After falling to Knoxville juggernaught Central and Lexington powerhouse Henry Clay in their first two games, the Bobcats face an opponent that appears more beatable on paper, but there is little on paper about the Letcher Central Cougars.
Letcher is a first-year program created by the consolidation of Whitesburg, Letcher and Fleming-Neon high schools. The new facility is not yet open, with students attending classes at Whitesburg, but the game will be played on Letcher Central's' state-of-the-art artificial turf field.
Letcher opened its inaugural campaign with consecutive wins over Estill County (49-0) and Perry Central (14-7), before falling to a much-improved Madison Southern team (38-8).
The Cougars have been led by senior running backs Eli Warren and Phillip Bentley.
Warren starred as a receiver for Breathitt County last season, but ran for 126 yards on 22 carries in the Cougars first two games.
The game will also feature a meeting between two of the most successful coaches in the state.
Bell County's Dudley Hilton is still searching for win No. 274 and will look to pass Paintsville's Walter Brugh for fourth place on the state all-time wins list by the end of the season.
Hilton's two state-championship rings (one at Bell County and one at Bourbon County) will be joined by Hillard Howards' three rings.
Howard coach Pikeville to Class A dominance in the 1980s. The Panthers advanced to the state finals five times under Howard, including once as a 2A team in 1979, winning three straight state titles from 1987-89.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
Lee County, Va.
The Middlesboro Yellow Jackets put together their best performance of the season last week, dominating county rival Pineville throughout one impressive half.
The Jackets were strong in every phase of the game, holding Pineville to 1 yard of offense while racking up over 300 themselves. Junior Trevor Hoskins was also perfect on his first three point-after kicks, an area that had given the Jackets problems earlier in the season.
Hoskins continued to play impressively in his first season under center. The junior is Middlesboro's second-leading runner with 221 yards on 35 carries. Junior Casey Earls as racked up 234 yards on 31 carries.
Hoskins has also passed for 382 yards and four touchdowns. His favorite target has become steadily improving freshman Dalin Farr who has hauled in eight passes for 214 yards and three touchdowns. He has scored in each is Middlesboro's games this season.
Middlesboro will visit the Virginia Class 2A Generals on Friday with kickoff set for 7:30 p.m.
Lee County comes into the game off a bye week. The Generals opened the season with a 48-0 loss to perennial power Powell Valley, which visits Middlesboro's district rival Breathitt County on Friday.
Lee County endured an abysmal 109 campaign last season that included a 75-22 loss to Powell Valley and a 35-12 defeat at the hands of Middlesboro.
Both Claiborne and Chuckey-Doak will be looking to rebound from losses in their district openers when they meet Friday.
Chuckey-Doak fell to host Gatlinburg-Pittman 45-6 last week after a season opener win over Unaka.
Pittman racked up 348 yards of offense against the Black Knights.
Claiborne found the going much tougher against district foe Carter last week than in their opener against Thomas Walker.
Carters' Brett Stanton threw three touchdown passes in the game and running back Eugene Brown ran for two scores and racked up 449 yards of offense.
Claiborne managed just five first downs in the game, despite Carter being whistled for 10 penalties for 85 yards.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
Cumberland Gap and thomas Walker high schools both enjoy bye weeks this Friday.