Top ranked Covington Catholic (6-0) showed nothing even remotely resembling a let down after their complete and total destruction of Beechwood from two weeks ago. The Colonels welcomed Ohio Division III powerhouse St. Francis DeSales from Columbus and were anything but gracious hosts as they promptly dispatched the visiting Stallions in impressive fashion, 35-7. Running back Casey McGinniss piled up 186 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries, and the defense continued to stifle its opposition. They've now given up 49 points in six games for a 5A leading 8.1 ppg against. The Colonels are now 2-0 against the Buckeye state with one more out of state game left on the schedule, against 13 time Indiana state champion Bishop Chatard out of Indianapolis in Week 7. CovCath is off this week.
Around the top 10
2. Bowling Green - Jr. Quarterback Beau Buchanan was a very efficient 12-14 for 320 and 4 touchdowns as the Purples (4-2) rolled over Greenwood, 49-19. Super sophomore Vito Tisdale added a 90 yard kickoff return touchdown. On the down side, Bowling Green's run defense again showed some holes, giving up 310 yards rushing to the Gators. They're allowing 220 ypg rushing on the season so far.
3. Christian County - The Colonels (6-0) remained perfect on the season with a 37-6 pasting of district opponent Marshall County. Quarterback Kolbe Langhi was 13-29 for 198 yards and a touchdown. Wide receiver JaQuon Long accounted for 116 of those yards and the lone TD reception. Christian County now hits the road to Owensboro for a primetime showdown with the 7th ranked Red Devils.
4. South Warren - The Spartans seem to have acclimated quite nicely to 5A after making the jump up from 4A this year, and the defense is returning to form after struggling some last season. South Warren (6-0) handled an overmatched Barren County, 50-6 last week. The Trojans could only muster 104 yards of total offense.
5. South Oldham - The offense was inconsistent, but the Dragons (4-1), behind a tremendous defensive effort, were able to secure a 16-6 victory over Oldham County. Since allowing 28 points in the season opening loss to Christian Academy-Louisville, South Oldham has only surrendered 20 points combined in their last four games.
6. Fern Creek - Sophomore running back Anthony Teague (213 yards rushing, 3 touchdowns) carried the load on offense as the Tigers defeated Atherton, 32-14. The victory snapped a three game losing streak on the road against brutal opposition (Central, Butler, and DeSales).
8. Madison Southern - The Eagles hung a 60-21 beat down on 4-time running 5A finalist Pulaski County. Quarterback Landen Stacy was 11-17 for 270 yards and 6 touchdowns to lead an offense that racked up nearly 500 yards on the night.
10. Highlands - A late rally that included a successful onside kick by Simon Kenton, denied the Bluebirds (2-4) an upset victory over the Pioneers. The Birds led 27-14 in the 4th quarter before SK scored twice in the final two and a half minutes. A couple of bright spots for Highlands were running back Larry Wilson's 171 rushing yards and DE Ben Sisson’s tip drill pick-six off of SK quarterback Matt Shearer.
Reassessing the bottom of the top 10
While the top 5 held steady, there was some movement in the bottom half of the rankings this week. Previous #7 Pulaski County took one on the chin against Madison Southern. That performance catapulted the Eagles into the rankings at #8 and dropped the Maroons completely out. North Laurel also exited the top 10 after falling to 1-win Harlan County, 23-13, which opened the door for Highlands (albeit after a loss) to walk through and settle back in at #10. With the Birds and Madison Southern off this week, and #7 Owensboro (vs. #3 Christian County) and #9 Southwestern (vs. Central Hardin) facing stiff opposition, it's likely that there could be a big shakeup amongst the bottom half next week.
Now that we've reached the halfway point of the 2017 season, we're starting to get a handle on who was underrated, and who was overrated. Certain teams were ushered into the rankings based mostly on reputation and recent success that probably shouldn't have been. Pulaski County, Owensboro, and Southwestern fit into this category. Pulaski started the season unranked, but didn't stay that way for long after a close loss to 4A #2 Wayne County. Subsequent losses to small school powers Corbin and Danville didn't budge the Maroons from the top 10, mostly because no one outside the rankings appeared to be doing enough to jump them. A win over previously unbeaten Allen County-Scottsville kept Pulaski ranked until the aforementioned beat down by Madison Southern. The Maroons just had to go. In hindsight, they probably should have dropped weeks ago.
Owensboro has been a fixture near the top of the 5A rankings ever since returning to the class in 2015. They began this season at #4, but have done absolutely nothing to back it up. They have two wins this year that might pass for “decent”, but their resume is lacking. The Red Devils really need a strong showing versus Christian County to remain in the top 10.
Southwestern started 3-0 with a win over a solid Madison Central squad, but have since lost two in a row. The Warriors were blown out by an average-at-best Henry Clay before losing to rising Madison Southern. They could be staring down the barrel of a third straight loss this week against 6A Central Hardin.
On a more positive note, newly ranked Madison Southern (whom I've already touched on), Apollo, and Anderson county have been pleasant surprises thus far. Apollo stands at 5-1, with their only loss coming to a very good Evansville Central (IN), and Anderson County is 4-1 with a win over 4A #5 Mercer County. If there is movement at the bottom of the rankings next week, Apollo and/or Anderson could make moves, as well as Whitley County, another team waiting in the wings.