Now that we have seen the first Friday under the lights come and go, I will offer some thoughts, observations, stats and random rumblings from the first week.
* #4 Breathitt County vs. #5 Johnson Central - The best match-up of the night was dominated by the Johnson Central offensive line. The backs did an excellent job finding the holes, and that's because there were a lot of them to run through. Props to Breathitt County though. They fell behind 20-0 before rallying to cut the deficit to 20-14. But in the end, the Golden Eagles were just too much 26-14. I also need to mention Freshman CB J.J. Jude. I couldn't think of his name on air to mention it, but I've got it now. He had two really big hits. I was very impressed.
* #7 Letcher Central vs. Harlan County - The Harlan County era has begun, and what a start. A back and forth affair was taken by the Cougars 42-32, but the Black Bears proved that they could hang with a very good team on the road. And how tough is Charlie Banks? The Tim Tebow of the Mountains combined for 5 TDs. The crowd was electric. That's what Friday nights are all about.
* #6 Rockcastle Co. vs. #10 Rockcastle Co. - The Scott Parkey era began with a big win against a very good opponent. The Rockets came back from a halftime deficit to win 34-23. Casey Hayes had 28 carries for 122 yards and a TD. Rock has talked about throwing it more. While they didn't let it fly very much, they were extremely efficient when they did. Dustin Bishop was 6-7 for 121 yards and 3 TDs. That's an absurdly high Passer Efficiency rating.
* South Laurel vs. Holy Cross (Cov.) - Ricky Bowling is chasing Tim Couch and his spot in the records book. Bowling entered the season 38 TDs short of breaking Couch's career TD Passing mark. After tossing 5 of them against Holy Cross, the Senior is now only 33 away from history. While Bowling was tossing TDs, it was Senior running back Stephen Quillen who stole the show. With the Cardinals clinging to a 35-28 lead Quillen took a kick-off 95 yards for a touchdown that put South Laurel out of reach. The Cardinals won 49-35.
* #2 Belfry vs. Holy Cross (Lou.) - The Pirates (Yar!) were up to their usual tricks in a 49-14 victory. These are the rushing stats that were given to us: Lee - 8 carries for 131 yards, 2 TDs... Varney - 7 carries for 152 yards, TD... Maynard - 5 carries for 148 yards, 2 TDs. If you combine the 3 that's 20 carries for 431 yards and 5 TDs. That's also 21.55 yards per carry. Good luck to their opponents.
* Betsy Layne vs. Burch, WV - The Bobcats started their season off on the right foot with a 34-12 win. They were led by a pair of Sophomore running backs. Dylan Maldonado had 14 carries for 212 yards. Casey Adkins had 12 carries for 104 yards. Could this be the year Betsy Layne finally makes the playoffs? Stay tuned.
We do it all over again on Saturday as several local High School teams are in action. What an opening week of football. College games on Thursday, High School on Friday, more High School and College on Saturday and UK taking on Louisville on Sunday. It's a football fans feast.
~ Jeff Archer