Vaught's Views: Four area teams will advance

November 05, 2004|LARRY VAUGHT

Now that the high school football playoffs are ready to start, it's time to bring out that trusty crystal ball and take a look ahead at what will happen in tonight's area games.

Harrodsburg (6-4) at Louisville Holy Cross (9-1): The team with the most difficult assignment tonight is Harrodsburg. Holy Cross might be the best team in Class A - and was within either a fourth-down punt or one last defensive stand last year of beating eventual state champion Danville in the quarterfinals.

Harrodsburg's only hope is that speedy backs Brandon Ford and Cory Jackson run wild. But the Pioneers' biggest problem will be stopping Holy Cross' potent running game.

Prediction: Holy Cross 35, Harrodsburg 7.

Morgan County (7-3) at Mercer County (6-4): Morgan has not been in the playoffs in over 10 years. It does have one plus - assistant coach Jimmy Anderson is a former Danville player and volunteer coach who knows what it takes to win in the playoffs.


Mercer has a bigger edge, though, in running back Andrew McCloud. He's had big playoff games in the past and tonight could be one of his best. Look for McCloud to pile up big numbers.

Prediction: Mercer 21, Morgan 14.

Western (7-3) at Garrard County (8-2): Eight turnovers last week not only cost Garrard a Class AA district title against Corbin, but it also sent coach Steve Stonebraker scurrying for home a lot quicker than normal.

Quick could be the key word again as Western's speed and athleticism have worried Stonebraker. However, another big home crowd and the running and passing skills of quarterback Spencer Crutchfield should let the Golden Lions win an entertaining game.

Prediction: Garrard 35, Western 21.

Campbellsville (7-3) at Danville (6-4): The Admirals start their Class A title defense against a team with more size - but not nearly as much overall team speed.

The subplot for this game is running back Kelvin Turner's quest to become the state's all-time leading scorer. He has 101 touchdowns, fourth best in state history, and needs 12 more to become No. 1. Coach Sam Harp has never been one to worry about individual statistics, but he's also never had a chance to coach the state's all-time leading scorer, either.

Expect a big game out of Turner, especially with versatile Ronnie Hawkins now also playing some running back to make opponents really pay for keying on Turner.

Prediction: Danville 42, Campbellsville 6.

Fairdale (5-5) at Boyle County (8-2): This is a rematch of last year's opening Class AAA playoff game that started the Rebels on their way to a fifth straight state title.

Fairdale has a future Division I player in Maurice Grinter, but it won't matter. Boyle has its own offensive star in quarterback Brandon Smith, who needs just 203 total yards tonight to reach 10,000 yards, and he has a lot more help than Grinter. More importantly for the Rebels, Boyle is back playing Chuck Smith-like defense. Boyle not only is stopping opponents, it is punishing opponents.

Prediction: Boyle 49, Fairdale 7.

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