High School Football

Ten Central Kentucky high school football games you won’t want to miss in 2017

Danville High School players ran onto the field before their game against Covington Holy Cross at Danville High School during the Class 2A football playoffs last fall
Danville High School players ran onto the field before their game against Covington Holy Cross at Danville High School during the Class 2A football playoffs last fall

High school football season kicks off Aug. 18. The Herald-Leader will be rolling out stories every day from now until the first day of the season to help prepare you for the months ahead.

Marquee matchups and rivalries are part of what makes high school football season in Kentucky so terrific. Here are five of the best non-district games and five rivalry matchups worth your time in 2017.

Super showdowns

Lexington Catholic at Madison Central

When: 8 p.m. Aug. 19

The second game of the Roy Kidd Bowl pits a Class 3A contender against the 6A Indians. Both squads graduated some key playmakers and might take a minute to get their legs underneath them, but both should show well this season.

Franklin County vs. Mercer County

When: 5 p.m. Aug. 26 at Boyle County

Despite only 34 miles separating their campuses, these two Class 4A programs have never met before. The first game of the Rebel Bowl should provide a good glimpse of where both stand early.

Highlands at Scott County

When: 7:30 p.m. Sept. 1

This year’s Bluebirds will be out to prove last year’s 3-8 season was an anomaly for their proud program, which has won 23 state titles (second most in the state). Scott County took the battle of the birds, 42-33, in Fort Thomas last year.

Wayne County at Boyle County

When: 7:30 p.m. Sept. 8

The Cardinals are projected as a contender in Class 4A and Boyle County’s in the same boat in Class 3A. This will be the Rebels’ first Friday night home game of the season (their first home contest is on a Saturday) and comes a week after their annual bout with Danville.

Southwestern at Madison Southern

When: 7:30 p.m. Sept. 15

J.P. Vaught had 1,144 receiving yards and 13 TDs as a sophomore for the Warriors last season. His speed — he won the 100-meter and 200-meter races at the Class 3A state meet in May — and Southwestern’s will provide a good midseason test for the Eagles.

Bragging-rights bouts

Boyle County at Danville

When: 7:30 p.m. Sept. 1

Who owns Titletown in 2017? Danville demolished the Rebels, 43-15, to snap a three-game losing streak in the series last season. Boyle County, which averaged nearly 200 rushing yards a game by year’s end, got only 26 on the ground against the Admirals in the last meeting.

Madison Southern at Madison Central

When: 7:30 p.m. Sept. 8

After playing just three times from 1990-2012, this will mark the fifth straight year these programs will meet between the lines. Central owns the all-time series at 5-2, but since being renewed the teams have split their head-to-head matchups (the Indians won last year, 27-21).

Frankfort at Western Hills

When: 7:30 p.m. Sept. 15

Since the Panthers won six straight contests from 2003-2008 this series has quietly become one of the area’s most competitive. The programs have split their last eight meetings with Western Hills taking the last two.

East Jessamine at West Jessamine

When: 7:30 p.m. Oct. 20

New Colts head coach John Gilliam welcomes the crosstown rivals to town in the second of a three-game homestand to finish the regular season. The Jaguars, who won the program’s first district title and the county’s first since 1988 last year, will look for their third straight win in the series.

Clark County at Bourbon County

When: 7:30 p.m. Oct. 27

These border rivals have played each season since 2013, with the Colonels taking two straight and three of the four meetings.

Josh Moore: 859-231-1307, @HLpreps

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