Tilghman, Mayfield, McCracken in Regional Finals
By Eric Chumbler
WESTERN KENTUCKY - The McCracken County Mustangs are coming off their most impressive win of the season defensively last week in a 17-6 win over Henderson County. The test becomes much greater this week when (9-3) McCracken County travels to Radcliffe to take on the undefeated (12-0) North Hardin Trojans.

When looking at the near seven complete seasons of McCracken County football, you’ll find a lot of high scoring games. In the 83 games McCracken County High School has played in football, only 17 of those games have the Mustangs scored fewer than 20 points. Coming into this season, McCracken County had only 1 win and 13 losses when they’ve scored 20 points or less in a game. The one exception was in 2017 when McCracken County beat Paducah Tilghman, 20-19.

The trend has changed over the last three weeks for McCracken County. The Mustangs have been winning because of their defense, and the most impressive showing came last week against Henderson County. The Colonels put six points on the scoreboard, but that was due to a special teams play on the opening kickoff that was returned for a touchdown. Henderson County would not score again on the night.

However, while the Mustangs have played very well defensively over the final month of the season, North Hardin has the top defense in Class 6A statistically and the 5th best defense in Kentucky. In 12 games this season, the Trojans have given up only 95 points this season, an average of 7.9 points per game given up. In seven of the 12 games they’ve played, the Trojans have given up one seven points or less. And opponents have averaged just 44 yards per game rushing the football.

The Mustangs and the Trojans square off Friday at 6:30pm from Ray Story Stadium in Radcliffe.

The Blue Tornado look to defend home field Friday night as (9-3) Paducah Tilghman hosts (10-2) Taylor County.

Paducah Tilghman continues to feast in the ground game. The Blue Tornado rushed for 367 yards and five touchdowns in their 36-7 win over Union County last week. Damien Ford had a stellar week last week, rushing for 274 yards and four touchdowns. Overall this season, Ford has rushed for 1,501 yards  and 20 touchdowns. Fellow senior running back Jayden Freeman has rushed for 1,039 yards and 15 touchdowns this season.

Taylor County also relies heavily on the run. In fact, they rely on it a bit more than Tilghman does. Over 80% of the offensive production for the Cardinals this season has come from running the football. Wes Oliver has run for 1,971 yards, which ranks as 6th best in Kentucky. He also has 25 rushing touchdowns to his credit.

The Cardinals and the Blue Tornado kick off at 7pm from McRight Field in Paducah.

No matter how you choose to describe Mayfield’s 2019 football season, the words used to describe it will be synonyms of the word “dominant”. Except for their loss to McCracken County back in the middle of September, the Cardinals have won every game with ease (only two games have been within 10 points). The next opponent to try and slow down (11-1) Mayfield is (6-6) Edmonson County.

One of the more surprising upsets in high school football last week came when McLean County went on the road and knocked off (9-2) Owensboro Catholic. That assured Edmonson County’s fate in having to travel to Mayfield this week to take on the Cards.

Mayfield’s offense continues to roll. They’ve scored the following point totals this season – 45, 27, 38, 35, 48, 42, 45, 63, 41, 53, 56, and 56 again last week. That’s good for 549 points scored in 12 games played. And Mayfield has scored over 50 points in four of the last five games.

Senior quarterback Jayden Stinson continues to shine, passing for 317 yards and six touchdowns in a 56-24 win over Murray. On the season, Stinson has passed for 3,134 yards and 43 touchdowns and averaging just under four touchdown passes per game. Senior Kade Neely leads all receivers with 1,042 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns while junior running back Kylan Galbreath leads all rushers with 1,246 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns.

The Cardinals and the Wildcats kick off at 7pm at historic War Memorial Stadium in Mayfield.

Published 07:46 PM, Thursday Nov. 21, 2019
Updated 07:53 PM, Thursday Nov. 21, 2019

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