All game times 7:30 p.m. unless noted
(ratings by Dave Cantrall)
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No. 23 Clark County vs. No. 50 Lafayette (at Tates Creek)
Records: Clark County 3-0 (beat Dunbar 49-21 last week); Lafayette 2-2 (beat Franklin County 45-21)
Multi-threat: Clark County, averaging 42 points, has plenty of weapons. QB Andrew Dini has thrown for 482 yards and 7 TDs (no interceptions). He's also run for 247 yards and 5 TDs. RB Pokey Harris has rushed for 311 yards and 7 TDs. WR Darius Skinner has 9 catches for 264 yards and 3 TDs. TE Corey Rogers has 11 catches for 108 yards and 4 TDs.
Quick healer: When Lafayette QB Matthew Britt hurt his knee in the pre-season, he wasn't expected back until mid-September. But the sturdy senior took a few snaps (and threw a TD pass) in the Generals' Aug. 28 loss to Central, and he's been at the helm since. He has completed 31 of 46 passes for 573 yards, 6 TDs and 1 interception.
No. 42 Lexington Christian at No. 72 Breathitt County
Radio: WJMM-FM 99.1
Records: LCA 2-1 (defeated Louisville Christian 20-14); Breathitt County 3-1 (lost to Perry Central 27-7)
Replacement parts: LCA graduated stars Lucas Witt, Domonique Hayden and Branden Burdette, who led the Eagles to a 63-21 wipeout of Breathitt County last year. But Bobcats Coach Mike Holcomb is still impressed by what he sees in LCA this season. "They look real similar. They just put new guys in there, and they look good on both sides of the ball." Breathitt County is in the midst of a challenging six-game stretch. It has beaten Sheldon Clark and Prestonsburg, and lost to Perry Central. Next up: LCA, Johnson Central and Hazard.
Carrying the load: Until the offense finds its stride, LCA must rely on its defense. So far so good. The Eagles have forced 10 turnovers in three games. Max Barjuca, Kelby Hickey, Neil Whitman, Sam Maybriar and Clay Mossbarger are the leading tacklers.
No. 95 Madison Central at No. 37 Lexington Catholic
Radio: WMJR-AM 1380
Records: Madison Central 1-3 (lost to Ballard 49-6); Lexington Catholic 1-3 (lost to Lone Oak 33-25)
Killer schedule: Since opening the season with a win over North Laurel, Madison Central, under first-year coach Bert Browne, has fallen to No. 4 Ballard, No. 5 Bell County and No. 22 Newport Central Catholic by a combined score of 149-17.
Rare skid: LexCath has fallen to Covington Catholic, St. Xavier and Lone Oak, its first on-the-field three-game losing streak since it lost to Pikeville, Paris and Campbellsville to open the 1993 season.
Deficient 'D': LexCath has given up almost 1,700 yards, about 425 per game. Madison Central has yielded an average of 425 in its three losses.
No. 8 Simon Kenton at No. 23 Henry Clay
Radio: WVLK-FM 101.5
Records: Simon Kenton 2-1 (beat New Richmond, Ohio 33-6); Henry Clay 2-1 (beat Scott County 31-20)
Life after Miles: Simon Kenton graduated RB and UK signee Miles Simpson, but QB Chad Lawrence has taken over the starring role. He's thrown for 526 yards and 6 TDs, and leads the team in rushing with 152 yards and 2 TDs. Top receiver is Ryan Winkler, with 16 catches for 203 yards and 2 TDs.
Catching on: Bo Brooks led Henry Clay in rushing last season with 932 yards, but he caught only 5 passes for 8 yards. Brooks' rushing numbers are down so far this year (138 yards in 3 games), but he's snagging more passes — 6 receptions for 123 yards, including a key 69-yard TD against Scott County. QB Jerry Williams has been Henry Clay's main running threat. He's got 325 yards.
No. 21 Tates Creek at No. 106 Paul Dunbar
Radio: WLAP-AM 630
Records: Tates Creek 3-0 (did not play last week); Dunbar 1-3 (lost to Clark County 49-21)
Tale of two halves: Tates Creek's 42-28 win over Dunbar last year was memorable in its contrast. The Commodores scored on 7 consecutive possessions to take a 42-0 halftime lead; Dunbar dominated the second half 28-0. The Bulldogs finished the night running twice as many plays (82 to 38) and dominating time of possession (33 minutes to 15).
Terrific tandem: Tates Creek RBs Jontez Jones and Brandon Shrout have been an effective 1-2 punch. Between them they've rushed for 552 yards (averaging better than 9 yards a carry) and 6 TDs.
Memory game: Friday's game is the Norman Passmore Classic in honor of the successful longtime football coach at old Dunbar High. There will be a reunion of Dunbar graduates, and an award will be presented at halftime by the alumni association in honor of Rev. Passmore, who died in 2003.
TOP STATE GAMES
Bowling Green at Owensboro: Showdown between 5A big boys in Western Kentucky.
Johnson Central at Bell Co.: Golden Eagles should be Bell's first real test.
St. Xavier at Male: Since 2004, Male and Trinity are only state teams to beat St. X.
AROUND THE STATE
Pupil 1, Teacher 0
When Justin Haddix was quarterbacking Breathitt County to an undefeated state title in 2002, Bobcats Coach Mike Holcomb let him run the show. "He had full control of the reins," Holcomb said, "because he had outstanding knowledge of the game." Holcomb figured Haddix would someday make a terrific head coach.
Someday came this year when Haddix, who had been an assistant to Holcomb at Breathitt County, took over at Perry County Central.
Last Friday, pupil faced his former teacher, and Perry Central prevailed 27-7. How strange was it for Haddix to go against his mentor?
"It was a different experience," Haddix said. "He taught me so much, and we still talk a lot, usually a couple times a week.
"But if you want to be the best, you gotta beat the best, and I rank him up there as one of the best coaches in the state. I hope (Breathitt County) wins a state championship, but that night I wanted to beat them."
Holcomb had the same feelings. "Once the game started it was like a regular game both of us wanted to win," he said. "Justin's got a good team and he's doing a good job coaching them."
Perry Central was led by Matt Robinson's 16 tackles, and QB Kyle Huff's three TD passes. (Huff was a backup at Breathitt last season before transferring to Perry Central.)