Friday football digest, week 14
We’re down to only two Advocate-area teams remaining in the postseason, but both of those teams have compelling story lines in tonight’s regional finals.
There is no more compelling game locally — at least none that is played on a regular basis — than Boyle County vs. Lexington Catholic, and it’s because of their shared playoff history. The two teams have played seven postseason games since 1998, and they have met in the playoffs in each of the last four seasons and have played in the regional finals for three straight years.
Boyle leads the overall series 11-6 and has won five of their seven playoff meetings. It’s also interesting to note — though probably useless — that in each of the seven seasons in which the two teams have met in both the regular season and playoffs, the team that won the first meeting also won the second.
Naturally, tonight’s Class 4A, Region 3 final at LexCath’s Ford Stadium is the most anticipated game of the year on both sides of the rivalry. And naturally, opinion about which team will prevail is split. At this hour, a Bluegrasspreps.com poll on the game has 46 votes for LexCath and 36 for Boyle.
Boyle isn’t going to stop the Knights’ passing game, but the Rebels must at least contain it to some extent. LexCath quarterback Kyle Bolin torched the Rebels for 369 yards in the Knights’ 20-13 win on Sept. 30, and if he does that again Boyle could be in big trouble. On the flip side, the key for Boyle’s offense may not necessarily be putting up big numbers via either the pass or the run, but rather avoiding the mistakes that hurt the Rebels in the first meeting and that have hurt them at other times this season as well.
The other area game is also a regular-season rematch, as Powell County plays Garrard County at Dyehouse Stadium in Lancaster for the second time this season to decide the Class 3A, Region 3 championship — and give the winner its first regional title. The first game went pretty well for Garrard, which won 57-27 on Sept. 30. The game might be best remembered for a halftime power outage that prompted a 15-minute delay, but the Golden Lions had plenty of power.
Powell has had a rocky road in the seven weeks since. The Pirates took a three-game losing streak into the playoffs after losing to Bourbon County, Western Hills and Fairview and were saddled with a No. 4 seed, but then they smoked Lewis County on the road for the second time this season, then avenged their loss to Bourbon last week. Suddenly a team that had never won a playoff game before this season is on the verge of becoming one of the state’s best stories.
However, Garrard has been rolling right along. The Lions have won 10 straight games since their lone loss to Danville in week two, and they looked pretty good in pasting West Carter and Russell in their first two playoff games. The same defense that shut down Powell’s running game in the second half of their September meeting seems to be only getting better and hasn’t allowed more than two touchdowns in any of Garrard’s last four games.
The Bluegrasspreps.com poll on this game hasn’t drawn as much interest as the Boyle-LexCath poll and is decidedly more one-sided, with Garrard leading Powell 19-2.
Now for the picks:
- Garrard County over Powell County.
- Lexington Catholic over Boyle County.
Last week: 5-0; season: 56-10 (.848).