Mansfield: Grading area football teams through eight weeks
Believe it or not, eight weeks of the 2017 high school football season are already in the books, meaning that only three weeks of the regular-season remain.
With postseason play quickly approaching, all teams have their minds set on one thing: playing at the highest level they can. Entering Week 9 of the year, I grade a majority of the clubs in The Sporting Times’ coverage area and breakdown where each stands at this point of the season.
Note: Each team is being graded on a scale from A to D.
- Logan County (7-0 overall, 2-0 Class 4A District 1): The Cougars are off to their best start in program history and are one of the top teams in Class 4A. Although Logan County’s strength of schedule isn’t as strong as many of the other 4A schools, LCHS has proven its worth this season. From 2013-2015, the Cougars went 0-30 — then in 2016 began the year 0-9 before closing the season with a 56-27 win over Todd County Central to snap a 39-game losing streak. Now, coach Todd Adler’s club has made a complete turnaround — one that is pretty special to see.
- Next game: Oct. 13 at Madisonville North-Hopkins (5-2, 3-0 Class 4A District 1)
- South Warren (7-1 overall, 3-0 Class 5A District 2): The Spartans, who began the season 7-0, suffered their first loss of 2017 on Friday in a 31-17 setback at Ravenwood (Tenn). Ravenwood was easily the biggest challenge South Warren has faced thus far, and despite the loss, the Spartans now have a bye week to prepare for their next big challenge — a showdown at Bowling Green on Oct. 20. South has had a great success this year under junior quarterback Gavin Spurrier. In his first season as the Spartans’ starter, he has completed 75-of-122 passes for 1,277 yards and 17 touchdowns with five interceptions.
- Next game: Oct. 20 at Bowling Green (5-2, 2-0 Class 5A District 2)
- Bowling Green (5-2 overall, 2-0 Class 5A District 2): The Purples may not be undefeated like they usually are at this time of the season, but they are having another great year. Bowling Green suffered tough back-to-back losses in Weeks 2 and 3 — both to a pair of top Louisville 6A clubs in Pleasure Ridge Park and St. Xavier — but have since returned to its dominant ways. BG has won four-straight games since then with an average of 48 points scored per contest. Junior quarterback Beau Buchanan has had a solid season thus far for the Purples, throwing for 1,229 yards and 10 touchdowns — with no interceptions.
- Next game: Oct. 13 vs. Barren County (0-7, 0-2 Class 5A District 2)
- Franklin-Simpson (4-3 overall, 1-0 Class 4A District 2): The Wildcats have played one of the toughest schedules amongst all teams in Class 4A this season. Franklin-Simpson played Elizabethtown in Week 1, South Warren in Week 3 and has also met Meade County, Glasgow and Allen County-Scottsville. Although F-S has suffered three losses in 2017, the Wildcats are making strides at the perfect time. Coach Doug Preston’s group has won two-straight and can easily close its regular-season with five-straight to be 7-3 entering the postseason.
- Next game: Oct. 13 vs. Warren Central (0-7, 0-1 Class 4A District 2)
- Allen County-Scottsville (5-2 overall, 0-1 Class 4A District 2): The Patriots have already matched their win total from 2016 and could win out if improvements continue. Allen County-Scottsville has dropped two games this year — both to two dominant opponents in Pulaski County (36-20) and Franklin-Simpson (30-7) — but have secured victories over worthy opponents. Quarterback Chase Wilson has had another successful season for the Patriots, passing for 1,765 yards and 23 touchdowns through seven outings.
- Next game: Oct. 13 at Warren East (4-3, 1-0 Class 4A District 2)
- Glasgow (5-2 overall, 1-0 Class 2A District 3): The Scotties have had a pretty solid 2017 campaign thus far. However, all five of Glasgow’s wins have come against lower-level competition while its two losses were setbacks to a pair of more stronger opponents in Allen County-Scottsville and Franklin-Simpson. Coach Jeff Garmon’s squad has Monroe County, Metcalfe County and Elizabethtown remaining on its regular-season schedule and could possibly win at least one — or maybe two more games — to enter the postseason with plenty of momentum.
- Next game: Oct. 13 vs. Monroe County (6-1, 1-0 Class 2A District 3)
- Warren East (4-3 overall, 1-0 Class 4A District 2): The Raiders entered 2017 with many questions surrounding their program. How would they respond after coach Justin Chaffin stepped down and the school turned to former Barren County coach Jeff Griffith? How would they perform under a new starting quarterback? Would they be able to string together some wins? All of those questions have been answered quite well. Warren East has won four games this season, already exceeding its win total from 2016 and it has been led by the senior trio of quarterback Dwayne Cook, running back Trevor Naftel and wide receiver Caleb Huskey. However, all three have suffered injuries at some point this year and their health remains the biggest factor with two tough games upcoming for the Raiders.
- Next game: Oct. 13 vs. Allen County-Scottsville (5-2, 1-0 Class 4A District 2)
- Greenwood (2-5 overall, 1-2 Class 5A District 2): The Gators have had a rough season thus far. Greenwood has only managed to win a pair of games — over two winless opponents in Warren Central and Barren County — but has played one of the toughest schedules in all of 5A. The Gators have already met very strong opponents in South Warren, Bowling Green, Franklin-Simpson and Allen County-Scottsville and now have the opportunity to string together some victories to conclude their regular-season — if coach Chris Seabolt can get all of his players to lock in. Greenwood’s next three opponents are a combined 5-16, meaning the Gators could very well finish the year right at .500.
- Next game: Oct. 13 vs. Grayson County (1-6, 0-2 Class 5A District 2)
- Warren Central (0-7 overall, 0-1 Class 4A District 2): The Dragons have shown improvements in many areas this season, but still haven’t been able to get over the hump. Warren Central hasn’t been able to secure a win since Oct. 16, 2015; it had its best chance in Week 3 against Monroe County, but fell 21-14. Although the Dragons’ schedule doesn’t get any easier with Franklin-Simpson, Allen County-Scottsville and Meade County all upcoming, coach Joel Taylor’s club’s will continue to make strides in the right direction.
- Next game: Oct. 13 at Franklin-Simpson (4-3, 1-0 Class 4A District 2)