Lawrence County at Pike Central
Who: Lawrence County (3-3) at Pike Central (5-1)
Kickoff: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Location: The Hawks Nest, Buckleys Creek.
Coaches: Lawrence County, Alan Short. Pike Central, Eric Ratliff.
Notes: Lawrence County is coming off of a 42-28 win over Magoffin County, while Pike Central is coming off of an 80-48 win over Tug Valley.
The winner of this game will probably get a home playoff game.
Belfry is the front-runner for the No. 1 seed in the district, but the No. 2 seed also gets a first-round home playoff game.
That also leaves the winner undefeated in district play and still alive for the No. 1 seed if the winner can knock off the Pirates.
The Bulldogs last game was a 42-28 win over Magoffin County.
Lawrence County quarterback Baden Gillespie leads the Bulldog offense. He is a run-first quarterback. Gillespie leads the team in rushing with 820 yards and 16 TDs on 98 carries. He is 10 for 25 throwing for 161 yards and two TDs with two interceptions.
Trevor Young follows with 257 rushing yards and a TD on 64 carries. Blue Fletcher also has 240 yards and a TD on 43 carries.
Danny Hall leads the receivers with eight catches for 145 yards and two TDs.
Alex Strickland leads the defense with 32 total tackles. Brandon Davis follows with 28 total tackles.
Brody Cantrell leads the Bulldogs with three interceptions. Strickland and Gillespie each have an interception.
Pike Central’s offense has to come into the game with momentum after putting up 80 points against Tug Valley.
Hawk running back Matt Anderson had a game to remember. Anderson rushed for 353 yards and six TDs on 20 carries.
Pike Central quarterback Tyler Hunt was four for seven passing for 75 yards and a TD with an interception. He added 70 rushing yards and two TDs on nine carries.
Noah Iricks rushed for 105 yards and a TD on seven carries.
Keegan Bentley led the receivers with a 66-yard TD catch.
Nate Roberts led the Pike Central defense in the win with 13 total tackles and a sack. Adrien Anthony had eight total tackles and a pick six.
Besides Anthony, Pike Central had three more interceptions. Iricks, Xavier Rogers and Alex Perez each had interceptions in the win.
Before the Tug Valley win, Pike Central’s biggest scoring game came in the season opener. The Hawks put up 53 points against the Blackcats.
Who 2 Watch: Pike Central freshman running back Matt Anderson.
Anderson is having a great season, not just a great game against Tug Valley.
Anderson has rushed for 778 yards and nine TDs on the season on 86 carries.
Anderson is a big strong running back who can run up the middle, but he also has the speed to bounce outside and make plays in the open field.
Anderson has the ability to take over a game.
After his dominant performance against Tug Valley the Bulldog defense will be focused on stopping Anderson.
If Anderson has another big performance, Pike Central may be sitting in the driver’s seat for a home playoff game.
Who: Phelps (3-3) at Pikeville (6-0)
Kickoff: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Location: Hillard Howard Field, Pikeville.
Coaches: Phelps, Andrew West. Pikeville, Chris McNamee.
Notes: Phelps is coming off of a 50-22 loss to Eminence, while Pikeville was on its Bye Week last week.
The Hornets open district play on the road against the No. 1 team in this week’s Associated Press’s Top 10 and the No. 2 overall in the KHSAA RPI Rankings.
The Hornets fell to a good Eminence team.
Dominick Francis was the bright spot against Eminence. Francis rushed for 225 yards and two TDs on 22 carries.
Francis leads the Hornet offense this season. On the season, Francis has rushed for 669 yards and nine TDs on 69 carries.
Tyrell Hollis follows with 369 yards and two TDs on 53 carries.
Quarterback Riley Dotson is 10 for 20 passing for 215 yards. He has also rushed for three TDs.
Seth Mayhorn has rushed for 218 yards and two TDs on 49 carries.
Daniel Smith leads the receivers with three catches for 106 yards.
Landon Dotson leads the Phelps defense with 43 total tackles. Joey Scott follows with 38 total tackles and a sack. Hollis has 36 total tackles. Smith has 31 total tackles and two and 1/2 sacks.
Francis has the Hornets’ only interception on the season.
Pikeville is coming off of a week of rest.
The Panthers have two games left after the Phelps game. The Panthers will visit Hazard next week, followed by another Bye Week due to a Jenkins forfeit and end the season at home at Ridgeview.
Sophomore quarterback Isaac McNamee leads the Panther offense. He is 74 for 113 passing for 986 yards and 12 TDs with four interceptions.
Running back Cody Raines leads the rushing attack with 587 yards and eight TDs on 106 carries.
Jackson Hensley leads a talented receiving corps with 26 catches for 342 yards and five TDs. Seth Pugh follows with 14 catches for 251 yards and two TDs. Zac Lockhart has nine catches for 215 yards and two TDs. Raines has nine catches for 88 yards and a TD. Clay Tinsley has 15 catches for 83 yards and two TDs.
Senior linebacker Jon Collum leads the defense with 51 total tackles and a sack. Brody Birchfield follows, Nate Collins and Kaden Caudill each follow with 42 total tackles and Connor Wright has 41 total tackles.
Pikeville has come up with 12 interceptions this season. Peyton Boyd-Blair leads the team with three picks. Raines and Hensley each have two interceptions. Birchfield, Lockhart, Collum, Pugh and Wright each have an interception.
Who 2 Watch: For Phelps, quarterback Riley Dotson. For Pikeville, receiver Clay Tinsley.
Phelps quarterback Riley Dotson has been improving each game.
Dotson will have to make some plays if the Hornets have any chance of sticking around against the Panthers.
Tinsley is sometimes the forgotten receiver for Pikeville, but he seems to come up with big catches when the Panthers need them.
Look for Tinsley to get some looks, especially since Pugh and Hensley will be key players that the Hornet defense will look to stop.
at Martin County
Who: Shelby Valley (5-2) at Martin County (5-1)
Kickoff: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Location: Cardinal Stadium, Inez.
Coaches: Shelby Valley, Anthony Hampton. Martin County, Josh Muncy.
Notes: Martin County is coming off of a 36-8 win over East Ridge last Thursday night, while Shelby Valley rolled to a 61-14 win over Prestonsburg last Thursday.
Both teams are still playing for the No. 1 seed in the district or at least a No. 2 seed.
Shelby Valley fell to West Carter, while Martin County is 2-0 in district play.
Martin County only has one loss this season. The Cardinals fell to Harlan County 46-21.
Besides the 46 points the Cardinals gave up to the Black Bears, the Cardinals have only give up 28 points the rest of the season.
The Cardinal defense is only giving up an average of 13.3 points per game.
Martin County will have its hands cut out, though trying to stop Shelby Valley’s run game.
The Wildcats have rushed for 2,828 yards this season.
That’s an average of 404 rushing yards per game.
That means that Shelby Valley is the top rushing team in the state regardless of Class.
Quarterback Dalton Meade is No. 3 overall in the state in rushing.
Meade has rushed for 1,209 yards this season. That’s an average of 202 yards per game.
The Shelby Valley offensive line has got it done this season and the Wildcats have a bevy of talented running backs to go along with Meade.
Shelby Valley will try to use its strong running game to knock off the Cardinals and sit in the driver’s seat for a home playoff game.
Who 2 Watch: For Shelby Valley, watch for Brayden Keathley on defense.
Keathley is tied for the team lead with Meade in tackles with 57 total tackles.
Keathley leads the Wildcats with three sacks this season.
Keathley gets to the ball quick and makes tackles.
If he can help stop the Cardinal run game look for the Wildcats to pick up a big road district win.
at Bath County
Who: East Ridge (0-6) at Bath County (2-4)
Kickoff: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Location: Wildcat Stadium, Owingsville.
Coaches: East Ridge, Ben Runyon. Bath County, Johnny Poynter.
Notes: East Ridge is coming off of a 36-8 loss to Martin County last week, while Bath County is coming off of a 26-6 loss to West Carter.
The Warriors and Wildcats are both looking for their first district win of the season. East Ridge is still searching for its first win.
The winner will probably make the Class 2A playoffs as the No. 4 seed in the district, while the loser of the game will probably be on the outside looking in during playoff time.
East Ridge is struggling scoring the ball. The Warriors are averaging nine points per game.
Bath County is only averaging 9.83 points per game.
Both teams should have opportunities.
Running back Dalton Nelson leads the Bath County offense with 433 rushing yards and four TDs on 94 carries.
East Ridge has a couple of talented offensive weapons that might help the Warriors pull out a win.
Who 2 Watch: Both defenses.
The team who’s defense steps up and executes the best will probably win the game.
The Warriors can’t commit penalties to help out Bath County’s offense.
If East Ridge shows up and executes on defense, the Warriors have enough playmakers that they may be able to pull out the big road win and get their first win of the season.
Bye Week: Belfry.