Friday football digest, week 9
If you ask me who’s going to win tonight’s Mercer County-Lincoln County game, there’s no telling what I’ll say.
When the Advocate sports staff made its predictions before the season, I went with Mercer. Recently I’ve leaned toward Lincoln. Now, hours before the teams meet in a crucial District 5A-7 game for both sides, I could go either way.
It’s a game both teams have to win, but Lincoln might need it more. The Patriots are down to two chances to qualify for the 5A playoffs, this game and next week’s home game against South Laurel. And this is the first game in a month that they should legitimately have a chance to win after taking hits from Southwestern, Pulaski County and Meade County in the last three weeks.
Mercer already has its win over South Laurel but would also like to get back on track after consecutive losses to Marion County and Southwestern. The Titans can clinch a playoff spot and move up a notch on the district ladder if they can beat Lincoln for the fourth straight year.
As for my final answer, I’m saying they can. Mercer has speed and big-play capability that Lincoln can’t match, and that could well make the difference tonight in Death Valley. Lincoln has become much better at moving the football and will try to shorten the game with long, methodical drives and no more passes than are absolutely necessary. If the Patriots can run the ball well and keep Mercer’s offense off the field for two-thirds of the game, they’ll probably win. But the Titans are going to make some big plays, and those are probably going to make the difference.
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It was only a couple of weeks ago that West Jessamine was undefeated and talking about the possibility of taking down Boyle County and Lexington Catholic in District 4A-6. However, that was before the Colts were beaten by local and district rival East Jessamine last week.
Then there’s Fort Knox, a team that has pulled itself up and off the list of the very worst teams in Kentucky. The Eagles are averaging 32.4 points per game this season, and they’ve already scored more points this fall than in any of their seven previous seasons.
Both teams are competitive now, which wasn’t the case just a couple of years ago. But they are no match for Boyle County and Danville, the teams they play tonight. Look for the Rebels and Admirals to follow up their big district wins last week with big district wins this week.
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And in McKee, Casey County should clinch a winning season with a win at Jackson County, where my alma mater just can’t seem to figure out football. The Rebels are 5-3 and headed for their first winning campaign since 2002, when they finished 7-4. They’re also headed into a crucial District 3A-5 home game with Garrard County next week.
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I finally broke my string of 4-1 prediction weeks by going 6-0 last week, although it wasn’t exactly the toughest slate of games to pick. As for this week:
- Boyle County over West Jessamine.
- Casey County over Jackson County.
- Danville over Fort Knox.
- Garrard County over Taylor County.
- Mercer County over Lincoln County.
Last week: 6-0; season 36-7 (.837).