With the state playoffs just around the corner, Henry County and Eminence are wrapping up another regular season with the postseason starting Nov. 14.
Eminence is 8-2 and will host Ludlow in the first round of the playoffs, while Henry is 6-3, will host Scott this Friday to close out the regular season and will travel to Central in the opening round. Statistically, both county squads have been putting up impressive numbers this season, according to the latest statewide football leaders posted on the Web site www.khsaa.org, which includes the first nine games for both teams.
For Henry, sophomore quarterback Luke Magness is ranked No. 3 in Class 3-A in passing yards with 116-of-221 passing for 1,744 yards, 23 touchdowns and an average of 194 yards per game. Elizabethtown’s Michael Thomas (164-of-279 for 2,572 yards, 29 touchdowns and an average of 286 yards) and Somerset’s Scott Spears (88-of-173 for 1,631 yards, 18, 204) are the only quarterbacks in Class 3-A that have better stats. At the receiving end, senior Matt Long is ranked No. 14 in receiving yards with 24 catches for 480 yards, eight touchdowns and 53 yards per game.
Also, as a team, Henry is ranked No. 3 in points per game with 42.3, No. 3 in scoring defense with 12.7 points allowed per game, No. 2 in scoring margin with a difference of 29.6 points per game, No. 4 in rushing defense with 104 yards allowed per game, No. 3 in passing with 198 yards per game and No. 4 in passing defense with 71 yards allowed per game.
Meanwhile, the Warriors are equally impressive in Class A. Sophomore quarterback Dre Banta is ranked No. 7 in passing yards with 60-of-116 passing for 1,123 yards, 11 touchdowns and an average of 125 yards per game. At the receiving end, senior Ed Berry is ranked No. 2 in receiving yards with 50 catches for 932 yards, nine touchdowns and 104 yards per game. Williamsburg’s Aaron Brock (48 catches for 945 yards) is the only other player in Class A that has better receiving stats. Berry is also ranked No. 8 in scoring with 11.1 points per game. Also, junior running back TJ Cooper is ranked No. 12 in rushing with 1,068 yards off 157 handoffs for 119 yards per game, and No. 13 in scoring with 9.8 points per game.
As a team, Eminence is ranked No. 11 in Class A in scoring with 32.9 points per game, No. 7 in scoring defense with 19.4 points allowed per game, No. 10 in scoring margin with a difference of 13.5 points per game, No. 11 in rushing with 211 yards per game, No. 3 in rushing defense with 100 yards allowed per game and No. 7 in passing with 134 yards per game.
As for the postseason, the procedure for selecting opponents have changed this fall. Instead of playing district opponents during the first two rounds of the state playoffs like last season, districts will be matched up with another district so teams will most likely not face an opponent they saw during the regular season. Henry, the No. 4 seed from District Four in Class 3-A, will play Central, the No. 1 seed from District Three, while Eminence, the No. 2 seed from District Four in Class A, will play Ludlow, the No. 3 seed from District Three.
Heading into the Scott game this Friday, all three of Henry’s losses have come to district opponents — North Oldham (18-14) Western Hills (38-34) and Spencer County (38-25) — while the Wildcats have won six games — Ludlow (40-0), Trimble County (56-0), Owen County (52-0), Pendleton (58-0), Eminence (55-6) and Carroll County (47-14). Henry is ranked No. 4 in Class 3-A in the latest Litkenhous Ratings released by the Courier-Journal earlier this week, and will play Central, ranked No. 1.
Eminence, on the other hand, has defeated Beth Haven (44-16), Kentucky Country Day (34-3), Trimble County (26-24), Bracken County (46-0), Gallatin County (28-21), Evangel Christian (58-16), Bishop Brossart (54-0) and North Hardin Christian (46-6), while losing to Henry (55-6) and Frankfort (30-0).
As the No. 2 seed from District Four, the Warriors, ranked No. 14 in Class A, will host the school’s first playoff game against Ludlow, ranked No. 29.
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