It's time for another week of high school football. Many games actually count this week (District Games). The most entertaining District in the Mountains has to be Class 5A, District 8 where any team truly can win on any given night.
#9 Perry Central (4-1, 0-1) @ North Laurel (4-1, 1-0)
This game will go a long way towards deceding seeding in the District. This game is a contrast in style. Perry Central will let QB Jordan Amis create a lot. Amis has really improved his throwing this season (14 TDS, 2 Ints.). But he can still beat you with his legs (476 Yards, 7 TDs). He's not the only one who can beat you though. WRs Darryl Beaty (315 Yds, 6 TDs) and Jay White (326 Yds, 7 TDs) are dangerous, especially when Amis creates time by scrambling and finding them when the coverage breaks down. And RD Bryan Rankin (426 Yds, 6 TDs) is tough to bring down. But North has one of the best backs in the mountains in terms of physical running and athleticism with Adrain Wardrup. Watch for more "Wildjag" formations from North Laurel. The team whose defense can make the most stops wins.
#7 Letcher Central (4-1, 1-0) @ Harlan County (3-2, 0-1)
Everyone always talks about Letcher Central's spread offense and their passing game. But it's their running game from the spread formation that you have to watch out for. The Cougars have scored 11 TDs on the ground while throwing only 3 TD passes. Harlan County definitely does not spread it out. They look like a Tom Larkey team. Line it up and smack you in the face. It's a matchup of two old school coaches. Both Hillard Howard and Tom Larkey have won a lot of games. It'll be fun to see what these two come up with for this game.
Whitley County (2-3, 1-0) @ Clay County (3-2, 0-1)
The Tigers have to overcome the loss of QB JV Hooker (7 Total TDs) who is out for the season with an ACL injury. Noah Reid (473 Yds, 8 TDs rushing) will be counted on even more. Whitley County got a much needed win last week over Harlan County after back-to-back disappointing losses to Bell County and Belfry. If Whitley County can play at the level they are capable of, they are one of the better teams in the Mountains. Now would be the perfect time for the Colonels to get rolling.
Knox Central (3-3, 1-0) @ #1 Bell County (4-1, 1-0)
Bell County has responded nicely since their opening loss to Alcoa, TN. The defense seems to be back for the Bobcats. They have giving up 7 or less points in their last 3 games. Cory Davenport (669 Yds, 11 TDs) is also putting up some big numbers from the tailback position. Knox Central has picked up some momentum since opening the season 0-2. The Panthers are 3-1 in their last 4 games. These 2 played a pair of great games last season with Bell County winning both. Wayne Mills is a former assistant of Dudley Hilton. Bell seems like a big favorite, but these two always seem to play close.
Pikeville (2-3) @ #4 Belfry (3-2)
It's a non-conference game with a lot of bragging rights on the line... although the rights have belonged to the Pirates for nearly a decade now. Pikeville got a much needed win over Allen Central last week. It gave them control of the District and some confidence, which they'll need against Belfry. The Pirates were 1-2 to start the season but have pulled out a pair of big wins the past two weeks. They won a wild one at Letcher Central before pulling away in the second half at Whitley County. The Pirates are looking to keep bragging rights at the CAM... and Thomas Varney (860 Yds, 8 TDs) certainly will be counted on to do his part.
Any thoughts on this weekends games? And as always support your local teams.
~ Jeff Archer