The Ball Report

Rivalries Highlight Semifinal Football Action

By: Gary Ball
By: Gary Ball

High school football is coming to a close on December 12 and 13 in Louisville. However, many would argue that the big games are this week in the state semifinal round. I thought I would take a look at the big match-ups this week that are pointing toward the finals of KHSAA Commonwealth Gridiron Bowl of 2008.

High school football is coming to a close on December 12 and 13 in Louisville. However, many would argue that the big games are this week in the state semifinal round. I thought I would take a look at the big match-ups this week that are pointing toward the finals of KHSAA Commonwealth Gridiron Bowl of 2008.

You have to start with Trinity at St.Xavier. These two football titans will square off Friday night December 5th at Papa Johns Cardinal Stadium. They met earlier on October 3rd at Papa Johns’ and about 39,000 of their closest friends showed up for that game. St. Xavier prevailed 30-6 in the first meeting. Trinity on the other hand is chasing State Championship number nineteen. The Shamrocks are led by Tim Phillips at running back and quarterback Cam Smythe. Jordan Whiting heads up the Rocks defense and is headed to Ohio State next season. St. X will counter with Rolandon Finch or “Deuce” as he is nicknamed. Finch has rushed for over 1,300 yards and 30 touchdowns. The crowd that witnessed the first meeting of these two teams will likely not be as big as the game played at Tiger stadium, but it won’t lack for fireworks. Sports Illustrated earlier this year picked this game as one of the best rivalries in all of America.

The next big game takes place at Bell County. The Bobcats will host Boyle County with both teams bringing perfect 13-0 records into the 4-A match up in Pineville. This one will be a dandy with Dudley Hilton going against Larry French. Bell County has rolled this year with one of the best kickers in the country in Monte Merrick. The Bobcats are big and physical, and will give Boyle fits with their ground game led by Spencer Greer, along with their ability to control the clock. Boyle will try and get Reese Macsahra loose again like he performed against Lexington Catholic with 127 yards and three scores. This should be a very close hard fought game and may come down to who has the football last.

Another big rivalry will take place in Hazard. The Bulldogs will host Lexington Christian Academy. This will mark the homecoming of LCA coach Paul Rains who coached at Hazard for several years. It will also mark the homecoming of sorts for tight end Joey Meehan of LCA as he played at Hazard last season. His family moved to Lexington when his mother took a state job in Frankfort. Tyler Olinger is a four year starter at quarterback for Hazard, and he has big Michael Campbell to help him get out of tight spots. Lucas Witt is the trigger man for LCA, and has Dominique Hayden to bail him out of pressure situations. Dougie Allen and I called the first meeting between these two teams played at LCA. LCA broke open a close 12-7 halftime score with 32 unanswered points to win 49-7. I think this game will be closer and will come down to which team can protect the football.

Some other big match-ups that are certainly worth mentioning include Newport Central Catholic who travels to Corbin to take on the undefeated Redhounds of Steve Jewell. This will be a game to watch between two great 2-A teams. Also, Highlands travels to Whitley County in a battle of two good teams with 12 & 1 records.

Watch highlights of these games on Friday night Flights and on Saturday morning at 11:30 AM on the Scholastic Ball Report on WKYT Channel 27.
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