City games (All game times 7:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted)
BRYAN STATION AT CLARK COUNTY
Last year’s records: Bryan Station 9-3; Clark County 8-4
Heavy hearts: It’s been a difficult week for Clark County since senior receiverdefensive back Mykal Barnes was critically injured in a car accident Sunday night. He’s in the University of Kentucky Medical Center. Cards Coach Paul Columbia canceled practice on Monday so the team could visit Barnes in the hospital.
Familiar foe: Kenny Turner makes his debut as Bryan Station coach against a familiar opponent. In seven years as coach at Madison Central, Turner won seven of eight games against Clark County. He was 7-0 before losing to the Cards last year.
New-look Defenders: Tailback Tevin McCaden was Bryan Station’s workhorse last year, starting within a season-opening 56-24 win over Clark County. McCaden ran for 236 yards and had 5 TDs in that victory. McCaden has graduated, and KennyTurner has put in a new offense that will spread the ball around. Defenders QB Mike Winkler will look to get the ball to RBs LeDarius Jackson, Elijah Burdette and Everett Talbert, and WRs Tyriq Roberts and Loran Smith, among others.
LAFAYETTE AT TATES CREEK (Roy G. Walton Bowl)
Radio: WLAP-AM 630
Last year’s records: Lafayette 6-5; Tates Creek 5-6
Generals on a roll: Lafayette has beaten the Commodores five years in a row, including 34-19 last year.
Healthy at last: Tates Creek RB Jontez Jones has been nagged by injuries the last two years, but he’s ready to roll from the get-go this season. “If healthy, he’s pretty special,” Coach Mike Harmon said. Jones rushed for 507 yards and 7 TDs last year. Jones, Brandon Shrout (522 yards, 4 TDs) and newcomer Jamal McFarland should give the Commodores a dangerous running game.Johnson & Johnson: Brothers Marlon and William “Bubba” Johnson were instrumental in Lafayette’s win over Tates Creek last year. Marlon returned a kickoff 87 yards for a TD, and Bubba led the Generals’ defense with 7 tackles. The Johnsons should be two key players for Lafayette this season.
LEXINGTON CATHOLIC AT WHITLEY COUNTY
Radio: WMJR-AM 1380
Last year’s records: Lexington Catholic 8-5; Whitley County 7-5
First impression: When asked how his Whitley County team is looking, Jim Black laughed and said, “I’ve got one good thing to say: They practice hard and play hard.” The Colonels are rebuilding, especially on offense. One returnee is Cody Bramlett, who rushed for 1,038 yards last year. “We need to learn where we’re supposed to be and what we’re supposed to do,” Black said.
Comeback Knights: LexCath rallied from a 19-point deficit to beat Whitley County 43-33 last year.Holes to fill: Bill Letton, who has been coaching more than 20 years, can’t remember having a younger team than these Knights. They graduated leading rusher Greg Raglin (1,763 yards), passer Nic Ward (2,026 yards), receiver Ryne Least (804 yards), and their top six tacklers. Among the key newcomers this year is sophomore QB Kyle Bolin.
Top state games
Boyle County at Johnson Central: 5A Golden Eagles try to end reigning 4A champ Boyle County’s 15-game winning streak.
Mason County at Danville: Admirals Coach Sam Harp seeking 300th career victory. Danville lost to the Royals in last year’s opener.
PAUL DUNBAR AT NORTH HARDIN (Joe Jaggers Classic, 5:30 p.m.)
Last year’s records: Dunbar 2-9; North Hardin 2-8
Mirror images: Since posting a 9-4 record in 2004, North Hardin has gone 21-33. Crad Jaggers is in his third of year of rebuilding the Trojans, who lost their last eight games last season. Since posting a 10-3 record in 2005, Dunbar has gone 8-36. Bob Lawson is in his first year of rebuilding the Bulldogs, who lost their last seven games last season.
New QB: Junior Blake Martin will be Dunbar’s starting QB after seeing spot duty last season when he completed 7 of 22 passes for 75 yards and 2 TDs. He carried seven times for a net six6 yards.College connection: Crad Jaggers began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Cumberland College when Bob Lawson was a senior on the team. “There is only about two years age difference between us, but nonetheless, I’m coaching against one of my former players,” Jaggers told the Elizabethtown News-Enterprise.
Honoring Roy Walton
Too bad Lafayette’s new stadium isn’t ready so the Generals could play host to Tates Creek in the inaugural Roy Walton Bowl. It would’ve brought Walton’s legacy full circle at Lafayette. On Sept. 5, 1958, Walton made his head coaching debut in Lafayette’s first new stadium. (The Generals beat Prestonsburg 14-13.)
But it’s fitting that Friday’s bowl will be played in Roy Walton Stadium at Tates Creek, the school where he posted most of his 219 career victories. The bowl game’s winning team will take possession of a trophy and a bucket. (Before practice Walton always told his players to grab a bucket and go to work.)
A tribute to the late coach will be held in Tates Creek’s theater at 6 p.m. Friday. Walton’s former players from Lafayette and Tates Creek will speak.
Here’s where and when Kentucky’s six reigning state titlists start the season:
St. Xavier (6A) at home against Ballard on Aug. 27.
Highlands (5A) at home against Manual on Friday.
Boyle County (4A) visits Johnson Central on Friday.
Paducah Tilghman (3A) visits Hopkinsville on Friday.
Fort Campbell (2A) visits Nashville (Tenn.) Christ Presbyterian on Friday.
Lexington Christian (1A) at home against Christ Presbyterian on Aug. 27.