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Like most weekends this season in 5A, this past Friday night was rather uneventful. Save for Owensboro/Christian County (which I'll touch on below), there was no movement in the top 10. Covington Catholic, Highlands, and Pulaski County all had the week off. And the teams that did play, won their games by an average margin of 40 points. Week after week, this has largely been the case. Some of the top teams have faced common opponents, but not one another. And a few of them have seen their schedules littered with “soft touches” in recent weeks. There are some mysteries to be solved in regards to the hierarchy of 5A. It's time to start piecing together this puzzle. Ladies and gentlemen, this class is about to get interesting.

As I mentioned above, CovCath got the chance to rest any nagging injuries, recharge its battery, and get ready for the home stretch of the regular season. The Colonels haven't exactly been on a leisurely stroll through the local bakery, feasting on cupcakes. But the games we really want to see them in are still to come. And it starts this weekend. Bishop Chatard’s name might not resonate throughout every corner of the state, but knowledgeable football fans from NKY all the way down the Kentucky/Indiana border to Owensboro know about the rich tradition of the Trojans and what they bring to the table. Chatard has won 13 state titles in its illustrious history, including eleven in the past 21 years. They're currently ranked #1 in Indiana's Class 3A and might be the best team on CovCath’s schedule. As it is, this game will require the Colonels’ full attention. They can't afford to get caught looking ahead to Highlands the following week. And that's really the game we want to see, isn't it? To find out how far the Birds have come this year? The gap between these two has grown a mile wide the past two years. We only have to speculate about that width a little longer. Highlands looks in better form right now than they have in a few years, but the offense could use some fine tuning to catch up with the defense. Some important questions will be answered on the turf at David Cecil Memorial Field in two weeks.

Out west, it feels like Bowling Green and South Warren have been circling each other for far too long. They're like heavyweight champions from different organizations that have to wade through mandatory challengers before the big money fight that the public really wants to see can be made. In the interim, they've had their way with overmatched district foes Greenwood and Grayson County. The Purples are off this week, before heading to the Hoosier state for a monster encounter with Warren Central, Indiana's top team and ranked #14 in the country by USA Today. If that doesn't test BG’s mettle, I don't know what will. South Warren has a battle of its own this coming Friday before its bye week. The Spartans welcome Ravenwood, the #7 team in Tennessee’s Class 6A. On paper, this should be a battle for SW, which would be their first real scrap of the year. They've mercy ruled everyone they've played so far. After this, the Spartans will have an extra week to prepare for Bowling Green while the Purples go on the road to face a nationally ranked opponent. Advantage South Warren.

Two other intra-class games of note that could/will impact how the top 10 shakes out in the coming weeks are Southwestern vs. Pulaski County and Anderson County vs. Montgomery County. The Warriors and Bearcats are unbeaten, but still relatively unknown. After several weeks of little to no movement among the top 10, expect to see plenty as we begin to draw nearer to the end of the regular season.

Scanning the periphery

- Owensboro posted a statement win over Christian County on Friday. Will Warren threw for 225 yards and 2 TDs, both to Treyvon Tinsley in the 42-20 victory. Imonte Owsley paced Owensboro on the ground with 92 yards rushing. A big game with Apollo still remains, but at this point, the Red Devils look like the class of District 1.

- Lincoln County and Larue County saved all of the drama of their game for the final two minutes. Through 46 minutes, the two teams grinded their way to a 7-7 tie. But late in the 4th quarter, the Patriots had the ball backed up on their own five yard line. At that point, most in attendance probably assumed that Lincoln would be content to play it safe and send the game to overtime. Running back Darius Napier had other plans. He took a handoff and bolted around the left side of his offensive line. A Larue County CB got tangled up with a Lincoln receiver and lost his footing, allowing Napier to sprint untouched down the sideline for a go-ahead 95 yard TD run. Larue County immediately struck back with a quick touchdown drive, setting the score at 14-13. During a pivotal moment of the game, each team committed a penalty on Larue's TD pass. For their part, the Hawks were pushed back to the 18 yard line for their extra point attempt. Presumably without a kicker capable of making that distance, Larue County instead opted to go for two. The attempt failed, leaving Larue with a one point deficit. Lincoln County's penalty from the prior scoring was enforced on the ensuing kickoff, meaning that they'd be kicking off in Lincoln territory. The Hawks recovered an onside kick on the Patriots’ 31, allowing them a more manageable look at a potential game winning score. From just outside the redzone, Larue's QB proceeded to chuck one to the endzone. The pass was caught… but the receiver was out of bounds. Thus sealing a dramatic win for Lincoln County, who improved to 5-1 on the season.

Game of the Week for Week 7

Covington Catholic vs. Bishop Chatard - The Colonels rolled Chatard last year 30-7, piling up over 500 yards of offense in the process. If they're able to duplicate that performance this time around, their stranglehold on 5A’s top ranking will tighten exponentially. The Trojans are regarded as one of the ten best teams in Indiana.