Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

September 20, 2013

AARON SNYDER: Olive branch in Olive Hill?

Aaron Snyder
The Independent

ASHLAND — Pass the torch of hatred along!

I think I’ve patched things up with Lawrence County as I hereby announce my formal retraction of a 4-6 prediction I made this preseason.

And I hope Lewis County isn’t storing up too many ill feelings. The Lions already surpassed my predicted win total for them, having collected three victories in three tries so far.

I’m sure I’ve had others scratching their heads or letting loose a boisterous “WHAATT??!!” while perusing my picks.

Who’s bad side am I huddled up against this week?

Considering I’ve picked against West Carter every week — and the Comets have already twice proved me wrong — I can’t blame Olive Hill for not waving an olive branch of peace in front of me.

The Comets should’ve taught me a lesson by now, but what did I say before? I am one stubborn student.

Read further if you want to know why I’m going with Greenup County tonight.

Ashland 21, Ironton 14: I’m sensing a pattern emerging. So far, every other week, Quinton Baker has exploded for 200-plus rushing yards. The anomaly is that neither time has it led to a Tomcat win. I feel another Baker breakout brewing — maybe not for 200 yards — but this time it helps the Tomcats beat one of their archrivals. Much-improved defense by both teams will keep the game close.

Boyd County 21, Russell 17: With Russell’s style of play, the Red Devils typically don’t blow out opponents. Boyd County hangs with Russell long enough to come up with a late strike to please the home crowd and give coach John Gilliam his first win.

Greenup County 24, West Carter 21: The Comets have some firepower, starting with quarterback Braden Brown, but Greenup County is likely the best defense they will have faced to this point. Morgan County was pretty stout defensively, but the Musketeers will be able to tame the Comets just enough.

Fairview 32, Hazard 26: Is the Fairview-Bellevue game even over yet? I’m just kidding, but wow, that was interesting. Hazard was on the short end of a 62-50 contest earlier this season, while Fairview is coming off a 62-50 win. The Eagles and Bulldogs shouldn’t disappoint in this state semifinal rematch as Fairview emerges.

Raceland 34, Coal Grove 24: Coal Grove is 0-3, but the opponents have made for a difficult early road. Add Raceland to that list. The talented Rams are able to hold off the hungry Hornets.

Johnson Central 28, Harlan County 20: This matchup should give us an indication of how exactly how good Johnson Central is. The Golden Eagles (No. 5, Class 4A) have been pulverizing opponents so far, but Harlan County comes into Paintsville as the No. 6 team in Class 5A. Johnson Central’s three-headed rushing attack proves too much to handle.

Lawrence County 30, East Carter 17: The Dawgs have to fight for this one for a while, but in the end their weapons prove too many for the Raiders.

Tates Creek 42, Rowan County 14: Rowan County has given up the most points in Class 4A, and a taxing schedule hasn’t helped matters for the Vikings. That taxing schedule continues as Tates Creek cruises.

Powell County 28, Lewis County 22: Something’s got to give. Both at 3-0, Powell County has a more impressive resume coming in. I’ll give the Pirates the edge.

Paintsville 46, Allen Central 8: This one could get ugly by halftime.

AARON SNYDER can be reached at asnyder@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2664.