Allen County-Scottsville opens 4A playoffs against Russell County


Allen County-Scottsville coach Brad Hood admits the KHSAA formula for first- and second-round games of the Class 4A playoffs isn’t what the doctor ordered.

At least Hood’s doctor, because familiarity does little beyond breed contempt for adolescents knockin’ heads on the football field, in hopes of making a run to the KHSAA championship weekend at the University of Kentucky in mid-December.

Hood’s Patriots (6-4) are the No. 1 seed from the KHSAA’s Second 4A District, based on the RPIs of the three teams tied atop the standings — Allen County-Scottsville, Franklin-Simpson and Warren East. AC-S has won four of its last five games, the lone exception a 34-21 setback at the hands of homestanding Warren East on October 15. All three teams finished 3-1 in league play, and Franklin-Simpson (4-6) will play host to Warren East (5-5) on Friday night, with Hood’s Patriots squaring off with Russell County (2-8) in Scottsville.

“We played Russell County 10, 11 days ago,” Hood said earlier this week. “I’d rather open with a team from another district, but that’s the way it is … They’re gonna have their quarterback (Gavin Gossage) back for them (from injury) this time. The last time we played them, they came out and went wishbone, double tight ends.

“Once we adjusted, it was all right.”

AC-S won that game 37-7 before burying Class 6A opponent Barren County 46-7 last week. The Patriots’ quarterback, junior Payton Cope, has had a solid season, completing 99 of 173 passes for 1,619 yards and 13 touchdowns. He’s been intercepted 16 times, a number Hood is hoping Cope will work on for his senior year with the Patriots.

Gossage, meanwhile, leads the Lakers in both passing (591 yards, four touchdowns) and rushing (407 yardsl 10 touchdowns. He’s the guy who makes Russell County go, and players such as senior AC-S linebacker Will Moore expect the Lakers to come out with nothing to lose Friday night.

“We’re probably the smallest team in our district, but we know how to throw our weight around,” Moore said with a smile.

Moore and AC-S senior offensive guard Luke Miller admit the Patriots would like another shot at Warren East, which was manhandled two weeks ago at Franklin-Simpson, falling 41-14.

“Ever since the Warren East game, we’ve picked it up in practice,” Miller said. “I’d love a rematch with those guys.”

Moore agreed.

“We want East, for sure,” he said.

Hood believes the Patriots are in the right frame of mind for the postseason. AC-S has scored 33 points or more in six of its 10 games, including the last two against Barren County and Russell County.

“The kids have had a solid week of practice and they’ve been very serious,” Hood said. “We know that it can be over, in a moment … We are ready.

“I think we’ll see an aggressive style of football (from the Patriots). Not sure we’re the 1-set style any more, offensively. We’re going to try to exploit the defense, and we’re going to play fast.”

With a victory over Russell County, AC-S will get another home game against Franklin-Simpson or Warren East in second-round play.

Kickoff for tonight’s game is at 7.