Owensboro High School beat Graves County on the road, 27-8, on Oct. 18. It was one of the tighter regular-season games OHS had this season.

Owensboro Catholic beat McLean County, 55-21, when they met in the regular season back on Oct. 4 in Calhoun.

Both the Red Devils and Aces are gearing up for rematches in the second round of the KHSAA football playoffs, and they both are staying focused without looking ahead as they each see a district opponent for a second straight week in the playoffs.

OHS will host Graves County at Rash Stadium in the Class 5-A playoffs. Catholic will host McLean County at Steele Stadium in the Class 2-A playoffs.

"If you're looking ahead in the second round, you're going to be putting equipment away on Monday," Fallin said. "This year is unique because we're playing within districts in the playoffs. For the last 16 or 17 years, we've been playing across districts within our regions.

"It's always tough to beat a good team twice, but the guys thus far, they've done a nice job with early-week preparation. They're excited for the challenge. We're going to have to overcome some weather. It's going to be really cold Tuesday, we're going to have to be mature, we'll have to adjust. This is all the good stuff we get to work for in the summer. Over half the teams in the state are done, our guys are excited for the challenge."

OHS had one of its more difficult games of the season at Graves County, which is roughly a three-hour road trip.

"We made a couple of goal-line stands that concluded on the 1-yard line," Fallin said. "If the defense can travel well, you have a chance to win. We only gave up eight points, we were able to force some key turnovers. Of course, we want to play better this time around."

OHS won't have any trouble with focusing on this rematch because of how difficult the regular-season game was.

"Even from last week to this week, we've seen a big increase in focus," Fallin said. "When you get in the second round, guys start to realize any week could be the last. You better bring your best stuff every day in preparation so you can bring your best stuff Friday. This tends to bring a heightened level of focus to practice and preparation."

Owensboro Catholic wants to perform better than it did in its 46-22 win over Todd County Central in the first round last Friday.

"We felt like we had a lot to work on," Catholic coach Jason Morris said. "Defensively, we gave up over (300) yards rushing."

Catholic gave up nearly 400 rushing yards to McLean County in the regular-season game.

"Overall, we need to hold gaps down better," Morris said. "We played a lot of new personnel in the front seven, we aren't as experienced. A lot of it has to do with whenever we go and score in two or three plays, our defense has been on the field for the entire game, and a lot of the rushing yards we give up are in the third and fourth quarter."

Morris also has noticed an increase in attention from the Aces from the first to the second week.

"We blew a second-round lead last year (against Murray)," Morris said. "Our kids have been focused since the beginning of the playoffs. You can tell the kids have been a little different from last week to this week. Our kids are going to respect (McLean County)."

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