The Mayfield Cardinals (4-0) will look to make it five in a row on Friday night when they host the Calloway County Lakers (2-2) at CFSB War Memorial Stadium.
The Cardinals moved to 4-0 last week following a 32-14 statement win over 6A McCracken County.
Although their 8-2 record in 2020 is nothing to scoff at, the Cardinals seem to be returning to the same type of team they were during their three year consecutive run in the 2A state championship game from 2017-2019.
This week’s matchup with Calloway County will be Mayfield’s final non-district game before 2A First District action begins against Fort Campbell next Friday night.
With wins over formidable opponents Graves County, Paducah Tilghman, Hopkinsville and McCracken County under their belt, Mayfield head coach Joe Morris said it will be important for his team to stay hungry and prepared with the Lakers visiting Friday night.
“Each week you have to get better, I know we’re 4-0 and we've played some good football and football teams, but we still haven’t got to where we need to be yet,” Morris said. “We go out to practice every week and to games on Friday nights trying to get better. This is a good Calloway County team that coach Champion has done really well with. Their quarterback can run it and make some plays down field so we’re going to have a challenge ahead of us.”
Calloway County senior quarterback Kanyon Franklin has been the spark the Lakers offense has needed this season.
Franklin has moved the ball in the air and on the ground in four games this season, throwing for 757 yards on 63-112 passing with 11 touchdowns and three interceptions while also rushing for 216 yards on 42 carries with two touchdowns.
Franklin’s go-to targets this season have been senior wideout Drew Hudgin and sophomore Price Aycock.
Hudgin leads the team in receiving yards with 296 on 21 catches with three touchdowns.
Aycock has recorded 133 yards receiving on 12 receptions with three touchdowns.
In the backfield, senior running back Timarian Bledsoe will split carries with Franklin as he looks to add to a stat sheet that boasts 272 rushing yards on 40 attempts with two touchdowns.
The Mayfield defense will still be without junior linebacker Jax Rogers and senior defensive back Ben Gloyd again this week as the pair continue to nurse early season knee injuries.
In their place, Morris said he expects to see guys continue to adopt the “next man up” mentality.
“Sometimes you have to move guys around but we haven't,” Morris said. “We’ve inserted some guys like Braden Morris and Ian Williams who’ve stepped up for Ben and Jax. They’ve had some mistakes but they’ll get better this week. We've been through four tough games but we can’t have a let up or we’ll end up leaving with a loss.”
On the defensive side of the ball, Calloway County has seen a bulk of production come from senior linebackers Karsen Starks and Logan Emery.
Starks leads the Lakers in tackles and tackles for loss with 35 and 4.5 respectively while Emery has garnered 29 total tackles with 0.5 tackles for loss.
Hudgin and Price have also made their presence known on defense with Price picking up 20 tackles and Hudgin already recording 11 tackles, two pick sixes and one fumble recovery.
As they look to keep up their balanced and uptempo offensive attack against the Lakers, Morris said the Cardinals will continue to work with what the opposing defense gives them.
“McCracken did a good job of stacking the box last week but we felt like we were good enough at receiver to give them the ball and see where they can go,” Morris said. “If [Calloway] throws seven in the box we know we can sling it out to the left or right and make something happen. We were a little disappointed in our offensive line last week, we were not as physical as we could be but we’ve talked about that heading into this weekend.”
Mayfield will host Calloway County at 7 p.m. at CFSB War Memorial Stadium on Friday night.