwood, with the team improving to a winning record on Friday thanks to a 38-0 shutout over 2A Newport (7-3). The Tigers were 3-0 against their competition in 2A district 6, and beat the district opposition by a total combined score of 143-6. It was a relatively quiet passing game on Friday, with QB Cam Hergott going 12-18 in the air good for 90yds. Hergott also led the team rushing with 58yds on 10 carries, good for 2 TDs. RB Avery Courtney also rushed 9 times for 31yds and 1 TD, and RB Cole Stammer rushed 8 times for 28yds and 2 TDs. The top receiving performances came from WR Brady Moore and WR Mason Williams, who had 5 receptions for 41yds and 4 receptions for 25yds, respectively. DE Gage Dollenmeyer logged 2 fumble recoveries and sack in the game, DL Carter Noah had a sack, and DL Xavier Campbell also scooped up a fumble. Beehcwood will wrap up their regular season at home on senior night against 1A Newport Central Catholic (7-2). 7) 5A Cooper (5-5) – Cooper finished their regular season in frustrating fashion on Friday, losing 14-7 to district competitor Highlands (6-4), and doing so despite outgaining the Birds’ offense 264-204. QB Drew Warth was 20-38 passing on the night, good for 165yds. Unfortunately it was the field possession achieved by 3 interceptions that game Highlands the offensive advantage to win the game. RB Anthony Witschey rushed 20 times for 76yds, and WR/RB Jeremiah Lee rushed 9 times for 25yds and a TD in addition to his 7 receptions good for 53yds. Freshman WR Zion Mason had 64yds on his 6 receptions, and also had an interception for the Jaguars from his spot in the defensive backfield. LB Joe Poage led the defense with 12 tackles, DB Chester Hale had 8 tackles, and LB Ethan Bosway had 7 tackles. Cooper is one of several teams around NKY with a bye week this week, and the Jags will be back on the game field in Park Hills for the first round of 5A playoffs taking on the Covington Catholic Colonels (10-0) again. Cooper previously lost to Cov Cath 45-6 back on September 27. 8) 1A Newport Central Catholic (7-2) – The Thoroughbreds finished up their district run on Friday by beating 1A Bellevue (2-7) with a 50-7 final score. Much like Beechwood, New Cath was 3-0 over their district opponents, thumping the rest of 1A district 4 with a combined score of 148-17. QB Paul Kremer was 15-18 passing for 201yds and 1 TD, and backup QB Dom Morgan was 2-2 passing for 55yds and 1 TD. WR Caleb Jefferson had 6 receptions for 110yds, while WR Preston Baggett had 55yds and 1 TD on his 2 receptions, and WR Cody Mueller had 40yds and 1 TD on his 3 receptions. RB Jahmir Ackerson led the running game with 6 carries for 85yds and 1 TD, and rushing TDs were also scored by Joey Runyon, Joe Doeker, Landen Davis, and Luke Landrum. Daniel Craig had 5 tackles from his spot at linebacker, and defensive backs Joe Doeker & Justin Schneider each had 4 tackles. New Cath will wrap up their regular season on Friday in Fort Mitchell against 1A Beechwood (5-4). 9) Dixie Heights (3-6) – The Colonels notched their third win of the season on Friday, beating 6A Campbell County (0-9) to claim the #3 spot in 6A district 6. QB Logan Landers was 12-21 passing in the game, for 133yds and 1 TD, and also led the team in rushing with 91yds on his 7 carries. RB Leon Marshall tallied 82yds and 3 TDs on his 16 carries, and the remaining touchdown on the ground came thanks to a 4yd carry by FB Cayden Anderson. WR Kel Hawkins had 4 receptions for 49yds and 1 TD, and WR Jacob Iames had 4 receptions for 44yds. LB Colin Smith, S Pierce Rohlman, DE Zach Ernst, LB Cayden Anderson, and Dl Rhys Brown each had 5 tackles a piece, and LB Bradyen Wulfeck had 4 tackles. Rohlman also had an interception, while Wulfeck picked off another pass and returned it 65yds for Dixie’s remaining touchdown in the game. The Colonels will finish off their regular season at home on Friday against 4A Scott (6-3). 10) 4A Holmes (6-3) – The Bulldogs pulled of one of the biggest wins in recent memory on Friday, upsetting 4A Scott (6-3) 58-38 to win 4A district 6. It’s the first district championship for Holmes since 2010, and their first win over the Eagles since 2012. QB Quantez Calloway was 6-10 passing in the game for 123yds, 1 TD and 1 INT, and he also ran the ball 15 times for 78yds and 1 TD. Caloway’s twin brother Tayquan led the offense with 203yds on 14 carries, good for 3 more TDs. WR Tyelon Tate had 4 receptions in the game, good for 110 of their 123 yards through the air, as well as the team’s one touchdown passing. DL Damarcus Winn and DB Daylan Griffin both recovered fumbles in the game, while DL Damario Foster and DB Tayquan Calloway both had pick-six interceptions. The Dawgs will wrap up their regular season in Bellevue on Friday against the 1A Tigers (2-7). TRENDING UP 2A Walton-Verona (6-3) – The Bearcats got off to a rocky 2-3 start this season, but they’ve managed to put together 4 straight wins in recent weeks to finish 4-0 in district competition. Their latest win was a 42-0 victory over 2A Shawnee (0-8). 4A Holmes (6-3) – The Bulldogs are currently enjoying season under Ben Nevels who is in his 7th season as head coach. And they have reason to celebrate, after pulling off a 58-38 upset of 4A Scott (6-3) on Friday to win the district 5A Covington Catholic (10-0) – I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the Colonels' roll through a third straight 10-0 regular season. Cov Cath's latest win came in the style of a 45-7 first-half running clock victory over 5A Conner (7-2) on Friday to clinch the district title. TRENDING DOWN 1A Dayton (4-5) – The Greendevils continued a backward slide on Friday with a disappointing loss to district competitor 1A Ludlow (6-3). Despite fighting back in the 3Q to briefly take a lead in the game, Dayton lost 54-46. It’s been good to see some real fight out of the Greendevils this season, though. 2A Gallatin County (1-8) – It hasn’t been very pretty for the Wildcats this season. Despite coming off a big win over 2A Shawnee (0-8), Gallatin County lost big on Friday in a 54-0 shellacking at the hands of 2A Carroll County (6-3). 5A Cooper (5-5) – The Jaguars ended their regular at the .500 mark on Friday with a disappointing loss to 5A Highlands (6-4) to finish off things at the bottom of their 5A district. GAME OF THE WEEK (RESULTS): WEEK 9 5A Covington Catholic vs. 5A Conner 2019 has seen Conner enjoying one of their better seasons in recent years, heading into their Week 9 match-up with Cov Cath with a 7-1 record and a shot at the district title. The Colonels had other things in mind though, heading into Hebron and quickly going up 21-0 in the 1Q. Conner cut the Cov Cath lead to 17 with a late 2Q touchdown, bringing the score to 24-7 with 2:18 left in the half, only to have the Colonels score a TD 7 plays later, followed by a Conner fumble on the first play after the kickoff leading to a 1-play TD for Cov Cath, a quick 3-and-out for Conner, and yet another Colonel TD with seconds left to make the score 45-7 going into the half. That would stand as the final score in the contest, with Cov Cath heading home with the #1 spot in the district and Conner claiming #2. GAME OF THE WEEK: WEEK 10 1A Beechwood vs. 2A Newport Central Catholic With both schools’ standing among the “old guard” of northern Kentucky football programs, it’s somewhat surprising that they’ve only met on the football field 42 times in as many years. The record between the two stands at 28 wins to 14 in the favor of Beechwood, and in the last 10 years, the record has similarly stood at 7 wins to 3 in the favor of the Tigers. This year is primed as well as any for New Cath to notch their next win over Beechwood.
  24. This week was the week we finalized all the district seedings in 4A – well, outside of District 1 at least. Most notably, there were three districts that would be decided with head to head matchups for the outright #1 seed, two of which featured a pair of top ten teams. #5 Corbin entered their game with #6 Wayne County with several things appearing in their favor. They were the home team, the higher-ranked team, and they hadn’t lost a district game in six years – 27 straight district wins. But as I noted last week, they felt a bit like the underdog despite that. Wayne County had the longer winning streak, the better record, and had seemed to have less trouble with their fellow district teams. A steady, pouring rain greeted the two teams, and neither were able to get anything going in the first quarter. Wayne County struck first on a Radilla field goal in the opening minutes of the second quarter, and the back and forth that would last the rest of the night began. The Cardinals made the lead stand up for almost 8 minutes before Cameron Combs found Jake Steely for a 79 yard touchdown to give Corbin a 7-3 lead they’d take to half. Halfway through the third quarter stud RB Braedon Sloan put Wayne County back ahead 9-7, but the try was no good. That allowed Corbin to go back ahead 10-9 with a field goal, taking that lead into the fourth. Combs pushed the lead to 16-9 with a one yard rush, but the try was missed. That set the stage for a wild final minute. First, Brody Weaver found Carson Simpson for a 22 yard touchdown pass to make it 16-15 Corbin with 53 seconds left. Wayne County decided to play for the win, going for two – but the Redhounds stood strong and the try failed. With the game seemingly sealed, Wayne County lined up for an onside kick, and improbably, recovered it with 51 seconds left. After moving swiftly downfield, Radilla put through his second field goal of the game to give the Cardinals an 18-16 win, ending Corbin’s district reign – at least until they likely meet in the second round. Braedon Sloan had 207 yards on 38 rushes to lead the Cardinals in the win. Cameron Combs and Jacob Steely drove the offense for Corbin. Combs was efficient, completing only 5 of his 10 pass attempts, but thanks in part to the long touchdown completion, he put up 165 yards on those completions. Steely hauled in four catches for 149 yards. The result means Wayne County will host Lincoln County when the first round begins in two weeks - who they knocked off 55-21 on the road two weeks ago – while Corbin gets the more difficult task in taking on a Knox Central team they beat 38-21. Meanwhile, in Louisville, the #10 Central Yellow Jackets were looking to close out their regular season with a five game winning streak and a #1 seed as they hosted the undefeated #3 Franklin County Flyers. The Flyers came into the game averaging 45.625 PPG, while Central had allowed only 106 points all season – an average of 11.77 PPG. It was a true matchup of strength against strength, and ultimately, the defense won out with only 394 yards of offense combined between the teams, even though that didn’t lead to the team known for their defense winning. Central started fast, using only two plays and 31 seconds to cover 54 yards, capped by a Mucker 12 yard run to put Central up 6-0. The PAT failed, an even that would prove significant. That was all the scoring for the first quarter, but the Flyers would find paydirt when they started at the Central 15 yard line three minutes into the second quarter. The “drive” lasted 3 plays and 49 seconds, as Nick Broyles found Braedyn Tracy for a 15 yard score, putting the Flyers ahead for what would ultimately be for good, 7-6. As time expired on the half, Broyles found Fred Farrier for a 28 yard score and it was 14-6 at the half. That was the score entering the fourth quarter as neither team could move the ball in the third. A Deondre Howard interception set up Central for their final scoring drive, as the Yellow Jackets would use 10 plays to drive from their own 45, with Hathaway punching in for a 1 yard score at the 5:21 mark of the fourth quarter. Mucker would attempt a rush for the game-tying two point attempt – necessitated by the earlier PAT miss – but it was no good. After forcing a stop, Central’s last chance was ended by a Gavin Hurst INT, and Franklin County’s undefeated season carried on. The Flyers are used to a lot more points and yardage, but were led by Broyles’ 129 passing yards on 11 completions. Fred Farrier was his top target with 5 catches for 67 yards. Central actually outgained Franklin County, led by Dayshawn Mucker’s 137 yards on 33 attempts, but it ultimately wasn’t enough. It was the sixth time this year that Central was held to 14 points or less – they’re just 1-5 in those games. Franklin County will host Waggener in two weeks for the first round of the playoffs. Franklin County defeated them 37-20 on October 18th. Meanwhile Central will host Shelby County, which clinched the #3 seed with a 34-26 defeat of Waggener on Friday. Central survived a tough test on the road at Shelby County on October 4th, with their 14-0 win being the one win out of the six games of 14 points or under I mentioned above. Decidedly less-heralded was the final winner-take-all head to head matchup between Scott and Holmes. Scott entered as a team that had flown under the radar while putting up a quietly impressive 6-2 record entering the game, and had rolled through district play with an average margin of victory of nearly 27 points per game. Holmes had enjoyed a more modest 13.67 margin, and had just the week before survived an 8-7 result against a Harrison County team Scott had dominated. I made no bones about it last week who I thought was going to win this one, but that’s why they play the games. Scott’s Quincy Perrin and Holmes’ Tayquan Calloway were the stars of the early going, as Perrin had a pair of touchdowns including a 57 yarder, while Calloway was impressive on both sides of the ball, sprinting for a 51 yard score and then hauling in a 71 yard pick-six. The two teams traded blows in the first half, with Holmes holding a narrow 16-14 advantage at the break, before Scott took the lead 22-16 to open the third. And at that point, Holmes seized complete control of the game. The Bulldogs posted 28 points in a row over the next quarter and a half to take a 44-22 lead with just 5 minutes remaining in the game. They were almost all big plays, as Calloway scored on an 82 yard run, Tyelon Tate hauled in a 97 yard back-breaking score from Quantez Calloway, and Demario Foster gave Holmes their second pick-six of the night with a 22 yard INT return. Scott managed to battle to a 44-36 margin after a touchdown pass, onside kick, and Perrin run, but after a failed attempt on another onside kick, Tayquan Calloway iced the win for Holmes with a 37 yard touchdown run. Tayquan Calloway finished with what may be the top performance in the state for the week, with 203 yards on 14 rushing attempts and three scores, in addition to his 71 yard pick-six, and another INT for good measure. Scott got standout performances from Quincy Perrin (203 yards on 25 rushes, 3 TDs), Cameron Patterson (180 yards on 6 receptions, 1 TD), and Gus Howlett (16/35, 324 yards, 2 TDs), but it ultimately was not enough. For Holmes, it gave them their first top seed since 2010, though they’ll tangle with the same Harrison County team they had just survived. Scott will match up with Rowan County, who they beat 54-28 in the last week of September. Other games of Note: -#1 Boyle County and #2 Johnson Central both made it official in blowout victories, scoring the top seed in their district via a 53-13 win over Bourbon County and 48-0 win over Letcher County Central, respectively. There still hasn’t been a single 4A team that has shown they can play with these two. -#8 Hopkinsville and #9 Logan County also locked in the three-way tiebreak in District 1 with their 55-13 win over Hopkins County Central and 46-7 win over Calloway County, respectively. Logan County still maintains the tiebreak lead with 14 points, and unless Madisonville-North Hopkins beats Mayfield or Hopkinsville beats Paducah Tilghman, they will likely get the coveted #1 seed. Madisonville can probably grab that top seed with their win, but Hopkinsville would probably still need help from Kenwood (TN) to be able to overtake Logan County. In one week, we’ll know. -Franklin-Simpson clinched their spot atop District 2 with a thoroughly dominating 48-21 win over Warren East. The Wildcats have now won five in a row, which was expected after their tough early schedule. The win over Warren East is probably their most impressive yet, as they posted 435 yards of offense, with 381 on the ground. The Wildcats are getting healthier, but they still will face an uphill climb back to the state finals. Upcoming Game of the Week Everyone is playing out of class this week, and in the top 10, we have an impressive six games against teams that are ranked from other classes. #2 Johnson Central against 3A #2 Belfry has the marquee rankings, but this feels like another year where Johnson Central should have the game in hand. The first meeting between #4 Lexington Catholic and 5A #2 Frederick Douglass should be a big ticket, even if it feels likely that Frederick Douglass will likely have the win. At the very least Lexington Catholic should be able to put an end to the astounding seven game scoreless streak Frederick Douglass has put on their opponents. All of the matchups between District 1 teams and their opponents carry great significance thanks to the tiebreaker, as #9 Logan County visits 5A #5 South Warren, #7 Madisonville-North Hopkins hosts 2A #3 Mayfield, and #8 Hopkinsville hosts 3A #10 Paducah Tilghman. It is that last one that I am going with this week for the GotW. The Tigers badly need a win to have a realistic shot at hosting a playoff game, possibly working themselves into the top spot. Of the three games featuring District 1 teams, I consider this the most realistic shot at a win, though none are favored. But add to that, these two are rivals on a historic scale. We’re talking decades worth of games. The old Western Kentucky Conference rivals aren’t in the same district or even class as they were for some many years, so it is nice to see a game of importance between the two, even if it is mostly on Hopkinsville’s side. The Tigers knocked off Tilghman 16-9 two years ago, but the Blue Tornado came back in a big way last year with a 47-13 win.
  25. 1) 5A Covington Catholic (8-0) – The Colonels accomplished quite a few tasks on Friday with their 27-7 victory over OH-DII LaSalle (6-1). First, they managed to maintain a now 28-game regular season win streak by beating a team ranked nationally in the top 100 teams by most national polls. Second, they ticked off their 4th ever win against a GCL South team in one of their most marquee regular season wins in program history. And third, they successfully completed a third-straight regular season of being undefeated at home. QB Caleb Jacob was 12-24 passing for 199yds in the game against a LaSalle defense, stacked with D1 college talent. TE Michael Mayer led the receiving corps with 6 receptions for 97yds, and RB Daniel Felix led the rushing attack with 15 carries for 80yds and 2 TDs. The remaining offensive TD was on a 2yd punch-in by Caleb Jacob. Mayer also led the defense from his position at linebacker, with 12 tackles including 2 for losses, a forced fumble, and a 45yd pick-6. The Colonels will take on their biggest rival, 5A Highlands (5-3) in their third district contest tonight in Ft. Thomas. 2) Conner (7-1) – The Cougars continued an undefeated streak in district competition on Friday with a 35-29 win over 5A Cooper (4-4). Conner eclipsed the Jags in offensive yards 424 to 244 despite the 6pt win margin. QB Jared Hicks was stellar, going 14-24 passing for 303yds and 2 TDs, and rushing 13 times for 52yds and 2 more TDs. RB Douglas Abdon didn’t have any TDs in the game, but led the offense in rushing with 62yds on 13 carries. WR Justin Daniels led the receiving corps with 145yds on 6 receptions, WR Colton Roy had 3 catches for 92yds and 1 TD, and WR Caleb Ervin had 4 receptions for 60yds and 1 TD. The remaining TD was scored defensively by Cody Crawford who scooped up a fumble for an 18yd TD. DL Matthew Kerr led the defense with an incredible 24 tackles, and LB Parker Hitzfield had 13 tackles in the game. The Cougars have this week off before returning to action on October 25th against 5A Covington Catholic (8-0). 3) 5A Highlands (5-3) – For a second time this season, the Birds rebounded from a frustrating loss by taking out those frustrations on the next week’s team. Highlands hung a 49-0 shutout loss on district competitor 5A Boone County (2-6). QB Collin Hollingsworth was 7-10 passing for 103yds and 3 TDs, and rushed for another 8yds. WR Adam Weyer led the receivers with 47yds on 2 receptions, WRs Hunter Ahlfeld, Jacob Brass, and Brycen Huddleston all hauled in TD receptions. And yes, you heard that right, Brycen Huddleston was on offense – and he scored. RB Sawyer Depp had 6 carries in the game for 136yds and 2 TDs, RB Griffin Richter had 14 carries for 103yds and 1 TD, and QB Jake Falhbusch had 3 rushes for 14yds and 1 TD. LB Brennan Haigis, DB Max Guetle, and DL Zach Lewin each had 4 tackles a piece to lead the team’s defensive front. The Birds will host their big regular season rivalry game tonight against 5A Covington Catholic (8-0). 4) 6A Simon Kenton (4-3) –The Pioneers continue to win every-other game, and finished their first district battle on Friday with a 43-27 win over 6A Dixie Heights (2-5). QB Chase Crone was 19-33 passing in the game for 241yds, 3 TDs and 1 INT. WR Erik Brown led in receiving with 8 receptions for 105yds, Caleb Livers had 4 receptions for 46yds and 1 TD, Trey Little had 2 receptions for 20yds and 1 TD, and RB Austin Hammack had 1 catch for a 34yd TD. Hammack also led the team in rushing with 15 carries fir 90yds and 1 TD. QB Crone rushed 13 times for 88yds and a TD, and RB Quincy North had 11 carries for 59yds and 1 TD. DB Zack Koenes led the defense with 9 tackles, while DL Vuk Sajlovic and LB Aric Hoffman each had 7 tackles. DB Isaac Bleier ha 2 interceptions in the game in addition to his 4 tackles. Simon Kenton hosts their second district match-up against 6A Campbell County (0-7) tonight in Independence. 5) 6A Ryle (4-4) – The Raiders are back at the .500 mark after a 41-0 win over 6A Campbell County (0-7). Senior Keegan Stanken spent most of the game at QB, going 9-17 for 103yds and 1 TD. WR Lee Conner was the top receiver in yardage with 4 receptions for 37yds, and Will Watkins was 1yd behind him with 36yds on 2 receptions, good for 1 TD. RB Kyle England was a scoring machine, with 18 carries for 110yds and 4 TDs. The defense was able to capitalize on 4 fumbles, including 1 that was picked up by DB Max Hungler and returned 32yds for a Ryle TD. DB Luke Bradshaw led the defense with 7 tackles, while LB Dillon Talmon had 5 tackles, and DB Johnathan Coker and LB Jackson Belk each had 4 tackles. Ryle will face 6A Dixie Heights tonight in Edgewood in their second district game. 6) 2A Beechwood (3-4) – Beechwood finally seems to have exorcised some demons with the big win they’ve been looking for thus far in 2019. They did so with a huge 68-6 win over 2A district foe Holy Cross (2-5). QB Cam Hergott was 9-12 passing in the game for 174yds and 2 TDs, and he also rushed 5 times for 25yds and 1 TD. QB Jenson Linder also saw some time in the game and was 1-1 passing good for an 11yd TD. WR Mason Williams was the top receiver in the game with 2 receptions for 72yds and 1 TD. Nick Parton also had 2 receptions for 56yds and 1 TD, and Brady Moore had 2 receptions for 23yds and 1 TD. RB Avery Courtney led in rushing with 74yds on 7 carries for 1 TD, and RB Cole Stammer had 5 rushes for 25yds and 2 TDs. Stammer also added an interception on the defensive side of the ball, and Mason Williams had an interception that he returned 20yds for a Tigers touchdown. Beechwood will have their second district game tonight in Erlanger against 2A Lloyd Memorial (5-2). 7) 5A Cooper (4-3) – Cooper fought hard on Friday, but the Jags are back on the wrong side of .500 following a 35-29 district loss to 5A Conner. QB Drew Warth was 10-18 passing in the game, good for 122yds in the air and 1 TD. He also rushed 5 times for 13yds. RB Anthony Witschey led the team in offensive yardage and scored all of their offensive touchdowns, with 10 carries for 62yds and 2 TDs, and also led in receiving with his 1 catch for a 44yd touchdown. WR Jeremiah Lee scored the remaining touchdown for the Jags on a returned kickoff. Lee also forced a fumble on the defensive side of things, in addition to his 2 tackles, and the defense was led by DB Chester Hale with 9 tackles and LB Ethan Bosway with 8 tackles and 1 sack. 8) 1A Newport Central Catholic (4-2) – The Thoroughbreds had their first district game back in 1A on Friday, and started things off with a big 49-10 win over 1A Ludlow (4-3). QB Paul Kremer was nearly flawless going 11-12 passing for 137yds and 5 TDS, and backup QB Dom Morgan was 3-4 passing for 41yds and 1 TD. RB Jahmir Ackerson led the offense with 88yds on 9 carries, and the lone rushing touchdown was scored by RB Joe Doeker on a 1yd run. Doeker also had 2 pass receptions for 16yds and 1 TD, while WR Cody Mueller led in yardage with 46yds on 2 receptions and 1 TD, Tanner Daunt had 3 receptions for 42yds and 1 TD, Coy Hunt had 1 catch for a 32yd TD, and Caleb Jefferson had 3 receptions for 21yds and 2 TDs. Freshman DB Matthew Landrum and DB Justin Schneider each tallied an interception on defense. New Cath faces 1A Dayton (4-3) tonight in their second district match of the season. 9) 4A Scott (5-2) – No action for Scott this past week. The Eagles are on the road tonight for their 3rd district match-up of the season, this time against 4A Boyd County (1-6). 10) Lloyd Memorial (5-2) – The Juggernauts came back from their bye week last Friday and put another W in the books with a 26-7 win over 2A Newport (6-2) in their first district game of the season. QB Jacob Davidson was 8-13 passing on the night for 83yds, and rushed 20 times for 111yds and 3 TDs. RB Dakota Theil carried the ball 11 times, good for 74yds and the team’s remaining TD. WR Keesean Crim had 4 catches for 53yds, Trshawn Cody had 1 catch for 18yds, Dakota Theil had 1 catch for 10yds and Keion Alexander had 1 catch for 2yds. LB Isaac Abdon led the defense again in tackles with 8, and DB Tayvonne Coleman-Ewell had 5 tackles. Keesean Crim had 4 tackles and 2 INTs from his position at defensive back. Lloyd will have their big district game of the 2019 season against 2A Beechwood (3-4) tonight at home. TRENDING UP 2A Beechwood (3-4) – The Tigers got their second straight win on Friday with a 68-6 romp over 2A Holy Cross (2-5). 1A Bellevue (2-5) – The Tigers tallied their second win in three weeks, this time with a rivalry win on the road against 1A Dayton (4-3). TRENDING DOWN 5A Grant County (3-5) – The Braves dropped their third straight game on Friday and their second straight district game of the year, losing 56-0 to 5A Scott County (7-1). 6A Dixie Heights (2-5) – Friday sealed the deal, guaranteeing that the Colonels will have to go without a winning regular season for a 5th straight season after losing 43-27 to 6A Simon Kenton (4-3). GAME OF THE WEEK (RESULTS): WEEK 7 5A Conner vs. 5A Cooper The Cougars should have won this one big, by looking at the offensive yards in the game – nearly doubling the Jaguars in offensive yards. But a special teams touchdown kept Cooper in this one. Conner held on for a 35-29 win to keep their undefeated district record intact though. GAME OF THE WEEK: WEEK 8 5A Covington Catholic vs. 5A Highlands If this isn’t the game of the week in northern Kentucky, then what in the world is a “game of the week”? These two teams meet for a 52nd consecutive year as district competitors. The rivalry record heavily favors Highlands at 49 wins to 21 for Cov Cath, but the Colonels have won the last 4 games straight, with Colonels head coach Eddie Eviston currently holding a 4-2 record against Highlands. It’s a big night in Fort Thomas tonight.
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