Week 4 of the High School football season has a lot of big District games... and several very interesting non-District games.
#6 Rockcastle County (3-0) vs. #1 Bell County (3-0)
What can you say about this game that hasn't already been said. Both teams enter undefeated. Both teams use a power running attack. Both teams are throwing it a bit more this season. Every meeting between these two squads draws a lot of attention. It also usually decides who wins the regular season District title... and this year should be no different. The Rockets want revenge for last season when Bell County shut them out in both contests. For Scott Parkey, it's his first Rock/Bell game as head coach. That will only add to the pressure. It will be interesting to watch the two runningbacks go at it. Casey Hayes from Rock (86-492 yards and 4 TDs) and Spencer Greer from Bell (62-527 yards, 7 TDs) are two of the better backs around. Don't be surprised to see Rock try and go to the air. Dustin Bishop has already thrown 8 touchdowns this season for the Rockets.
#8 Letcher Central (2-1) vs. Clay County (2-1)
Do you like offense? If so, you might want to head on down to Whitesburg. Both teams can put up some numbers, and while they have gotten better on defense, still are not ready to shut anybody down yet. The quarterbacks make both of these teams go. For Clay, the tigers are led by Zach Lewis, who is now 667 yards away from breaking Tim Couch's career passing yardage mark. He has a stable of good wide outs to go to. On the other sideline is Charlie Banks (a.k.a., the Tim Tebow of the Mountains). Banks is an unstoppable force when he runs it, and he's not too bad letting it fly either. The first team to 50 wins, maybe. This is a huge District game for both teams.
North Laurel (1-2) vs. Whitley County (2-1)
This Friday night will go a LONG way in deciding who will claim the Class 5A, District 8 regular season title. Letcher and Clay both have their eyes on the prize, but Letcher has already absord a District loss to Perry Central. North and Whitley are both looking for a big District win as well. Losing this one would really put either team behind the 8 ball. Whitley has an excellent power rushing attack. Or should I say "Powers" rushing attack, as in Jason Powers. The Senior has gained 360 yards on 52 carries and has scored 6 touchdowns. As North Laurel Head Coach David Abbott says "We've got to play an almost perfect game to keep it close with these guys. They run the ball extremely well."
Perry Central (2-1) on a bye
I know you are saying "Hey, they don't play". And you're right. I just want to point out how beneficial it is for the Commodores to have a bye week this week. They can scout North Laurel, Whitley County, Clay County and Hazard all in the same week by going to 3 locations. That's very helpful.
Paintsville (2-1) vs. Allen Central (3-0)
Classic finese versus power mathcup. Paintsville likes to spread it out with 4 or 5 wide while Allen Central likes to pack it in between the hashes. The Rebels are off to their best start in a long time, but they're going to have their hands full this Friday with the Tigers. The Rebels get it done with a "crowded" backfield of Logan Crowder, Hunter Crowder and Justin Jackson. The three have combined for 999 yards and 11 TDs in the first 3 games. The backs seem very willing to give the credit for their success to a much improved offensive line. Tyler Deaton makes things go for Paintsville both by running and throwing. Deaton has completed 23 of 39 passes for 276 yards and 4 TDs. He's also rushed for 157 yards and 5 TDs. Nehemiah Doderer has been a real weapon for Paintsville. He's picked up 334 yards and 3 TDs on only 25 carries. This game will say a lot about where both teams stand, especially in the District.
#7 Corbin (3-0) vs. South Laurel (2-1)
This is an extremely interesting non-District game. Not only is there a contrast in styles, but both are very good at what they do. Corbin had the chance to rest up last week after receiving a forfeit win. That may come in handy since the Cardinals will be flying all over the place. Ricky Bowling, Stephen Quillen and Jake Cobb will have South Laurel ready to score. But Corbin has their own offensive weapons, in particular, Ryan Fritts. The Senior is averaging 156 yards and 2.5 TDs a game. The difference maker could be Michael Campbell for Corbin. He's been a beast on the defensive side of the ball for the Redhounds.
Make sure to support your local teams. And make sure to check out Sports Overtime for the best highlights, scores and game breakdowns each Friday night.
- Jeff Archer