Class 4A: Boyle County (8-4) at Lexington Catholic (10-2). The Knights overcame a rash of injuries and penalties to rally from a 21-12 deficit and beat Boyle County 24-21 in the regular season.
Quarterback Kyle Bolin suffered a season-ending knee injury in the first half, but sophomore Reese Ryan stepped in and helped out in the comeback. Coach Bill Letton said LexCath's hard-earned victory "was a proud moment, but that moment's gone and we've got to move on to the next one."
This is the sixth year in a row the Knights and Rebels have met in the third round of the playoffs. The team that has prevailed in the regular season has won each time in the post-season. Most of the games have been tight, though. LexCath held on for a 10-7 win in last year's playoffs. "It's been a last-possession game most of the time," Letton said. "And this one probably will be too."
Ryan has passed for 976 yards, 14 TDs and eight interceptions since taking over for Bolin. David Bouvier is the Knights' top receiver with 75 catches, 1,110 yards and six TDs. Amoh Kumensiga leads the ground game with 469 yards and 12 TDs.
Boyle County's balanced attack is directed by Casey Whittle, who has thrown for 1,976 yards and 23 TDs. Lloyd Hall has 38 receptions for 634 yards and five TDs. Seph Burke has rushed for 1,354 yards and 16 TDs.
Both teams have tested themselves against top competition. Lexington Catholic's two losses were to Ensworth (Tenn.) and Bowling Green, both still undefeated. Larry French's Rebels have lost to LexCath, John Hardin (12-0), Highlands (11-1) and cross-town rival Danville (9-3).
The Boyle County-LexCath winner will travel to Northern Kentucky next week to play either five-time defending state champ Highlands or Covington Catholic.
TOP STATE GAMES
Class 3A: Breathitt County (12-0) at Belfry (10-2). Breathitt County was undefeated last year before losing to Belfry in the quarterfinals.
Class 3A: Central (10-2) at Bell County (10-2). Central beat the Bobcats 26-0 in the playoffs last year on the way to its fourth title in five years.
Class 5A: Cooper (10-1) at Franklin County (12-0). Cooper is giving up 11 points a game. The Flyers are scoring a state-leading 59 a game.
Class 4A: Covington Catholic (9-3) at Highlands (11-1). Highlands is 79-1 against Kentucky opponents over the past six years, including an 8-0 record against CovCath.
Class A: Frankfort (11-1) at Beechwood (8-4). Frankfort has lost to the Tigers in the playoffs four of past five years.
Class 2A: Danville (9-3) at Somerset (10-2). The Briar Jumpers have beaten Danville five times in a row, including a 24-7 victory last month.
Class 6A: St. Xavier (8-4) vs. Trinity (10-1) at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. Trinity has won 25 in a row against Kentucky foes, including five lopsided victories over St. X.
Class 5A: Warren Central (11-1) at Bowling Green (12-0). Warren Central has won 22 of its past 25 games, and all three losses have been to the cross-town rival Purples.
Complete schedule: (Pairings listed in bracket order.)
Mayfield (11-1) at Ky. Country Day (11-1), 7:30
Frankfort (10-1) at Beechwood (8-4), 7:30
Williamsburg (11-1) at Hazard (8-3), 7:30
Fairview (12-0) at Pikeville (7-5), 7:30
Murray (10-2) at Caldwell Co. (9-3), 7
DeSales (8-4) at Glasgow (10-2), 7
Walton-Verona (9-2) at Newport Catholic (8-4), 7
Danville (9-3) at Somerset (10-2), 7:30
South Warren (9-3) at Monroe Co. (11-1), 7
Central (10-2) at Bell Co. (10-2), 7:30
Bourbon Co. (12-0) at Mason Co. (8-4), 7:30
Breathitt Co. (12-0) at Belfry (10-2), 7:30
Owensboro (8-4) at Warren East (12-0), 7
Collins (9-3) at Western (6-6), 7:30
Boyle Co. (8-4) at Lexington Catholic (10-2), 7:30
Covington Catholic (9-3) at Highlands (11-1), 7
Warren Central (11-1) at Bowling Green (12-0), 7
Jeffersontown (8-4) at John Hardin (12-0), 7:30
Cooper (11-1) at Franklin Co. (12-0), 7:30
Pulaski Co. (9-3) at Harlan Co. (10-2), 7:30
Eastern (10-2) at Ballard (9-3), 7:30
Butler (8-3) at Pleasure Ridge Park (12-0), 7:30
Simon Kenton (9-3) vs. Scott Co. (11-1), 7:30 at Toyota Stadium in Georgetown
Trinity (10-1) vs. St. Xavier (8-4), 7:30 at Papa John's Stadium in Louisville