Talking Football with KPGFootball’s & 840 WHAS’s ‘Friday Night Fletch’- @PrepSpin @KyHighFootball @kyhighs @HLpreps @MaxPreps @HopkinsCentral @evans02_Mike

We highlight two from each class, or more,

We are coming down to the end of the regular season and teams are jockeying for playoff position, and for some, inclusion. Our very own “Friday Night Fletch,” the resident middle and high school football expert in Kentucky breaks down the compelling storylines “Friday Night Fitz (Scott Fitzgerald)” and he will be tracking coming up on Saturday morning’s show.

HB Lyon, Director of Scouting, KPGFootball

We are getting ready for another huge radio show sent out via the Kentucky News Network to affiliates across the commonwealth. Both Scott Fitzgerald and I do plenty of homework before the polished production you get to hear each week.

These are the storylines we will be following going into Saturday morning’s taping. Can’t guarantee there won’t be other storylines developing, but this is a jumping off point at the very least.

Hopkins County Central is off this week. They were kind enough to yield the platform for this special look inside our show.

Here are the storylines/compelling games we intend to follow:

1A 

Fulton County (0-7, 0-1) at Ballard Memorial (0-6, 0-1)

Fulton County beat the Bombers 58-30

Are you the kind of person who can’t pass by a train wreck without stopping to look at the damage? We are too.

These are probably the two worst teams, fielding active rosters, in all of the KHSAA at any classification. The wonderful thing here is one of these clubs will get a taste of victory.

That is unless these two trains, heading for a head-on collision, should somehow both derail.

Paris (7-0, 1-0) at Raceland (5-2, 1-0)

Raceland wins over Paris, 43-13

Raceland lost to Paul Blazer (4A) in Ashland, Kentucky by seven and got drilled by 5A, Highlands. Both Blazer and Highlands are highly ranked in 4A and 5A respectively.

The Rams beat the defending champions (Pikeville) at this classification on the road. The lament on Paris is they haven’t played anybody of substance. That won’t be the lament come Saturday morning.

2A 

Beechwood (7-1, 3-0) at Carroll County (5-3, 3-0)

Beechwood won 55-0

This time of year, the district record means more than the overall record. Both of these two teams are undefeated in district play.

Friday night’s game has extensive, Kentucky-wide ramifications. Beechwood’s only loss was to 4A powerhouse, Covington Catholic.

We’re about to see whether or not Carroll County is for real.

Crittenden County (4-3, 1-0) at “Mighty” Mayfield (5-1, 1-0)

Mayfield 46, Crittenden County 6

Crittenden County has been playing really well of late and have crept into the Media’s top-10 ranking for Class 2A. Mayfield may have the best offensive backfield in the classification and is figured to be a contender for the title.

Mayfield only lost to Beechwood in last year’s title game by a single point. They sure would like another chance.They just may get one.

3A 

Central (3-4, 1-0) at CAL (6-1, 1-0)

CAL won 13-7

If you’re a Christian Academy-Louisville fan, I wouldn’t put too much stock in Central’s 3-4 overall ’23 worksheet. Both of these teams have outstanding rosters, are outstandingly coached, and have played incredibly hard schedules.

Cortez Stone (Central) may be the premier RB in all of the Commonwealth. Cole Hodge (CAL) may be Kentucky’s top QB not named “Cutter Boley.” Get your popcorn ready!

Franklin-Simpson (7-0, 3-0) 5A Greenwood (5-2, 1-1)

Greenwood won 26-16

It seems strange this game got mixed in with all the district action. Greenwood is a 5A team, and a ranked one at that.

Still, we will learn if Franklin-Simpson is “for real” or counterfeit in this matchup. The Wildcats have progressed weekly, over the course of the season, so there is some coaching going on in Simpson County. That Greenwood bunch have proven mighty hard to handle this season.

Lexington Catholic (3-4, 1-0) at Lloyd Memorial (7-0, 1-0)

Lexington Catholic won 41-0

We added another game owing to the strangeness of Franklin-Simpson playing Greenwood. This game is between a Lexington Catholic team whose record is meaningless.

Detractors of the boys from Erlanger claim its record is equally meaningless, but in a different way. Catholic’s four losses are to Highlands by six, Corbin by 20, LCA by seven, and to Boyle by 35. Outside of Corbin and Boyle, this team could be 5-2 about as easily as it is 3-4. 

4A 

DeSales (5-2, 3-0) at J-Town (7-0, 3-0)

DeSales won 21-18

This game is fascinating. DeSales is much improved from where it has been of late and Jeffersontown High has never been very good; but they are new to the 4A classification. This is the biggest game J-Town has played since I have been covering this sport.

Are the Chargers for real? We will find out.

Perry County Central (4-3, 0-1) at Letcher County Central (4-3, 0-1)

Perry County Central 20, Letcher County 6

Threw this one in because it involved two, fairly good, mountain teams. Perry County has three middle school linemen who already bench press 300-pounds. The future is certainly rosy in Perry County.

5A 

Atherton (6-1, 1-0) at Iroquois (0-7, 0-1)

Atherton 40, Iroquois 6

I hope people are appreciating what a storyline Atherton is becoming. The last time an Atherton squad finished a regular season with a 9-1 mark it was 1973, and Hall of Famer, Dan Goble, was at the helm.

They have had decades of futility. They appear to be back.

The team has gotten better each year Anthony White has been at the helm. They have a shot at finishing this regular season 9-1.

They will kill winless Iroquois, but that is why I am including this game.

 Connor (4-4, 1-2) at Highlands (7-1, 3-0)

Highlands won 58-7

Is Ft. Thomas Highlands back? It certainly appears so.

Connor isn’t the best team in the classification; but, they are a legit 5A team with a legit roster of talent at that level. Highlands has the second highest RPI in the commonwealth in 5A football and appears to be a title contender.

Robert Sphire’s “Bluebirds” only loss was to Covington Catholic so they have that in common with Beechwood. Connor is pretty mediocre, and they are reeling after two consecutive losses, so the Highlands story is the more compelling one.

Bowling Green (5-2, 1-0)  at South Warren (6-1, 1-0)

Bowling Green scores 40-yard TD with 6-seconds left on the old "Hook and Ladder" play, and wins 34-29

This is for the 2nd district crown. South Warren has the highest RPI in the classification and Bowling Green is a finalist from a year ago and winners of 4-straight.

Are the Purples getting hot at the right time? Are the Spartans the best team in the class. 

6A 

duPont Manual (6-1, 1-0) at PRP (4-3, 1-0)

duPont Manual won 27-11

Manual is a storyline with all that program has overcome to be flourishing at its present level. PRP being ranked in 6A is incredible.

PRP has some real “star quality” personnel which has taken them over the top this season. The question remains; are they good enough for what duPont Manual brings to the table.

The “Crimsons” have to be considered 6A-title favorites (Trinity too). If PRP could just stay in the game…

Frederick Douglass (3-3, 1-0) at Bryan Station (5-2, 1-0),

Saturday game

Both of these teams will be fighting for the appearance of legitimacy. I don’t think Frederick Douglass thought 6A would be this much more daunting than 5A and some out-of-Kentucky scheduling certainly didn’t help them out any.

Bryan Station is the best 6A program the city of Lexington has mustered since the glory days of Lexington High School football in the Dermontti Dawson days. Coach Hawkins is for real.

Douglass may not escape this one. Although, while the Defenders have plenty of weapons to win this game; we have seen Hawkins’ boys underwhelm, performance-wise, against perceived “Big Time” programs (See, the opening loss 36-3 to a Trinity team it entered the game favored to beat).

This is Friday Night Fletch, reporting for KPGFootball, reminding you to PLAY THROUGH THE WHISTLE!

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About Fletcher Long 1511 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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