When: 7:30 p.m.
Radio: WJMM-FM 99.1
Records: LCA 10-3 (beat Raceland 27-20 last week); Hazard 10-3 (beat Pikeville 41-14)
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Ratings: LCA is No. 2, Hazard No. 3 in Class A
Regular-season result: When LCA beat Hazard 49-7 on Nov. 7, Lucas Witt passed for 248 yards and two TDs, and Domonique Hayden ran for 100 yards and two TDs. The Eagles' defense held Hazard to 253 yards.
Playoff past: Last year Hazard beat the Eagles 41-21 in the regular season, but LCA got even by beating the Bulldogs 45-21 in the playoffs.
Hazard's playmakers: QB Tyler Olinger has passed for 1,594 yards and 17 TDs and run for 856 yards and 14 TDs. Greg Adams has rushed for 1,698 yards and 19 TDs and caught 25 passes for 612 yards and seven TDs.
LCA's playmakers: Witt has passed for 2,657 yards and 34 TDs and run for 564 yards and nine TDs. Hayden has rushed for 1,963 yards and 29 TDs and caught 38 passes for 540 yards and 4 TDs. Branden Burdette has 43 receptions for 752 yards and 10 TDs.
Keys to victory: Hazard Coach Mark Dixon knows his Bulldogs will have a tough time if LCA's offense is in high gear. "The best way to defend them is hope they make a lot of mistakes," Dixon said. "I haven't seen anybody slow them down offensively. We can't miss tackles, and we've got to have a lot of people run to the ball." LCA Coach Paul Rains is worried about the Bulldogs' go-to guys. "What's so scary about Hazard is you're not dealing with just average, run-of-the-mill athletes. They've got some Division I and I-AA talent that can make things happen."
Up next: The winner advances to the Class A finals at 11 a.m. Dec. 12 at Papa John's Stadium in Louisville against the Beechwood-Crittenden County semifinal survivor.
TOP STATE PLAYOFF GAMES
Boyle County at Bell County: When Dudley Hilton guided Bell County to state title in 1991, the Bobcats beat Larry French-coached Meade County in the finals. French is now boss at Boyle County.
Breathitt County at Belfry: Pirates pounded Breathitt County 62-28 in last year's 3A semifinals.
Newport Central Catholic at Corbin: The Thoroughbreds have won 17 of 18 playoff games since 2005, including 28-16 victory over Corbin in last year's quarterfinals.
AROUND THE STATE
Title semifinal: No. 1 St. Xavier faces No. 2 Trinity at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium Friday night in what technically is a Class 6A semifinal, but in all probability it is the state title game.
The Tigers and Shamrocks have so dominated their opponents that it's hard to believe that Friday's survivor won't win the state title on Dec. 6 against Male or Simon Kenton.
St. X (12-0) is winning by an average score of 53-4. Trinity (12-1), whose only loss was to St. X, enjoys a 45-10 edge over its foes.
This is the 67th meeting between the superpowers. St. X holds a 34-30-2 series edge, but Trinity has beaten the Tigers in the state finals three times since 2003.
St. X Coach Mike Glaser and Trinity Coach Bob Beatty have six state titles apiece.
Seeds sprout winners: There haven't been many upsets in the playoffs so far. Twenty-one of the 24 teams still alive were district champs and began the post-season as No. 1 seeds.
The exceptions: LCA was a No. 2 seed in Class A, John Hardin was a No. 2 seed in 5A and Simon Kenton was a No. 4 seed in 6A.
DB's worst nightmare: When Belfry hosts Breathitt County in the 3A semifinals, two of the state's biggest and best runners will make life miserable for defensive backs. Belfry's Ivan Lee, a 6-foot-1, 250-pound senior, has rushed for more than 1,200 yards. Breathitt County's Channing Fugate, a 6-2, 225-pound junior, has rushed for more than 2,700 yards.
Braves new world: Union County is one of the biggest surprises of the post-season. The Braves (8-5) play defending state champ Central (9-3) in the 3A semifinals. Union County has had only four winning seasons in the last 20 years, and this is the first time it has reached the state semifinals since 1976.