Coach: Eric Shaw (fourth season)
Cantrall Rating: 89.6
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AP ranking: No. 7
How the Generals got here: Defeated Butler (39-16), Tates Creek (49-13), Simon Kenton (63-41) and Scott County (48-47).
Total championship appearances: 3 (0-2 record entering Saturday)
Stakes: Lafayette could win its first championship and give Lexington its first big-school champion in 35 years. Henry Clay was the last Lexington public school to win a title (1981).
Players to watch: Mr. Football hopeful Walker Wood, a University of Kentucky commit, has rushed for 30 TDs and thrown for 29. He’s passed for 2,866 yards and rushed for 1,279, second on the team behind Cameron Morgan (1,530 rushing yards). Quinton Brown leads a stable of sound receivers with 994 yards and 10 TD catches. Jordan Thomas and Kuantaze Cooper each have five interceptions to lead the Generals. Junior linebacker Ean Shaw has three picks, two fumble recoveries and a team-high 87 tackles (47 solo). Jedrick Wills, a five-star offensive tackle committed to Alabama, is a pulverizer.
Quick hits: The Generals’ first trip to the finals was in 1985 as the “at-large” state champion. They were pitted against the Louisville champion, Trinity. The Shamrocks won 28-7. ... Lafayette product Lucky Jackson, a redshirt freshman at WKU, has played in all 12 games for the Hilltoppers, who host the Conference-USA championship hours before his high school’s game on the same field.
Coach: Bob Beatty (17th season)
Cantrall Rating: 96.2
AP ranking: No. 1
How the Shamrocks got here: Defeated Ohio County (69-0), Eastern (49-0), Ballard (63-20) and St. Xavier (24-14).
Total championship appearances: 28 (23-5 record entering Saturday)
Stakes: Trinity could win its seventh state title since Class 6A started in 2007; no other program has more than one in that span. A win would give the Shamrocks more championships than any other football program (Trinity and Highlands are tied with 23 each).
Players to watch: Spencer Blackburn has thrown for 2,355 yards and 32 TDs with only three interceptions on nearly 70 percent passing. He’s rushed for 621 yards and 26 scores. Roderick Thomas leads the Shamrocks with 942 rushing yards and 15 TDS. Rondale Moore, who was ruled eligible late in the season and has offers from UK and Indiana, has only played in Trinity’s last three games but already is tied for the team lead with eight TD catches and averages 109 yards per game. Noah Ellison leads the team with 486 receiving yards and eight TDs. Stephen Herron, a sophomore defensive end, holds offers from UK, Ohio State, Louisville and Tennessee.
Quick hits: Bob Beatty has coached Trinity in 13 previous finals, losing just twice (in 2000 and 2009). This appearance ties him with longtime Highlands coach Dale Mueller for the most in state history. His 84.6 winning percentage in the finals is the best among coaches who have made more than five appearances (multiple coaches who have made five or fewer trips have gone undefeated in the finals, among them Trinity’s Dennis Lampley and Covington Catholic’s Lynn Ray, who each went 5-0).
PREDICTION: Trinity 31, Lafayette 21