Hike!: Your weekly guide to high school football

mfields@herald-leader.comSeptember 2, 2011 

Friday's Lexington high school football games

Belfry at Henry Clay

Records: Belfry 1-0 (beat Harrison Co. 34-7 last week); Henry Clay 0-2 (lost to Bowling Green 35-14)

Double trouble: Henry Clay has problems on both sides of the ball. The Blue Devils' offense has generated only 132 yards in two games while their defense has given up 1,115 yards to John Hardin and Bowling Green.

Pirates' power: Belfry QB Tyler Williams, RBs Josh Robinson, Gary Runyon and Trey Willis among returning starters for last year's 3A state runners-up.

Bryan Station at West Jessamine

Records: Bryan Station 1-1 (lost to Eastern 30-21); West Jessamine 0-2 (lost to Knox Central 21-13).

Impact player: Bryan Station Coach Craig Yeast considers Everett Talbert a Division I prospect. It's easy to see why. Talbert had nine tackles last week, including a fourth-down stop at the 1-yard line on Eastern's Ryan Watkins. Talbert is a hard runner on offense, but linebacker is where he shines.

Rough ride: West Jessamine QB Ryan Horne had 182 yards passing and running last week, and Will Knight had 141 all-purpose yards. That duo may need a big night for the Colts to keep pace with explosive Bryan Station.

Fern Creek at Paul Dunbar

N.L. Passmore Classic

Records: Fern Creek 0-2 (lost to Manual 41-22); Dunbar 0-1 (lost to Harlan Co. 48-20)

Bright spots: Dunbar was dominated by Harlan County, but several Bulldogs had moments when they shined, including QB Blake Martin, RBs John Rose and Isaih Olige, WR Emory Thompson and DBs Dan Mulert and Brandyn Duncan.

Tigers striped: Following a season-opening 70-0 loss to St. Xavier, Fern Creek fell behind Manual 34-0 last Friday. The Tigers have lost 13 of their last 18 games.

Lexington Catholic at Lafayette

Radio: WMJR-AM 1380; WLAP-AM 630

Records: Lexington Catholic 1-1 (lost to John Hardin 47-37); Lafayette 1-1 (lost to Bell Co. 32-26)

'D" deficiency: The good news for LexCath is that its offense has been fairly efficient, led by QB Kyle Bolin's (560 yards) passing. The bad news is that the Knights' defense has been fairly porous, having given up 825 yards in two games.

New guys: After graduating standout receiver Tanner Napier and standout kicker Matt Green, Lafayette had two big holes to fill this season. But the Generals showed last week they may have found capable replacements. Darius Hughes, Tray Chester and Curtis Yates can make plays at receiver, and Nathan Gillespie's two field goals showed he has a reliable foot.

Tates Creek at Corbin

Records: Tates Creek 1-1 (lost to Ryle 43-8); Corbin 0-2 (lost to Karns, Tenn. 22-21)

Dennis the menace: Even in a lopsided loss, Tates Creek's Dennis Oxendine showed his grit and talent against Ryle. He led the Commodores with 81/2 tackles, had 84 yards in kick returns, and rushed for 37 yards against a swarming defense.

Blue Redhounds: Corbin had a disheartening loss last week. Karns, Tenn., converted a fourth-and-20 and wound up scoring a TD and two-point conversion with two minutes left to spoil the Redhounds' home opener. Corbin's Brad Foley ran for 127 yards. Ty Cobb passed for 144 yards.

weekendkickoffs

City games

All kickoffs at 7:30 p.m. unless noted

Friday

Belfry at Henry Clay: Belfry Coach Philip Haywood is seven wins shy of tying state career record of 345.

Bryan Station at West Jessamine: Defenders have shown lots of big-play capability in first two games.

Fern Creek at Paul Dunbar: Dunbar's only win in last 18 games came the first week of September last year against Woodford County

Lexington Catholic at Lafayette: Knights' only other game against a Lexington public school was 30-26 win over Henry Clay in 1997.

Tates Creek at Corbin: Winless Redhounds will be fired up for Tates Creek's visit.

Saturday

Nashville Christ Presbyterian at Lexington Christian, 7 p.m.: LCA lost to this Nashville school 20-12 in last year's season opener.

Top state games

Friday

Bowling Green at St. Xavier: Purples are 0-8 against St. Xavier.

Boyle County at Danville: Admirals hold a 32-16-1 edge going into the 50th game of the series.

Mayfield at Paducah Tilghman: These nearby rivals will play for the 98th time.

Around the state

Ryle's tall task

Ryle faces a huge challenge when it crosses the Ohio River to play Colerain on Friday night. The Cincinnati power is rated No. 9 in the nation by Rivals.com and has won 60 consecutive home games over the last 12 years.

If Ryle is to hang with Colerain, it will need a big performance from Travis Elliott, who has nine touchdowns and more than 500 all-purpose yards in two games. Elliott plays running back, linebacker and punter. In last week's victory over Tates Creek, he also took direct snaps in the wildcat formation.

Coach Bryson Warner said he's "never seen such raw talent" as Elliott. The 5-11, 220-pound senior has committed to Western Kentucky. Hilltoppers Coach Willie Taggart likens Elliott to former Stanford star running back Toby Gerhart because of his build and bulldog style.

Elliott is 2,000 yards shy of the Northern Kentucky career rushing record of 6,662 yards set by Boone County's Shaun Alexander in 1995. Elliott said Alexander's mark isn't on his radar. "I'm just coming out and trying to play solid football," he said. "If I get (the record), I get it. But it's not on my mind."

Lost weekend

Lexington's seven high school football teams all played in town last Friday or Saturday, and all seven lost. It's the first time the locals have gone 0-for-7 on the same weekend since Lexington Christian started its program a decade ago.

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