We have come to the halfway point of the high school football season. Living in these arduous moments, one thing has become clear. It’s something we have known all along but took for granted.

Time is a precious commodity these days, but we are still persevering and are ready for another football feast tonight.

We experienced a few firsts last week. Ashland played at Raceland for the first time in 31 meetings and will compete on its home field for the first time this season.

Lawrence County got its first taste of Friday night lights and did not disappoint the Bulldog faithful. If you read “Midweek Midline” this week, and if you haven’t I suggest you should, there were two overtime games in the same northeastern Kentucky county for the first time since 1998.

My first rock album was Van Halen’s “1984.” The world lost a rock legend and guitar genius after Eddie Van Halen died on Tuesday from cancer. He dazzled audiences around the world every time he strapped on his instrument. His riffs and guitar solos were magical. He will be missed.

The songs of Van Halen will assist this week. Time to “Jump” in and make some picks.

Week 5 Picks

Ashland 33, East Carter 14. For Tomcat fans and players, it “Feels So Good” to be back in Putnam Stadium tonight. The visiting Raiders wonder “Why Can’t This Be Love” as the host pulls away for a Senior Night victory.

Holmes 24, Boyd County 20. This was a tough one to pick, due to the recent Lions resurgence. Carter Stephens appears to be a “Man On A Mission” in the new ground game. The Bulldogs still manage to outlast Boyd County in this pivotal district matchup.

Bath County 27, East Ridge 12. “Right Now” would be the perfect time for the Wildcats to pick up their first victory of the season over the winless Warriors.

Fleming County 27, Mason County 20. The Panthers keep gaining experience each week and prove they are “Good Enough” to record another district win over the Royals.

Rowan County 30, Harrison County 16. I’m not spilling any “Secrets” here. The Vikings’ “Primary” focus on offense is senior running back Cole Wallace. It doesn’t bode well for a Thorobreds team that had trouble tackling at Boyd County two weeks ago.

Johnson Central 34, Perry County Central 13. No need to overthink this one. It’s Jim Matney. It’s the Golden Eagles. It will be their 19th straight win. I am “Feelin’” really good about this pick.

Knott County Central 20, Morgan County 14. The Cougars have an opportunity to tally their first win of the season against the Patriots, who have only played one game due to COVID-19 cancellations. It will be a close one but still “Not Enough.”

Lawrence County 32, Pike County Central 28. Expect plenty of rushing yards and plenty of points from these two teams in what has developed into a solid rivalry game. The Bulldogs can achieve the “Best of Both Worlds” with another district win to open the season and a victory over the rival Hawks.

Paintsville 35, Fairview 8. The scoreboard at Memorial Field will see an “Eruption” of points, but they will mainly stay on the Tigers’ side. Paintsville wins its eighth straight against the Eagles.

Russell 31, Greenup County 14. There should be no suspense trying to figure out the song title for this pick. Charlie Jachimczuk has shown his mettle under center, but I’m “Runnin’ With the Devil” in this matchup. Nathan Conley and company plan on racking up the rushing yards.

West Carter 35, Prestonsburg 12. The Comets seem to have Class 2A, District 8 well in hand, but coach Daniel Barker wants his team to “Finish What Ya Started.” West Carter averages 47 points a game and Orry Perry and Leetavious Cline, the state’s leading scorer, keep rolling.

Raceland 26, Washington County 21. The Rams sit in an unfamiliar position at 1-3. The strength of their schedule will help them down the road. The Commanders stepped in when Raceland had to postpone its game with Betsy Layne. When “Push Comes To Shove,” the Rams find a way to get it done in Springfield.

Listen Up!

Tonight’s radio coverage:

East Carter at Ashland: WBVB 97.1 FM, koolhits1057.com

Holmes at Boyd County: koolhits1057.com

Bath County at East Ridge:  WKCA 97.7 FM

Mason County at Fleming County: WFLE 95.1 FM

Rowan County at Harrison County: WQXX 106.1 FM

Perry County Central at Johnson Central: WSIP 98.9 FM

Morgan County at Knott County Central: WLKS 102.9 FM

Pike County Central at Lawrence County: WKYH 99.3-FM

Fairview at Paintsville: WKLW 94.7 FM, koolhits1057.com

Greenup County at Russell: koolhits1057.com

Prestonsburg at West Carter:  WUGO 99.7 FM

Reach MATTHEW SPARKS at msparks@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2654. Follow @SparksWillFly35 on Twitter.

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