Tonight's city games
All game times 7:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted.
Bryan Station at Pleasure Ridge Park
Records: No. 20 Bryan Station 4-0 (did not play last week); No. 34 PRP 1-3 (did not play.)
Off-the-field ordeal: Last week former PRP Coach Jason Stinson was acquitted of charges related to the 2008 heat-stroke death of player Max Gilpin. Maybe the cloud hanging over PRP football will start to clear.
Making tracks: If Bryan Station RB Tevin McCaden has an "average" game against PRP, he'll eclipse the 1,000-yard mark halfway through the regular season. McCaden has rushed for 888 yards in four games, an average of 222.
Key to victory: Bryan Station can't take PRP lightly. Two weeks ago the Panthers gave 5A power Christian County a battle before losing 21-14. The Defenders need to capitalize on their size and strength up front, and rely on their strong running game.
Lafayette at Henry Clay
Records: No. 38 Lafayette 3-2 (lost to Clark County 13-10); No. 7 Henry Clay (beat Simon Kenton 42-31)
Radio: WLAP-AM 630
Spinning its wheels: Lafayette's defense had a solid effort, but the offense didn't keep its end of the deal in the loss to Clark County. The Generals generated only 71 yards rushing, 133 passing. Eric Shaw Jr. continues to produce, however. He already has 1,107 all-purpose yards.
Defensive Devils: Henry Clay's speed on offense is a wonder to behold. But don't overlook the Devils' quickness on defense, which kept Simon Kenton star Miles Simpson in check last week. While Jerry Williams, Vinny Miller, Branden Johnson and Bo Brooks can score from anywhere, Aaron Akidil, Weston Johnson, Ryan McCray and Cy Curnutte are a swarming force on defense.
Key to victory: Lafayette has beaten Henry Clay three of the last four years, twice spoiling the Devils' perfect record. If the Generals are to do it again, they'll probably have to play keep-up on the scoreboard with high-powered Henry Clay.
Lexington Catholic at Lexington Christian
Records: No. 26 Lexington Catholic 3-2 (beat Madison Central 42-14); No. 34 LCA 4-0 (beat Breathitt County 63-21)
Radio: WJMM-FM 99.1; WVLK-FM 101.5; WMJR-AM 1380
Knights' kapow: LexCath QB Nic Ward has thrown for 895 yards and 9 TDs; RB Greg Raglin has rushed for 678 yards and 8 TDs; WR Ryne Least has 18 catches for 407 yards and 5 TDs. Andrew Gathy and Bill Jacoby lead the Knights in tackles.
Eagles' playmakers: LCA QB Lucas Witt has thrown for 659 yards and 11 TDs; RB Domonique Hayden has run for 760 yards and 12 TDs; WR Branden Burdette has 13 catches for 297 yards and 5 TDs. Will Thomas Collins, Neil Whitman and Clay Mossbarger lead the Eagles in tackles.
Key to victory: This could be a high-scoring shootout between 1A LCA and 4A LexCath. If the defenses can't keep up, turnovers will decide things.
Tates Creek at North Bullitt
Records: No. 72 Tates Creek 2-2 (beat Paul Dunbar 42-28); No. 88 North Bullitt 2-2 (beat Waggener 23-9)
Committeemen: Tates Creek isn't showcasing one running back. Instead, it's letting several guys share the load, including Brandon Shrout, Jontez Jones, Tyler Love, and Jonathon Meadors. QB Dee Christopher is also a running threat. As Christopher improves his passing, the Commodores' ground game will be more effective.
Mr. Versatility: Travis Ridley does a lot of different things for North Bullitt. He's rushed for 155 yards, caught 10 passes for 130 yards and a TD, and he's intercepted six passes, returning one for a score. The 4A Eagles have beaten South Oldham and Waggener, and lost to Doss and Woodford County.
Key to victory: Which Tates Creek will it be? The one that built a 42-0 halftime lead on Dunbar, or the one that was outscored 28-0 in the second half by Dunbar?
Tonight's top state games
Bowling Green at Trinity: Purples try to become first Kentucky team besides St. Xavier to beat Trinity since Dixie Heights dumped the Rocks in 2004 playoffs.
Prestonsburg at Sheldon Clark: Undefeated 2A Prestonsburg gets tested by 3A Cardinals.
Tomcats claw to 5-0: Ashland Blazer's football team is breathing rarefied air. The Tomcats are 5-0 for the first time in 34 years after beating rival Ironton, Ohio, last week. "It was a huge win for our community, our school and our kids," Coach Leon Hart said. "I've gotten e-mails, text messages and phone calls from people who played here 20 and 30 years ago, excited that we won." Ashland hadn't beaten Ironton since 1990, the year the Tomcats won the Class 3A state title. Ironton had won 27 of the previous 29 meetings. "I told our kids they weren't responsible for what happened the last 30 years, only for what happened Friday night," Hart said.
Senior Josh Alber has been Ashland's leader on both sides of the ball, at running back and linebacker.
As much fun as it was to beat Ironton, Hart said it was "one of those games to talk about over the winter, because other than providing preparation and confidence, they don't mean much."
Bluebirds get their shot: Cincinnati St. Xavier has beaten Louisville powers St. X (24-7) and Trinity (43-13) the last two weeks. Next up for the Bombers, who are rated 17th in the nation by USA Today, is unbeaten Highlands. They'll play Friday night in front of a sell-out crowd of 5,200 in Cincinnati.
Highlands Coach Dale Mueller and his staff started game-planning for the Bombers early last week. The Bluebirds hope they're catching St. X at the right time, after it has played Colerain, Indianapolis Cathedral, St. X and Trinity, and before it faces No. 3 Elder next week. "They probably look at us as the worst team on their schedule so far," Mueller said.