High School Football

Hike: Your preview to Friday night's top games, Oct. 31, 2008

CITY GAMES (all game times 7:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted):

Henry Clay at Boone County

Radio: WVLK-FM 101.5

Records: Henry Clay 4-4 (beat Tates Creek 32-6 last week); Boone County 7-1 (beat Ryle 28-14)

Ratings: Henry Clay is No. 6 and Boone County is No. 5 in Class 6A.

'D' challenge: Can Henry Clay slow down Charles Quainoo, the leading rusher in the state? Last year Boone County's Cory Farris came to town as Kentucky's No. 1 ground gainer, but the Blue Devils kept him in check. They jumped ahead 21-0 in the first quarter, limited Farris to 62 yards in the first half, and won 42-14.

Little big man: A finally healthy Tyler Hooker has come on strong for Henry Clay. He ran for 149 yards and two TDs last week against Tates Creek, and is averaging 135 all-purpose yards a game.

Short season: For the second year in a row Henry Clay was able to schedule only nine games, so this is its regular-season finale. The Devils will use next week preparing to host Ryle in the playoffs on Nov. 14.

Key to victory: Henry Clay must keep Quainoo from chewing up first downs and eating up the clock.






Lafayette at Western Hills

Records: Lafayette 6-2 (beat Paul Dunbar 41-0); Western Hills 5-3 (lost to North Oldham 17-7)

Ratings: Lafayette is No. 14 in 6A; Western Hills is No. 17 in 3A.

Stingy Generals: Lafayette's defense has been terrific lately. In wins over Bryan Station, Tates Creek and Dunbar, the Generals have allowed an average of only 155 yards and six points, and forced 12 turnovers.

Last meeting: Darnell Burnside carried eight times for 129 yards and two TDs in Lafayette's 52-13 win over Western Hills last season. The bullish Burnside gets a chance to do more damage Friday night.

Air time: To get its offense going, Western Hills may have to throw the ball against Lafayette. QB Dylan Curry can be effective, as he showed when he completed 24 of 40 passes for 265 yards and three TDs in a win over Henry County. He better beware of Generals Gary Demus and Jamel Sleet, who have nine interceptions between them this season.

Key to victory: Lafayette rushed for 311 yards last week. If the Generals come close to replicating that against Western Hills, they'll be tough to beat.






Lexington Catholic at Apollo

Records: Lexington Catholic 5-4 (beat West Jessamine 69-26); Apollo 2-6 (lost to Graves County 28-14)

Ratings: Lexington Catholic is No. 2 in 4A; Apollo is No. 29 in 6A.

No post-season: When the KHSAA expanded football to six classes, it meant more teams would make the playoffs. That hasn't helped Apollo, which will miss the post-season for the second year in a row. The Eagles went 1-4 in their six-team district this year.

Happy memories: Lexington Catholic QB Nic Ward hopes he has a repeat performance. Last year against Apollo he threw for 183 yards and four TDs, and ran for another score in a 45-10 rout of the Eagles.

Key to victory: This is Lexington Catholic's regular-season finale, so it needs to try to stay sharp. The Knights don't play next week, and they'll be huge favorites in the first round of the playoffs against Bourbon County.






Tates Creek at Bryan Station

Radio: WLAP-AM 630

Records: Tates Creek 2-6 (lost to Henry Clay 32-6); Bryan Station 4-4 (beat Ashland Blazer 28-14)

Ratings: Tates Creek is No. 28 in 6A; Bryan Station is No. 12 in 5A.

Great escapes: Tates Creek has squeaked by Bryan Station the last three years — 35-28 in overtime in 2005; 6-0 in 2006, and 38-35 on a field goal in the closing seconds last year.

Ground to a halt: The Commodores haven't had much of a running attack the last three weeks. In losses to Henry Clay, Scott County and Lafayette, they've rushed for a total of 182 yards. On the season Tates Creek is averaging 100 rushing yards a game. Rozell James leads the team with 400 yards.

Running room: Bryan Station's Patrick Cornett rushed for 222 yards in last week's win over Ashland. That wasn't a school record. William Dishman is believed to have set the standard for the Defenders when he ran for 278 yards against Henry Clay in 1986.

Key to victory: Tates Creek must hold its own up front, offensively and defensively, if it hopes to end a three-game losing streak.






Trinity at Paul Dunbar

Records: Trinity 7-1 (beat Seneca 65-17); Dunbar 1-7 (lost to Lafayette 41-0)

Ratings: Trinity is No. 2 and Dunbar is No. 36 in 6A.

Uh-oh: Not a good time for Dunbar to be facing the defending state champs. The banged-up Bulldogs are coming off a 41-0 loss to Lafayette in which they had five turnovers, barely 100 yards and surrendered 450 yards.

Halfway to 1,000: In its 54th year of football, Trinity notched its 500th victory last week. The Rocks' overall record is 500-140-8, with 18 state titles, including six in the last seven years.

Key to victory: If a monumental upset doesn't happen, Dunbar can get a "moral" victory if it can keep Trinity from winning in a rout. Last year the Rocks led 41-0 at halftime and went on to win 41-7.






TOP STATE GAMES

Danville at Frankfort: Panthers have won two of last three games against Danville.






AROUND THE STATE

Carrying the load: Boone County running back Charles Quainoo had a busy night last Friday. He carried the ball 51 times for 348 yards and three touchdowns in a 28-14 victory over Ryle. Quainoo was a few totes shy of the state record, set by Warren East's Jeremy Britt, who had 57 carries for 486 yards against Owensboro in 1997.

Quainoo, a 5-foot-9, 175-pound junior, leads the state in rushing, averaging 221 yards a game. "We kind of identified him when he was a sophomore that he'd be our tailback this year," Boone County Coach Rick Thompson said.

The Rebels ran 67 offensive plays last week, and Quainoo got the call on all but 16 of them. "We knew we were giving him the ball a lot," Thompson said. "But like (former Boone County coach Owen Hauck) said, you never count how many of this or that, you just want to win the game."

Boone County hosts Henry Clay Friday night in what could be a preview of a second-round playoff game.

Claire the kicker: Bryan Station senior Claire Henkel, an All-City soccer star, kicked an extra point in the Defenders' district win over Ashland Blazer last week. Henkel is believed to be the first girl to score a point for a Lexington high school football team in almost 20 years. Angela Hall was an extra-point kicker for Henry Clay in 1991.

Beth Bates of Williamsburg was the first girl kicker in Kentucky high school football in 1982. Several have followed in her footsteps, including Hall, Henkel and Jessica Batey, who's booted extra points for Mason County the last couple years.

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