Lexington Christian at Pikeville

Who: Lexington Christian Academy (2-3) at Pikeville (2-2)

Kickoff: Friday, September 23 at 7:30 p.m.

Location: Hillard Howard Field at the Hambley Athletic Complex, Pikeville.

Coaches: Doug Charles, LCA. Chris McNamee, Pikeville.

Lexington Christian is coming off of a 42-6 loss to Lexington Catholic, while Pikeville is coming off of a big 48-13 win over Belfry.

Lexington Christian quarterback Cutter Boley (many folks and ratings have Boley as the top ranked quarterback in the state) was injured against Christian Academy of Louisville and didn’t play against Lexington Catholic last week.

LCA lost to Cal 49-14 the previous week.

On the season, the Eagles fell to Class 6A Madison Central 38-34 in Week 1 and bounced back with a 49-19 win over Mercer County and a 36-7 win over Belfry.

Boley is 67 for 96 passing for 1,222 yards and 10 TDs with four interceptions this season.

It isn’t known yet whether he will suite up for the Eagles against Pikeville or not.

If he does that makes the matchup a lot more difficult.

At press time, the Eagles didn’t have stats from the Lexington Catholic loss posted on the KHSAA website.

Before his injury, Boley led the LCA offense. On the season, he is 67 for 96 passing for 1,222 yards and 10 TDs with four interceptions. He was leading the state in passing.

Backup Will Nichols is three for six for 24 yards; the Lexington Catholic game isn’t included.

Running back JVeontae Emerson leads the rushing attack with 193 yards and four TDs on 41 carries.

Parker Chaney leads the receivers with 23 catches for 386 yards and three TDs. Evan Brown has 16 catches for 293 yards and two TDs. Nichols has seven catches for 173 yards and two TDs. Drew Nieves has four catches for 131 yards and a TD.

Major Brown leads the defense with 39 tackles (one and 1/2 for a loss). Nichols follows with 40 tackles (four and 1/2 for a loss).

Nichols, Nieves and Evan Brown each have an interception on the season for the Eagles.

For Pikeville, the Panthers are coming off of huge win over Belfry.

The Panthers added to their win streak against the Pirates. Pikeville has now beaten Belfry four straight times.

The Panthers did it up front on offense and defense.

The offensive line, especially the middle of the line (Peyton Sayers, Jay McNamee and Mason Sayers) gave Blake Birchfield running room and gave quarterback Isaac Duty time to throw.

Birchfield had his best game of the season for the Panthers as he rushed for 180 yards and a TD.

Duty had an excellent game at quarterback as he was nine for 11 for 200 yards and a TD.

Tayvian Boykins moved to slot receiver and it has opened the Panthers’ offense.

Pikeville was hitting on all cylinders offensively.

On defense, the Panthers were flying to the ball.

The Sayers twins had to play both ways and that was a huge help up front.

But once it came time to tackle the Belfry players, the Pikeville linebackers were there.

Brenden Anthony, Carson Wright, Devin DeRossett and Luke Ray each reached double figure tackles from the linebacker spots. Safety Sam Wright also had double figure tackles. Anthony led the way with 20 tackles (two for losses), Carson Wright followed with 17 (one for a loss), DeRossett had 16 (one for a loss), Sam Wright added 11 and Ray had 10.

It was a complete team win for Pikeville.

The Panthers can’t have a let down after the big win, though.

LCA is another big time opponent even if Boley sits out.

The Pikeville defense will have to spread out more this week and worry about the pass game.

That will be key against LCA.

Pikeville has the players to do that though with Logan Reed and Wade Hensley at corner and Sam Wright playing safety.

Who 2 Watch: Pikeville’s linebackers. The Panthers are aggressive on defense.

They will have to help with some coverage this week, though.

But look for the linebackers to be all over the field making plays.

Carson Wright is the leader and will set the tone, but the rest of the guys are just as dangerous.

The Panthers delivered some big hits last week against Belfry.

If Pikeville’s linebackers can be more physical and get to the ball quick, look for it to bother LCA.

The linebackers will be key if the Panthers want to pick up another big win this week.

West Carter at Shelby Valley

Who: West Carter (0-4) at Shelby Valley (2-2)

Kickoff: Friday, September 23 at 7:30 p.m.

Location: Johnson Brothers Athletic Complex, Robinson Creek.

Coaches: Daniel Barker, West Carter. Anthony Hampton, Shelby Valley.

West Carter is coming off of a 67-7 loss to Raceland last week, while the Wildcats were on their Bye Week.

The last few years West Carter and Shelby Valley have been battling it out for the top spot in Class 2A District 8.

West Carter has come out on top the last couple of seasons.

Shelby Valley has a good chance of regaining the the top spot in the district this season.

West Carter has struggled to an 0-4 start out of the gate.

The Comets have struggled on both sides of the ball.

West Carter has only scored 22 points in four games, while the Comets have given up 160 points in that span.

On average each week, the Comets are being outscored 40-5.5.

The Comets have only scored three TDs on the season so far.

West Carter has used two quarterbacks so far this season.

Kale Back is 18 for 33 for 118 yards and four interceptions on the season, while Hayden Hall is five for 21 passing for 80 yards and five interceptions.

Cole Crampton leads the team in rushing with 351 yards and two TDs on 69 carries. After that there is a big drop off in rushing production. Dwaylon Dean follows with 54 yards and a TD on five carries. Back has rushed of 118 yards on 18 carries and Conner Greene has 14 yards on three carries.

Isaiah Bond leads the receivers with eight receptions for 69 yards. Timothy Fields follows with six catches for 67 yards. Crampton has six catches for 32 yards. Bradyn Fiener and Ethan Bledsoe each have a 12-yard catch. Brent King has an eight-yard catch as well.

Shelby Valley enters the game after its Bye Week.

The Bye Week came at a good time for the Wildcats as a few players were injured in their last contest a 27-12 loss at Class 5A North Laurel.

Shelby Valley quarterback Russ Osborne enters the game as the No. 2 passer in the state in yards per game behind Lexington Christian’s Cutter Boley. Boley is averaging 306 yards per game, while Osborne is averaging 287 yards per contest.

Osborne is 69 for 101 for 1,147 yards and nine TDs with four interceptions. He is completing 68.3 percent of his passes as well. He has also rushed for 242 yards and seven TDs on 33 carries.

Osborne’s top receiver is Brady Bentley. Bentley enters the game as the eighth ranked wide receiver in the state. Bentley is averaging 102 yards per game. On the season he has 18 receptions for 409 yards and four TDs. He is averaging 22.7 yards per reception.

Shelby Valley senior running back Jayden Newsome has rushed for 363 yards and five TDs on 44 carries. Newsome has also hauled in 15 catches for 171 yards.

John Luke Fields is the No. 2 wide receiver for the Wildcats as he has 12 catches for 246 yards and three TDs. Jesse Cook has hauled in 14 catches for 196 yards. Ethan Mullins has added eight catches for 134 yards and a score.

Caleb Lovins leads the Shelby Valley defense with 42 tackles (one for a loss). Zach Yates follows with 40 tackles and Osborne has 34 tackles and two interceptions on the season.

Shelby Valley has seven total sacks on the season and has recovered two fumbles to go along with Osborne’s two interceptions on the season.  

Who 2 Watch: For Shelby Valley, Lincoln Billiter is back after missing the first three games of this season and the entire 2021 season.

Billiter had a good debut on defense as he recorded a team-high 13 tackles against North Laurel.

Billiter is just another outstanding piece to the Wildcats’ puzzle.

He has ability to play on the offensive line or at tight end on offense.

Plus his presence on defense gives the Wildcats two of the scariest defenders around with Billiter and Lovins.

Billiter instantly adds leadership to the team.

The team will listen and follow his lead.

Getting him back in the lineup could be key for the Wildcats in winning the district this season.

Belfry at Magoffin County

Who: Belfry (2-3) at Magoffin County (2-3)

Kickoff: Friday, September 23 at 7:30 p.m.

Location: Hornet Stadium, Salyersville.

Coaches: Philip Haywood, Belfry. John Derossett, Magoffin County.

Belfry is coming off of a 48-13 loss to Pikeville, while Magoffin County is coming off of a 58-26 loss to district rival Lawrence County.

This will be the Pirates’ first district game of the season.

The two coaches aren’t strangers as Haywood and Derossett had some memorable battles over the years when Derossett coached Prestonsburg.

This will be the two coaches first meeting since 2012. Belfry beat Prestonsburg 53-6.

The last time Derossett beat Belfry was in 2010 when he led the Blackcats to a 21-6 win over the Pirates.

The rivalry was hottest between Haywood and Derossett and the Blackcats and the Pirates in the early 2000s when the two teams were in the same district.

In 2001, Derossett led the Blackcats past Belfry in Class 2A Region 4 championship with a 34-14 win over the Pirates. Prestonsburg went on to fall 47-16 to Bardstown in the Class 2A state championship.

In 2003, Belfry knocked off Prestonsburg on the road 27-19 in the Class 2A Region championship. Belfry won its first-ever state championship that season with a 33-17 win over Elizabethtown. In 2004, Belfry knocked off Prestonsburg 28-12 in the region championship in the next to last home game at Vipperman Stadium. Belfry went on to pick up a 28-21 win over Owensboro Catholic to become back-to-back state champions.

Last week, Pikeville didn’t completely stop the Belfry run game, but the Panthers kept it in check.

Belfry rushed for 197 yards and two TDs on the night.

The Pirates added 33 passing yards from freshman quarterback Chase Varney. Chase Varney completed three of his eight pass attempts.

Caden Woolum led the Pirates’ rushing attack with 93 yards and a TD on six carries. He had one long TD run to give the Pirates their first score of the night.  Fullback Dre Young followed with 42 yards and a TD on 14 carries. Freshman Ace Caudill added 42 yards rushing on 10 carries. Cayden Varney added 17 yards on seven carries. Braxton Hatifield had three yards on the ground on one carry.

Young leads the Belfry rushing attack on the season with 625 yards and five TDs on 93 carries. That is good for 12th in Class 3A.

Belfry is the fourth ranked team in Class 3A in rushing yards with 1,524.

Belfry’s Braxton Hatfield is third in Class 3A in forced fumbles with three.  

This season is Derossett’s first season coaching at the high school level since 2017.

He was the linebacker coach at UPike in his last coaching stint.

 Derossett and the Hornets opened the season with an 0-2 record as they were shutout 43-0 to Breathitt County in the opener. Derossett then fell to his former school Prestonsburg 26-18 in Week 2. The Hornets followed with a 39-0 shutout win over Knott Central and a 65-20 win over Bellevue in Week 4. Last week, the Hornets opened Class 3A District 8 play with a 58-26 loss at home to Lawrence County.

The Hornets have steadily improved since the start of the season under Derrossett, but Magoffin County still has a way to go.

Can Magoffin County slow Belfry down?

That’s a big challenge.

The Hornets don’t have any offensive stats posted on the KHSAA website.

Who 2 Watch: For Belfry, Ace Caudill.

Caudill is second on the team in rushing with 372 yards and a TD on 41 carries.

Last week, Caudill didn’t have a whole lot of success against a strong Pikeville line and a fast linebacking corps.

This week, Caudill should get some extra running room against Magoffin County.

Young will be the workhorse and Caudill and Woolum will have to pick up the duties getting outside and busting big plays for the Pirates.

If Caudill has a big game, the Pirates should be able to kickoff district play with a big road win.

Floyd Central at Pike Central

Who: Floyd Central (0-5) at Pike Central (1-4)

Kickoff: Friday, September 23 at 7:30 p.m.

Location: The Hawks Nest, Buckleys Creek.

Coaches: Shawn Hager, Floyd Central. Ronn Varney, Pike Central.

Floyd Central is coming off of a 33-28 loss at Prestonsburg, while Pike Central is coming off of a 58-21 loss at Harlan County.

Floyd Central is looking for its first win of the season. The Jaguars opened the season with a 21-14 loss to Paintsville and followed it with a 37-34 loss to Perry Central. The Jaguars were shutout 36-0 to Shelby Valley and bounced back to fall to Leslie County 20-14 before falling to the Blackcats.

Floyd Central has been close in every game except against Shelby Valley.

The Wildcats are the Jaguars’ and Hawks’ only common opponent.

Pike Central fell to Shelby Valley 59-7 in Week 2 during the 37th Annual Community Trust Bank/WYMT Pike County Bowl.

Floyd Central quarterback Max Martin leads the offense for the Jaguars. Martin is 29 for 52 passing for 418 yards and two TDs with six interceptions. He has added 145 rushing yards and two TDs on 52 carries.

Blake Adams leads the Jaguars’ rushing attack with 365 yards and three TDs on 62 carries. Colt Shelton follows with 183 yards rushing and a TD. BJ Peterson has rushed for 142 yards and a score on 32 carries. Sheston Johnson has added 46 yards and a TD on 15 carries.

Brody Buck leads the receivers with nine catches for 126 yards. Peterson follows with eight catches for 119 yards and a TD. Adams has seven catches for 114 yards and two TDs. Jace Martin has five catches for 41 yards and Shelton has two catches for 18 yards.

Jacob Johnson leads the Jaguars’ defense with 51 tackles. Shelton and Landon Castle each follow with 31. Peterson has added 28.

Peterson and Max Martin has each recovered a fumble for Floyd Central.

Peterson and Jacob Johnson each have an interception for the the Jaguars.

Pike Central came out of their scoring slump last week, but the Hawks couldn’t pull off the road win.

A lot of their success came because Matt Anderson is back and looks to be healthy.

Anderson was injured in the Pike County Bowl and missed the next game against Letcher Central. He returned at Clay County, but wasn’t back to his regular self.

He got back on track last week as he rushed for 225 yards and three TDs on 22 carries.

Anderson has accounted for 600 rushing yards out of Pike Central’s 1,054 rushing yards as a team. He has also scored nine of the team’s 11 TDs on the season.

Floyd Central knows the Hawks will be feeding Anderson the ball and so does everyone else.

The question all season has been can anyone step up and help take the load off of Anderson’s shoulders on offense?

Quarterback Daymon Scammell is nine for 31 passing for 35 yards. He is also second on the team in rushing with 161 yards and a TD on 45 carries. Cameron Flannery has added 122 rushing yards and a TD on 27 carries. Lukas Varney has rushed for 105 yards on 19 carries.

Can one of those guys step up and help Anderson Friday night against Floyd Central?

If so, the Hawks could get their first district win of the season and their second overall win.

If not, the Jaguars could walk away with their first win of the season.

Who 2 Watch: For Floyd Central, Max Martin. For Pike Central, the offensive line.

Max Martin can do a little bit of everything for the Jaguars and he will have to against Pike Central if Floyd Central wants to pick up its first win of the season.

Martin is a threat with his arm and his legs.

If he can open the offense up and keep Pike Central off balance, then the Jaguars could pick up their first win of the season in this big district matchup.

Pike Central’s offensive line has some talent. They have size and have done well.

Floyd Central will have some big guys up front.

If Pike Central can open up running lanes for Matt Anderson and the rest of the Hawks, they could pick up their first district win of the season.

Phelps at Betsy Layne

Who: Phelps (0-4) at Betsy Layne (2-2)

Kickoff: Friday, September 23 at 7:30 p.m.

Location: Lloyd Hamilton Field, Betsy Layne.

Coaches: Randy Smith, Jr., Phelps. Jarredd Jarrell, Betsy Layne

After returning to the win column on the road, Betsy Layne is set to host its second home game in the 2022 high school football season.

The Bobcats are scheduled to host Phelps for a non-district game on Friday, Sept. 23.

Betsy Layne is 2-2. The Bobcats have notched wins over Morgan County and Knott Central. Betsy Layne has dropped games to Prestonsburg and East Ridge.

Under the direction of Coach Jarredd Jarrell, Betsy Layne pulled away to beat homestanding Knott Central 42-6 in the Gingerbread Bowl on Friday, Sept. 16.

Four games into the 2022 high school football season, Betsy Layne has outscored its opponents 145-106 The Bobcats are averaging 338.2 rushing yards per game. Through four games, Betsy Layne has rushed 126 times for 1,353 yards and 14 TDs.

Phelps is 0-4. The Hornets have suffered losses to Pineville, Montcalm (W.Va.), Prestonsburg and Hurley (Va.).

Phelps had the week of Friday, Sept. 16 open.

The Hornets are averaging only eight points per game. Through four games, opponents have outscored Phelps 185-32.

Betsy Layne beat Phelps 32-12 during the 2021 high school football season.

Kickoff for the upcoming Betsy Layne-Phelps football game is set for 7:30 p.m.

Who 2 Watch: For Phelps, senior wide receiver/defensive back Hayden Mounts.

A proven leader for Phelps, Mounts produces offensively and defensively. Mounts is among the most experienced players for the Hornets.

For Betsy Layne, senior wide receiver/quarterback/defensive back Brady Robinson. A talented playmaker, Robinson leads Betsy Layne in receiving while ranking as the Bobcats’ second-leading rusher and passer. Robinson delivers on offense, defense and special teams for Class A District 6 member Betsy Layne.

Prestonsburg at East Ridge

Who: Prestonsburg (5-0) at East Ridge (2-2)

Kickoff: Friday, September 23 at 7:30 p.m.

Location: The Tribe, Lick Creek.

Coaches: Brandon Brewer, Prestonsburg. Donnie Burdine, Jr., East Ridge.

Off to a 5-0 start in the 2022 high school football season, Prestonsburg is set to visit East Ridge for its Class 2A District 8 opener.

The Blackcats have notched wins over Betsy Layne, Magoffin County, Phelps, Powell County and Floyd Central.

Thriving on the ground, Prestonsburg has rushed 172 times for 1,357 yards and 18 TDs. Leading the Blackcats’ offensive attack, Ethan Jarvis has rushed 95 times for 825 yards and 12 TDs.

Quarterback Reece Hamilton and wide receiver Dalton Elliott are combing to pace Prestonsburg through the air.

East Ridge is 2-2. The Warriors have notched wins over Waggener and Betsy Layne. East Ridge has dropped games to Harlan and Tug Valley (W.Va.).

The trio of quarterback Dylan Burdine, running back Isaiah Adkins and wide receiver Zack Mason lead the Warriors.

Burdine has completed 47 of 78 passes for 666 yards and six TDs. The East Ridge quarterback has thrown two interceptions.

As a team, East Ridge has rushed 129 times for 1.041 yards and 13 TDs. Adkins accounts for over half of the Warriors’ rushing yardage.

Leading East Ridge in receiving, Mason has made 20 receptions for 249 yards and three TDs.

Prestonsburg pulled away to beat East Ridge 48-22 during the 2021 high school football season.

Who 2 Watch: For Prestonsburg, sophomore wide receiver/defensive back Dalton Elliott.

Currently the Blackcats’ leading receiver, Elliott is a talented athlete who can score through the air and on the ground. In five games, Elliott has hauled in 11 receptions for 242 yards and five TDs. Chipping in on the ground, Elliott has rushed 16 times for 123 yards and one TD.

For East Ridge, junior running back/wide receiver/defensive back Isaiah Adkins.

On pace to rush for over 1,000 yards in the 2022 high school football season, Adkins leads the Warriors’ rushing attack. In four games, Adkins has rushed 46 times for 579 yards and seven TDs. East Ridge’s leading scorer, Adkins produces both offensively and defensively.