Inside the Numbers: Pike County Central at Lawrence County

This week, inside the numbers, we decided to take a look at the matchup tomorrow night in Louisa, Kentucky between Pike County Central and Lawrence County. This is a very important game for Pike County Central and Lawrence County too, but for vastly different reasons. For Pike County, they don’t want this season slipping away from them and this is an opportunity to get a road win and against a Class 3A, District 6 opponent. Pike County Central is 1-0 in its district. For Lawrence County, they are 1-0 in the district also and currently looking to keep its district slate clean, as are the Hawks. Let’s take a look inside the numbers of this pivotal game and see if we can’t clarify a likely victor in Louisa, Kentucky Friday night.

Present records…Pike County Central is 2-4 overall and winless on the road, and, Friday night they are the road team. Pike County Central is presently 1-0 in the sixth district of Class 3A. Lawrence is 4-3 inside Kentucky and 4-4 overall. Lawrence County is 2-2 at home and 2-2 on the road and 1-0 inside District 6. Lawrence County has beaten a good Greenup County team, 37-6.

Advantage: Lawrence County



Strength of schedule

Lawrence County has played Raceland, on the road, losing 31-12 to the 27th best football team in Kentucky and put a pretty good whooping on the Commonwealth’s 59th best football team in Greenup County at home where they will play Pike County Central.

The best team the Pike County Central Hawks have beaten is Floyd Central which is the 129th highest regarded team in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. They dropped a road game by one score to Perry County Central. Though Perry County Central is Class 5A, it is still only considered the 115th highest regarded football team in Kentucky according to the MaxPreps and algorithms.

Advantage: Lawrence County



Common Opponents: This is something at which most odds-makers look but something the value of which isn’t too clear. We don’t ascribe this much weight at KPGFootball but do ascribe it a little. These two teams haven’t played a common opponent. Pike County Central hasn’t beaten a team this year even in the league with Greenup County, which is Lawrence County’s most impressive win. By year’s end they will have played many of the same teams, but not right now.

Advantage: Even



Computer rankings: Oh, those nasty, impervious to bias, algorithms which seem to tell us everything nowadays. For this particular analysis we use two; one being the MaxPreps’ computer algorithm, which ranks teams both in its state or commonwealth and nationally, and, for the other, we rely on the widely publicized, Kentucky-based, computer poll.

Pike County Central: The Hawks are the 143rd ranked team in Kentucky, according to both MaxPreps and and the 10,144th best football team in the Country.

Lawrence County: The Bulldogs are the 101st ranked football team in Kentucky, according to both MaxPreps and and the 7,137th best football team in the Country.  The computers slot the Bulldogs 42 notches above the Hawks in Kentucky and 3,007 notches, nationally. This is not an impossibly wide gap to bridge as was shown back when we took Todd County Central to beat Hancock County as those teams were similarly distanced with the possible exception the underdog there, Todd County, was entertaining Hancock Co. and here the higher rated team is at home, but it is an advantage.

Advantage…Lawrence County



Game statistics: Lawrence County has gained 2,291 rushing yards in 8 games and has thrown for only 82 yards while allowing its opponents to throw for 1,053. So the Bulldogs are susceptible to giving up passing yards, if they happen to be playing a team that can throw the ball. The problem is Pike County Central is not that team. The Hawks have allowed opponents 209 points in 6 games and have rushed for 1,565 while passing for only 323.

Advantage: Lawrence County



Intangibles: The biggest intangible here may be where this game is being played. These teams are fairly even, though, clearly the numbers show Lawrence County to be the better team, especially as they both are intent on rushing the football. However, we are compelled somewhat by the fact Pike County Central hasn’t shown they can go on the road and beat anyone this year. Maybe this is the night they demonstrate just that, or maybe not. To have a chance in this game, Pike County Central has to be secure with the football. Just can’t afford to give Lawrence County possessions they aren’t supposed to have.

Advantage: Lawrence County



Crunching all of the above it looks like Lawrence County is decidedly the better team, even though the computer algorithms have them being pretty similar. We believe Lawrence County is a better team at home than Pike County Central appears to be on the road. We believe playing in front of the home crowd may give Lawrence County another advantage.

Final Score Prediction:


Lawrence Co. 42      Pike Co. Central 14

Well guys, this is what the tea leaves tell us. Our being more impressed with Lawrence County is largely owing to its needing to its being at home and its having at least one very quality win. Well, I suppose we shall how this plays out Friday night! Either way, we can’t wait to see how this conflict resolves and it will be interesting to see whether the statistical analysis, employed here, foretells anything, at all, about the outcome. The great thing about football is; it still has to be played on the field. Thanks for joining us for Inside the Numbers.

Reporting for KPGFootball, this is Fletcher Long reminding all of the ballers out there that #WeGotUCovered and to PLAY THROUGH THE WHISTLE.

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About Fletcher Long 1423 Articles
Two-time winner of Kentucky Press Association awards for excellence in writing and reporting news stories while Managing Editor of the Jackson (KY) Times-Voice

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