Storm Warning: Central braces for its shot at McLean @1776Bank @PrepSpin @KyHighFootball @MaxPreps @minguabeefjerky @HopkinsCentral @evans02_mike @840WHAS @sfitz_840whas @UCBraves @McLeanSportsNet @MCHSCoach

Storm to face district’s premier ground attack

This is another big game for Central’s playoff seeding or even inclusion. Remember Storm Watchers: we are in a five team district now and when the music stops, someone won’t have a chair. A win tonight would virtually insure we would not be left chair-less. These guys are another “pound the ground” type attack with very little to no tangible threat to beat you over the top. We will have to be tough up in the run box defensively to give ourselves a chance to win. Excellently coached ball club. They won’t do very much to help us.

HB Lyon, Director, KPGFootball Scouting Division's call: McLean County 40 (73%), Hopkins County Central 31 (27%)

Morton’s Gap, KY: This is another “must win” scenario for The Storm. Coming to town is one of the more consistent winning traditions over the course of Zach Wagner’s tenure. We consider Coach Wagner an outstanding coach woven into the fabric of western Kentucky, high school, football.

McLean is well disciplined and gets a ton out of its “on-hand” talent. This will be a tough match for The Storm; but, it is a winnable game. This is our scouting report.

McLean is 4-2 on the year with losses to Grayson County (5A, 5-1) and Union County (3A, 6-0). The loss to Grayson was 27-8 and the loss to Union was 42-30. 

McLean has beaten Ohio County (46-14, 5A), Muhlenberg (48-0, 5A), Hancock (20-18, 3A), and Todd Central (46-28, 2A). A win tonight would run the Cougars’ record to 5-2 and place them in the driver’s seat for an opening round playoff game at home.

About the Coach:

Baldwin vs. Hancock
OMCA Photography

Zach Wagner is McLean’s head football coach. He took over from Jason Morris to begin the 2013 season. McLean was winless Morris’s last year (2012).

This is Wagner’s 11th-season at the helm. His record, entering tonight’s contest, is 61-50 with a winning percentage of 55%. That is an incredible record considering the teams McLean routinely plays and the enrollment and area from which it draws its playing talent.

McLean isn’t a threat to throw the ball much. In its first six games, it has thrown 50-passes and completed 22 with four (4)-TD’s and four (4)-INT’s. Brodie Cline (No. 2) is the ball handler in the offensive backfield. Cline also plays defense and is tied for the team lead in INT’s (1).

McLean isn’t a threat to throw the ball much

KHSAA statistical website

Running the football is a much different proposition. McLean gains 254 yards a game, on the ground, and scores 3.5-TD’s per game. Elijah Baldwin (No. 14) has carried it 72-times for 417-yards and scored eight (8)-TD’s.

QB, Brodie Cline has carried it 59-times for 378-yards and four (4)-TD’s. Aden Bolden (No. 7) has 475-yards rushing and four (4)-TD’s. 

The team averages 6.5 yards, every carry, and scores a TD every 11th or so times it runs the football from scrimmage. Look for sustained drives and a short game out of these guys. 

Whey they do throw the ball, it will be directed to Aden Bolden. Bolden has seven of the team’s 22-receptions and 132 of the teams 333 receiving yards. Bolden has also caught three of the team’s four receiving TD’s. Bolden, who plays defense, also has a scoop and score, 35-tackles, 2.5-TFL’s, and a QB-sack.

Baldwin leads the club in tackles

KHSAA statistical website

Defensively, Baldwin leads the club in tackles (69), QB-sacks (2), and is third in TFL’s (5). Hunter Stratton (No. 9) and Coby Dant (No.66) are consistently in the backfield as they have 5.5 and 6.5 TFL’s respectively.

Common Opponents (1)

Both of these teams have played the top team in the district, the Union County Braves. Central played them in Morton’s Gap and lost by 22-points. McLean played them in Morganfield and lost by 12-points.

KPGFootball's call: If you follow us on Twitter, you already know we have picked McLean to win by seven (7) points. Storm Watchers, prove us wrong; we're wrong all the time, and pray we are here as well. We will gladly "eat crow" to get to mark this one in the win-column. 

This is Fletcher W. Long, reporting for KPGFootball, reminding you to PLAY THROUGH THE WHISTLE!

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About Fletcher Long 1534 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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