All game times7:30 p.m. unless noted.
Clark County at Lafayette
Records: Clark County 2-4 (lost to Harlan County 56-37 last week); Lafayette 5-2 (beat Bryan Station 26-19)
Ramblin' man: Pokey Harris is running wild for Clark County. He's rushed for 1,185 yards (averaging almost 10 yards a carry) and 14 TDs. He had 377 yards and 4 TDs last week. The Cardinals' defense needs to tighten up, though. It's giving up an average of 39 points a game.
D-fining victory: Jalen Sleet's 82-yard kickoff return for a TD with 41 seconds left was the headline-grabber for Lafayette last week. But the Generals' defense was outstanding, too. It limited Bryan Station's explosive offense to 142 total yards, including 79 net rushing on 46 attempts. Justin Carr led the way with 11 solo tackles.
Lexington Christian at Middlesboro
Radio: WJMM-FM 99.1
Records: LCA 2-4 (did not play last week); Middlesboro 3-3 (did not play last week)
Breakthrough? After totaling 45 points in its first five games, LCA rang up 52 in a win over Frankfort two weeks ago. Newly installed QB Lincoln Henzman threw for 179 yards and 4 TDs, and every completion was to Justin King. Dima Ballard also threw a 65-yard TD pass to Nick Whitman.
Air raid: Middlesboro has a potent passing attack, led by QB Chase Roark, who's in his fourth year as a starter. In his career he's thrown for 7,352 yards and 76 TDs.
Madison Central at Tates Creek
Records: Madison Central 2-4 (lost to Henry Clay 28-27); Tates Creek 3-4 (beat Dunbar 13-6)
Agony, ecstasy Down-to-the-wire games can be deflating or uplifting. Last week Madison Central rallied from a 28-7 deficit and had a chance to win, but the Indians failed on a two-point conversion with 58 seconds left. Tates Creek, on the other hand, beat Dunbar when QB Martrell Berry scored from the 1 as time expired. Does that mean the Commodores will have an emotional edge on Madison Central?
Close competition: Madison Central and Tates Creek have played each other every regular season since 1993, and also met in the playoffs two of those years. Madison Central leads the rivalry 11-9 over the last 18 years. The scoring totals from those 20 games shows Tates Creek with a slim 463-461 edge.
Paul Laurence Dunbar at Bryan Station
Records: Dunbar 0-6 (lost to Tates Creek 13-6); Bryan Station 4-2 (lost to Lafayette 26-19)
Double trouble: As Dunbar tries to snap a 14-game losing streak, it must shore up its defense and stoke its offense. The Bulldogs are giving up 406 yards a game, 340 of those rushing. Meanwhile, they're generating only 257 yards a game, with QB Blake Martin accounting for 153 of those passing and running. One silver lining for Dunbar: it has fewer turnovers (12) than its opponents (13).
Top Defenders: While Bryan Station has plenty of play-makers on offense, Everett Talbert and Austin Hendron fill that role on defense. They've combined for 60 solo tackles, and 18 tackles for losses. Talbert also has two interceptions, one he returned for a TD.
Scott County at Henry Clay
Radio: WLAP-AM 630; WVLK-FM 101.5
Records: Scott County 6-0 (did not play last week); Henry Clay 2-5 (beat Madison Central 28-27)
Cards crush: Any way you slice the stats, Scott County has dominated its first six games. The Cardinals have outgained their opponents 2,183 yards to 828, and forced 17 turnovers. Scott County has scored 29 out of 33 times in the red zone. It is averaging 7.4 yards per play to its opponents' 2.9. No wonder the Cards are undefeated.
Pass relief: Henry Clay has found a couple running threats in Davion Jackson and David George, both of whom are averaging more than 7 yards a carry. The Blue Devils found some balance in their passing game last week, with Christian Todd completing 11 of 13 passes for 178 yards, one TD and one interception.
Taylor County at Lexington Catholic
Radio: WMJR-AM 1380; WMJR-FM 94.9 FM
Records: Taylor County 3-3 (lost to Marion County 42-14); Lexington Catholic 6-1 (beat Boyle County 20-13)
Comparing scores: LexCath Coach Bill Letton probably won't show his team the video of Taylor County's 57-0 loss to Boyle County a couple weeks ago. The Knights, fresh off an emotional 20-13 win at Boyle County, don't need to know that Taylor County managed only two first downs and 30 total yards against the Rebels.
Up the ladder: LexCath senior Adam Bush is climbing the list of top receivers in school history. Bush ranks fourth with 97 catches, 1,602 yards, 20 TDs. Topping the chart are Wes Caldwell (159 catches, 2,601 yards, 38 TDs); Clay Wolford (155 catches, 2,586 yards, 47 TDs), and Cornell Burbage (126 catches, 2,179 yards, 28 TDs).
TOP STATE GAMES
Ashland Blazer at Belfry: High-powered 4A Tomcats visit unbeaten 3A Belfry.
Danville at Somerset: Danville looks for payback. Somerset has sunk the Admirals the past two years by a combined score of 86-20.
Manual at Trinity: Can unbeaten Manual hang with the district rival Shamrocks, who are rated No. 2 in nation by Rivals.com?
AROUND THE STATE
NewCath high on Hightchew
Newport Central Catholic Coach Eddie Eviston has impeccable credentials when it comes to evaluating quarterbacks. He played the position at NewCath before starring at Georgetown, where he was three-time NAIA Player of the Year and led the Tigers to two national titles.
So when Eviston says he has the best dual-threat quarterback in the state in Brady Hightchew, it's tough to argue. "There are some very talented quarterbacks in the state with great arms and prototypical Division I builds. But if you're talking about a guy in a spread offense who can put up numbers with his feet and his arm, Brady's gotta be talked about."
In his third year starting at QB, Hightchew's career numbers are impressive. He's thrown for 3,667 yards and 30 touchdowns, and run for 2,843 yards and 29 TDs. He's generated 1,600 yards and 18 TDs in leading NewCath to a 6-0 record this season.
Eviston says Hightchew, a 6-foot-1, 180-pound senior, could be an All-State defensive back if he were used on defense more and could be a standout at wide receiver.
Hightchew's athletic ability is unquestioned. He also plays basketball and baseball for NewCath, so he's excelling at football without focusing on it year around.