The fourth round calls for the burgeoning post-season football rivalry between Owensboro and Frederick Douglass.
The Red Devils (11-2) travel to Lexington on Friday to challenge the Broncos’ undefeated season (13-0) in the semifinals of the KHSAA Class 5-A playoffs for the fourth straight season.
Kickoff is set for 5 p.m. (CT) at Broncos Stadium.
said OHS coach Jay Fallen, whose team lost to the Broncos in 2019 and 2021 but beat them in 2020 on the way to an appearance in the state championship game.
“They’re a really good coach too, and we have a lot of respect for their program. I think the respect between the two teams is mutual, and it’s a great rivalry – we’re looking forward to the challenge we have against an outstanding football team.”
Frederick Douglass, the highest-ranked 5-A team in the Commonwealth according to the Ratings Percentage Index (RPI), displays some scary statistics.
Not only did the Broncos have five shutouts, but only one school recorded double digits against the team all season; That being Montgomery County, which was defeated 58-13 on October 21st. All told, Frederick Douglass outlasted 13 opponents by an astonishing margin of 569-61.
“Defensively, they are solid, consistent and want to create chaos with unpredictability,” said Fallen. “They play very aggressively and get a lot done defensively.”
The Broncos’ D’ are walked by junior linebacker Darion Neal, who has 56 total tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, and a sack, and first lineman Brandon Neal (32/8/2.5), along with senior safety Isaiah Kinney, who has five interceptions passes and returned two of them for touchdowns.
Offensively, Frederick Douglass was directed by quarterback Cole Carpenter, who completed 101 of 171 passes for 1,615 yards and 20 touchdowns, with only three interceptions.
However, the bread and butter of the offense is a running game that features seniors TJ Horton (641 yards, 14 TDs), Davaun Hart (499 yards, 12 TDs), and Ty Bryant (352 yards, 10 TDs).
University of Kentucky quarterback Bryant, who is also a high school star on defense, was selected to receive the 2022 Paul Hornung Award, denoting the best high school player in the state.
“They’re a gritty team,” Fallen said, “but Carpenter is very effective when he puts the ball in the air.”
The top receivers for the Rhe Broncos are seniors Tylon Webb (33 receptions, 553 yards, 5 TDs) and Cameron Dunn (30-498-8).
Owensboro, ranked eighth among 5-A teams according to RBI, is led by Kenyatta Karbon, a dynamic senior running back who has rushed for 1,420 yards and 24 touchdowns. In last week’s 36-0 quarterfinal defeat of Louisville Fairdale, kicker Jeremiah Goodwin made eight catches for 132 yards and two touchdowns.
Running on the Red Devils offense would be senior quarterback Kasey Boone, who caught 113 of 185 passes for 1,520 yards and 15 TDs, with nine interceptions. His top receivers were Khalil Rogers (37 receptions, 438 yards, seven TDs) and Ethan Pendleton (26/373/6).
Defensively, the Red Devils outscored their opponents 544-148, led by Lineman Goodwin (18 tackles for loss, 11 sacks) and senior linebacker Xander Early (70 total tackles).
Junior Javon Robinson and sophomore Deon Winstead each have three interceptions, senior Zach Clark returns an interception for a touchdown, and sophomore Dereon Crowe, senior Savon Haynes, and Rogers return fumbles for scores.
Meanwhile, first place kicker Drew Lanes never missed a conversion or a field goal on 59 combined attempts.
Fallen will be looking for competence from his team, which is chasing a proud program’s first state championship since 1986.
He said: “We want to play clean and not beat ourselves up, we want to force them to do things they don’t want to do.
“In a game like this, against an opponent like ours, we have to take some chances, make the most of those chances that we take.”