High School Sports

HIKE: Sept. 24

Ballard wide receiver DeVante Parker (2010)
Ballard wide receiver DeVante Parker (2010)

TONIGHT'S KICKOFFS

CITY GAMES

All game times 7:30 p.m. unless noted

No. 18 Henry Clay vs. No. 42 Lafayette (at Paul Laurence Dunbar)

Kickoff: 8 p.m.

Radio: WLAP-AM 630

Records: Henry Clay 2-2 (lost to Simon Kenton 21-18 last week); Lafayette 2-3 (beat Clark County 21-9)

Grounded: A balanced offense is one of Henry Clay's strengths, but the Devils rushed for only 80 yards in last week's loss. It was the first time Henry Clay had fewer than 100 yards rushing since it lost to Boone County in the 2008 playoffs.

Finding a way: Lafayette showed plenty of resourcefulness in beating Clark County. The Generals lost most of the statistical battles, but they won the war because of Marlon Jones' punt-return TD and a defense that blanked a potent Clark County for the last 35 minutes.

Rivalry renewed: Henry Clay and Lafayette have been playing each other since 1947. Henry Clay's most lopsided win was 63-7 in 1999. Lafayette's most lopsided win was 34-0 in 1963. (That's also the last time the Generals shut out the Devils.) Neither team has had more than a five-game winning streak in the series.


No. 38 Lexington Christian at No. 39 Lexington Catholic

Radio: WJMM-FM 99.1; WMJR-AM 1380; WVLK-FM 101.5

Records: LCA 3-1 (beat Breathitt County 30-15); Lexington Catholic 2-3 (beat Madison Central 21-14)

Positive notes: LexCath ended a three-game losing streak by beating Madison Central last week. While Coach Bill Letton wasn't pleased with 12 penalties for 106 yards, he had to be happy that his team had no turnovers, and it racked up 411 yards on offense. James Maddox rushed for 120 yards and Kyle Bolin threw for 144.

Eagles' catalysts: Looking for offensive sparks, LCA may have found two in QB Scout McCamy (975 yards, 9 TDs passing and running) and Chad Snyder (18 catches, 350 yards, 2 TDs).

Century mark: LexCath's victory over Madison Central last week was its 100th home-field win. The Knights' overall record is 181-56 over 20 years.


No. 50 Pleasure Ridge Park at No. 61 Bryan Station

Records: PRP 1-3 (did not play last week); Bryan Station 0-4 (did not play last week)

Toughing it out: Bryan Station QB Mike Winkler thought he suffered a dislocated kneecap that sidelined him against Tates Creek, but it turned out to be a torn ACL. Winkler said he's not done for the year, though. He's wearing a brace, working out, and hoping to play against Scott County on Oct. 8. Winkler will have surgery on his knee after the season.

High hopes: In the pre-season, PRP Coach Jason Hiser said he thought his team was ready to challenge district rivals St. Xavier and Manual. But the Panthers are off to a slow start. Their only win came against Valley. They lost to Doss, and to powers Ballard and Christian County. Sophomore QB Spencer Sumpter is PRP's emerging star.


No. 20 Tates Creek at No. 90 West Jessamine

Records: Tates Creek 4-0 (beat Dunbar 33-14); West Jessamine 4-0 (beat Paris 48-8)

Untested Colts: West Jessamine is undefeated but so far unchallenged. The four teams the Colts have beaten — Madison Southern, Garrard County, Spencer County and Paris — have a combined record of 1-17.

Airing it out: West Jessamine QB Matt Carbol has thrown for 900 yards and 11 TDs. Sean Donaldson and Will Knight have been his favorite targets.

Air defense: Tates Creek's defense has 8 interceptions, and returned 3 for TDs. Dennis Oxendine has two runbacks for scores, and Jontez Jones has the other. Jones' pick-six came last week when he also returned a fumble for a TD and caught a TD pass.


TOP STATE GAMES

Male at Ballard: Matchup of best public-school teams in Louisville?

Trinity at Bowling Green: Purples have played Trinity tough last three years in losing 9-0, 17-0, 39-28.

Catch a rising star

Ballard's DeVante Parker has been grabbing footballs and headlines this season.

The 6-foot-3 senior wide receiver has 33 catches for 871 yards and 11 touchdowns in five games, putting himself out there as one of the front-runners for Mr. Football.

Parker, who has committed to Louisville (where his dad Anthony Shelman played), has a three-star rating from Rivals. Ballard Coach Mike Jackson is "amazed" that Parker isn't rated higher. "If he's a three, I want to see what a four looks like, and a five must be superman."

One reason for Parker's low profile is that he didn't attend any evaluation camps this summer. "That's DeVante," Jackson said. "He's not into the limelight, ego or any of that stuff. That's why he's a pretty well-kept secret."

Last year, Parker had 73 receptions for 1,439 yards and 12 TDs despite being double- and triple-teamed. Ballard has more weapons this season, so defenses aren't ganging up on him as much. Jackson said the popular strategy for opponents is to hit Parker before he catches the ball and hope officials don't call pass interference.

Parker, who helped Ballard reach the Sweet Sixteen basketball tournament last March, has height, speed (4.49), strength, jumping ability and good hands. When Bruins quarterbacks Mo Crawford and Christian Wallace throw the ball in his direction, Jackson said, "it's like candy to a baby."

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