Friday football digest, week 12

Week 12 means it’s week one of the playoffs, and that means win or be gone. I believe most of the most the six Advocate-area teams will live to fight another week, though I realize my opinion counts pretty much the same as everyone else’s, which is to say not much.

The first-round games for those six teams are for the most part pretty good, though the lot of them isn’t quite as compelling as it was this time a year ago. Still, look for at least a couple of good football games in the group tonight.

I’m calling for statistical upsets in both games in which the local No. 3 seed plays a No. 2 seed. That means Garrard County over Russell in 3A and Mercer County over Knox Central in 4A.

Start with Garrard, a team that certainly isn’t what it was a year ago at this time, when it started a playoff roll that lasted all the way to the semifinals. Among the Golden Lions’ victims last November was Russell, a team that doesn’t look appreciably better this season. This is a game in which Garrard’s defense could lock down the Red Devils.

As for Mercer, it’s on something of a roll with wins in four of its last five games. Knox has only lost once, but the Panthers look like a team that can be scored upon, and the Titans have been getting better at putting points on the board. They’ll give up some points tonight, but they’ll still be in position for a second straight first-round road win if they can keep pace.

Elsewhere, it looks like a winning night for Boyle County and Danville, the only two area teams playing at home. Boyle faces a Clay County team that can give up points in bunches in its 4A game, and Danville plays a 2A game against a Betsy Layne team trying to move way, way up in class.

The task will be much tougher for Lincoln County, which travels to Harlan County to face the No. 1 rushing offense in the state in a 5A game, and Casey County, which plays at Central in a 3A first-round game for the second straight year but doesn’t have the experience of the group it sent to Louisville last year.

And so, the picks:

  • Boyle County over Clay County.
  • Central over Casey County.
  • Danville over Betsy Layne.
  • Garrard County over Russell.
  • Harlan County over Lincoln County.
  • Mercer County over Knox Central.

Last week: 3-1; season: 38-14 (.731).

 

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