Your weekly guide to high school football
Ashland Blazer (8-1) at Tates Creek (4-5), 7:30: Both are coming off one-point losses that cost them their respective district titles. The Tomcats have put together a stronger season overall but Creek has played demonstrably better football in the latter half of its season.
Henry Clay (5-4) at Campbell County (1-9), 7:30: The Blue Devils assured themselves of a non-losing regular season after impressive wins at Dunbar and Bryan Station in successive weeks following a three-game skid. The Camels got their first win of the season last week against Boone County.
No. 19 Lexington Catholic (6-3) at Southwestern (7-2), 7:30: One suspects the Warriors will be hyped for their final regular-season home game, especially after getting whipped by county rival Pulaski County in a battle for the district title last week. The Knights cleaned up in their district, going 3-0 and solidifying themselves as a team that can't be counted out of the Class 3A title conversation.
Lexington Christian (6-3) at Powell County (6-3), 7:30: Two of the state's top 10 rushers meet here: LCA's Dillon Wheatley (No. 7) and Powell's Isaac Harrison (No. 9). After dropping their first three games, the Pirates ran away with their district and are coming off a 75-21 throttling of Magoffin County. That was the most points they've scored in a game since dropping 60 in a win at Betsy Layne in 2008.
Paul Laurence Dunbar (3-6) at Boyle County (8-1), 7:30: Like Creek, Dunbar has played much better football in the latter portion of 2015. It seeks to be the second Lexington school to upset the Rebels on the road in three weeks. Boyle took out its frustration of falling to Lexington Catholic on Western Hills in a 52-20 rout last week.
Off: No. 12 Lafayette, No. 14 Bryan Station.
TOP STATE GAMES
Paintsville (9-0) at Shelby Valley (8-1), 7:30: The last time the Tigers ended their regular season undefeated? 1978, when they advanced all the way to the state finals against Fort Campbell (a 15-13 loss). The Wildcats, who have dropped two straight to Paintsville, are averaging 54 points a game over their last four.
No. 23 Johnson Central (8-0) at Belfry (8-1), 7:30: The host Pirates look to end a two-game skid in this mountain rivalry. The Golden Eagles claimed their district crown after an 8-7 battle at Ashland Blazer.
No. 15 McCracken County (8-1) at No. 6 Bowling Green (8-1), 7 CDT: Both can move the ball with relative ease and boast notable athletes who can score in bunches: junior Jamale Carothers (18 TDs for Bowling Green) and senior UK commit Zy'Aire Hughes (13 TDs for McCracken).
Newport Central Catholic (5-4) at Beechwood (8-1), 7: While it failed to make a dent against upper-class opponents, NewCath took care of business in Class 2A, District 6. Beechwood might be tougher than any opponent the Thoroughbreds, trying to get their third win over the Tigers in four seasons, could hypothetically face in the 2A finals.
No. 17 Mayfield (8-1) at No. 18 Caldwell County (8-1), 7 CDT: Joe Morris' Cardinals hold a minimal edge (0.4 points) in the Cantrall Ratings. Shane Burns has thrown for 24 TDs for Caldwell while completing 74 percent of his passes. Trajon Bright returned last week for Mayfield after missing three games with a dislocated elbow.
Pleasure Ridge Park (5-4) at Central (7-2), 7:30: PRP could use a pick-me-up over a strong Louisville team after losing to Manual in overtime last week. The Yellowjackets haven't lost since August and have given up only 19 points in their last five games.
Franklin County (7-2) at Louisville Christian (7-2), 7:30: The host Centurions established themselves as the team to beat in Class 2A, Region 2 with a shutout of DeSales a few weeks ago. The Flyers started off 6-0 but stumbled in district play.
Madison Southern (4-4) at Madison Central (5-4), 7:30: Losses have piled up lately for the host Indians while the Eagles are flying high after a three-game win streak and claiming their first district title. County bragging rights are on the line in Richmond.
josh moore, email@example.com