We have reached the mid-point of the season and there still are a lot of questions to be answered. We should get some of those answers this week with a full slate of District games.
#9 Perry Central @ #7 Letcher Central
What a great District game this is. The two teams are a combined 7-1. It will feature Perry Central's high flying offense (50.25 pts/g) against Letcher Central's stout defense (14.25 pts/g). Lots of talent to watch in this game. But the crowd may be more interesting to watch in this one. Letcher Central felt the fans went beyond good taste at last years loss at Commodore field. It will be interesting to see if Cougar Field is just as hostile. How important is this game? Well, consider the fact that in the 2 years of the District's existence, the District Champion has gone undefeated in District play.
Rockcastle County @ #1 Bell County
This is a great classic rivalry. These have been two of the better powerhouses in the Mountains. While the Rockets may not be in the Top 10 at the moment, but they have a lot of talent. This will be a good match up of talented running backs. Clark Rowe of Rock (757 yards, 9 TDs) squares off with Cory Davenport (504 yards, 8 TDs) of Bell. Of course, the true match up will be in the trenches. It always is when Rock and Bell meet up. Keep your eye on Dustin Bishop of Rockcastle County. The Senior QB has played in this game several times before and shouldn't be rattled by the atmosphere... by the Bobcats defense maybe, but not the atmosphere.
Johnson Central @ Breathitt County
This game is one of those that intrigues me. Both teams are not having the seasons they would have hoped for, with identical 1-4 records. This game will be big in terms of momentum as they head into District play. This game means nothing and everything at the same time. The Bobcats are going to have to find some offense besides Channing Fugate. The Golden Eagles will have to simply find some offense. Although it is the defenses that have really let them both down. In their combined 10 games, they have only head an opponent under 20 points once (Breathitt's 6-0 loss to Sheldon Clark).
#10 Hazard @ #2 Corbin
It's a Dog Fight in Corbin. The Hounds host the Bulldogs. Corbin has been rolling along this season and could get their first real test. Hazard looked exceptional in their 63-8 dismantling of Williamsburg last week. This game is an interesting quarterback match up. Jon Combs of Hazard was nearly perfect (9-10, 189 Yards, 3 TDs passing; 2 TDs rushing) against the Yellowjackets. Roman Mitchell was 10-15 for 136 yards and 2 TDs in their win over South Laurel last week. I don't think the Redhounds will rely heavily on him, but it's nice to know what he can do. Allan Fugate for Hazard may also be a reason whey they may not throw it a lot. He tends to crush quarterbacks.
#3 Prestonsburg @ #8 Sheldon Clark
Prestonsburg will get another tough test in this one. The Cardinals have proven that they can hit, and hit hard. This will be a great measuring stick game for Sheldon Clark. Their wins over Johnson Central and Breathitt County don't look quite as impressive now. This is a very good QB showdown. Austin Stepp of Sheldon Clark has shown he can throw a pretty ball when given time. Michael Burchett of Prestonsburg is the best game manager I have seen at the QB position in a while. You can not rattle him (plus he has a 31 ACT which means that he is "wicked smart".)
Class A, District 8
There are a pair of games this weekend that will go a long way in determining how Class A, District 8 shapes up. Allen Central travels to Pikeville. If the Rebels win then the District should be theirs. Betsy Layne hits the road to Phelps. This game could very easily be considered a play-in game for the playoffs. Win and your in. It doesn't guarantee anything, but it will sure go a long way.
Any thoughts? We'd love to hear from you. And as always, support your local high schools.
~ Jeff Archer