By: Jak Lindsey

Hosting the second round of the playoffs on Friday night, the Owensboro Red Devils will seek to defend their home turf against the Spartans of South Warren High School. This game will be one to watch, as both teams are historically known to make their presence felt in November.

Leading the Spartans offensively is junior QB Bryce Button. In 2023, he has thrown for exactly 3,000 and 36 touchdowns. In the Spartan win against Madisonville-North Hopkins, Button completed eight passes for 152 yards and two TDs. A great weapon for South Warren has been senior WR Bailey Shoemaker. Shoemaker has caught 51 passes 1,049 and 11 touchdowns on the season. Make sure to watch out for senior RB Jimmy Sales who has rushed for 792 yards and 5 TDs this year. Defensively, the Spartans’ leading tackler is LB Jace Cutrona (junior). On the year, Cutrona has recorded 64 tackles with 12 for loss and six sacks. Another great player is junior LB Colton Veltkamp, who has 60, 18 tackles for loss and six sacks. Lastly, make sure to keep an eye out for senior PK Eli McIntosh, who is 91% on extra points this season.

For the Owensboro Red Devils, it’s much of the same at quarterback with Trevor DeLacey manning an efficient backfield. In the Dev’s blowout win against Ohio County, QB1 hit on a perfect 5/5 passes and two touchdowns. Also in the game against the Eagles, sophomore RB Evan Hampton rushed for 134 yards to break Mark Higgs’ sophomore season rushing record with 1,050 yards. Watch out for sophomore WR Xavier Maddox, who is breaking his way into a starting role for the Red Devils. He snagged a six-yard touchdown to get OHS on the board first against Ohio. On defense, the Devils held Ohio County to -41 rushing yards and just 14 yards passing. Tae Bennet led the way on Friday with two tackles for Owensboro. LB JaShawn Carr (senior) and Xavier Maddox also had an interception each on the night. Be on the lookout for senior DL Alex Martin who has 21 tackles this year.

In addition to advancing to the second round of the KHSAA Playoffs, the Red Devils further cemented themselves in the state and national record books by recording their 800th win in program history over the Ohio County Eagles. OHS is now the seventh team in the state of Kentucky and just the 45th team in entire US of A to to eclipse 800 program wins, an astounding accomplishment to say the least.

Having only played South Warren once, losing in 2018, the Red Devils will look to even the series and advance in the playoffs Friday night at Rash Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7:00 PM. Make sure to get there early, as the stands will be full for a matchup like this, and as always, it’s a great day to be a Red Devil.