Postseason implications will dominate the gridiron landscape tonight.
From Paintsville to Grayson and Cannonsburg, and all points in between, the playoff picture will start to take shape after 48 minutes of football.
Raceland rides into Memorial Field tonight against the rival Tigers. It’s always been the opening act. A small taste of what’s to come in the return game a few weeks later.
Rowan County will sail into the postseason with a least one home game if they defeat Boyd County tonight. The Vikings have further aspirations for a No.1 seed if Holmes defeats Scott on Thursday night. That outcome was determined after press time.
A Bulldogs win would result in a three-way tie at the top and Rowan County currently has the better RPI ranking.
The same scenario exists in Grayson tonight. If East Carter defeats Russell, the Raiders could find themselves on top in Class 3A, District 7.
The stars will be out tonight. Big games need a big name. Harrison Ford and his mighty filmography will assist with picks.
Week 10 Picks
Ashland 31, Greenup County 12. The Tomcats will play an “Ender’s Game” tonight in Putnam Stadium. It’s the end of the regular season and a week off to prepare for their first postseason opponent. Ashland ends on the right note before the bye week.
Betsy Layne 34, Fairview 14. The Eagles might need “42” points to post a win on the road. The Wildcats are much improved his season. A depleted Fairview team competes but will not find enough points.
The Vikings have won four of their last five games. They arrive in Cannonsburg with plenty of firepower. The Lions defense has played well in recent weeks but can’t put up a “Firewall” against Cole Wallace and company.
Russell 26, East Carter 23. We have all been “Witness” to the Raiders’ ascension this year. The program can take another step forward tonight against the visiting Red Devils. Do we see a Tomcat letdown after Russell’s thrilling win last week? Russell will rise to the occasion in this district matchup.
West Carter 35, East Ridge 10. The Comets are not in “Clear and Present Danger” to drop its first district game in three seasons. West Carter puts this game away early.
Fleming County 34, Lewis County 15. The Panthers will not encounter any “Frantic” moments in their district finale. The Panthers prevail in this cat fight.
Ironton 30, Portsmouth 14. The Fighting Tigers get a rivalry game before “Crossing Over” to the Division V playoffs. Ironton has not been tested in recent weeks and end OVC play in style.
Lawrence County 33, Floyd Central 16. The Bulldogs slice and dice opposing defenses with their running attack. The “Blade Runner” will sharpen their skills against the Jaguars as they move past last’s week trip to Belfry.
Johnson Central 35, Letcher County Central 20. The Cougars have recorded another impressive season but will need to produce some “Extraordinary Measures” to get past the Golden Eagles. Johnson Central picks up solid RPI points in this game.
Raceland 30, Paintsville 21. These two schools and their fan bases look forward to this matchup all year. The Rams and Tigers have waited patiently for “Six Days Seven Nights” to tangle. Raceland’s offense stays hot to secure the district top seed.
Shelby Valley 33, Bath County 15. In the battle of Wildcats, the team from Shelby Valley wins this game. Bath County can focus on “What Lies Beneath.” It has a playoff spot, but it comes with a return trip to Olive Hill.
Set Your Clocks
After your Friday night football fix, check out the sports talk show “Eleventh Hour” live at The Daily Independent’s Facebook page at approximately 11 p.m., depending on our travel time. Zack Klemme and I break down the night’s action and answer questions about your favorite area team. Post your queries to the comments section during the show.
Tonight’s radio coverage:
Greenup County at Ashland: WBVB 97.1 FM, koolhits1057.com
Fairview at Betsy Layne: koolhits1057.com
Rowan County at Boyd County: WIVY 96.3 FM, koolhits1057.com
Russell at East Carter: WUGO 99.7 FM, koolhits1057.com
Lewis County at Fleming County: WFLE 95.1 FM
Portsmouth at Ironton: WIRO 1230 AM
Floyd Central at Lawrence County: WKYH 99.3 FM
Johnson Central at Letcher County Central: WSIP 98.9 FM
Raceland at Paintsville: WKLW 94.7 FM, koolhits1057.com
Bath County at Shelby Valley: WKCA 97.7 FM
Reach MATTHEW SPARKS at email@example.com or (606) 326-2654. Follow @SparksWillFly35 on Twitter.