For only the second time in school history, the Harrison County Thorobreds have won playoff games in back-to-back years.
Last year, the Breds won three straight playoff games before losing in the Class AAAA semi-final round to eventual state champion Lexington Catholic.
Last week, Harrison County upended West Jessamine 42-13 to earn a chance to play LexCath again.
The last time Harrison County won playoff games in consecutive years happened in 1999 and 2000. In 1999 Harrison County defeated Covington Catholic at home 21-16, but then fell to Highlands in the second round, on the road, 62-26. The next year, Harrison County played all three of their playoff games at Ingles Stadium, defeating Dixie Heights in the first round 35-21, Holmes in the second round 42-28, before losing to Highlands in the third round 45-7.
Last year, Harrison County suffered an embarrassing regular season loss to Franklin County, 38-7, but avenged that defeat with a huge turnaround win in the second round of the playoffs, 30-6.
The Thorobreds are looking to repeat that same scenario this year.
On Oct. 3, Harrison County traveled to Lexington and came home as victims of a 61-7 drubbing by the Knights.
Tomorrow night, the Breds have a chance at redemption.
Much has changed for the Thorobreds since that mid-season debacle.
At that time, Harrison County was still utilizing its spread offense. On that night, many incomplete passes by the Breds stopped the clock and provided the explosive Knights with too many opportunities to score.
Now, the Breds are utilizing a power running game that, if effective, will control the ball, run the clock and keep the Knights offense on the sideline.
On that night, Harrison County consistently forced the Knights into early third-and-long situations. LexCath consistently burned the Breds with first half third-and-long conversions for scores, or first downs.
Now, the Breds defense appears to be playing with more of a sense of purpose and with more intensity, play after play.
On that night, Harrison County self-destructed over a five minute period in the second quarter that saw a 14-7 deficit grow to 54-7 at halftime.
Now, the Breds are in the second round of the playoffs and teams that reach this level, just don’t let that happen.
On that night, the Knights were playing on their own fast artificial surface field.
Now, the Breds have the advantage of playing on their own well-worn home turf.
In short, this year’s Lexington Catholic team, while still very good, is not the LexCath of last year. They lost too many good players off that team and their current record of 7-4 shows that.
Would a Harrison County win tomorrow night be an upset?
Was the earlier 61-7 win by the Knights an aberration?
Can the Breds pull off the upset?
If they do all the little things necessary through the course of the contest, and the game is close inside the waning minutes, don’t be surprised.