Breaking down the Alice Lloyd College Mountain Top 10 heading into Week 3
HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT) - High school football in Kentucky successfully got through the second week of the season without any hiccups. Let’s take a closer look at how things transpired.
1. Johnson Central (1-0)
Last Game: Defeated Bell County 36-0
Next Game: at Simon Kenton
The Golden Eagles were idle last week, but that did not matter as they keep their stronghold on the top spot through the first two weeks of the season. In their last 16 victories, Johnson Central has scored at least 30 points or more in 14 of those contests. The win against Bell County was the ninth time in the last 13 games that Johnson Central has held their opponent to single digits and the third time in the last 11 matchups that Jim Matney’s squad has shut their opponent out.
The Golden Eagles play their second game of the season on Friday as they go up against Simon Kenton. Johnson Central throttled the Pioneers in last year’s contest, 49-11.
2. Pikeville (2-0)
Last Game: Defeated No. 4 Belfry 20-14
Next Game: at Henry Clay
It was another impressive display by the Panthers as they took down Belfry in back-to-back seasons for the first time in 20 years. Blake Birchfield proved to be a problem in the run game for the opposition once again as the sophomore had his way with 120 yards and a touchdown. The WYMT Player of the Week made an impact on the defensive side of the ball as well as he had a scoop and score. Quarterback Isaac McNamee only threw for 94 yards on 7 of 11 passing, but the junior did extend his streak of consecutive games with at least one TD pass to 13. Junior Zac Lockhart has caught a touchdown pass in both games so far.
Originally, Pikeville was slated to play their third game of the season against Lawrence County but some COVID-19 cases within the Bulldogs' camp forced the cancelation of that clash. It seemed as though the Panthers were going to take the week off but on Tuesday, it was announced that Henry Clay agreed to go head-to-head against the defending 1A State Champions. The Blue Devils were looking for another opponent after their matchup with Central Hardin fell through. Chris McNamee’s squad will now make the journey to Lexington to take on the 6A Blue Devils on Friday.
3. Somerset (2-0)
Last Game: Defeated Williamsburg 48-13
Next Game: at Russellville
The Briar Jumpers extended their winning streak to six games against the Yellow Jackets. The outing against Williamsburg was also the fourth time in the last five games that Robbie Lucas' ballclub has produced 40 points or more. Kaiya Sheron put up some pretty good numbers against Williamsburg as the senior threw for 239 yards and two touchdowns. The University of Kentucky commit also found the endzone twice with his legs. Junior Chase Doan was fantastic in the rushing game as the Running Back delivered 101 yards and two scores. Senior Ricky Gilmore caught five passes for 95 yards and a touchdown. Defensively, Somerset had two sacks and had thirteen players record at least one solo tackle.
The Briar Jumpers will play the second game of a home-and-home series against Russellville on Friday as they make the trek to Logan County to tussle with the Panthers. Somerset routed Russellville in last season’s matchup, 64-12.
4. Belfry (1-1)
Last Game: Lost to No. 2 Pikeville 20-14
Next Game: at Magoffin County
The Pirates and Panthers were tied at 14-14 at halftime but Belfry allowed a touchdown in the fourth quarter that gave Pikeville the lead for good. Philip Haywood’s team marched down the field with one last chance to win the game late but ultimately turned the ball over on downs. Senior Quarterback Brett Coleman threw a 68-yard touchdown pass to Isaac Dixon. The senior Running Back also scored the team’s sole rushing touchdown and led the team in individual rushing yards with 91. Belfry generated 231 rushing yards as a team.
The Pirates hit the road again on Friday as they take on district foe Magoffin County.
5. Southwestern (2-0)
Last Game: Defeated George Rogers Clark 15-13
Next Game: vs. No. 10 Knox Central
After prevailing in a barn burner against Wayne County, the Warriors outlasted GRC in a defensive slugfest. Southwestern is the biggest mover in this week’s top ten, ascending four spots. Jason Foley’s team is now 2-0 this season with both wins coming against teams that have the “Cardinals” as their nickname. Smashmouth football was the order of the day once again as junior Tanner Wright carried the ball for 128 yards and two scores. After giving up more than 400 yards of total offense to Wayne County, the Warriors were much better defensively against George Rogers Clark as they surrendered only 187 yards. Senior Cody Harmon led Southwestern in TFLs with three.
Southwestern stays on “The Reservation” to defend home ground once again as they play host to Knox Central in a Mountain Top Ten tilt on Friday.
6. Paintsville (1-0)
Last Game: Defeated East Jessamine 39-24
Next Game: vs. Hazard
Joe Chirico’s squad had what turned out to be a de facto bye week last week as the Tigers' duel with the Crittenden County Rockets was canceled. With their win against the Jaguars, Paintsville has now scored at least 30 points or more in four of their last five games. The Tigers have also had a 100-yard rusher in five of their last six matchups. Paintsville is the only team in their district that has not lost a game up to this point.
The Class 1A Runners-up return to the field on Friday as they go toe-to-toe with Hazard in the Appalachian Wireless Game of the Week Presented by ARH. The Tigers were upended by the Bulldogs last year at Daniel Field, 23-14 and are 2-2 against Hazard in their last four meetings. Seven of the last nine games in this series have been decided by two possessions or fewer.
7. Breathitt County (2-0)
Last Game: Defeated Powell County 50-8
Next Game: vs. Middlesboro (Oct. 2)
After the drubbing of Powell County, the Bobcats have outscored their first two opponents by a combined score of 111-51. Breathitt County has also won their last nine regular season road contests. Junior Jaylen Turner had another terrific game as the Quarterback tossed three touchdowns. Running Back Lane Weddle only had four carries but three of those went for house calls. Freshman Caden Bowling even got in on the act with a rushing score. Three different Bobcats had a touchdown reception. Defensively, the Bobcats recovered four Pirate fumbles.
The Bobcats were supposed to play their first home game this Friday against Knott Central but that contest has been postponed. The home opener for Kyle Moore’s team is now set for next Friday, October 2nd against Middlesboro.
8. Bell County (1-1)
Last Game: Defeated Whitley County 20-7
Next Game: vs. McCreary Central
Dudley Hilton and company got back on track with their first victory of the season against Whitley County. The ground game is one of Bell County’s hallmarks for success as junior Brandon Baker recorded his first 100-yard game of the season with 166 yards and two scores. The Bobcats rushed for 278 yards collectively. Baker also caught a TD pass from the arm of junior Quarterback Cameron Burnett. Bell County’s defense played with a lot more energy in week two, holding the Colonels to 47 yards rushing and snagging an interception.
The Bobcats will play their last home game for a few weeks on Friday as McCreary Central makes the visit to Log Mountain for an intra-district matchup. Bell County overwhelmed the Raiders in this battle a year ago, 56-6.
9. Pulaski County (1-1)
Last Game: Defeated Madison Southern 21-15
Next Game: vs. Whitley County
The Maroons manufactured a victory in one of the wildest ways possible last Saturday. John Hines' crew scored three touchdowns but none of those came from the offensive side of the ball against Madison Southern. Despite being held to 87 yards of total offense, junior Christian Slavery and senior Kaleb Adams both had pick sixes while junior Layton Abbott blocked a punt that was returned to the house by junior Jerricho Dixon. The special teams house call turned out to be the difference in this contest. With the victory, Pulaski County has now won their last three matchups with the Eagles.
After beginning their season with two tough road tests, the Maroons will have their first home date of the season on Friday as Whitley County comes to town.
10. Knox Central (2-0)
Last Game: Defeated Bourbon County 34-33
Next Game: at No. 5 Southwestern
The Panthers did indeed get their revenge on the Colonels and are off to their first 2-0 start since 2014. After a low-scoring affair in their season opener against the Black Bears, Fred Hoskins' team found themselves in a contest that featured a lot more points as Knox Central scored five offensive touchdowns. Quarterback Brady Worley had a solid performance as the senior had 163 yards passing and a touchdown but the run game continues to be the main catalyst for the Panthers as senior Running Back Ethan Mills generated 163 yards and three scores. Not to be outdone, junior Seth Mills had a nice outing in his own right with 112 yards and a touchdown. Mills also had a fumble recovery on the defensive side of the ball. Seniors Michael Bay and Larken Abner found the sack column in this contest as well.
The schedule ramps up for Knox Central this week as they will play their first road game of the season against Southwestern in a Mountain Top Ten matchup on Friday.
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