Friday, December 9, 2022

The Class 6A Football Playoffs

This was the most exciting 6A football playoffs I can remember.  Louisville St. Xavier, who was favored to win the whole thing, didn't even make it to the quarter-finals.  They were stunned in the round of 16 by Male, who beat St. X 22-21 in overtime.  That was St. X's only loss to a Kentucky team all year -- the Tigers had already beaten Male 24-10 back on September 2.  With St. X out of the way, the path was clear for one of the most dramatic playoffs at any level in KHSAA history:

Nov. 18, 2022:
Lou. Ballard 43 - 7 Madison Cent.
Lou. Male 23 - 10 Henderson Co.
Lex. Bryan Station 10 - 7 Lou. Trinity
Bullitt East 28 - 15 Cent. Hardin

You will not see very many years in which neither Trinity nor St. X reaches the semi-finals.  I wonder if CAL is taking players who would have attended Trinity or St. X in the past.

Nov. 25, 2022:
Lou. Ballard 20 - 24 Lou. Male

With 30 seconds to go, Male trailed 20-17, but the Bulldogs had the ball on fourth and goal from the 1.  Instead of kicking a field goal to tie the game, Male went for the win -- and Ballard stopped them at the goal line.  Now, backed up against its own end zone, Ballard just needed to run out the last 30 seconds to win the game.  They couldn't do it.  They fumbled the ball, Male recovered, and scored the game winning touchdown.

Lex. Bryan Station 41 - 55 Bullitt East

This was like a Big XII game -- back and forth all evening.  Late in the game, the teams were tied at 41.  But BEHS took a 48-41 lead on a 32-yard TD pass with 2:08 left.  The BEHS defense held, and then sealed the win with a 50-yard touchdown run with 46 seconds to go.

Dec. 3, 2022:
Lou. Male 27 - 28 Bullitt East (at Kroger Field, Lexington)

Amazingly, the last game was the best one of all.  With 53 seconds left, Male led 27-20, when Bullitt East scored a touchdown to move within one point.  Instead of kicking the extra point, the Chargers decided to go for two.  They then ran a crazy play -- the QB took a shotgun snap, handed off to the man-in-motion, who pitched it back to a receiver to set up what looked like a reverse -- except the receiver then THREW A PASS to the quarterback who walked into the end zone with the two points that won the state championship for Bullitt East.  Just incredible.  The most exciting KHSAA football playoff bracket I can remember.  Would love to read a good book about this whole season.

By the way, and for the record, Lex. Frederick Douglass beat Bryan Station 52-7 in the first game of the year.  Lex. Frederick Douglass beat Boyle County, the 4A Champ, 37-6.  Lex. Frederick Douglass was really good.

So here is the final top 20 for the KHSAA, according to Max Preps.  State Champions are in bold:

1.  Lex. Frederick Douglass:  15-0
2.  Lou. St. Xavier:  10-2
3.  Lou. Trinity:  8-5
4.  Christian Academy-Louisville:  15-0
5.  Bullitt East:  14-1
6.  Boyle Co:  13-2
7.  Lou. Male:  10-5
8.  Bowling Green:  12-3
9.  Corbin:  14-1
10.  Lou. Ballard:  11-3
11.  Scott Co:  11-2
12.  Cov. Catholic:  9-3
13.  Pikeville:  12-2
14.  Lex. Bryan Station:  10-4
15.  Woodford Co:  11-2
16.  Beechwood:  14-1
17.  Southwestern:  13-1
18.  Lou. Manual:  9-3
19.  Owensboro:  11-3
20.  Henderson Co:  10-3

Mayfield (14-1) finished with a ranking of number 25, and was (of course), the top-ranked team west of Owensboro.  Union County (12-1) was number 34, Tilghman (6-7) was number 38, and Madisonville (6-7) was number 60.


  1. That is amazing. I hadn't checked in on any of it hardly after the Marching Maroons' heartbreaking finish in the Class 4A KMEA semifinals. North finished seventh, one spot out of the scoring for the final six who advanced to the finals. All but one semifinals judge had the Marching Maroons into the finals, but they were 11th on one judge's cards. The scoring is too arcane to go into, but their semifinals score was two better than eighth but within one point of fourth.

    1. I feel terrible for everyone in Madisonville. That is heartbreaking.

  2. Almost forgot to hand out awards:

    Best Team in the Commonwealth: Lex. Frederick Douglass

    Coach Rodney Bushong Trophy (for the Best Team in the Jackson Purchase): Mayfield

    Al Baker Trophy (for the Best Team between Louisville and the Purchase): I think this has to go to Bullitt East, which technically is between Louisville and the Purchase.

    Paul Hornung Trophy (for the Best Team in Jefferson County): Christian Academy-Louisville, which outscored its opponents 727-109

    Jim Bunning Trophy (for the Best Team in Northern Kentucky): Covington Catholic, which beat Beechwood 31-14 in the regular season

    Coach Blanton Collier Trophy (for the Best Team in the Bluegrass): Lex. Frederick Douglass

    Tim Couch Trophy (for the Best Team in the Mountains): Corbin, which beat Pikeville 24-19 in the regular season

    Certificate for Team that Should Be Forced to Move Up to a Higher Level of Competition: Boyle County, which has won the 4A title three years in a row, and has gone 17-1 in the 4A playoffs since the 2019 season.

    On the whole, a very strong season.