The postseason begins this week for football teams across Kentucky.

The slogan, as with all sports at that time of year is simple: survive and advance.

For many, the task in the playoff opener is simple. For others, more difficult. For some, it’s positively Herculean.

All but two First Region teams (Calloway County at 1-9 and Marshall County at 2-8) playing in the postseason have winning records. Of the opponents of those eight teams, five have losing records. Two, Caverna (at Crittenden County) and Fort Campbell (at Mayfield) have only one win.

Marshall County will have the most daunting playoff opener, traveling to Louisville to play Trinity (8-2) – which is favored to contend heavily for a Class 6A title.

However, it is the postseason – where, sometimes, the improbable has happened.

So, it all must play out.

This week’s playoff matchups

Class 1A

Crittenden County vs. Caverna

When: 7, Friday

Where: Rocket Field, Marion

Notable: These two teams played in Marion on Oct. 11. It was the Rockets (8-2, 3-0 Class 1A District 1) who knocked off the Colonels (1-9, 0-5), 54-0. Crittenden is also on a five-game winning streak, coming off a 49-22 rout of Todd County Central last week. Caverna has lost eight in a row.

Quotable: “Win or go home. Looking to go 1-0 each week. Have to keep the guys focused and make sure they execute to advance.” – Crittenden coach Sean Thompson

Prediction: Crittenden by 40

Fulton County at Russellville

When: 7, Friday

Where: Russellville High School, Russellville

Notable: These teams last met on Oct. 4 in Russellville. The Pilots (6-4, 1-2) lost to the Panthers (3-7, 2-1), 34-31. Since then, Fulton County has lost two of the last three games – most recently, 35-0 to Murray last week.

Quotable: “All players are healthy and hungry. We rested the starters after halftime of the Murray game, and all are ready to go. (We) had our best week of practice this year. Ready to get after them and bring home a playoff win (for the first time) since 1998.” – Fulton County coach James Bridges

Prediction: Fulton County by 3

Class 2A

Mayfield vs. Fort Campbell

When: 7, Friday

Where: War Memorial Stadium, Mayfield

Notable: The last time these teams played one another, on Sept. 27 on post, Mayfield won 42-0 – behind Jayden Stinson’s 9-of-10, 252-yard, three-touchdown performance. It was the second win in a row for the Cardinals after losing to McCracken County, 45-35. The Cardinals (9-1, 4-0 Class 2A District 1) have gone on to pad that streak to six. The Falcons (1-9, 1-4) have only won once – 28-0 over Ballard Memorial (1-9, 0-4).

Prediction: Mayfield by 40

Caldwell County vs. Murray

When: 7, Friday

Where: Tiger Stadium, Princeton

Notable: This may be one of the most hotly-contested games in the coverage area this week. When last these teams met, on Oct. 18, the Tigers from Princeton (8-2, 3-1) eked out a 42-40 win over the Tigers from Murray (7-3, 2-2).

Quotable: “It's our second time around. They've had some unfortunate injuries and are missing key players. However, they are still very effective on offense and defense. We need to execute Offensively whether running or throwing and take care of the ball. Defensively, we must tackle well, eliminate big plays and get off the field on third downs.” – Caldwell interim coach Waynee McGowan

Prediction: Caldwell by 10

Class 3A

Paducah Tilghman vs. Webster County

When: 7, Friday

Where: McRight Field, Paducah

Notable: Tilghman and Webster last played two weeks ago, when the Blue Tornado (7-3, 3-1 Class 3A District 1) traveled to Dixon and left with a 52-0 win. Then, last week, Tilghman went to Hopkinsville and left with a 17-15 loss on a walk-off field goal. The Trojans (3-7, 0-3) have lost four in a row.

Quotable: “Anything can happen in the playoffs in any given game, and that is the message our coaches have preached to the guys this week. I was proud of our effort last week, but we made three or four key mistakes (including me) that ultimately cost us the game. We’ve had a solid week of practice, and I have the gut feeling our club understands the sense of urgency we need to sustain in order to win tomorrow and make a run. Webster is an improving team, and I look forward to them giving us all they have, and all we want.” – Tilghman coach Jonathan Smith

Prediction: Tilghman by 40

Trigg County vs. Union County

When: 7, Friday

Where: Perdue Field, Cadiz

Notable: The Wildcats (6-4, 2-1) hosted the Braves (5-5, 1-2) two weeks ago, finishing the night with a 33-7 win. Trigg followed that with a 56-54 loss to Caldwell County in the 139 Bowl, while Union knocked off Calloway County, 28-0 last week.

Quotable: “We are going have to stop the run.   They fumbled a few times to stop their drives in the first game. (We) have to keep scoring.  (We’re) averaging 49 (points) a game since the shutout against Crittenden (on Oct. 4, a 32-0 loss).

Prediction: Trigg by 28

Class 4A

Calloway County at Hopkinsville

When: 7, Friday

Where: Stadium of Champions, Hopkinsville

Notable: The Lakers (1-9, 1-3 Class 4A District 1) have lost three in a row after their only win of the season, 69-35 over Hopkins County Central. The Tigers (7-3, 3-1) have won back-to-back games, including beating Tilghman last week. The last meeting, on Sept. 27, went to Hoptown – 43-0.

Quotable: “As a team we are simply focused on getting better.  We’ve been fairly inconsistent on both sides of the ball and we are using this week to hopefully find a rhythm.  As far as a matchup, Hopkinsville is a very talented team. We were able to put together some decent drives last game that resulted in zero points.  We’ve got to take advantage of those opportunities because good football teams like Hopkinsville don’t give those very often.” – Calloway County coach Chris Champion

Prediction: Hoptown by 35

Class 5A

Graves County at Grayson County

When: 7, Friday

Where: Grayson County High School, Leitchfield

Notable: The Eagles (6-4, 4-1 Class 5A District 1) handed the Cougars (7-3, 2-3) their first loss of the season, 21-10 on Oct. 11. Grayson has been on a slide, of sorts, losing three of four after winning the first seven games of the year. Graves, on the other hand, seems to have righted the ship some. The Eagles have won five of the last six games.

Prediction: Graves by 7

Class 6A

McCracken County vs. Apollo

When: 7, Friday

Where: Marquette Stadium, Paducah

Notable: The Mustangs (7-3, 3-1 Class 6A District 1) and Eagles (4-6, 2-4) played to an 81-51 McCracken win in a shootout on Sept. 27. Since then, the Mustangs have won three of the last four, but lost starting running back Hunter Bradley to a severe leg injury – ending his season. For its part, Apollo is 2-2 in the last four games.

Prediction: McCracken by 24

Marshall County at Louisville Trinity

When: 6, Friday

Where: Trinity High School, Louisville

Notable: This game, in many ways, defines “David and Goliath.” The Shamrocks (8-2, 3-1 Class 6A District 5) has been ranked in the top three of the Associated Press’ prep football poll by statewide media members all season. The Marshals (2-8, 0-4 Class 6A District 1) have lost six games in a row by a combined score of 196-68.

Quotable: “We have a tough task ahead of us in Trinity. They are a contender for the 6A state title and have depth and athleticism across the board. Our goal is to play hard, physical football throughout the game and put ourselves in favorable positions to compete against them.” – Marshall County coach Evan Merrick

Prediction: Trinity by 40

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