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KSR Covers Kentucky Preps
By Nick Roush on ©February 16th, 2017 @ 10:05pm
With only three seconds remaining and a two-point lead, it looked like LCA would walk away with a win on Senior Night. In the words of Lee Corso, “Not so fast my friend!”
Bryan Station’s Eric Boone took three dribbles and let it fly from just beyond half court. The buzzer rang just as it banked off the backboard and through the net.
Boone finished the game with 25 points and a one-point win over the Lexington foe.
By Trey Huntsman on ©February 01st, 2017 @ 9:45pm
Signing Day 2017 holds more for the University of Kentucky than ever before. Two in-state players are committed to UK in Walker Wood and Austin Dotson. The talent being in produced in Kentucky was at a high this season with nearly twenty players heading to FBS programs. Here is a recap of where the top talent in Kentucky is headed in 2017. (Note: some players will announce their intentions later on Signing Day. Stay tuned to this page for more updates. Send signing info of players to @TreyHuntsmanKSR)
University of Kentucky
- Austin Dotson, Belfry OT
- Walker Wood, Lafayette QB
University of Louisville
- Cole Bentley, Belfry OT
Western Kentucky University
The Toppers were hurt when Jeff Brohm headed to Purdue. You’ll see several former WKU commits down the page.
- Cole Spencer, Trinity OT
EKU picked up a very athletic group of in-state talent led by Cleasant and Horton. Adding several speedy receivers from across the Commonwealth didn’t hurt either.
- Sean Cleasant, Manual DT
- Rayquan Horton, Belfry DT
- Landon White, Madison Central K
- Alex Shelton, Covington Catholic LB
- Cameron Catron, Belfry WR
- Brian Smith, Male WR
- Jackson Beerman. Tates Creek WR
- Quinten Floyd, Bryan Station Wr/TE
- Graham Ashkettle, South Oldham OL
- Austin Daulton, Southwestern DT
- Trajon Bright, Mayfield RB
- Jordan Scott, Belfry OL
- Jacob Vance, North Oldham OL
- Kyree Hawkins, Fern Creek RB/SS
By Nick Roush on ©January 04th, 2017 @ 9:13pm
The WYMT Mountain Classic basketball tournament opened with a bang…from half-court.
Undefeated Harlan County was on the brink of losing their first game of the season. Trailing Cordia 55-57 with only seconds remaining, Cameron Carmical kept the Black Bears’ hopes for an undefeated season alive with a prayer.
Cameron Carmical’s (@CameronC4_) game-winner to beat Cordia in the first round of the Mountain Classic.
What a moment. pic.twitter.com/fBaFoGDOxF
— Jamie McCracken (@JamieWYMT) January 5, 2017
But did he get it off in time?
— Tanner Hesterberg (@TannerWYMT) January 5, 2017
Even if it was a hair of a second too late, Cordia can’t complain. When you hit a shot like that, you deserve to win.
UPDATE: Frederick Douglass High School reverses decision after petition, will not use ‘Stallions’ as mascot
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©January 03rd, 2017 @ 7:33pm
And now, an update on an earlier story that got you all in a tizzy: Frederick Douglass High School — the new high school in Lexington off Winchester Road — has decided to reverse its decision to make ‘Stallions’ their mascot after a petition claimed it was “inappropriate and sexist” for the school’s female sports team to play under that name. According to the Herald-Leader, the school will let its student body choose a new horse-themed mascot, and is retaining the colors (“Keeneland green” and orange) and mascot logo:
“Moving forward, we will keep the Keeneland green and orange colors and horse image in the school logo to pay homage to Lexington’s rich history in the horse industry, but we will allow the incoming students of Frederick Douglass High School to choose their mascot,” Caulk said in a statement late Tuesday. “We’ve already received suggestions of Thoroughbreds or Racers as possible alternatives to Stallions and we will solicit additional ideas from our students before they choose a horse-themed mascot grounded in the land’s equestrian heritage.”
Well, there you go. At least the students get to choose their new mascot going forward. May I suggest the Frederick Douglass American Pharaohs?
Of all the things to incite the anger from internet commenters, I didn’t think we’d start the year with high school mascot hot takes.
Yesterday Lexington’s new Frederick Douglass High School made a few big announcements about its athletic department. UK Quality Control coach Brian Landis was named the head football coach and the school’s mascot and color scheme were revealed. The Frederick Douglass Stallions will wear Keeneland Green and Orange.
Instant reaction from a normal person: “Of course they had to go with the Keeneland horse theme. The only thing missing is the checkerboard.” People are not happy about the nickname “Stallions,” but for a different reason.
Talking in technical terms, a stallion is an uncastrated male horse. The high school plans to use Stallions for all teams, meaning the girls’ programs will be represented by a male mascot, instead of a female alternative like “Fillies” or “Mares.”
I cannot even begin to comprehend the perspective of a teenage girl, but I bet most teenage girls would prefer not to be referred to as “uncastrated male horses.” Even though stallion is a ubiquitous, intimidating term, I understand the uproar.
I also understand why someone would choose Stallion over Mare. Few outside of the area wouldn’t know what a Mare is. Besides, when mascots are different for men’s and women’s sports, stuff gets stupid. The Butler Bearettes should simply be the Bears, not a made up word that sounds like something you put in your hair.
There’s no safe solution, so I ask one simple question: can we stop with the horse stuff?
Lexington’s new high school’s mascot will be the Stallions, new football head coach former UK assistant
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©January 02nd, 2017 @ 3:00pm
In November, it was announced that Lexington’s new high school on Winchester Road will be named Frederick Douglass High School, and today, we found out more about the new school, which will open in August. The mascot will be the Stallions, their colors “Keeneland green” and orange, and their new football coach Brian Landis, who spent this past year as a quality control assistant on the Kentucky football staff. Before coming to UK, Landis was an assistant at Eastern Kentucky University and Georgetown College.
Check out some pics of the Stallions’ new gear, courtesy of @HLPreps:
It was an incredible year in Kentucky for high school football. But after 15 weeks, it’s time to look back on the teams and players that made this season so spectacular. Here are the KSR Preps Awards for the 2016 season.
Team of the Year: Bowling Green Purples (15-0)- The 5A state champs wrapped up their fifth title in six years with a 70-22 win over Pulaski last week. BGHS pumped out five shutouts and allowed just over ten points per game in their historic season. The Purples averaged over 48 points per game on offense thanks to an elite trio of skill players. Clark Payne threw 44 touchdowns and only 4 picks while totaling 3,840 yards in a season where he rarely played in the fourth quarter. Mr. Football candidate Jamale Carothers had 38 total touchdowns as a senior and DeAngelo Wilson caught 16 touchdowns from Payne. The Purples now have the state’s longest winning streak at 27 games after winning back-to-back titles under Kevin Wallace. (Honorable mention: Belfry, Trinity)
Coach of the Year: John Hines, Pulaski County: This may not be the most popular pick in the state, but it’s the right one. Pulaski County lost perhaps the best QB in the state in Riley Hall last year, and had to prepare for a new look on offense in 2016. New QB Wiley Cain broke his collarbone in week one and Hines prepped tight end Matt Hendricks to start for the next six weeks. Hendricks posted a 4-1 record as a starter. Hines also lost running backs Jaylon Conwell and Cole Gates to injury before Conwell left the team, a former player was tragically killed as well as linebackers Konnor Hargis and Jaxon Morgan. This was all while starting safety and running back Jake New battled various injuries all season. Hines started the postseason with a sophomore QB, two defensive backs at running back, and a defensive that was banged up. The Maroons went all the way to the title game in 5A and beat Southwestern in the regional title. It could have been a broken season, but Hines kept the winning tradition going to reach four consecutive title games. (Honorable mention: Kevin Wallace, Stefan Lefors)
Player of the Year: Jake Johnson- Johnson is the most talented player in the state and can do things on a field I’ve never seen before. The senior wide receiver leaves Pulaski County as the KHSAA’s all-time leader in receptions and receiving yards and is the single season receptions leader as well. With a Pulaski team that saw nearly every one of their stars go down with injury, Johnson played through pain for 15 weeks to lead the Maroons to a state runner up trophy. Because his stats are so prolific, this graphic is all we can do to truly show how special Johnson was over the last four seasons.
Check out Jake Johnson’s Hudl if you want to be impressed. Count the amount of one handed snags in his profile.
(Honorable mention: Jamale Carothers, Walker Wood, Joe Jackson)
— Trey Huntsman (@TreyHuntsmanKSR) December 6, 2016
KSR Preps All-State Team
All stats, no recruiting stars.
OL: Cole Bentley (Belfry), Austin Dotson (Belfry), Colby McKee (Scott County), JeDrick Wills (Lafayette)
RB: Joe Jackson, Johnson Central (157 carries, 2,049 yards, 31 TD)
RB: Jamale Carothers, Bowling Green (181 carries, 1,410 yards, 27 TD, 45 catches, 884 yards, 11 TD)
RB: Kent Phelps, Paintsville ( 186 carries, 2,044 yards, 32 TD, Three Receiving TD)
WR: Jake Johnson, Pulaski County (139 catches, 1,701 yards, 18 TD)
WR: Jordan Gunter, Ballard (90 catches, 1,589 yards, 15 TD)
QB Clark Payne, Bowling Green (215/315, 3,840 yards, 44 TD, 4 INT, Three Rushing TD)
DB: Jake Johnson, Pulaski County (Nine INT, Two TD, Three FR, 32 tackles), Devin Varney, Belfry (Six INT, TD, Two FR, 47 tackles), CJ Hayes, South Warren (Five INT, Two TD, 25 tackles), Robert Sheffield, Male (Five INT, Two TD, 74 tackles)
LB Ricky Maxey, Pulaski County (184 tackles, 2 INT, 1 FR), Brian Carter, Simon Kenton (158 tackles, INT), Owen Finke, Holy Cross (101 tackles, Two INT, Three FR), Jackson Mobley, Pulaski County (138 tackles, INT, Six FR)
DL Rayquan Horton, Belfy (81 tackles, Two FR), Dalan Cofer, Bowling Green (101 tackles, 18 TFL, Nine sacks, 1 FF/FR), Austin Daulton, Southwestern (67 tackles, Two FR)
K: D.C Bowlin, Williamsburg (Nine Field Goals, 32 XP)
ST: Dmauriae VanCleave, Danville (Five Return Touchdowns)
Class Players of the Years
1A: Kent Phelps, Paintsville
2A: Trajon Bright, Mayfield
3A: WanDale Robinson, Western Hills
4A: Joe Jackson, Johnson Central
5A : Jake Johnson, Pulaski County
6A: Walker Wood, Lafayette
For more than a decade the state of Kentucky has failed to consistently produce high quality college basketball prospects. Now, the KHSAA is keeping one of their best college prospects on the sideline.
De’Von Cooper is a 6’4″ 3-star shooting guard who averaged 17.2 points and 4 rebounds per game as a sophomore at Waggener High School in 2014-15. Considered a top 300 player nationally, Cooper transferred to Findlay Prep. Now he wants to return to Waggener for his senior season but the KHSAA has denied his eligibility.
When people wonder why prep basketball has suffered in the state of Kentucky over the last 20 years, prep schools are the first to blame. Rajon Rondo and D’Angelo Russell are just two NBA players who left KHSAA basketball early for prep school. Now, the KHSAA is turning away potentially a Rondo or a Russell because he wants to play in his home state.
The KHSAA denied Cooper’s request to play because he must sit out a year after transferring. Somehow, returning from a prep school more than a thousand miles away is not an exemption in their rule book. The Courier-Journal reports Cooper has one more appeal left.
I understand giving consequences for a kid who left for prep school, then returned to play for a traditional power like Ballard or Scott County. Cooper is returning to the school he used to attend, Waggener; not exactly a traditional power. He simply wants to play for his school. Instead, they are not going to let him play basketball at all. It’s unfair to the kid, it’s unfair to the school and it’s weakening what used to be the KHSAA’s premiere product — basketball.
For those who don’t care about this topic at all, you should know that this could affect UK. Calipari needs a ton of guards in next year’s recruiting class. Cal could also use a few three or four-year players. Cooper is the kind of kid who could get hot at the end of the year, lead Waggener to the Sweet 16 and earn a scholarship to Kentucky. Many people thought Dunbar’s Taveion Hollingsworth would be that guy before he committed to WKU; Cooper is ranked two spots higher in the 247 Composite Rankings.
Unfortunately, Cooper may not get another chance to play high school basketball because the KHSAA can’t keep up with the times.
Kevin Wallace and the Bowling Green Purples won their fifth title in six years and sixth overall with a 70-22 win over Pulaski County on Sunday night. BGHS reeled off 48 unanswered points in the second half to win the 5A title game at WKU. Navy-commit Jamale Carothers totaled 239 total yards and five touchdowns to bring home MVP honors for the Purples. Mr. Football favorite Jake Johnson had ten catches and a touchdown to bring his season total to 139 catches and 20 total offensive scores.
Pulaski County hit BGHS in the mouth in the first half. Wiley Cain started 15/22 and Johnson had eight catches in the first half. The Maroons scored with 21 seconds remaining in the first half to tie the game at 22. The second half was all Bowling Green. The Purples scored 21 points in the fourth quarter before their offense even took the field and DeAngelo Wilson added two touchdowns on offense as Bowling Green ran away with a 70-22 win.
What Coach Wallace has built at BGHS is truly spectacular. Bowling Green now has five titles in six years and have only lost four times in that span. The Purples defense allowed less than ten points per game in 2016 while outscoring their opponents by 511 points over the course of the season. As a BGHS alum, I got to watch the run first hand and let me tell you, it has been fun. Carothers will be excellent at Navy and Clark Payne will be a stud QB at the next level.
A congratulations is in order for Pulaski County. I had the privilege to call Maroons’ Football this season in Somerset for iHeart Radio. The first thing I want to mention is about Jake Johnson. He is simply the best player in the state. I have taken friends and family to Somerset with me just to watch him in person and they are blown away by everything he does. He plays every down on offense, defense and special teams. He scored touchdowns by passing, rushing, receiving, interception return, and kick return. He picked off eight passes and had 20 offensive touchdowns. Johnson is the career leader in KHSAA history in receiving yards and receptions and in the top five in receiving yards. It was incredible to watch #2 do his thing all season. The entire PCHS team battled through an incredible amount of adversity this season. For a team that saw a leading contributor leave the team, double digit injuries, and the loss a beloved former player, the Maroons never quit.
Congrats to BGHS on yet another incredible season. Once a Purple, always a Purple.
By Nick Roush on ©December 04th, 2016 @ 12:00pm
Even though Lafayette has a future UK quarterback and a future Alabama offensive tackle, beating Trinity in the 6A State Championship was a longshot.
The Generals scored late in the second quarter to make it 21-14. Once Trinity scored again before half, the writing was on the wall. When I woke up this morning, I was not surprised to see a 56-21 final score. What surprised me was what happened in between.
After talking to some people and scouring social media, to say things “got chippy” would be an understatement. Once Trinity started pouring it on, things got out of hand. Walker Wood left the game on crutches and the flags started flying.
I’ve been there before. Seven years ago my team let a halftime lead slip away to the heavy-favorites with a Mr. Football at quarterback. There were some personal fouls, there were some late hits, and there were some words exchanged.
Losing sucks. Especially in the last game of your football career on the biggest stage, but some things are inexcusable. What happened as Trinity took the final knee is absolutely disgusting.
— Derek Griffin (@DerekGriffin45) December 4, 2016
It didn’t end there.
I wasn’t there. There were probably some extenuating circumstances that we do not know. If my quarterback got taken out by a cheap shot, I’d be ready to fight to defend him, but there are some lines you don’t cross.
Many will say “they’re just kids,” but that’s no excuse. These young men will soon be old enough to go to war for our country. What happened at the end of last night’s game is shameful. Period.
Class 2A- Christian Academy-Louisville (13-1) vs. Danville (12-2)
The biggest upset of the season occurred in Louisville last week as CAL defeated the 3-time defending 2A state champions Mayfield 48-24, sophomore Milton Wright caught 5 passes for 101 yards and 2 touchdowns to lead the Centurions to victory. Wright has been a superstar for CAL on both sides of the ball this season catching 34 passes for 575 yards and 12 touchdowns to go along with 38 tackles and 5 interceptions.
Wright may be the star but the Centurions supporting cast is a big reason why they will be playing for a state championship on Sunday. Senior running backs Anteneh Thompson and Tanner Palin have combined for 1,092 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns behind an O-line that averages 6’2 230 in size. Sophomore quarterback Austin Carr has thrown for 1,201 yards and 16 touchdowns this season.
Danville is led by their star quarterback Zack Dampier who has thrown for an outstanding 3,151 yards and 38 touchdowns in 13 games this season. Dampier has an array of reliable receivers to throw to including Dmauriae VanCleave, the speedy sophomore has 63 receptions for 972 yards and 9 touchdowns this season. Ellison Stanfield has also shown big-play ability for the Ads catching 48 passes for 856 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Donlevy Harris is a two-way player that will play a big role in Sunday’s contest as the junior running back and inside linebacker has rushed for 1,214 yards and 19 touchdowns in 13 games this season. Harris has a tough task ahead of him as the CAL defense has played lights out in recent weeks holding Mayfield to just 88 rushing yards. It will be important for Danville to establish its running game early in turn creating big play opportunities down the field for VanCleave and Stanfield.
Eli’s Pick – This is a hard game to pick as both teams have been playing their best ball of the season down the stretch but Danville is a year away as they start 19 underclassmen. The line play of each team will decide this game. I’ll take CAL 35 Danville 28.
Class 4A – Franklin-Simpson (14-0) vs. Johnson Central (13-1)
This may be the best game of the weekend as both teams have been excellent in these playoffs. Franklin-Simpson clinched a berth to the state championship in impressive fashion dominating John Hardin 27-7 holding the Bulldogs to just 86 yards of total offense.
The Wildcats have two players that have rushed for over 1,000 yards this season with Saul Brady gaining 1,314 yards and 19 touchdowns along with Josiah Robey who has rushed for 1,086 yards and 13 touchdowns on just 77 carries. Franklin-Simpson has outscored its opponents 540-117 this season, good for the best scoring differential in class 4A.
Something clicked for Johnson Central after their hard-fought loss to Belfry in the last week of the regular season as they have outscored their post-season opponents 211-15. The Golden Eagles are led by star sophomore running back Joe Jackson who has rushed for 1,872 yards and 29 touchdowns on 143 attempts this season.
Jackson is the focal point of the JC offense but look for Geordan Blanton to make some huge plays for the Golden Eagles on Sunday. The Marshall baseball commit does a little bit of everything for JC, catching 18 passes for 545 yards and 9 touchdowns along with 33 tackles and 2 interceptions.
Eli’s Pick – This is going to be a battle in the trenches as both teams rely heavily on their rushing attacks to generate offense. The Franklin-Simpson defense will keep this game close but Johnson Central is a machine this year. Johnson Central 35 Franklin Simpson 21.
Class 5A – Bowling Green (14-0) vs. Pulaski County (12-2)
Bowling Green enters this game with a 26 game winning streak as the Purples have dominated their competition this season outscoring opponents 657-146. The Purples are led on offense by seniors Clark Payne and Jamale Carothers, both of whom should be considered for the Mr. Football award at season’s end. Carothers, a Navy Commit, has rushed for 1,159 yards and 21 touchdowns on 149 carries along with 773 receiving yards and 10 more touchdowns. Payne leads class 5A in passing with 3,329 yards and 39 touchdowns. The Purple faithful believe this may be the best BG team in recent history as they lack any glaring weaknesses.
Pulaski County was not expected to make consecutive trips to the state finals but the Maroons have proved to be resilient in the face of adversity as they came back from a 16 point deficit last week to secure a spot in the finals. Jake Johnson is the star for Pulaski County as the senior has put up Mr.Football numbers this year catching 129 passes for 1,613 yards and 17 touchdowns along with 9 interceptions on defense.
Eli’s Pick – The Maroons have been on this stage before facing Bowling Green for the state title in both 2013 and 2015 but the talent discrepancy is too much to overcome this season. Bowling Green has rolled through its 14 opponents and I don’t expect any different on Sunday night. Bowling Green 48 Pulaski County 21.
For the second straight season the KHSAA has been forced to adjust the state finals schedule as Western Kentucky hosts Louisiana Tech on Saturday at noon for the Conference USA championship. The state finals will now begin on Friday night with the 1A finals followed by 3A and 6A on Saturday night under the lights then 3 more games on Sunday. To begin our coverage of the state finals I will be previewing the first set of games that includes some serious star power along with some sleepers that will have your attention by weekend’s end.
Class 1A Finals – Beechwood (13-1) vs. Hazard (12-2)
Beechwood is making its second consecutive trip to Bowling Green as they’ve outscored their four post-season opponents 177-13, clinching a berth to Bowling Green in dominating fashion in a 35-0 win against Russellville last week.
Brayden Burch has been excellent for the Tigers under center this season completing 127 of 200 attempts for 2,018 yards and 23 touchdowns. Beechwood deploys an array of quick, shifty play-makers highlighted by Aiden Justice who leads the team in rushing and receiving with 1,011 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns along with 27 catches for 564 yards and 7 touchdowns.
Hazard clinched its spot in the 1A finals behind the legs of Cory Smith and a dominating defensive performance by the Bulldogs in their 20-7 win over Paintsville last week. The Hazard defense forced 3 turnovers and held Paintsville to just 10 passing yards and only 149 total yards.
Cory Smith continued his impressive season with a big-time performance in the semi-finals rushing for 216 yards and 2 touchdowns on 38 carries. The junior running back leads class 1A in rushing this season with 2,561 yards and 36 touchdowns on 263 attempts good for an average of 197 yards per game. It will be important for the Bulldogs to establish their run game early giving Smith every opportunity to break loose.
Eli’s Pick – Beechwood is the rightful favorite but I’m a strong believer that championships are won at the line of scrimmage and Hazard’s O-line has been dominate in recent weeks. The speed of Beechwood will take some adjusting to for Hazard but the big play ability of Smith will carry the Bulldogs home in this one. Hazard 21-14.
Class 3A Finals – Central (9-5) vs. Belfry (13-1)
Corey Johnson rushed for 151 yards and 2 touchdowns to lead Central past Elizabethtown and secure a rematch of the 2014 state championship. Johnson has been the Yellow Jackets workhorse this season rushing for 1,097 yards and 20 touchdowns in just 12 games. Head Coach Ty Scroggins endured a tough start to the season losing the first four games but as usual has his boys playing their best at the right time.
The Yellow Jackets have the formula to beat Belfry as the two teams have faced off 5 times in the last 10 years with Central leading the series 4-1 over that span. The Central defense faces a huge task in slowing down a Belfry offense that has been dominate all-season long but the Yellow Jackets have the size and speed in their front seven to make Belfry uncomfortable.
Belfry scored 42 unanswered points after Corbin ran out to a 17-0 lead early to clinch a state finals berth for the fourth straight year. Taveon Hunter carried the ball 6 times for 201 yards and 4 touchdowns in a breakout performance for the junior running back. The Pirates rotate an array of running backs as they rely heavily on quarterback Noah Corbett to make the correct reads in the triple option offense.
The stars of the Belfry roster make their money in the trenches with 6’7 320 pound UK Commit Austin Dotson and 6’5 305 pound UL Commit Cole Bentley leading the way. Look for Ray Horton to have a big influence on this game as he should be considered the best defensive player in the state of Kentucky.
Eli’s Pick – This battle will be won both on the field and on the sideline as both programs are led by outstanding coaches. I expect this to be an extremely competitive game but the size and strength of Belfry will ultimately prevail as the Yellow Jackets lack of size on the offensive line will be exposed by Ray Horton. Belfry 28-14.
Class 6A Finals – Lafayette (13-1) vs. Trinity (14-0)
Lafayette makes its second consecutive trip to Bowling Green as they defeated Scott County 48-47 in one of the most entertaining games of the season. UK Commit Walker Wood has been everything for the Generals this season throwing for 2,655 yards and 26 touchdowns in addition to 1,183 rushing yards and 26 more touchdowns. Cameron Morgan has emerged as an impressive running back for the Generals carrying the ball 152 times for 1,368 yards and 12 touchdowns in 13 games.
The Generals were man-handled at home by Trinity in a week 3 45-7 loss but Lafayette faithful would argue that the Generals have improved greatly since then. Wood must get his offense going early connecting on a few deep passes to up open running lanes while relieving some pressure from his defense’s shoulders.
Trinity has been the best team in the state all-season long and they have continued to prove it in the post-season defeating arch-rival St.X 24-14 to clinch a berth in the state title game. Spencer Blackburn hopes to be the superior quarterback on Saturday night as he has had himself an impressive senior season throwing for 2,168 yards and 30 touchdowns.
Rondale Moore, a junior that transferred in from New Albany, has proved to be another play-maker for the already stacked Trinity offense. Moore was ruled eligible just before the playoffs began and has made an instant impact for the Rocks catching 15 passes for 327 yards and 8 touchdowns in just 3 games.
Eli’s Pick – Trinity is the overwhelming favorite, rightfully so, but I expect this to be a closer game than the regular season match-up as Walker Wood was coming off shoulder surgery and Lafayette has improved vastly on both sides of the ball since then. I see Lafayette keeping it close for a little while before Trinity pulls away behind the star power of Blackburn and Moore. Rocks 35-14.
The semi-finals provide plenty of intrigue for the fans of high school football in Kentucky yearly but last night was on a new level with some great games played around the state. 12 teams remain in pursuit of state championships, lets see how each team clinched it’s trip to Bowling Green.
Beechwood 35 Russellville 0 – The Tiger defense shut down the #1 ranked scoring offense in Class 1A this season on their way to a blowout win. Beechwood makes up for their lack of size with impressive team speed and athleticism from every position on the field. Coach Noel Rash should be in the running for coach of the year as Beechwood’s only blemish came from 5A Covington Catholic 44-10 in September.
Hazard 20 Painstville 7 – Painstville fell behind early in this game as Cory Smith dominated on the ground leading Hazard to a state championship berth. Not many expected the Bulldogs to pull this game out but behind an impressive O-line Smith would not be stopped all night. The Bulldogs will again be doubted heading into the state championship game but I expect a hard fought game between Hazard and Beechwood.
CAL 48 Mayfield 24 – It feels like it may be the year of the centurion as CAL rallied from a 24-17 deficit to score 31 unanswered points in the second half to beat the defending 2A state champion Mayfield Cardinals. Milton Wright made big plays on both sides of the ball but the game was won in the trenches by CAL with a huge performance by Luke Paulson.
Danville 42 Holy Cross 36 – The Ads held off a late rally from Holy Cross to secure the school’s first state championship appearance since 2006. Danville’s speed was too much for the Indians on Friday night as David Walker caught 8 passes for 176 yards and 3 touchdowns. Zack Dampier completed 19 of 29 passes for 243 yards and 4 touchdowns.
Central 21 Elizabethtown 14 – The Yellow Jackets started the season with 4 straight losses but have bounced back to win 9 of their last 10 games clinching a rematch with Belfry in the state finals. This was largely a defensive battle but Central made the big plays down the stretch that Elizabethtown could not.
Belfry 42 Corbin 17 – Corbin came out hot scoring the first 17 points of the game putting the defending champions on upset alert but the Pirates rallied behind that O-line and Taveon Hunter to gain their first lead of the game early in the forth quarter 24-17. Corbin imploded down the stretch committing four turnovers deep in their own territory which led to 3 Belfry scores in the last 6 minutes. Hats off to the Corbin coaching staff for a great game plan but Hunter played big down the stretch finishing with 6 carries for 156 yards and 4 touchdowns.
Johnson Central 51 Wayne County 0 – The Golden Eagles have been on a tear this postseason outscoring their opponents 211-15 in four games. Joe Jackson carried the load this week rushing for 247 yards on 14 carries for 2 touchdowns, the sophomore running back has now passed the 2,000 mark in rushing yards this season. Wayne County had no answer for the Golden Eagles as a running clock came early in the second quarter.
Franklin-Simpson 27 John Hardin 7 – This game was won in the trenches as Franklin-Simpson dominated the line of scrimmage on the way to a huge victory. The Wildcats only allowed 109 total yards of offense while gaining 368 themselves. Johnson Central may be the favorite in class 4A but I would not count out Franklin-Simpson just yet.
Bowling Green 34 Fern Creek 7 – The Purples weren’t at their best Friday night but it was enough to clinch a 3rd straight state title berth. Navy Commit Jamale Carothers rushed for 123 yards and 2 touchdowns on 20 carries, leading his team like he has all year.
Pulaski County 62 South Oldham 55 – Jake Johnson played his guts out for Pulaski County catching 19 passes for 289 yards 3 touchdowns and two interceptions including one returned for a touchdown. That’s a Mr.Football performance by a player that should be commended for his efforts throughout his career. Pulaski trailed 45-29 midway through the 3rd quarter when Johnson scored three straight touchdowns to give PC the lead.
Lafayette 48 Scott County 47 – Quinton Brown’s 48 yard touchdown catch gave Lafayette a 48-41 lead with just 1:38 remaining but the Cardinals answered with a score of their own with just 11 seconds left. Head Coach Jim Mckee elected to go for 2 instead of settling for overtime and it backfired as Brayden Layne made the game saving tackle for Lafayette. Walker Wood finished the game 15 of 16 for 211 yards and 3 touchdowns along with 21 carries for 96 yards and 4 touchdowns.
Trinity 24 St.X 14 – St.X opened the game with a nice scoring drive but the Rocks answered with 24 straight points. Spencer Blackburn completed 15 of 25 passes for 187 yards and 2 touchdowns in the Rocks 24-14 victory. It will take a complete performance by Lafayette to come close to Trinity as the Rocks dominated in the regular season match-up.
24 teams in the state of Kentucky earned the right to practice on Thanksgiving day, an experience that cannot be adequately described, with a chance to play in Houchens Industries–L. T. Smith Stadium in next weekend’s state championships on the line. Anyone that played football in high school knows that feeling you get the night before a game but when only one game stands in the way of a state championship those feelings are magnified immensely.
With that in mind lets take a look at some of the best games of the week…
Painstville (13-0) vs. Hazard (11-1)
Painstville returns to the state semi-finals a year after they were eliminated by the eventual 1A state champion Pikeville while Hazard is making its first appearance to the state semis since 2011. Both teams are led by their star running backs, Kent Phelps for Painstville and Cory Smith for Hazard, Phelps has rushed for 1,758 and 30 touchdowns on 145 carries while Smith leads class 1A in rushing with 2,282 yards and 31 touchdowns on 226 attempts. This will be a chest match as both teams are playing their best football of the season at the perfect time.
Eli’s Pick – Cory Smith is an impressive runner and should be recognized as so but I can’t see Paintsville letting this opportunity slip for the second year in a row. I’ll take Kent Phelps and Paintsville in a game that will go down to the wire 28-24.
Belfry (12-1) vs. Corbin (12-1)
This is a rematch of last year’s semi-final game in which Belfry came out victorious on the way to their third straight state championship. As the Belfry seniors look to clinch their 4th straight state title appearance, Corbin hopes to use its home field advantage to propel the Redhounds to what would be one of the more surprising upsets in recent history. Austin Dotson, Cole Bentley, and Ray Horton lead the Pirates by example giving 100% effort on each and every snap displaying a winning attitude that spreads across the entire program.
Eli’s Pick – Of all the teams in class 3A Corbin matches up with Belfry the best on paper and the Redhounds did have some success slowing the Pirates down last season but it’s hard for me to see this Belfry senior class ending its tenure with anything other than a 4-peat. I’ll take Belfry 28-10.
South Oldham (12-1) vs. Pulaski County (11-2)
Pulaski County’s only two losses of the season came against 6A semi-state finalist Scott County and Southwestern, the team they eliminated last week, the Maroons are led by the states all-time leader in yardage and receptions Jake Johnson who has been impressive on both sides of the ball this season. The senior has seven interceptions, three fumble recoveries, and 16 offensive touchdowns this season. Containing Johnson will play a huge part in South Oldham’s success as he plays a huge role for Pulaski. Drew Zaubi must continue making plays for the Dragons as he has done all season throwing for 2,074 yards and 28 touchdowns in 13 games.
Eli’s Pick – South Oldham trails only Bowling Green in scoring differential this season as they’ve outscored opponents 546-271 this season. This is a toss up to me as neither team has a signature win on their resume, I’ll take Jake Johnson and Pulaski County 38-31 as the Maroons have played in the state title game the last 3 seasons.
By Eli Mitchell on ©November 19th, 2016 @ 1:00pm
KSR Preps Game of the Week
Lafayette 63 Simon Kenton 41
The Lafayette offense played lights out from the start scoring on their first two possessions to gain the lead and never looked back. Walker Wood continued his impressive senior season rushing for 112 yards and 3 touchdowns while throwing for 216 yards and 3 more scores.
Wood was spectacular all night but the star of the show was 5’8 160 pound junior running back Cameron Morgan who rushed for 250 yards and 3 touchdowns on 32 carries. Morgan’s play making ability out of the backfield gives Lafayette another dimension that they did not have last year, making the Generals much tougher to defend and prepare for.
Simon Kenton cut into Lafayette’s 14-6 lead with a 59 yard touchdown pass from Cameron Racke to Fisher Hayden but right before halftime Lafayette scored twice on a 15 yard pass to Quinton Brown and a one-yard run by Wood to extend their lead to 28-12.
The Pioneers answered on their first possession of the first half with a 61-yard bomb from Racke to Luke Vance to come within just 8 of the Generals. On the ensuing kickoff Simon Kenton decided to attempt an onside kick but the ball did not travel 10 yards as both teams waited for it to cross the line Ean Shaw came out of nowhere, scooped it up, and ran 61 yards into the end zone killing the momentum that SK had.
Shaw’s scoop and score was the first of three unanswered touchdowns that would put the Pioneers away for good. The dagger came with just 1:36 to play on 4th & 10 Wood found Brown for a 40 yard completion that would ice the game. Brown provided a huge spark for the General offense as he hadn’t practiced all week due to an illness and wasn’t expected to play , the senior pushed through and finished the night with 8 catches for 137 yards and two touchdowns.
Lafayette will once again meet Scott County in the semi finals next Friday for a chance to play in the KHSAA Class 6A State Championship two weeks from today. The Generals were credited with a victory over Scott County via forfeit after the teams were unable to agree on a make up date when inclement weather postponed their September match up in Georgetown.
Other Notable Scores
Painstville 21 Raceland 14
St.X 31 Male 21
Elizabethtown 35 Caldwell County 10
Christian Academy-Louisville 21 DeSales 14
Scott County 42 Ryle 40
Pulaski County 41 Southwestern 27