September 23rd, 2011
High School Football Week Six Preview
Top-ranked Shamrocks look to stay unbeaten vs. Cathedral
Below are previews and predictions for this week's docket of games that include Louisville-area Catholic schools and programs.
Class 6A Trinity (4-0) vs. Indianapolis Cathedral (IN) (3-2)
Last meeting: First meeting
Another week, another legitimate out-of-state opponent for the unbeaten Trinity Shamrocks, as the No. 3-ranked team in Indiana, the Indianapolis Cathedral Irish, take a stab at Kentucky’s top team, the Rocks, at Trinity’s Marshall Stadium in Louisville. This will be the first-ever meeting between these perennial Catholic powerhouses, which was made evident by a quote in a the Indianapolis Star this past week: “It's possible this may be the toughest opponent yet on Cathedral's schedule.” Ummm…..yes. Cathedral, which lost its first two games of the season, is improving and has bounced back to win its last three, including a 42-3 victory last week over Bishop Dwenger – the team Cathedral played in the state championship game last season. The Shamrocks are led by a squad that excels in all areas of the game, has a top-tier defensive unit that flies under the radar, an efficient special teams approach and oh yeah, a decent offense. Trinity junior WR James Quick, who is in the top five in Kentucky in receiving yards, needs just 174 more to become the program’s all-time leader in receiving yards. The Rocks, ranked No. 2 in the most recent Rivals.com national high school poll, will continue to prove just how dominant and balanced a team it really is.
PREDICTION: Trinity 35 Cathedral 14
Class 2A DeSales (1-3) @ Class 2A Fort Knox (1-3)
Last meeting: Sept. 22, 2000 (Fort Knox won 40-13)
DeSales and Fort Knox haven’t been in the same football district since 2000, but will renew the rivalry on Friday after an 11-year hiatus. Coming off an impressive comeback effort, but 27-20 loss, against Class 6A PRP last week, the Colts have shown great improvement under the DeSales all-time winningest coach Mark Sander. DeSales has continued to get strong offensive contributions from QB Jared Nauert (311 passing yards/3 touchdowns) and RB Cory LaFever (133 rushing yards/2 touchdowns). Defensively, Kameron Able leads the Colts with 33 tackles and has helped energize the Colts the past two weeks. The Eagles rely heavily on the passing game, as Fort Knox QB Brandon Franklin has completed 38-of-85 passes for 811 yards and 11 touchdowns. The Fort Knox achillies heel is its defense. In four games the Eagles have surrendered 39 points per game, including 68 points to Fort Campbell just last week. If DeSales stops the pass, they likely win the big Class 2A, 4th District game on the road.
PREDICTION: DeSales 24 Fort Knox 20
Class A Holy Cross (4-1) @ Class 5A Jeffersontown (4-0)
Last meeting: n/a
This unique matchup between Holy Cross and J’town features two of most prolific backs in the state, as DeMichael Jackson (Chargers) and Jesse Keen (Cougars) square off in this non-league game. For J’town, Jackson has done it all. He’s rushed for 839 yards and 12 touchdowns on 94 carries, helped the Chargers remain unbeaten and scored 84 of J’town’s 162 total points. Jackson also leads his team in passing with 294 yards and a touchdown. He clearly makes the Class 5A Chargers go. On the other side of the ball, Keen has rushed for over 500 yards and nine touchdowns and has led a triumvirate of talented backs (including QB Cameron Scott and RB Aaron Drury) that offer one of the most accomplished backfields in all of Kentucky. The lone Cougar loss came two weeks ago against rival DeSales when Scott wasn’t on the field for Holy Cross. Having him back under center will help immensely, but Jackson will be too much at home for the Cross.
PREDICTION: J’town 30 Holy Cross 12
Class 6A St. Xavier (2-3) @ Class 3A Central (4-1)
Last meeting: Sept. 24, 2010 (St. Xavier won 35-20)
The Tigers and Yellowjackets have played each other every year consecutively since 2007, and while Central has always seemed to cause fits for Mike Glaser’s team, St. X has gone 4-0 during that stretch. St. Xavier is having a down year record-wise and has been forced to avoid several injury landmines, including the tweaked ankle of senior QB Alex Mattingly. The Tigers showed vast improvement in Cincinnati last week against Archbishop Moeller, despite coming out on the losing end. The St. X defense, which has also come to life the past few weeks, is led by George Stone and Deonte Clyburn and will be crucial in stopping prominent Central RB Anthony “Ace” Wales. One of the state’s top backs, Wales, who has already racked up 15 touchdowns this season, ran for over 140 yards and a score last year against X and will likely have an encore performance at home this season. Central has won four straight games after a hard-fought 23-20 loss to Manual to open the season. This could be the best shot ever for Central to get a win over the decorated St. Xavier program, but the Tigers need this game even more. And it will show.
PREDICTION: St. Xavier 40 Central 20
Class 2A Providence (IN) (3-2) vs. Class 5A Jeffersonville (IN) (2-3)
Last meeting: Sept. 24, 2010 (Providence won 55-26)
Just two weeks ago, the Providence Pioneers seemed to be reeling. But after dropping to 1-2 on the season with a 41-8 loss at home to Holy Cross, first-year Head Coach Larry Denison and PHS have bounced back with a pair of huge wins, and now find themselves back at home and playing up three classes against Jeff. Like Denison at Providence, the Red Devils also have a first-year head coach stalking the sideline, as former St. X assistant and Seneca head coach Lonnie Oldham has the reins at Jeffersonville. Pioneers RB Zack Johnson has been outstanding and living up to his billing as a top back in Indiana Class 2A. Last week Johnson rushed for 111 yards and 2 touchdowns to lead Providence past Christian Academy of Louisville 42-21. His projected numbers have to be high against a Red Devil team that has given up 150 points in five games, but Oldham is defensive-minded and will likely have a scheme in place to stop the Pioneer running game. Plus, Jeff has a definitive win-loss-win-loss pattern going this season. According to that, the Red Devils are due for another win this week.
PREDICTION: Jeffersonville 38 Providence 30