October is a much anticipated month across the country.
It marks the return of pumpkin pie treats among fast food chains.
It signals the climax of the baseball season, and the starting point for basketball.
October delivers an eerie aura amid the chilly outside air, as inside, horror movie marathons make for optimum late-night viewing.
In our small sliver of the country, though, it offers a Class 4A football rivalry which has racked up enough entertaining games to make up its own marathon.
Ashland-Johnson Central. Once again, the two will tussle for a title. The district championship went the way of the Tomcats last season, but tonight offers a more difficult setting in Paintsville.
Hmm ... who to go with ...
Boyd County 40, Greenup County 16: The Lions’ “prize” awaits in the form of the Highland Bluebirds in the first round of the postseason in a couple weeks. But hey, they’re in.
Russell 28, East Carter 14: Week off pays off for Raiders, who stay painfully close for Russell until Red Devils muster up enough to pull away by the end of the third quarter.
Lawrence County 41, East Ridge 18: Bulldogs get back on track against struggling Warriors.
Fairview 55, Nicholas County 14: Eagles survive always unpredictable trip to Carlisle by staying confident after earning their second straight district championship.
Ironton 27, Oak Hill 20: While Oak Hill has just one loss, Ironton is more tested and should be more hungry after enduring three-game losing streak. That skid is snapped here.
Raceland 62, Paintsville 12: Rams have their way, but Tigers will still show some fight.
West Carter 21, Lewis County 14: If you took notice of Thursday’s edition, you saw that I went with an upset pick. Everybody knows about West Carter’s youth and its 0-8 record, but the Comets possess some surprising skill that will allow them to hang around long enough to pull off a shocker.
Ashland 31, Johnson Central 26: The excitement of this one has a chance to match 2009’s version of this heated rivalry — that was a 29-28 Johnson Central outcome. I see the defenses coming out on fire, with the scoring opening up by midway second quarter. The Golden Eagles’ three-headed monster in the backfield will give the Tomcats a little trouble, but the ’Cats will have the last say behind key defensive stops.
AARON SNYDER can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (606) 326-2664.