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Russell head coach T.J. Maynard listens during the coin toss against Estill County.

I called it a hunch, and Russell ate my prediction for lunch.

As I approached the pass gate at Henry R. Evans Stadium amid Friday’s frigid conditions, I informed the man monitoring foot traffic who I was.

He could only greet me with a smirk and a nod as if to say, I guess we’ll let you in.

I’m not saying Flatwoods isn’t a friendly place, but they didn’t take too kindly to my thoughts about the Red Devils’ second-round playoff game.

I foresaw an elimination loss to Estill County, and I was wrong.

At least one Russell player printed out the score prediction portion of my column and taped it inside his locker for motivation. When the picture of it surfaced on Twitter, the blatant incorrectness of my score (27-24) was inflated with every retweet.

Hopefully the Devils release me from the dog house this week. After a convincing 32-9 defeat of Estill County, you can call me Van Halen’s David Lee Roth because I’m running with the Devils.

Playoffs, Week 3

Raceland 27, Paintsville 14. Did Paintsville use up all of its rocks for its slingshot, or is another Goliath upset in the works?

Coach Joe Chirico has guided the Tigers to 10 wins for the first time since 2005, when Bill Mike Runyon was at the helm.

Said Runyon, the school’s accomplished basketball coach, on Thursday: “What the football team’s done, that’s the greatest thing ever was here in Paintsville right now. I’m tickled to death for that.”

My prediction, though, is that Runyon finally gets his full basketball roster after this weekend.

Raceland shut out the Tigers, 32-0, just a month ago. While Paintsville is brimming with confidence after its 30-6 shellacking of highly regarded Pikeville, the Rams’ physical defense will spell the end of a special season.

Russell 26, Bourbon County 21. Bourbon County is coming off a six-point win over Garrard County, a team that handed the Colonels a 20-point loss earlier this season. So, as turnarounds go, that’s an impressive one.

Russell’s strong senior group, led by captains Logan Suman, Bronson Korzep and Landon Arnold, continues to come up with game-defining plays. The march continues behind this trio.

Belfry 42, Lawrence County 21. Despite the hiccup at Johnson Central on Oct. 31, Belfry is as much of a sure bet as any team this time of year.

The Pirates did, though, struggle to put away the feisty Bulldogs on Oct. 17 on Pond Creek. Behind the legs of Austin Hatfield, Belfry pedaled past the Dawgs, but not until the fourth quarter.

Lawrence County boasts a good deal of talent, but will it be mentally ready to pull off a playoff stunner? The Dawgs must perform considerably better than they did last week to do so.

Belfry hasn’t lost a playoff game this early in the postseason since 2009. The Pirates pick up their fifth regional title in a row.

So, I guess, now I’m in the Dawg house.

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

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