Who: Prestonsburg (2-8) at Lexington Christian (7-3)
Kickoff: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Location: Lexington Christian Football Field
Coaches: Brandon Brewer, Prestonsburg. Ethan Atchley, Lexington Christian.
Notes: Prestonsburg and Lexington Christian are set to meet in the opening round of the Class 2A KHSAA Commonwealth Gridiron Bowl. After meeting at Josh Francis Field/Blackcat Stadium in the second round of the 2017 Class 2A state playoffs, Prestonsburg is poised to visiting Lexington Christian on Friday night.
Lexington Christian, under the direction of head coach Ethan Atchley, won seven of 10 games during the regular-season. The Eagles finished runner-up to Somerset in Class 2A District 7.
Lexington Christian (7-3) outscored opponents 277-260 during the regular-season, posting wins over Waggener, Vincennes Lincoln (Ind.), Walton-Verona, Kentucky Country Day, Middlesboro, Danville and Estill County. The Eagles dropped games to Pikeville, Lexington Catholic and district rival Somerset during the regular season.
Junior quarterback Jayden Barnhardt leads the Eagles. Barnhardt has completed 128 of 221 passes for 1,784 yards and 20 TDs. Barnhardt has thrown eight interceptions.
Dearious Smith leads Lexington Christian in receiving. Smith has hauled in 51 receptions for 848 yards and nine TDs.
Will Vernon ranks second in receiving for the Eagles, Vernon has hauled in 38 catches for 534 yards and seven TDs.
As a team, Lexington Christian has rushed 318 times for 1,399 yards and 17 TDs. Thomas White leads the Eagles on the ground. White has rushed 119 times for 549 yards and five TDs. Another running back, Xavier Brown, has rushed 56 times for 436 yards and seven TDs.
Defensively, Andrew Long leads Lexington Christian with a 85 tackles and 10 sacks, both of which are team-highs.
Prestonsburg, under the guidance of head coach Brandon Brewer, concluded the regular-season 2-8, notching Class 2A District 8 wins over East Ridge and Floyd County rival Betsy Layne. The Blackcats dropped games to North Laurel, Lawrence County, Breathitt County, Floyd Central, Hazard, Leslie County, Shelby Valley and Perry Central during the regular-season.
Opponents managed to outscore Prestonsburg 349-136 during the regular-season, which ended on Friday, Oct. 26.
Senior running back Ethan Varney led Prestonsburg during the regular-season, rushing for 798 yards and six TDs.
Sophomore quarterback Brayden Slone continues to help pace the Blackcats offensively.
Defensively, Ezekiel Briggs ranks as the Blackcats’ leading tackler.
Kickoff for the Prestonsburg-Lexington Christian football game is set for 7:30 p.m.
Who 2 Watch: For Prestonsburg, senior running back Ethan Varney.
Prestonsburg’s hopes of pulling off an upset win in the opening round of the Class 2A KHSAA Commonwealth Gridiron Bowl hinge on its ability to rush the football. Varney will need to have a successful rushing effort for the Blackcats to pull off the upset win.
For Lexington Christian, junior quarterback Jayden Barnhardt.
The productive Barnhardt has picked apart opposing defenses throughout the season. If Barnhardt is connecting with receivers, Lexington Christian will be able to distance itself from the Blackcats.