All game times 7:30 p.m. unless noted
Boone County at Lafayette
Records: Boone County 8-4 (beat Ryle 14-7 last week); Lafayette 9-3 (beat Campbell County 20-7)
Balanced Boone: When Boone County was a state power in the 1980s and '90s, it won with a relentless running attack (led by star tailbacks like Shaun Alexander) behind a physical front line. This year's Rebels like that smash-mouth style, too, but they're capable of throwing the ball effectively. Kameron Schwartz has passed for 1,433 yards and 13 TDs, which complements the ground game that features Cody Rodriguez (786 yards rushing), Bryson Thompson (582), Drew Stuck (434) and Mikel Reynolds (311).
Go-to Generals: Boone County's defense will focus on Lafayette's Bubba Johnson, who's generated almost 2,000 yards and 20 TDs rushing and receiving. But QBs Jeremy Smith and Garrett Peavler have combined to throw for more than 1,600 yards and 13 TDs, with Tray Chester and Darius Hughes their favorite targets.
Common foes: Boone County beat Madison Central, which beat Lafayette. The Generals beat Dixie Heights (who was without star QB Zeke Pike). Boone County lost to Dixie Heights (with Pike in the lineup).
Next up: The winner goes on the road to play the Eastern-Scott County winner next week.
Boyle County at Lexington Catholic
Radio: WMJR-AM 1380, WMJR-FM 94.9, WVLK-FM 101.5
Records: Boyle County 9-3 (beat Rockcastle County 23-0); Lexington Catholic 10-2 (beat Mercer County 44-7)
First time around: In LexCath's 20-13 win over the Rebels on Sept. 30, Kyle Bolin threw for 369 yards, including a game-winning 77-yard TD to Casey Nash with five minutes left. Just before that, Boyle County had missed a field-goal attempt after a 10-minute, 22-play drive. Coach Larry French said his players "realize they had a chance to win the game, but we just didn't finish plays. That's kind of what's been haunting us all year long. We get a good drive going, but then it stalls."
Run vs. pass: Boyle County's bread and butter is its running game. In the last three games against LexCath, the Rebels have totaled 1,066 yards on the ground, led by Devon Cox with 442 yards. The Knights, on the other hand, have strafed Boyle County with their passing attack. In the last three games against Boyle County, Bolin has thrown for 850 yards and four TDs.
Next up: The winner plays host to the Highlands-Covington Catholic winner next week.
Lexington Christian at Somerset
Radio: WJMM-FM 99.1
Records: LCA 6-6 (beat Leslie County 27-20); Somerset 8-4 (beat Danville 34-23)
First time around: Somerset beat LCA 37-6 on Oct. 14 as QB Alex Lange ran for 120 yards and 3 TDs, and Tyler Megargle picked off three of the Jumpers' five interceptions. LCA's TD came on Justin King's 98-yard kickoff return.
Jumpers' jump-starters: Somerset QB Alex Lange is a threat as a runner and passer, accounting for almost 2,000 yards. Storm Wilson has more than 500 yards receiving. Both Briar Jumpers had two TDs apiece in last week's win, including an 83-yard kickoff return by Wilson and a 27-yard fumble return by Lange.
Calling on the 'D': If LCA is to pull the upset, its defense will have to play its best game of the season. Chad Hall, Clay Mossbarger, Ben Farhat and Adam Hilton will have to lead the charge to keep the Jumpers from putting up a lot of points because LCA's offense might not have the firepower to keep up.
Next up: The winner goes on the road to play the Newport Central Catholic-Covington Holy Cross winner next week.
Top state games
Class 3A — Belfry at Breathitt County: Last time these teams met was in 2008 state semifinals, and Breathitt County won 14-12.
Class 3A — Bell County at Central: Bell County, which dropped from 4A to 3A this year, takes on defending champ Yellowjackets.
Class 4A — Covington Catholic at Highlands: CovCath gave unbeaten Bluebirds a tough test before falling 42-37 during regular season.
Class 6A — Trinity vs. St. Xavier at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium, 8 p.m.: Trinity has won five of last six playoff games against the Tigers.
AROUND THE STATE
Giddy in Garrard
It's already been a memorable football season for Garrard County, which has won 11 games and claimed its first district title in 18 years, and several of its players have set or are on the verge of breaking school records.
The Golden Lions can make it an historic season Friday night. If they beat Powell County in the Class 3A playoffs, they will be the first Garrard County football team to win a region title. "We as coaches have been putting that out there — telling them they have the opportunity to do something special and solidify themselves as one of the best teams ever to come through Garrard County," Coach Mark Scenters said.
The Golden Lions beat Powell County 57-27 in late September. Scenters expects a much tougher game in the rematch, but Garrard County, on a 10-game winning streak, is still a solid favorite.
Running backs Markell Hayes and Cory Wilson both eclipsed the single-season rushing record last week.
Hayes has 1,503 yards and is close to setting a new standard for all-purpose production.
Wilson has 1,498 yards and is close to the school's career rushing mark. Tyler McCoy has rewritten most of Garrard County's receiving records, while Bret Dowell is one of the all-time tacklers.
Powell County, like Garrard County, is trying to win its first region title. Whichever team prevails Friday will host the state semifinals the day after Thanksgiving against either Belfry or Breathitt County.