Mustangs Travel South for Choctaw Challenge
By Eric Chumbler
WESTERN KENTUCKY - One of the hottest teams in western Kentucky of late has been McCracken County; winners of three games in a row and fresh off their 6th consecutive Class 6A District 1 Championship with a 36-24 win over Henderson County last week. This week, the Mustangs travel to Newbern, Tennessee to take on the  Dyer County Choctaws.

One of the more impressive performances by the Mustangs offense came last week against the strong defense of Henderson County. Before last week, the Colonels held five different teams to seven points or less this season. McCracken’s 36 points against the Colonels was the most Henderson had given up this season besides their opening week loss to Indiana state power Evansville Reitz.

The Mustangs (5-3) feasted on the big plays last week. The opening touchdown came on a 30-yard touchdown strike from junior quarterback Elijah Wheat to junior wide receiver Franklin Hayes. Sophomore running back Hunter Bradley claimed a 34-yard touchdown carry, senior wide receiver Cannon LaFont weaved his way through the Colonels defense for a 46-yard touchdown reception, and senior Kiael Waldon returned a kickoff 86 yards for a touchdown.

While the offense has been the story for the Mustangs this season, the McCracken County defense has really found their identity of late. Over the last two games, the McCracken defensive front line has forced 10 sacks, including four on highly talented Henderson County quarterback Skip Patterson.

Senior Kiael Waldon leads the Mustangs in tackles this season with 58. Senior Jack Holland has 56 tackles, senior Ben Amador has 38 tackles, senior Matt Mallory has 36 tackles and senior Darius Cain has 33 tackles, including 14 tackles against Henderson County last Friday night. Seniors Jordan Ware and Matt Mallory lead the Mustangs in sacks with four each.

The Mustangs and the Choctaws (4-3) kick off at Dyer County High School Friday night at 7pm.


An opening round home playoff game is on the line Friday night as Graves County travels to Hopkinsville to take on Christian County.

After a four-game losing streak, Graves County (3-4, 2-0) has used district play to rediscover their winning ways. Over the last two weeks, the Eagles have scored 104 points against Apollo and Marshall County. During that stretch, junior running back Cody Goatley has been the star; rushing for seven touchdowns, including four touchdowns last week against Marshall County. Overall this season, Goatley has rushed for 467 yards and 9 touchdowns.

Senior quarterback Ryan Mathis has also found his groove in district play, passing for 500 yards and six touchdowns in the two district contests this season. Four of those six touchdown passes have been to senior wide receiver Drew Cooper. On the season, Cooper has 599 receiving yards and 7 touchdowns on 36 receptions.

Christian County’s season to this point has produced a mix bag of results. The Colonels (4-3, 2-1) received a strong opening night win against Caldwell County in the Toyota of Hopkinsville Jerry Claiborne Bowl before losing back-to-back contests to Rossview (TN) and Henderson County. Christian County then held archrival Hopksinville to 7 points in a 16-7 win before routing Marshall County. Then the Colonels lost handily to Owensboro before an 18-14 win against Apollo last week.

Christian County’s anchor this season has been their defense. One of their more dominant performances came last week against Apollo; holding the Eagles to negative-20 rushing yards and only 14 points. The same Apollo team that put up 49 points against Graves County two weeks ago.
The Eagles and the Colonels square off Friday night at 7pm at the Stadium of Champions in Hopkinsville.

The class of western Kentucky football continues to be the  Mayfield Cardinals. The Cardinals travel to La Center Friday night to take on the  Ballard Memorial Bombers.

It’s not uncommon for Mayfield (7-0, 1-0) to be undefeated going into their second district game of the season. However, it’s quite rare to see Mayfield (or any team for that matter) putting up the amount of points they’ve put up through seven games this season. On the season, the Cardinals have scored 344 points, an average of just under 50 points per game.

One of the more impressive quarterback stat lines you’ll find in the state belong to junior quarterback Jaden Stinson. Stinson has 22 touchdown passes this year to just one interception. To be frank, that’s an incredibly challenging feat for any quarterback in any level of football. Stinson’s top target this season has been Kade Neely who has 541 receiving yards and 8 touchdowns. Diaz Perry has also been a big contributor with 452 receiving yards and 6 touchdowns.

When you try to focus on stopping the Cardinals through the air, senior tailback Kent Trey Matthews will beat you on the ground. Matthews, averaging 162 rushing yards per game, has 1,134 rushing yards this season and 16 rushing touchdowns.

When looking at some of the wildest football games in western Kentucky this season, you’ll find several contests that included Ballard Memorial. The wildest one would likely be the Bombers’ matchup with Marshall County on August 31. In that contest, Ballard Memorial scored 52 points while losing by 3 scores to the Marshals, 70-52. The Bombers (2-5, 1-0) had their way two weeks ago against Webster County, knocking off the Trojans in a high-scoring affair, 58-34.

Erick Marinelli is having a monstrous senior season at quarterback for the Bombers, passing for 1,987 yards and 30 touchdowns to only 6 interceptions. Marinelli’s top target this season has been Drew Cox, who has 774 yards receiving and 13 touchdowns. Trenton Howard has also chimed in with 11 touchdown receptions and 624 receiving yards.

The Cardinals and the Bombers square off Friday night at 7pm in La Center.

The number two seed and a home playoff game is up for grabs in Class 3A District 1 Friday night as Paducah Tilghman travels to Morganfield to take on Union County.

The Blue Tornado’s recipe for success this season has come from the rushing game. In their 52-27 win over Trigg County two weeks ago, Paducah Tilghman (5-2, 1-1) rushed for 542 yards while passing for only 47 yards. Against Caldwell County three weeks ago, Tilghman rushed for 319 yards.

Union County (5-2, 1-1) ended a two-game losing streak last week with a 28-6 win over district foe Fort Campbell. On the season, quarterback Soloman Teehan has 13 touchdown passes and 854 passing yards for the Braves. Corithian Portee-Seales leads the ground game for Union County with 423 yards rushing and four touchdowns. (Paducah Tilghman has not reported their stats to the KHSAA, so we do not have their individual statistical leaders at this time.)

Paducah Tilghman and Union County square off Friday night at 7pm at Union County High School.

Friday Night's Games
Mayfield at Ballard Memorial
Hopkinsville at Calloway County
Graves County at Christian County
Fulton County at Crittenden County
McCracken County at Dyer County, TN
Caldwell County at Fort Campbell
Trigg County at Hopkins County Central
Madisonville at Logan County
Apollo at Owensboro
Paducah Tilghman at Union County
Murray at Webster County
West Frankfort at Massac County

Published 07:01 PM, Thursday Oct. 11, 2018
Updated 11:36 PM, Friday Oct. 12, 2018

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