Hazard at Pikeville

Who: Hazard (0-4) at Pikeville (4-1)

Kickoff: Friday, October 16, 7:30 p.m.

Location: Hillard Howard Field, Hambley Athletic Complex, Pikeville.

Coaches: Hazard, Dan Howard. Pikeville, Chris McNamee.

Notes: Hazard was on a Bye Week last week due to COVID-19 at Harlan County, while Pikeville cruised to a 54-6 win over district rival Phelps.

If Pikeville wins, the Panthers will get the No. 1 seed in the district and earn a first round Bye in the opening week of the Class A playoffs. District 7 only consists of three teams leaving the No. 2 and No. 3 seeds to play each other in the opening round and giving the No. 1 seed the first round Bye.

Hazard has struggled this season.

In four games, the Bulldogs have been outscored 147-49.

The Bulldog defense is giving up 36.75 points per game, while the offense is only averaging 12.25 points per game.

Hazard needs to get off to a good start.

Look for the Bulldogs to try and slow the game down and rely on their run game.

Hazard wants to eat up as much time as possible to keep the high potent Pikeville offense off the field.

But the problem with that is that Pikeville’s defensive line and front seven on defense are really strong and quick.

The Bulldogs will have to try and find a power run game.

Hazard is more effective throwing the ball this season with Garrett Miller, so they might try to spread Pikeville out and use quick hitters in the passing game to try to get some one-on-one coverage in space.

Whatever the Bulldogs plan of attack is on offense, they will have to put together long sustained drives to keep Pikeville off the field.

But Pikeville’s defense is playing just as well as the offense this season.

Pikeville’s offense is clicking and quarterback Isaac McNamee is starting to develop some depth at the wide receiver spot other than Zac Lockhart.

He has completed passes to eight other receivers that aren’t named Zac Lockhart.

Lockhart leads the team by far in receptions with 32 receptions for 579 yards and nine TDs. Blake Birchfield follows with nine catches for 101 yards and a TD. Wade Hensley has five catches for 62 yards and a TD. Jeb Wilkerson has two catches for 50 yards. Grant Scott has added a 42-yard catch and Brandon Lowe has four catches for 32 yards and a TD.

McNamee is still searching for a clear cut No. 2 receiver because Birchfield is the team’s top running back this season with 475 yards and five TDs on 79 carries.

McNamee is 54 for 88 passing for 876 yards and 12 TDs with three interceptions.

This is Pikeville’s last scheduled regular season game at the moment after Knox Central cancelled its November 6 meeting with the Panthers to make up a district game.

Pikeville could sit out the last three weeks of the regular season and the opening round of the playoffs if the Panthers can’t add any games in the last three weeks of regular season play.

Who 2 Watch: For Hazard, watch for the duo of Max Johnson and Tyson Turner. For Pikeville, watch for Nate Collins.

Turner and Johnson are the Bulldogs’ No. 1 and 2 running backs and receivers.

Turner leads the rushing attack with 235 yards and a TD with 29 carries. Johnson follows with 118 yards and a TD on 18 carries.

Turner also leads the receivers with 14 catches for 199 yards and a TD, while Johnson is on his heels with 10 catches for 198 yards and a score.

On defense, Johnson is second on the team in tackles with 29 total tackles, while Turner has 18 total tackles. Johnson also has an interception and has forced a fumble.

Collins is having a big season on offense and defense for the Panthers.

Collins missed the game against Campbell County that the Panthers lost.

On the season, Collins is second on the team in rushing with 281 yards and four TDs on 28 carries.

On defense, Collins has 25 total tackles; two of those are for losses. Collins also leads the Panthers in sacks with two.

If Collins has a big game, look for the Panthers to pull out the big win.

Perry Central at Clay County

Who: Perry Central (1-4) at Clay County (3-2)

Kickoff: Friday, October 16, 7:30 p.m.

Location: Tiger Stadium, Manchester.

Coaches: Perry Central, Mark Dixon. Clay County, Michael Sizemore.

Notes: Perry Central fell to district foe Johnson Central 75-24 last week, while Clay County knocked off Casey County 54-32.

Both teams have faced off against Johnson Central so far in district action.

The Tigers fell to the defending Class 4A state champions, 49-6 in Week 4.

Perry Central had its second biggest offensive showing last week.

The Commodores have struggled to score the ball.

In five weeks, Perry Central has scored 75 points. That’s an average of 15 points per game.

Perry Central’s defense has given up 215 points this season. That is an average of 43 points per game.

The Commodores played four different players at quarterback last week against Johnson Central. The Commodores threw for 190 total yards. Charles Mullins led the way as he was five for 11 passing for 125 yards and a TD. Kobee Eldridge was one for one passing for a 56-yard TD. Chanse McKenzie was one for one for nine yards. Hayden Canady didn’t complete any of his three pass attempts.

The run game was non-existent, though.

Perry Central finished the game with negative six yards as a team.

Cade Miller led the receivers with four catches for 129 yards and two TDs. Eldridge followed with two catches for 47 yards. Tyler Smith also caught a 14-yard pass.

Clay County quarterback Tate Rice leads the way for the Tigers this season. Rice is 102 for 165 passing for 1,246 yards and 19 TDs with six interceptions.

Ben Meadows leads the running attack with 274 yards and a TD on 62 carries. Trevor Spurlock has rushed for 185 yards and a TD on 40 carries.

Perry Central is trying to earn a district win so the Commodores can avoid playing Johnson Central in the opening round of the Class 4A playoffs.

Perry Central already has district losses against Letcher Central and Johnson Central. The Commodores only other district game that remains is next week against Harlan County.

Who 2 Watch: For Perry Central, the defense.

The Commodore defense has only forced one fumble on the season.

The Commodores don’t have any interceptions either.

So creating turnovers to help themselves out will be crucial for the Commodores.

Perry Central only has two sacks on the season, so the Commodores will also have to find a way to put pressure on quarterback Grant Rice who likes to air the ball out.

Pressure might help create an interception.

Perry Central will try and find a way to create turnovers to help pick up their second win of the season.

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