If there was any doubt about Madison Central’s legitimacy as a threat in Class 6A, the Indians eased those concerns with a dominating 50-14 victory over Tates Creek on Thursday night.
The win, which briefly gave Central sole possession of first place in the 8th District before Lafayette throttled Clark County on Friday night, was the program’s largest against a Lexington school since 2008. It also put the Indians in good position to host at least one playoff game for the first time under third-year head coach Mark Scenters. They’ll have to defeat either Lafayette or Clark County in the next two weeks to ensure that happens.
Tates Creek was win No. 6 for the Indians, who have matched their entire 2015 total with at least four games left to play this season. Scenters, who was an assistant at Madison Central before head coaching at Garrard County from 2008-2013, said that his guys are starting to show glimpses of what made some of the Central teams he helped coach in the early 2000s so successful.
“This is what I know Madison Central football to be, these type of performances are what we expect,” Scenters said. “ … There are no breaks in 6A football.”
Madison Central held Tates Creek to more than 100 passing yards short of its per-game average on Thursday night. The Indians intercepted Creek quarterback Cam Workman twice and broke up eight passes throughout the night.
Tristan Moorehead, who returned one of those picks 53 yards for a TD, acknowledged that the Indians wanted to make a statement against one of Class 6A’s top offenses.
“People were questioning our defense because we haven’t played the hardest of teams,” Moorehead said. “Our defense had a little bit of a chip on our shoulder, and we wanted to show everyone that we are really good and we can handle the big boys.”
Getting to a point where it can compete again with “the big boys” is a day-by-day process, if not hour-by-hour, Scenters said. Such is the nature of dealing with teenage boys whom you’re trying to groom into high-character citizens on and off the field.
“To be able to be here and see the kids buying into what we’re trying to do, it’s very humbling,” Scenters said. “It’s honestly a blessing. But at the same time, we’ve got to understand that work is what got us here and work is what’s gonna take us to where we want to go.”
The prospect of hosting one playoff game is nice, but why not two? That scenario would be in play if the Indians can end a four-game losing streak to Lafayette on Friday.
“To be the man you’ve got to beat the man, and they’ve been the man for a while,” Scenters said. “We’ve got to go up there and play well, and hopefully continue what we’re doing.”
LexCath returns to form
Lexington Catholic sure didn’t look like a 1-5 team on Friday night.
The Knights, who lost five straight after winning their season opener, pulverized Western Hills 41-7 in the Class 3A, 4th District opener for both teams.
Dameon Jones paced the Knights (2-5) with four TDs, catching three and rushing for another. He rushed for 72 yards on seven carries and finished with 87 receiving yards on four catches. The junior finished with three fewer yards than Western Hills had as a team on offense (162).
There’s a hint of deception in Catholic’s record. Sure, the Knights would have liked to pick up some more wins before October, but its losses were to three of Class 6A’s strongest schools — Cooper, Madison Central and St. Xavier — and two legitimate Class 4A title contenders in Covington Catholic and Johnson Central. The Knights’ lone win before Friday was against Boone County in their season opener.
Friday night was the start of a brand new season — and one that matters way more, Perry said.
“It’s a clear separation between our pre-district and our district,” Perry said. “In Kentucky high school football, what truly matters is district play, and that started tonight. We’re pleased with the way it started.”
Western Hills was off to a 5-1 start for the second time under head coach Don Miller, in his 11th season. It will travel to Garrard County next week before finishing the regular season with home games against Boyle County and Grant County.
The Wolverines (5-2) were without standout sophomore WanDale Robinson, who spent most of the game on crutches after injuring his right ankle in the first quarter. Robinson has rushed for more than 1,000 yards this season and is also Hills’ leading receiver.
▪ Scott County rumbled for 415 rushing yards to pound Henry Clay 56-7 in Georgetown. Five different rushers found the end zone for Scott County (5-2), including Brice Fryman with a team-high 93 yards and two touchdowns. Kendrick Hamilton added 85 yards and two scores of his own.
Quarterback Josh Davis attempted just five passes, completing two, including a 41-yard touchdown to Glenn Covington. The lone score for Henry Clay (1-5) came on a 28-yard pass from Montaveon Bean to Zac Berezowitz.
The Cardinals were honored with a plaque commemorating their 200th win under Coach Jim McKee, which came last week against Clark County.
▪ Walker Wood threw for 289 yards and two touchdowns on 12-for-19 passing and added 39 rushing yards and a TD on the ground to lead Lafayette to a 43-0 rout of host Clark County.
The Generals made quick work of the Cardinals by scoring 33 first-quarter points. Cameron Morgan had two rushing touchdowns in the quarter, including a 37-yarder for the game’s first score. On the ensuing Clark County possession, Dezmon Simpson returned a Cardinals fumble six yards for a touchdown. Wood hit Quinten Brown for a 61-yard touchdown to close out the quarter, then hooked up with Noah Phillips for a 17-yard touchdown early in the second. Brown caught three passes for 135 yards.
▪ Lexington Christian showed no sign of rust coming off last week’s bye. The Eagles torched visiting Middlesboro 49-6 behind 176 rushing yards and four touchdowns by junior workhorse Dillon Wheatley, improving to 7-0 on the year.
Wheatley averaged 13.5 yards per carry against Middlesboro (1-6) and has now rushed for 13 TDs this season. The Eagles outgained the Yellowjackets 413-135 and converted 18 first downs while allowing just five.
▪ Dalton Wells, whose 22-yard field goal with 4:51 to play made the difference for Anderson County in its 10-7 win over Woodford County.
▪ JR Lucas, who was 21-for-36 for 402 yards and five TDs with 1 interception in Collins’ 47-39 loss to Central Hardin.
Lucas’ top targets deserve a nod, too: Dalton Maggard had 12 receptions for 263 yards and three TDs while Payton Hawk grabbed five balls for 113 yards and two TDs.
▪ Jack Chisolm, who rushed for 218 yards and three TDs in Ryle’s 49-42 win over Cooper to improve to 7-0.
▪ Wiley Cain, who was 14-for-23 with an interception in his first game back from a broken collarbone for Pulaski County. He threw for 218 yards and three TDs, two going to standout receiver Jake Johnson, who had 142 yards.
▪ Don Harris, who finished with 301 yards and two TDs in Danville’s 25-7 win over Somerset.
▪ Dixie Heights defeated Highlands 40-20, putting an end to the Bluebirds’ 31-game district winning streak. Friday’s game was much more lopsided than the Colonels’ most recent win over Highlands, a 21-14 overtime victory at home on Sept. 27, 2002.
Officially, Highlands’ most recent loss to Dixie Heights was a 1-0 forfeit in 2004 due to the use of an ineligible player. The original score of that game was 27-7, Highlands coming out on top.
CoachJ, a user on the BluegrassPreps.com web forum, likely summed up the thoughts of many about the Bluebirds’ 2016 campaign so far.
“Honestly, seeing the results of HHS games this year makes me feel I’m in some kind of Twilight Zone episode. It’s as if all the best foods suddenly started tasting like dirt, the sun is green, and the grass has all turned red.”
▪ Nicholas County could sweep its district for the first time since 2000 if it wins at Bracken County next week. Bracken County didn’t even have a football program in 2000; it began play in 2003.
The Bluejackets (8-0) handed Paris its second straight tight loss at home, 35-27.
A win over the Polar Bears, who lost 33-13 against Bishop Brossart, would give the Bluejackets home-field advantage in the first two rounds of the playoffs. Nicholas County is 7-0 all time against Bracken County.
▪ Franklin County, which had lost four straight, ended Spencer County’s six-game win streak with a surprising 48-35 win, meaning every team in Class 4A’s 4th District has lost at least once aside from Shelby County.
The Rockets (5-2) travel to Spencer County (6-2) next week and to Collins on Oct. 21. If Shelby County defeats Spencer County and Collins beats North Oldham (8-8) next week, the Oct. 21 meeting between the Rockets and Titans would decide the district’s No. 1 seed come tournament play.
▪ Boyle County ripped off its fourth straight win after starting the season 0-3, blasting Garrard County 47-14 ahead of its big district matchup at Lexington Catholic next week. Landen Bartleson had three rushing TDs for the Rebels.
▪ Bethlehem’s 75 points in a win at Caverna were the most the Eagles have scored in a game since putting up 86 versus Evangel Christian on Oct. 14, 2005.
▪ Jenkins stopped an 11-game losing streak dating back to last season with a 28-20 overtime win at South Floyd. The Cavaliers’ last four wins as a program have all come on the road. Their last home victory was 28-22 against Paintsville on Sept. 7, 2012.