Jason Frakes' high school football state semifinals preview

Jason Frakes' high school football state semifinals preview

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Jason Frakes' high school football state semifinals preview

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Scott County (12-1) at Trinity (12-1)

A rematch of last year’s Class 6-A state final, which the Shamrocks won 62-21.

* The Cardinals — No. 5 in The Courier-Journal’s Litkenhous Ratings — rank second in the state in scoring at 52.9 points per game. Senior running backs Dieries Dumphord (1,366 yards, 21 touchdowns) and Kevo Edwards (1,422, 19 TDs) lead Scott County’s wing-T rushing attack. Sophomore Clay McKee, son of head coach Jim McKee, has passed for 1,294 yards and 22 TDs. Junior Scott Daniel (36 catches, 901 yards, 14 TDs) is the top receiver.

* The No. 1 Shamrocks overcame a 14-0 first-quarter deficit and the loss of senior wide receiver James Quick to defeat No. 2 St. Xavier 15-14 last week. Quick (82 catches, 1,333 yards, 14 TDs this year) will miss the game with fractured ribs but possibly could return for the state final if Trinity wins, coach Bob Beatty said. With Quick out, juniors Cody Swabek (41 catches, 558 yards, 7 TDs) and Reggie Bonnafon (32 catches, 450 yards, 6 TDs) will be the top targets for senior quarterback Travis Wright (3,083 passing yards, 34 TDs).

* “The wing-T is a misdirection type of offense … and the teams that are really good at it turn their backs to the defense and hide the football well. It forces your defense to take care of their assignments and not to be too aggressive.” — Beatty

The pick: Trinity 38-20.

Warren East (13-0) at Collins (10-3)

Titans make their second straight trip to Class 4-A semifinals, having lost 20-15 at Franklin-Simpson last year.

* The Raiders are undefeated behind a defense that is allowing just 7.5 points per game. Sophomore linebacker Eli Brown leads the team with 83 tackles and also is the second-leading rusher with 741 yards and 11 TDs. Senior Khyree Boards has rushed for 924 yards and 12 TDs, and junior quarterback Jimmy Burns has passed for 2,022 yards and 24 TDs. Warren East last reached the state semifinals in 2007, falling 38-35 to Lone Oak.

* Juniors DeAndre Farris and Masai Whyte both rushed for two TDs as Collins beat Western 36-20 last week. Farris is the Titans’ top rusher and receiver and has scored 30 TDs this season (16 rushing, 13 receiving, one punt return). Whyte is the Titans’ top tackler from his linebacker spot. Junior quarterback Lawson Page has passed for 2,557 yards and 33 TDs and is the team’s second-leading rusher with 674 yards.

* “If there’s a better junior running back in the state (than Farris), I’d have to see him to believe it. He’d be a 2,000-yard rusher if we let him.” — Collins coach Jerry Lucas

The pick: Collins 28-23.

Monroe County (12-1) at Central (11-2)

Yellowjackets in Class 3-A state semifinals for seventh straight year and seeking fifth state title in past six years.

* The Falcons have won 10 straight since a 26-18 loss to Class 4-A semifinalist Warren East on Aug. 31. Senior quarterback/safety Chad Wilson does it all for Monroe County, having rushed for 1,686 yards and 27 TDs and passed for 729 yards and nine TDs. On defense he has four fumble recoveries and three interceptions and is among the team’s top tacklers with 45. Senior Jacob Hodges has rushed for 998 yards and 11 TDs and leads the Falcons with 117 tackles.

* Senior running back Deris Cox rushed for 149 yards and both TDs in last week’s 14-10 victory at Bell County. He now has 1,568 yards and 19 TDs this season. Senior quarterback Tae’Shawn Gibbs has been cleared to return to action after suffering a concussion during the first half of the second-round playoff victory over Wayne County. Yellowjackets coach Ty Scroggins said backup Sydney Tedford likely would remain the starter against Monroe County, with Gibbs also eligible to play.

* “(Wilson) is their team. He’s the quarterback, the punter, the kickoff return guy, the safety. He plays all over the field. He’s going to touch the ball, so we have to limit his carries and make sure we hit him every time we have the opportunity to hit him.” — Scroggins

The pick: Central 27-14.

Caldwell County (10-3) vs. DeSales (9-4) at Fairdale

Colts in Class 2-A state semifinals for first time since 2009, when they went on to lose to Fort Campbell in state championship game.

* The Tigers are in the state semifinals for the first time since 1998, when they went on to defeat Danville for the state title. Caldwell County beat Murray 10-7 last week, with Brett Seymore nailing a 45-yard field goal with 2:39 left in the game for the winning margin. Caldwell County has a balanced offensive attack, with sophomore Jaylen Boyd rushing for 1,660 yards and 25 TDs and sophomore quarterback Elijah Sindelar passing for 2,510 yards and 29 TDs.

* The Colts won their third straight playoff game on the road last week, beating Glasgow 10-2 as junior running back Dylan Byrd rushed for 90 yards and the game’s lone TD. He now has 1,599 rushing yards and 30 total TDs this season. The defense has been strong during DeSales’ current four-game winning streak, allowing just eight points per contest. Senior linebacker James Davenport leads the Colts with 85 tackles.

* “They spread you out, and they can throw the ball. (Sindelar) can run if you don’t contain him. We’ll have some problems with that.” — DeSales coach Harold Davis

The pick: DeSales 23-21.

Other predictions

(Home team in CAPS)

CLASS 5-A

Bowling Green 24, JOHN HARDIN 20

Cooper 45, HARLAN COUNTY 34

CLASS 4-A

HIGHLANDS 31, Lexington Catholic 20

CLASS 3-A

Bourbon County 27, BELFRY 23

CLASS 2-A

Newport Central Catholic 27, SOMERSET 16

CLASS A

Mayfield 20, BEECHWOOD 14

Hazard 21, FAIRVIEW 19

Last week’s record: 7-1.

Season record: 205-58.

— All games at 7:30 p.m. Friday

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