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Louisville teams roll on in Kentucky high school football playoffs

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Not all local games are canceled this Friday.

USA TODAY David R. Lutman/Special to The CJ

No what? With the men’s basketball team’s cancellation today (shout out to Prairie View A&M), and with Louisville football taking yet another bye this season, we can all talk about our third favorite thing to talk about in this city: which high schools we went to.

And what perfect timing for such an occasion as the KHSAA playoff is clawing by it’s fingernails to try and reach the end of the season in full swing!

If you need help getting in the spirit, I’m here to help.

Let’s start with the story that took national headlines by storm, where Alabama’s Thompson High School beat Auburn High School in the most dramatic way imaginable to win the 7A State Championship game

Auburn HS, cleverly nicknamed the Tigers, were leading Thompson HS of Alabaster, Alabama (real city) 28-19 with the ball on the Thompson 20 with 1:19 left in the game. They kneeled out of shotgun three times in a row, which backed them all the way up to midfield. Thompson used all of their timeouts to stop the clock after each kneel, which for some odd reason annoyed the hell out of Auburn HS who thought the game was over. With 26 seconds left in the game the Tigers sent out the punt team and the punter, who clearly thought more than anyone that the game was over, gave the laziest effort imaginable and the punt was blocked and returned for a kick-six.

Auburn HS 28 – Thompson HS 26

Then Thompson recovers the onside kick and gets two defensive pass interference calls to move the ball within field goal range, where Thompson’s kicker nails the kick as time expires. Onions.

If things get any more devastating, you should also know that this would have been Auburn HS’ first 7A state title.

But if that somehow doesn’t get your cold heart in the spirit of youth sports, there’s also….this?

Normal reaction to bad news.

So now that we’re all lubed up, let’s talk some local high school ball.

Entering this week there were still eight Louisville-area teams alive in the playoffs across five of the six divisions. However, undefeated Fairdale (7-0) received heartbreaking news Thursday that their team would be forced to withdraw from the 5A state championship tournament due to a positive covid test on the team. I really can’t think of a worse way for a special season for a team coming off of a great 11-2 2019 campaign that ended in a quarterfinal loss to Owensboro. Sending good vibes to the bulldogs. (BTW, Shack in the Back rules).

With Fairdale out of the hunt, that still leaves seven Louisville teams fighting to win titles. Let’s start with the big boys playing tonight:

6A

· St. Xavier (5-2) @ North Hardin (9-0)

· McCracken County (5-2) @ Male (6-1)

· Dixie Heights (6-3) @ Trinity (7-0)

If you missed it last week, St. X beat rival Manual on a desperation hail mary on 4th and long, down 6-3, with 16.2 seconds left.

Onions.

They’ll meet an undefeated 2nd-ranked North Hardin team for the first time since the 2004 4A playoffs, who has plenty of D-1 talent, with two players committed to Kentucky.

Male (6-1), is coming off of a massive blowout 57-7 win over Bullitt East, and will stay home as they face a well-rested McCracken County team who got an unexpected bye last week after Henderson County withdrew from the playoffs due to covid issues. But even with an extra weeks rest, the Bulldogs will be a tall task as they have dismantled every team in their path since losing the season opener to Trinity.

The reigning 6A state champs Trinity Shamrocks will also stay home in Louisville and will battle with Dixie Heights for the first time since the two teams met in the 2014 6A State Championship game, which Trinity (of course) won. If you missed it, the C-J’s Jason Frakes had a great story about the Dixie Heights’ massive second round upset over Trinity in the 2004 4A playoffs.

5A

· North Bullitt (8-2) @ Bowling Green (7-2)

With Fairdale’s withdrawal from the playoff, that leaves just North Bullitt to represent the Louisville area in the 5A state playoffs. They’ll travel south to face one of the best programs in the state for the first time in school history. The Eagles will have their hands full against the Purples (seriously, what’s up with weird mascots in that town?) that will test their defense with a senior-laden backfield highlighted by UK-commit TE Jordan Dingle.

3A

· Christian Academy (6-2) @ Glasgow (7-2)

The team Scott Satterfield’s son plays for (CAL) will be facing off against a team nicknamed, no joke, the Scotties. That is all.

A

· Newport Central Catholic (7-2) at Holy Cross (7-1)

Holy cross is having one hell of a season and after a two-week bye they took down Bethlehem in dramatic fashion with a 28-27 overtime win last week. The 5th ranked Newport Central Catholic Thoroughbreds will be in town and hungry to avenge last year’s third-round playoff loss to Holy Cross. Should be a doozie, they’re saying.

· Crittenden County (7-2) @ Kentucky Country Day (8-1)

This might be the highest ranked game of any of the playoffs thus far as the 4th ranked Crittenden County Rockets will meet the 2nd ranked KCD Bearcats in the 3A quarterfinals in East Louisville. It’s too bad restaurants are closed because known #CougarDrakes frequenter and CC Deputy Editor, Keith Wynne, may have been able to swing by and give us updates on what should be a barn burner.