Beyond the Box Scores

Week 5 High School Mountain Football Preview

By: Jeff Archer
By: Jeff Archer

There are games that mean a lot to the playoffs this week, then there's the game that simply means a lot.

Where do we start this week?  There are two highly anticipated games.  One in Harlan and one in Hazard.

Harlan County (3-1) vs. Breathitt County (2-2)

This has been one of the most anticipated games since the schedules first came out.  It's the home opener for the Harlan County Blackbears.  Not only that, this game may be the deciding factor in the District Championship.  Both teams play some pretty good defense.  Both teams also follow the lead a strong runner.  Nathan Gilliam has picked up 440 yards and 7 touchdowns on 57 carries for HCHS while Channing Fugate has carried 60 times for 568 yards and 3 TDs for the Bobcats.  Should be a great game with a great atmosphere.

#9 Perry Central (2-1) vs. #5 Hazard (3-1)

This rivalry has become incredibly heated... no matter what the sport.  Last years Regional basketball game was finished with police surrounding the court.  There was a tussle during their baseball game in the Spring and the two schools fought after a soccer game just last week.  On the football field, this game promises to be a phenomenal one.  The Commodores had a bye last week after winning a spectacular game against Letcher Central.  The Bulldogs come in winners of 3 straight.  For Perry Central two players make this team go.  Demetri Travis does it all.  He is a pure play maker who can beat you on the ground, catching passes out of the backfield, on the defensive side of the ball and on kick returns.  And you can't forget about Jordan Amis.  The PCC quarterback just has a way of making things happen both running and throwing.  For Hazard, they may be without the services of a couple of key players.  But they will have Greg Adams.  He has put up some eye popping numbers.  He has 603 yards and 8 touchdowns on only 38 carries.  That's a 15.9 yards/carry average!  This game will be one to see.

Harlan (0-3) vs. Pineville (0-3)

I realize that the two teams are a combined 0-6, but with a 4 team District (along with Hazard and Jenkins) this game could very well determine which team gets a home playoff game.  Both teams said that their goal was to host a home playoff game this season.  It would be easy to miss the play of Kenny Pennington on the defensive side of the ball, but the linebacker is always around the football.  Pineville is coming off a bye week, which should help head coach Bart Elam come up with a solid game plan.

Somerset (2-2) vs. Wayne County (2-1)

The Briar Jumpers lost a lot of experience from last years team, but this years team has looked solid in the early goings.  Somerset uses a much more balanced attack, and if anything is more run heavy.  Wayne County has picked up two straight District wins.  A third straight win would put them in good position.  If Somerset were to fall in this one, they would be most likely on the road in the first round of the playoffs.

#10 Rockcastle County (3-1) vs. Knox Central (2-2)

We will see how the Rockets respond from a big loss to Bell County last week.  They will rely on their running game.  The same can be said for the Panthers of Knox Central.  Both teams like to move the ball on the ground, but both can also let it fly if necessary.  This game will most likely determine who is at home in the first round and who hits the road.

Pulaski County (1-2) vs. South Laurel (2-2)

In Class 5A, District 7 wins are a precious commodity.  The two teams share a couple of things in common.  Both are led by a dynamic QB-RB-WR/RB trio and both previously resided in the Mountain Top 10.  The Cardinals have Ricky Bowling (88-118, 1422 yards, 11 TDs, 1 INT), Stephen Quillen (592 yards and 6 TDs combined rushing and receiving) and Jake Cobb (21 catches, 510 yards, 7 TDs).  The Maroons feature Chris Muse (21-27, 297 yards, 3 TDs passing; 17-194 and 2 TDs rushing), Winston Hines (34 carries for 139 yards, 2 TDs) and Alex Abner (21 carries, 183 yards, TD).  If you like offense, then you should enjoy this game.

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