Thursday, October 16, 2014

This Week's Games

High school football in Kentucky begins in August, during some of the hottest and most unpleasant weather you will find anywhere in North America.  It continues until early December, and the later games are often played in extreme cold under cloudless black skies.  But for a few weeks in October, Kentucky gives its people a few weeks of gentle weather unlike anything you see during any other parts of the year.  The usual bright skies give way to almost British-like clouds and fog.  The thick, heavy green of summer leaves gives way, day by day, to a panoply of yellows, oranges, and reds that glow against the gray skies and green lawns.  The humidity that is so oppressive during the summer becomes a hint of rain that encourages everyone to wear sweaters, windbreakers, and letter jackets.  Although it only lasts a few weeks, this magical weather is what almost all of us think of as "football weather."  Growing up in the 1970's, this was the time when kids would tumble out of doors to punt, pass, and tackle, until your mother would make you leave your muddy clothes in the utility room so that you wouldn't track up her nice clean house.

Walking through Lafayette Park this afternoon here in D.C., over 700 miles from Western Kentucky, I saw the leaves, the gray sky, and the puddles of water left by a morning rain, and was instantly transported back home to football season.  I could hear the drumlines, and smell the hot dogs, and hear the cheers.  It is a magical time in a magical place, and I hope everyone enjoys the games.

Here are the current standings in Western Kentucky:

Class 1A, District 1:
Mayfield:  1-0, 6-1
Russellville:  1-0, 6-1
Fulton Co:  1-1, 1-5
Fulton City:  0-2, 0-6

Class 2A, District 1:
Murray:  2-0, 5-2
Caldwell Co:  1-0, 7-0
Crittenden Co:  0-1, 3-4
Ballard Mem:  0-2, 6-2

Class 3A, District 1:
Trigg Co:  1-0, 4-3
Paducah Tilghman:  1-0, 3-5
Webster Co:  0-1, 1-6
Fort Campbell:  0-1, 1-6

Class 4A, District 1:
Owensboro:  2-0, 7-1
Madisonville-N. Hopkins:  1-1, 5-2
Calloway Co:  1-1, 1-6
Hopkins Co. Cent:  0-2, 0-8

Class 5A, District 1:
Hopkinsville:  2-0, 5-2
Graves Co:  2-0, 4-3
Christian Co:  2-1, 3-4
Ohio Co:  0-2, 0-7
Owensboro Apollo:  0-3, 1-6

Class 6A, District 1:
McCracken Co:  1-0, 6-1
Henderson Co:  1-0, 3-4
Daviess Co:  0-1, 2-5
Marshall Co:  0-1, 2-5

Here are this week's games (home teams listed first).  The Game of the Week is in Murray:

Calloway  Co. (1-6) v. Madisonville-N. Hopkins (5-2)
Christian Co. (3-4) v. Graves Co. (4-3)
Crittenden Co. (3-4) v. Ballard Mem. (6-2)

Fort Campbell (1-6) v. Webster Co (1-6)
Marshall Co (2-5) v. Henderson Co. (3-4)
Mayfield (6-1) v. Fulton Co. (1-5)
McCracken Co. (6-1) v. Daviess Co. (2-5)
Murray (5-2) v. Caldwell Co. (7-0)
Ohio Co. (0-7) v. Hopkinsville (5-2)
Paducah Tilghman (3-5) v. Trigg Co. (4-3)
Russellville (6-1) v. Fulton City (0-6)


  1. You've probably been wondering how I was doing in WKDZ's Wildcat Chevrolet Friday Football Frenzy. Well, I'm T33, with 59 correct picks on the season, out of 63 competitors--so, admirably. First place is Tom Rogers, the WKDZ sports director and voice of the Fort Campbell Falcons, with 66 makes. And I think it's unfair to expect me to compete with Tom Rogers, given that my father-in-law says Tom Rogers might well be the best football player to ever play for the Madisonville Maroons.

    Here's what Tom Rogers wrote in today's WKDZ-WHVO E-dge newsletter about tonight's Trigg County-Tilghman game: "The Trigg County Wildcats head into their biggest game of the season tonight as they go on the road to take on Paducah Tilghman in a key district showdown. The Wildcats come into the matchup on a three game winning streak, and will look to take a firm grip on the top spot in the district with the playoffs now only three weeks away. Both teams enter the contest at 1-0 in district play. Tilghman picked up a win last week over Fort Campbell, while Trigg County handled Webster County. Coverage of Trigg County and Paducah Tilghman gets underway tonight at 6:00 with the Toyota of Hopkinsville Friday Night Blitz on 106.5 WKDZ and"


  2. So far, I imagine even the too-coolest-for-school, middle-aged fans of all eight of the final eight teams in last season's Class A state playoffs at least secretly believe their teams could win the championship this season: Mayfield and Russellville in Region 1, Fort Mitchell Beechwood and Frankfort in Region 2, Williamsburg and Hazard in Region 3 and Pikeville and Raceland in Region 4. These are also the top eight in's Class A rankings this week, and here's who each team plays tonight:

    -- No. 1 Mayfield (6-1) hosts Fulton County
    -- No. 2 Beechwood (5-2) plays at Dayton
    -- No. 3 Pikeville (7-0) hosts Phelps
    -- No. 4 Williamsburg (7-0) plays at Berea
    -- No. 5 Frankfort (5-2) plays at Bracken County
    -- No. 6 Raceland (6-1) plays at Westwood Fairview
    -- No. 7 Hazard (5-2) plays at Jenkins
    -- No. 8 Russellville (6-1) hosts Fulton City

    I am rooting for Russellville and then Mayfield, but I'm starting to think Beechwood might be the team this year.

  3. By the end of the weekend, we're going to know a lot more about who the real heavies are in Class 2A. Among the key games:

    -- No. 1 DeSales (7-0) hosts No. 3 Christian Academy-Louisville (8-0)

    -- No. 2 Caldwell County (7-0) visits No. 6 Murray (5-2)

    -- No. 4 Owensboro Catholic (7-1) visits Union County (4-3)

    -- No. 7 Danville (5-2) plays at Middlesboro (3-3-1)

    -- No. 8 Prestonsburg (7-1) is idle

    -- No. 9 Newport Central Catholic (3-4) beat Bishop Brossart, 36-0, on Thursday

    -- Leslie County (7-0) hosts Shelby Valley (5-2)

    It was Murray that ended Caldwell County's previously undefeated season last year, 27-14, in the Region 1 championship. Murray's losses this year have been to Graves County and Mayfield. OweCath, which lost to Murray in the round of 16 last year, is a challenger here, too; the Aces' only loss this year has been to Owensboro, which is ranked second in Class 4A.

    DeSales whipped CAL, 34-0, in the Region 2 championship in 2013, and these two teams appear to be the class of the region again this year. has Bardstown (5-2) at fifth in the state, but the two losses were to DeSales and CAL, both by double-digit margins.

    Region 3 looks like NewCath again. The Thoroughbreds are only 3-4, but the losses--four in a row to start the season--were all to 5A and 6A teams. Erlanger Lloyd Memorial is 6-1, but that loss was NewCath's first win of the year--and it was by 28-0 at Lloyd.

    This year's fourth undefeated Class 2A team, Leslie County, didn't even make it out of the first round of the playoffs last season, and the guys still aren't believers in the unranked Eagles. If Leslie County gets by Shelby Valley tonight, next week's game with Prestonsburg would indicate the favorite to come out of Region 4 this year. Danville also figures to be around the bottom bracket for a while; the Admirals' only losses this year were to Boyle County and Corbin, which are good and in 4A and 3A, respectively.

    1. The DeSales-CAL game is actually at Iroquois High in Louisville.

  4. On Murray's WNBS 1340 AM, one of the commentators blamed the Caldwell County playoff loss on the team's coach for continuing to pass so frequently on a night of very bad weather last year.

  5. Class 6A ... No. 1 Male wins at No. 4 Trinity, 35-34, in double overtime ... No. 2 Scott County, the defending state champ, falls at Lexington Bryan Station, 28-23 ... No. 3 St. X whips No. 5 Manual, 28-7 ... No. 6 Meade County falls at No. 7 Central Hardin in overtime, 15-14 ... No. 8 Independence Simon Kenton falls, 36-10, at Edgewood Dixie Heights ... Scott and Kenton were both unbeaten before tonight.

    Region favorites now appear to me to be 8-0 Central Hardin in 1 (with No. 10 McCracken County, a 56-7 winner over Daviess County tonight, right there), 7-1 Dixie Heights in 2 (only loss for the Colonels was in season opener against Covington Catholic), 8-0 Male in 3 (last three wins were against Meade, St. X and Trinity) and 6-2 Bryan Station in 4 (losses include St. X, so, perhaps, not a state-title contender).

  6. Interesting night in Class 3A, too. No. 1 Belfry improved to 7-1 by winning at Lawrence County, 34-19. These two appear to be the two top state-title contenders in the bottom, Region 4 bracket of the state playoffs in Class 3A. Belfry is the defending state champ, and the Pirates' only loss this year was 29-20 at perhaps-great Pikeville on Sept. 19. Lawrence County's only loss before last night was at home to perhaps-great Raceland, 47-14, on Sept. 26. Anyway, with Belfry's solid win at Lawrence County last night, I'll now believe someone's going to keep the Pirates out of the Class 3A final four when/if it happens.

    No. 2 Bowling Green South Warren continued its blitz through west-central Kentucky. Last night's victim was Monroe County, 49-14. South Warren is now 8-0. The Spartans made it to the regional championship in 2013 and lost, 8-7, at Paducah Tilghman. Tilghman (No. 7) this season started with three straight losses, and the Blue Tornado is only 4-5 now. But the losses were to very good 6A McCracken County; historically strong Reitz of Evansville, Ind.; Mayfield; Highlands, and pretty darned good Madisonville-North Hopkins of 4A. So there's really no reason to believe that Tilghman isn't the heavy of Class 3A Region 1. had four Region 2 teams among its 3A top 10: No. 3 Louisville Central, No. 4 Corbin, No. 5 Bell County and No. 10 Henry County. Those teams played each other last night; Central (5-3) rolled at Henry County (6-2), 20-0, and Corbin (7-1) survived at home against Bell County (6-2), 21-20, in overtime. The state-playoff bracket would have Central and Bell County and then Corbin and Henry County meeting before the regional championship.

    Region 3's best teams appear to be No. 6 Garrard County (7-1) and No. 9 Russell (7-1). Neither of these teams got out of the round of 16 last year, so it's shaping up as an exciting autumn among Golden Lion and Red Devil nations, respectively.