Week 2:  Bowl Boogaloo

35th Annual Community Trust Bank/WYMT

Pike County Bowl

Night 1

Who: East Ridge (0-0) vs. Phelps (0-0)

Kickoff: Friday, 6:30 p.m.

Location: C.A.M. Stadium, Belfry.

Coaches: East Ridge, Ben Runyon. Phelps, Andrew West.

Notes: Both teams will kickoff the season Friday evening in the opening game of the 35th Annual Pike County Bowl.

Both teams will have a new look this season as Ben Runyon was named the Warriors’ coach and Andrew West enters his first season as Hornet head coach.

Both coaches have been with their teams for a while, though. Runyon took over as interim coach last season and helped lead East Ridge to its only two wins of the season. West has been running the Phelps offense for the past couple of seasons.

East Ridge enters with only six seniors on the roster.

But the Warriors do have some talent.

Cameron Hess and CJ Branham both are big playmakers on both sides of the ball and Steven Cofiell is a returning senior leader as well.

The Warriors will be hindered because of an altercation with Jenkins in the preseason. Jenkins had to play its opening game last week with only eight players. The Warriors will have some players out due to suspension as well.

Phelps lost a lot of talent from last season’s team.

The Hornets return Domick Francis on offense, though.

Francis should see a lot of touches for the Hornets.

Francis is a sophomore with a lot of experience and he will look to expand his role in the Hornet offense.

Who 2 Watch: The battle of the lines.

Both teams will want to run the ball and that all starts up front.

East Ridge will use multiple backs in the backfield.

Phelps will look to use Francis as their main ball carrier more than likely.

The team who can establish a run game and move the chains and control the clock will leave the Pike County Bowl with its first win of the season.

Who: Lexington Christian (1-0) at Belfry (1-0)

Kickoff: Friday, 8:30 p.m.

Location: C.A.M. Stadium, Belfry.

Coaches: Lexington Christian, Doug Charles. Belfry, Philip Haywood.

Notes: Lexington Christian opened the season with a 34-16 win over Moore to give coach Charles his first win as Eagle head coach.

Charles took over for Ethan Atchley.

In the opening win, Christian Academy’s offense was pretty balanced. The Eagles threw for 127 yards and rushed for 206 yards.

Quarterback Jayden Barnhardt was six for 16 for 127 yards a TD.

Running back Xavier Brown led the Eagle rushing attack with 129 yards and two TDs on nine carries. Barnhardt followed with 59 yards and two TDs on 12 carries.

Wide receiver Will Vernon had two catches for 85 yards and a TD. Dearious Smith hauled in four catches for 42 yards.

On defense, Jeffrey Selby and Andrew Long each had 12 total tackles; Long added a sack and an interception as well. Mason Moore also added an interception for the Eagles.

Belfry pulled out a big 31-7 win over Southwestern in the Don Franklin Bowl.

The Pirates were led by Isaac Dixon. Dixon had 168 yards rushing and two TDs. Ben Bentley followed with 88 yards and a score as well. Dixon also returned a punt for a TD for the Pirates.

Who 2 Watch: For Lexington Christian, quarterback Jayden Barnhardt. For Belfry, the Big Angry Red Defense.

Barnhardt is a dual-threat quarterback. He likes to spread the field, but he had the most carries out of the backfield in the opening week as well.

Barnhardt will use the run to set up the pass and the pass to set up the run.

Belfry’s defense was good against Southwestern.

The Pirates had four team sacks. John Ashurst led the Pirates with two sacks, while Rudy Blackwell and Jacob Baisen each added a sack.

Grayson Cook and Seth Mounts each had six total tackles to lead Belfry.

If Belfry can get pressure against Barnhardt and take away his running lanes, then that helps limit his passing game as well.

If the Pirates want to pull out the win, the defense will have to get good pressure on Barnhardt.

35th Annual Community Trust Bank/WYMT

Pike County Bowl

Night 2

Who: Shelby Valley (1-0) vs. Pike Central (1-0)

Kickoff: Saturday, 6:30 p.m.

Coaches: Shelby Valley, Anthony Hampton. Pike Central, Eric Ratliff.

Notes: Shelby Valley opened the season with a 44-22 win over Letcher Central, while Pike Central opened the season with a 53-7 win over Prestonsburg.

The Wildcats took over down the stretch and scored the game’s final 22 points.

Shelby Valley’s offensive line dominated against Letcher Central.

Senior quarterback Dalton Meade had a massive opening game. Meade rushed for 371 yards and four TDs, while completing two of his three passes for 23 yards and a TD.

Freshman Jayden Newsome also had a good showing for the Wildcats. Newsome rushed for 82 yards and a TD.

Lincoln Billiter caught a 22-yard TD pass.

But the Shelby Valley line, opened holes for the backfield all evening.

Pike Central fell behind Prestonsburg 7-0.

Then the Hawks got going.

Quarterback Tyler Hunt was six for nine passing for 124 yards and a TD.

Matt Anderson led the Pike Central rushing attack with 94 yards and two TDs on nine carries. Noah Iricks followed with 75 yards and a TD on four carries. Eric Perez added 45 yards and a TD. Hunt also rushed for 39 yards and a TD. Curt Anderson also added 17 yards and a TD for the Hawks.

Keegan Bentley led the Pike Central receivers with four catches for 71 yards and a TD. Isaac Hunt added a catch for 42 yards.

Tanner Hunt led the Hawk defense with 10 total tackles. Nate Roberts added eight tackles.

Who 2 Watch: Shelby Valley’s entire offensive line deserves a lot of credit in its Week 1 performance, but Peyton Blackburn stood out.

Blackburn was consistently getting to the second and third levels blocking.

He is big. He is quick. He is technically sound.

Blackburn showed why he is college level talent in the opening game against Letcher Central.

For Pike Central, Tyler Hunt.

Hunt had the Hawk offense humming last week.

He can throw it and run it.

Hunt has a lot of talent at his disposal.

If he can spread the field and neutralize Shelby Valley’s talented defensive line, Hunt will have to get rid of the ball quick and make good decisions.

Look for Blackburn and Hunt to have big games for their teams.

Who: Mingo Central (0-0) at Pikeville (1-0)

Kickoff: Saturday, 8:30 p.m.

Location: Hillard Howard Field, Pikeville.

Coaches: Mingo Central, Josh Sammons. Pikeville, Chris McNamee.

Notes: Mingo Central will open its season Saturday evening. Pikeville opened the season with a big 47-25 win over Bardstown.

Mingo Central returns a lot of talent.

The Miners return quarterback Daylin Goad, wide receivers Drew Hatfield and Devin Hatfield. Kaeden Bolding and Westan Christian are two running backs who should see the majority of the action in the backfield.

Mingo Central will play its first game out of state in the Pike County Bowl.

Mingo Central went 8-3 last year and the Miners were expected to be rebuilding.

This season, the Miners should be in the hunt for a Class AA state title in West Virginia.

Mingo Central is a fun team to watch.

Pikeville opened the season by pulling away from Bardstown.

The Panthers jumped out to an early lead, but the Tigers came back to take a 25-21 lead early in the third quarter.

Pikeville’s defense clamped down after falling behind.

On offense, sophomore quarterback Isaac McNamee looked sharp in his first start. He was 15 for 21 passing for 152 yards and two TDs with one interception.

McNamee found Jackson Hensley five times on the night for 51 yards and a TD. Zac Lockhart added three catches for 54 yards. Clay Tinsley had three catches for 19 yards and a TD.

Cody Raines took over the reigns in the Panther backfield. Raines rushed for 165 yards and three TDs on 28 carries. Raines looked like he kept getting stronger and stronger running the ball as the game progressed.

Hensley added 45 yards on the ground on three carries and Jon Collum added 24 yards and two TDs on three carries.

On defense, Raines and Nate Collins each had nine total tackles to lead the Panthers. Hensley and Collum followed with seven tackles each and Brody Birchfield added six.

Peyton Boyd-Blair and Carson Wright each came away with interceptions for the Panthers.

Who 2 Watch: The defenses.

Of course, everybody will be focused on each of these high-powered offenses.

There should be plenty of points scored on each side.

Both teams have stand out quarterbacks, wide receivers and running backs with good offensive lines.

The defenses will be key.

Which defense will stop or slow the other?

That will be the deciding factor.

Pikeville has a ton of speed on defense and creates a lot of turnovers.

If one team can force turnovers, that could lead to easy points and these offenses just need a spark to get going.

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