…and then, there were eight (8)… @minguabeefjerky @1776Bank @PrepSpin @MaxPreps @KyHighFootball @kyhighs @HLPreps

Dudley Hilton's Bell County Bobcats are still "in it."

We’ve gotten down to the wire in the KHSAA

My daddy used to call this the nut-cutting time. Of course, he grew up on a working farm which had livestock, including cows, and he knew full well there were certain days when a rancher had to decide which of the cattle would be castrated and which would be allowed to become bulls. Nothing that serious (or painful) going on here, but we are marching toward crowning some football champions and we are down to the last eight (8) teams in each classification. If your team is still alive, and we ever voted for them in an AP, weekly top-ten poll, now you know we were right, and our detractors were wrong. Ha! Ha!

Fletcher W. Long, KPGFootball Senior Scout

We are down to the final eight (8) in each classification. For purposes of ease, we will set out the Regional Finals in each classification, tell you which team travels, and tell you which “underdogs” have the most potential to “bite.”

Class 1A

Holy Cross (Louisville, 9-3) at Crittenden County (8-4); Newport Central Catholic (10-2) at Kentucky County Day (9-2); Paintsville (6-5) at Pikeville (9-2); Hazard (8-4) at Raceland (11-1).

Ordinarily, that Paintsville team would look mighty dangerous. It has one of the better football players in any classification in Harris Phelps.

Paintsville…has one of the better football players in any classification in Harris Phelps.

HB Lyon, Senior Sport Writer, KPGFootball

However, they are playing the one, 1A team, no other team in the classification can effectively challenge in Pikeville. Pikeville has two losses this year, but not to 1A football teams.

Mighty Pikeville

Hazard, which finished the regular season 6-4, has shown its steel, so has Crittenden County. We aren’t saying Hazard beats Raceland on the road, but the Bulldogs have proven they have the mettle and the talent.

Holy Cross is very likely to not find the environs too friendly in Marion. The Rockets are tough customers and have the ships firing on all cylinders heading into this matchup.

Class 2A

Lexington Christian Academy (8-4) at Owensboro Catholic (9-3); Metcalfe County (12-0) at Mayfield (12-0); Shelby Valley (10-2) at Beechwood (11-1); Breathitt County (9-2) at Lloyd Memorial (9-3).

Lexington Christian Academy had some injuries this year which resulted in some of the four (4) losses you see recorded. A healthy LCA is a dangerous team to have to play Cutter Boley may be the South’s best QB, much less Kentucky’s. Boley is ranked the nation’s number four (4) QB in the ’25 graduating class.

A healthy LCA is a dangerous team to have to play

HB Lyon
The “Trinity” of 2A; hard not to pick the
boys from Ft. Mitchell

Owensboro Catholic is a team which makes opponents kind of snicker when it unloads. Nothing funny about them as they might have the commonwealth’s elite coaching staff. Nothing funny about the Aces’ QB, Brady Atwell, either. He leads Catholic in both passing and rushing and has caused fits all season.

We keep saying this, and we will keep on saying it, no one wants to play Breathitt’s Bobcats right now. They seem to be hitting on all cylinders and before anyone says, “But they only beat Martin County 34-21,” we would point out Martin runs Wing-T, which tends to perplex ball clubs who don’t regularly see it, and the Bobcats were on the three (3) yard line last night as time expired. Coach Moore’s troops were “taking knees” to avoid running up the score.

Class 3A

Paducah Tilghman (6-6) at Christian Academy-Louisville (12-0); Union County (12-0) at Bardstown (12-0); Greenup County (8-4) at Mason County (12-0); Ashland Blazer (8-4) at Bell County (10-2).

Photo: Jason Frakes/Courier-Journal

Paducah Tilghman may be the best 6-6 ball club in the history of the 3A classification playing a club, described to us (CAL), as the best football team some have seen, at any classification, play football in Kentucky in the previous 20-years. Union County at Bardstown shouldn’t be overlooked and we like the Braves there.

Paducah Tilghman may be the best 6-6 ball club in the history of the 3A classification

HB Lyon

Remember when we had written off Ashland Blazer? They had numerous off-season defections from the roster which, had these players remained, would have resulted in a much different record. Who wants to play Dudley Hilton at Bell County in the postseason or really anytime?

Class 4A

Franklin County (7-5) at Warren East (12-0); Central (Louisville, 8-4) at Logan County (11-1); Johnson Central (10-2) at Corbin (12-0); Lexington Catholic (10-2) at Boyle County (10-2).

We liked Franklin County to challenge for the title in 4A in the preseason. If you will recall we picked them to win it all back then. Many of you laughed at us when they limped through the regular season 5-5. We couldn’t hear your laughter when Franklin County was running Spencer County (10-2) off the field last night, 40-14, in Taylorsville. If there is an upset in Round 3, we like the Flyers over Warren East in Bowling Green.

Louisville Central at Logan is one to watch. This isn’t a team as good as some of Marvin Dantzler’s squads, and they have sure taken some lumps this year, but the Yellow Jackets look pretty coming off the bus. Ryan Rayno for Logan County had over 200-yards rushing last night against Hopkinsville. The kid is bone fide and so is his coach, Todd Adler.

Louisville Central at Logan is one to watch

HB Lyon

If Corbin handles Johnson Central in the Regional Final, we will stop insinuating they may be overrated. Boyle lost to Lexington Catholic by a single point in the regular season. Lex. Cath. struggled in round two with David Jones’ Bourbon County team. The outcome may be a bit different this time around.

Class 5A

South Oldham (8-4) at Bowling Green (10-2); Fairdale (Louisville, 11-1) at Owensboro (Sr. High, 10-2); Woodford County (11-1) at Frederick Douglass (12-0); Southwestern (12-0) at Scott County (11-1).

Lot of talent at Frederick
Douglass, remember Dane Key?

The defending champion at this level of competition is watching at home now. South Warren was unceremoniously dispatched by Bowling Green Senior High last night.

We think it will be a long night for the Dragons from South Oldham, though they are accustomed to playing late into November, as is BG. Owensboro Senior High is one of the winningest programs in Kentucky history for a reason, and it is not because they bow out of playoff runs easily.

Woodford County is a very good ball club

HB Lyon

Woodford County is a very good ball club. Frederick Douglass is at home and the CAL of the 5A classification. Andrew Nason (QB) for Woodford County is a budding superstar and only a sophomore. Nason is as dangerous with his feet as with his arm.

Southwestern and Scott County should be a war. Both teams are accustomed to success and both teams are prone to make deep playoff runs. Nice to see Scott County back to the Scott County we all remember.

Class 6A

Central Hardin (11-1) at Bullitt East (11-1); Henderson County (10-2) at Male (Louisville, 8-4); Madison Central (9-3) at Ballard (10-2); Trinity (Louisville, 8-4) at Bryan Station (9-3).

People, in spite of its record, have doubted Central Hardin all year. We don’t know what it is. We’re about to find out though at Bullitt East dispatched duPont Manual in round two and Manual is as talented as any team in Louisville.

How about Male High…sending…St. Xavier, home for the holidays?

HB Lyon

How about Male High limping through the regular season 6-4 then sending the defending Champions, St. Xavier, home for the holidays? Remember the guff we took when we opined St. X wasn’t a better football team than Douglass (5A) or CAL (3A)? How we lookin’ now!?

Jack Dingle (Photo: Jody Demling, 247Sports)

Madison Central is as well coached as a team can get. Mike Holcomb is a legend with over 300-career wins and three (3) state titles and four (4) title game appearances. When all weapons are fully functional and loaded, like RB Brady Hensley, the Indians run the reservation. We will learn a lot in this Regional Final because Ballard (Louisville) has looked darned invincible at times this year. Ballard beat Male, South Oldham, and Franklin County this year in consecutive weeks while also beating Trinity (Louisville) and Ryle.

Well, it’s playoff time and time for all of all of us to kiss the ring worn by Trinity High (Louisville). The Shamrocks could go 0-10 and be the favorite to win the 6A crown, that is how conditioned we all are to believe they will succeed.

It is a swell problem to have. It is good work if you can score it.

Bryan Station has looked better every, single week and they will not roll-over, no matter who comes off the buss. That being said, we still like the Shamrocks to win this Regional.

What can we say? We have imbibed in the Kool-Aid.

This is Coach HB Lyon, reporting for KPGFootball, and we’re JUST CALLING IT LIKE WE SEE IT! 

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About Henry Lyon 1146 Articles
Have coached at the high school and middle school level. Have worked in athletic administration. Conceal my identity to enable my candor on articles published by this magazine. Only members of the editorial board are aware of my true identity.

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