High School Football

HIKE!YOUR WEEKLY GUIDE TOHIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL

TONIGHT'S KICKOFFS

BOYLE CO. AT LEXINGTON CATHOLIC

Records: Boyle County 4-0 (beat Lafayette 14-7 last week); Lexington Catholic 2-2 (beat Pikeville 52-27)

Rankings: Boyle County is No. 1 and Lexington Catholic No. 2 in Class 4A.

Radio: WVLK-FM 101.5

Memory lane: The last time Lexington Catholic hosted Boyle County, in the 2004 season-opening Bluegrass Bowl, the Knights trailed the five-time defending state champs 35-14 midway through the third quarter before rallying to win 43-42, but only after Boyle County missed a 32-yard field goal in the closing seconds.

Up-and-down: Reigning 4A champ Lexington Catholic hasn't found its stride yet, because of turnovers (12 in four games), tough competition (including Indianapolis Bishop Chatard, Scott County and St. Xavier) and overall inexperience. Linebacker Jake Conner has been a standout for the Knights.

Avenging Rebels: Last season Boyle County lost consecutive games to Henry Clay, Danville, Lafayette and Lexington Catholic. The last three weeks the Rebels have beaten Henry Clay, Danville and Lafayette, so they're looking to finish off a month's worth of revenge against Lexington Catholic.

Key to victory: The Knights must contain Boyle County QB Phillip Mason and RB Rees MacShara. On the flip side, Lexington Catholic's offense has to keep its mistakes to a minimum.

HENRY CLAY AT LAFAYETTE

Records: Henry Clay 0-3 (lost to Cincinnati La Salle 15-14); Lafayette 2-2 (lost to Boyle County 14-7)

Rankings: Henry Clay is No. 10 and Lafayette No. 18 in Class 6A.

Spinning wheels: Henry Clay, usually an offensive juggernaut, hasn't found a spark yet. It is averaging 11 points and 240 yards after three games, compared to 37 points and 450 yards for all of last season. The Devils' running game has generated only 185 net yards.

Take-away talent: Lafayette's defense has intercepted seven passes (Gary Demus has three picks) and recovered six fumbles. Erick Quesada and Eric Shaw lead the team in tackles.

Looking for 'W': Henry Clay tries to avoid starting the season 0-4 for the first time since 1997. The Devils have had a devilish schedule, losing to Bowling Green and Boyle County, both rated in the state's top 10.

Key to victory: Until Henry Clay finds its offensive punch, its defense, led by linebacker Mike Federspiel, will have to carry the load against a Lafayette team that has dangerous speed.

LEXINGTON CHRISTIAN AT RACELAND

Records: LCA 4-0 (beat Lloyd 36-29); Raceland 3-0 (beat Fairview 37-12)

Rankings: LCA is No. 2 and Raceland No. 6 in Class A.

Radio: WJMM-FM 99.1

Passing milestones: LCA junior QB Lucas Witt has thrown for 883 yards and 11 TDs this year, pushing his career totals to 5,067 yards and 53 TDs.

Rough road: LCA's schedule gets considerably tougher in the coming weeks. Three of its next four games are at Raceland, Corbin and Breathitt County. Win or lose, the Eagles will benefit from those tests.

Rams tough: Raceland eliminated LCA from the 2006 playoffs, and had the Eagles on the ropes in the post-season last year before losing 34-32. The Rams are off to a strong start this season, with wins over Ashland Blazer, East Carter and Fairview. Bret Denton has rushed for 400 yards in three games.

Key to victory: Raceland fans figure to be fired up for this district showdown. It will be LCA's first challenge away from home since losing its regular-season finale at Hazard last year.

TATES CREEK AT DUNBAR

Records: Tates Creek 1-3 (lost to Madison Central 46-25); Dunbar 0-3 (open date last week)

Rankings: Tates Creek is No. 27 and Dunbar is No. 33 in Class 6A.

No offense: Dunbar, averaging seven points and 169 yards a game, has to learn to move the ball. Quarterback sacks have left the Bulldogs with 51 net yards on the ground. Martaveous Mays has been a bright spot. He has 12 catches for 180 yards and two TDs, and he's averaged 29 yards on five kickoff returns.

Second-half slumber: Tates Creek has been outscored 62-13 in the third quarter, including a 33-6 blitz by Madison Central last week. No doubt the Commodores will be reminded of that during halftime at Dunbar.

Friends and foes: Dunbar first-year coach Jason Howell is a former Tates Creek assistant, but that doesn't mean he knows the Commodores' strategies. Tates Creek first-year coach Mike Harmon has revamped his alma mater's plan of attack. The Commodores have thrown for 591 yards in four games this year, only slightly less than their 11-game total last season.

Key to victory: Dunbar's defense can't afford to give up many points, so it must limit the effectiveness of Tates Creek QB Chris Kemplin (574 passing yards, six TDs), and RBs Rozell James, Jontez Jones and Tyler Love (a combined 560 rushing yards, three TDs).

AROUND THE STATE

Top games

Madison Central at Clark County: Indians have averaged 35 points in seven consecutive wins over Clark County.

Covington Catholic at Highlands: This is only a preview of a 5A playoff showdown between these archrivals.

Yeast rises again

A familiar football name — Yeast — is showing up in the headlines again. Jordan Yeast ran for 184 yards and two touchdowns to help Mercer County beat Southwestern last week. Yeast, a 1,000-yard rusher last year, also plays linebacker for the Titans.

Yeast is a storied name in Harrodsburg. Jordan is following in family footsteps left by Bo, Craig, George, Julius, Larry, Nick and Steve, all Yeasts who enjoyed football stardom there.

Jordan, a 5-foot-11, 210-pound senior, is one reason Mercer County is 3-1 and looking strong. Linebackers Nick Reed and Tyler Horn, and lineman Ellis Delahousay started as sophomores on the Titans' unbeaten Class 2A state title team two years ago. Mercer County hopes to make noise in the 5A playoffs this season. "Our first 11 are pretty good," Coach Marty Jaggers said. "But we've got to develop some depth."

Ashland's milestone

Ashland Blazer notched the 600th victory in school history by beating Russell last week. Ashland is the 11th school in the state to win at least 600 games. Male tops the list with 783 victories. Ashland has an overall record of 600-329-33 in 89 years.

KENTUCKY.COM/HIGHSCHOOL

Go to Kentucky.com tonight to watch the Wazoosports coverage of the Ashland at Montgomery County game. We'll also have updates throughout the night with up-to-the-minute line scores from across the state and stories on the biggest games in the area.

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