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  1. It's the grudge match we all expected, meeting for the third straight year in the finals after splitting the previous two. These two teams have spent the entire year ranked #1 and #2. Franklin-Simpson is looking for back to back titles while Johnson Central is looking for their second title in their fourth straight title game appearance. The Golden Eagles have won 13 in a row, are undefeated against teams from Kentucky, and have not scored less than 50 points in the playoffs. Franklin-Simpson has won 11 in a row - their lone loss to an undefeated South Warren team that is in the 5A title game - but they have been pushed in the playoffs, winning a nail-biter 12-10 over Madisonville-North Hopkins in the region finals. Both of these teams have championship pedigrees. This is the title game we deserved. Who brings home the title?
  2. Franklin renews its oldest rivalry in the 75th meeting between the Wildcats and the Russellville Panthers. The two teams have met every year Franklin-Simpson has played football, though the series has not been as competitive recently. Franklin has won 23 of the last 28 meetings, including five in a row. The last competitive game was in 2014 (a 21-20 Franklin-Simpson victory), and this year looks to be a complete mismatch. The Wildcats have won six in a row and are 8-1 on the year with their lone loss coming to South Warren. They have put a running clock on their last three opponents. Russellville is just 4-5, and have only 31 players on their roster. With a loss here, they will have to win their region in order to avoid their first losing record in 14 years. How bad does this get?
  3. It was closer than Taylor County would have liked, but the Cardinals wrapped up their first district title in a decade with a 26-21 come from behind win over Mercer County. Taylor County trailed at the half, 14-6, but surged ahead with 20 straight points to win their fifth in a row. They close with a Marion County team that just had their playoff hopes ended in a 35-26 loss to East Jessamine, a team Taylor County shut out 34-0. This has all the makings of a blowout. Will it be?
  4. The Maroons took to the road to exorcise the demons of 2017, this time pulling out the narrow victory over a Logan County team that victimized them a year ago. With the win, Madisonville completed an unbeaten run in District 1, and they'll stay the heck away from Franklin-Simpson until the region finals. They enter at 6-2, and will take on a Christian County team that they haven't taken down since a 20-0 win in 2011. Christian County has stumbled to a 4-4 record, and their latest loss at home to Graves County condemned them to the 3 seed in their district. It'll earn them an early preview of their awful (read: INCREDIBLY difficult) district next season as they'll visit the loser of the South Warren/Bowling Green tilt in the first round. Last season they dominated the Maroons 49-12, but it'll be tough to match that. Can the Colonels slow the Maroons at all?
  5. The Panthers got their bell rung a bit bit Franklin County, losing to a Kentucky team for the first time this season, snapping a five game win streak, and pumping the breaks on them being the region favorites. They stay on the road this week to take on a Rockcastle County team that in theory remains in the hunt for the #1 seed. The Rockets could force a three-way tie atop the district with a win, but will settle into #3 with a loss. They won their last two games by a combined four points to stave off playoff elimination possibilities. Last season Knox laid a 31-8 beatdown on Rockcastle, and the 4-4 Rockets will not be the favorites here. Can they pull any tricks out at home?
  6. The back to back defending state champions of 4A open up their latest title defense with neighboring Greenwood. Franklin has faced off with the Gators for the last ten seasons, and have won three straight and five of six from Greenwood. The last two were particularly lopsided affairs, with the Wildcats winning by a combined 113-13 score. Greenwood is looking to rebound from a 2-9 campaign a season ago. Can Greenwood get back in the game or will Franklin-Simpson run away with this again?
  7. Moore got in some light work a week ago, moving to 5-1 with a 27-0 win over Valley that was stopped with more than 3 minutes left in the third quarter. That was their lone home game between August and mid-October, and it's back to the road for a Thursday showdown with Breckinridge County. Breckinridge is a respectable 3-3, and just grabbed a big win over Western that may just get them into the playoffs. They were winless a season ago - can they spoil Moore's district title aspirations or do we continue the march to an October 19th showdown with John Hardin?
  8. The Flyers successfully navigated their first big hurdle in District 4 with a road win at Shelby County last week, pulling out the victory 14-6. This week they take on a vastly different Collins team from the one that laid a 45-7 loss on them a year ago. Collins just got their first victory of the year, raising their record to 1-5 with a 34-14 win over Spencer County. Franklin County has never beaten Collins - if they can do it now then there's a good chance they'll already have realistically wrapped up a district title. Is this the year?
  9. #1 Johnson Central continues to roll, putting a running clock on Boyd County last week for their third straight 40+ point game. East Carter enters at 3-2 but having lost two straight, including allowing 61 to Greenup County a week ago. Last year Johnson Central cruised 59-0. How wide a margin this time?
  10. The Panthers remained unbeaten against in-state competition with a smooth 3 6-0 win on the road at Green County. A surging Russell County team awaits them in their district opener. The Lakers are 3-1, and starting to climb into the periphery of the 4A rankings. Last season the homestanding Lakers gave Knox Central all they wanted in a 34-27 Knox Central win. Will Knox be able to defend their home turf?
  11. The Cardinals did not get off to a good start to the post-Lorenzo Linsey era, beaten badly by 6A Frederick Douglass 48-10. The Broncos are a top notch program so the result was not surprising, but it's quite the comedown for a Wayne County team that went 12-2 a season ago. Brody Weaver completed almost as many passes to the Broncos (three) as to his own team (four). They'll visit a Pulaski County team that came to Monticello a season ago and barely fell in a tight 29-27 decision to Wayne. They are coming in off a 48-39 win over Clarksville Northwest. Wiley Cain was prolific in the win, going 27/39 for 305 yards and five touchdowns. Can Wayne County avoid their first 0-2 start since 2010?
  12. Franklin-Simpson opened their 4A title defense with a revenge win over Elizabethtown, 44-20. It was a turnaround from a 55-23 decision a year ago that saw the Wildcats embarrassed by a running clock. Meanwhile, Monroe County fell 34-20 to a Trigg County team they'd beaten by 18 a season ago. This appears to be a matchup between two teams moving in opposite directions from a game that Franklin already won 48-0 last season. Can we expect more of the same?
  13. This week the Golden Eagles begin their pursuit of a fourth straight title game appearance and second state championship after playing a scrimmage against Beechwood last week. Johnson Central was pushed in a 31-20 decision a year ago against Capital, but took their second straight season opener against Capital. In fact, Johnson Central hasn't lost a season opener since falling to Boyle County in 2010. Does the streak continue?
  14. Johnson Central hosts Greenup County in a district contest this Friday, entering the game on a five game winning streak. The Golden Eagles have yet to lose to a team from Kentucky, and haven't dropped a home game to an in-state team since 2016. They've been particularly hard on Greenup County, taking all nine contests against the Musketeers since they became district-mates in 2011. Greenup has a healthy 5-2 record and a win here would be a huge get for the program. Can they do anything to pull the upset?
  15. No team is really thrilled with a 1-2 record, but for Knox Central, they're on the exact same track they were on during last season's region runner-up finish. They opened 1-2, entering this week fresh off a two score loss to a strong Southwestern team. This year, it was a 34-20 loss to Southwestern in the Appalachian Bowl. The 2015 edition started 2-3 before going on a 6-1 run to reach the region finals. This year they'll host Harlan County, which is likewise 1-2, just as they were last year in this game. They too have played a bruising schedule, with road trips to Pulaski County and Belfry sandwiched around a home meet with Clay County. We at least know these teams have been tested in the fire. Who wins this test?
  16. Hoptown will complete their last tuneup prior to the only losable game they have left when they host Murray this week. Christian County looms on the horizon, and the Tigers will have to fight to keep their focus. Hopkinsville has yet to score less than 41 points so far this season, and they should have their way again with the 1-2 Murray Tigers. Murray enters off a 27-7 loss to Graves County, itself a victim of Hopkinsville's in the season opener. A 20 point loss to a team that Hopkinsville beat by 22 does not paint a pretty picture. Is there any hope for Murray?
  17. Wayne County finds themselves behind the 8 ball after a 41-34 OT loss to Rockcastle County snapped their five game winning streak a week ago. They jump right back into the fire against Knox Central (4-2-1), which hasn't lost since a 34-20 decision to Southwestern on September 2nd. A year ago the Panthers gave them a run for their money in the regular season matchup before a playoff blowout. Will they get revenge and send Wayne County reeling from being a top 3 team in the state to being #3 in their own district? Or will the Cards recover their footing?
  18. The Rock is back. Rockcastle got the emphatic statement win they needed in a 41-34 OT win over #2 Wayne County, and it put the Rockets in front in the district standings. Their only blemish on a 5-1 record was a 32-13 loss to 5A Pulaski County in mid-September. This week they travel to Russell County, which has lost 4 straight and is just 2-4 on the year. On paper, this looks like a mismatch, as it was a year ago in a 36-7 Rockcastle County win. Will this year be any different?
  19. The 2-0 Tigers will look to keep it rolling against local rival Fort Campbell this week, a rematch of last year's 50-7 drubbing by Hopkinsville. Hoptown's Jalen Johnson has thrown for 9 touchdowns in two games so far, with CJ Henangan posting 5 of those TD receptions in just 7 total catches. Meanwhile Fort Campbell's brutal schedule continues, which has already seen them play powers Mayfield and Russellville. They still have Christian County to walk into next week as well before they finally get to cool their heels. Will we see a repeat of last year's blowout?
  20. Knox Central fell 8-7 to Madison Central in their first game, a defensive struggle that saw the Panthers not even reach 200 yards of total offense. But, glass half full, last year, they lost 49-0 in Game 1 and then went on to make a statement in a win over Louisville Central in the second week. This year, they'll get Waggener, a 41-6 winner over Iroquois in Week 1. Can Knox Central get in the win column?
  21. This was the game that kicked off John Hardin's 7 game win streak a season ago, but the win streak has begun early this time, as the Bulldog defense stood tall and the offense did enough in a 14-7 win over Central Hardin. That snapped a two game losing streak to the Bruins for John Hardin, and it is a real lightning rod win over a program that had just taken South Warren to overtime. Meanwhile Meade County is still on a two game win streak thanks to an abrupt stoppage to their matchup with Bryan Station, in which they trail 7-6 in the second quarter. As of this posting, the Green Wave are still 2-2 on the year. They share two common opponents with John Hardin, but PRP provides the more accurate read. PRP beat John Hardin by 18, but dominated Meade County by 40. Foreshadowing?
  22. We covered it in the preview, but last season was a dream campaign for the Rockets, and a throwback to the glory days of the 80s. But with the high of that season, comes the reality of a myriad of departures. Malik Manica and Michael Perry were their best offensive and defensive weapons, and they were lost to graduation. So too were the majority of their offensive line. They'll feature a completely rebuilt offensive unit, and will be put to the test right away against Garrard County, which made them fight for every inch of a 31-30 win in the opener a season ago. Garrard County suffered some losses to graduation as well, but has a sizable line and a 1,000 yard back running behind it. Who wins this time around?
  23. The Wayne County Cardinals take on the Bryan Station Defenders out of 6A in the Roy Kidd Bowl this Saturday. Last year Wayne County started 2-2, but closed with nine straight wins before falling to Johnson Central in the state semis. One of those early losses was in this bowl to Madison Central. They'll step up in class again in this matchup - will the result be different this time?
  24. Franklin-Simpson was probably hoping for a more comfortable score in their opener against Portland (TN), but came away with a solid 23-14 victory. Caldwell County stayed neck and neck with Christian County, but missed a game-winning field goal attempt and fell to their larger opponent 23-21. Franklin-Simpson will be wanting to solidify their ranking while Caldwell looks to get in the winning column. Who takes it?
  25. Series History: First Meeting Series at McCracken County: First Meeting The nice thing about two 0-1 teams playing is that someone is going to put Week 1 behind them and come out feeling better. The bad thing is that the other team is going to find themselves looking into the abyss. For the Dragons this is the start of a four game odyssey as they hope and pray that their homefield will be finished with construction by late September. Both teams lost to ranked opponents in the Week 1 (McCracken County fell 21-7 at home to Paducah while Owensboro knocked off Warren Central 29-7 at WKU) - who ends up happier this week?
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