November 19th, 2010

Week 3 Playoff Football Predictions

Chris Jung

Senior Writer

Week 3 Playoff Football Predictions
photo by Chris Jung

St. X vs. Trinity rematch highlights quarterfinal schedule

St. Xavier (10-2) vs. Trinity (11-1)

While the usual hoopla and theatrics that fuel this rivalry will be expectedly present, Friday’s 2010 rematch between St. Xavier and Trinity might be one of the most intriguing in recent series memory. Never before have the Tigers and Rocks met in the playoffs following such a lopsided outcome during that year’s regular season showdown. And on Friday, as Trinity looks to win its ninth consecutive game and continue its domination of in-state teams, they’ll do so with an October 1st, 48-0 humiliation of St. X on the resume. But a month and a half has made a big difference where Head Coach Mike Glaser and St. Xavier is concerned, as the Tigers have worked diligently to find an identity and are finally seeing on-field and sideline leadership from its cast of talented seniors. But even if St. X has done a “180” since its last meeting with Bob Beatty and Co., this game still features some of the most talented players in the state running into the game from the Trinity sideline. One of the quietest, yet dominating performances this season has come from Shamrocks senior Derek Bishop, who has rushed for over 1,400 yards and 19 touchdowns. His consistency, coupled with the ever-present striking threat of Travis Wright and James Quick, has caused fits for the opposition and will be key in Friday’s contest. Special teams and turnovers will play a crucial role in this game. And should Trinity fall behind and/or trail late in the game, it will very interesting to see how the younger players of Trinity handle the unknown pressure of “playing from behind” against a more experienced veteran St. X group. This game could go either way, but one prediction is ironclad: this game will be much closer than the last one. This is the fourth straight season that these two teams have played each other in the playoffs after also playing one another in the regular season. The winner will likely travel to Ryle (Union, KY) next week for the state semifinals.

Prediction: St. Xavier 21 Trinity 20


Holy Cross (11-1) vs. Mayfield (12-0)

There are very few, if any, statewide matchups scheduled for Friday that can match the magnitude of the rivalry game mentioned above, but Holy Cross vs. Mayfield gets as close as possible. This game pairs a perennially successful program (Mayfield) against a team in the middle of a magical season (Holy Cross) with a spot in the Class 1A state semifinals on the line. Mayfield, who has won an astounding 117 games since 2000, features one of its quickest teams every – offensively and defensively – and has a ton of weapons at its disposal. Led by a ferocious backfield duo that has combined for 1,765 rushing yards and 22 touchdowns, Mayfield has two running backs – Jonathon Jackson and Decole Noonan – who lead the charge and have been the catalysts for 593 total points scored by Mayfield this season. The Cardinals also have an accomplished quarterback - Luke Guhy - who is 118-of-176 on the season, leading to 2,250 passing yards and 28 TDs. Holy Cross will answer with a RB tandem of its own, as Jesse Keen (1,302 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns) and Greg Johnson (846 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns) anchor the Cougar offensive machine. If you're looking for another way to compare the teams, Mayfield and Holy Cross do have three common opponets from this 2010 season: Caverna, Fulton County, and Paducah Tilghman. The Cardinals won all three of its games against that trio by a combined 161-40. Holy Cross went 2-1 against those same teams by a combined 140-43, but did lose to Tilghman 31-7 during its regular season finale at home. They haven’t seen each other often in the playoffs, but Mayfield did travel to Holy Cross in 2008 for a playoff second-round game, and left with a 24-7 win over the Cougars. No matter what, Friday should be electric at Alumni Field.

Prediction: Mayfield 30 Holy Cross 22


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