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THE RANKINGS:


10) Campbell County (6A) 3-6 – Despite early season victories over 5A Highlands and 2A New Cath, the Camels have been in a virtual slide ever since, with the exception of a win over Western Brown (OH) - currently 3-6. Friday saw Campbell County head back to Claryville with an upset 14-20 loss to 6A district rival Boone County in OT. The loss leaves Campbell in last place in their district going into the final week of the season. The Camels were only able to muster a total 162 yards of offense against the Rebels, and will need to dig deep as they prepare for the playoffs. Their final game of the regular season will be on the road against 6A Henry Clay (2-6-1).

9) Highlands (5A) 2-7 – The Birds finally got their second win of the season on Friday by beating their 5A district competitors at Grant County 50-0 on the road. Once again, Highlands showed their passing strength on the offensive side of things, with QB Bradey Gosney connecting for 239 yards and 6 TDs in the air. Their lone rushing touchdown came at the hands of Grant Murray. The Birds will be fighting an uphill battle in the playoffs, but not before they wrap up their regular season against 6A Boone County, who will be coming into their matchup on Friday fresh off an overtime win against Campbell County that snapped a losing streak that started in September of 2014.

8) Newport Catholic (2A) 5-4 – It took 9 weeks to get there, but finally New Cath has found themselves on the winning side of their season record this year. The Breds managed that by winning out their district in the regular season with their latest victory over the 2A Newport Wildcats with a 56-14 victory. New Cath’s passing game wasn’t their strong point on Friday, with a scant 29 yards in the air, but they made up for it by amassing 372 yards rushing by 13 different ball carriers. Jason Decker led the team with 3 touchdowns, while Kyle Kelly and Howard Jackson added 2 TDs a piece, and Hunter Cain tacked on 1 TD as well. Kole Carmack led the defense with 5 solo tackles. The Breds will finish their regular season this week against their 1A rivals, the Beechwood Tigers.

7) Dixie Heights (5A) 5-4 – Dixie has shown a lot more for themselves this season than some initially expected – myself included. Even this past Friday in the midst of their 12-35 loss to 5A Covington Catholic, the Dixie Colonels showed a lot of resolve by holding the score at 14-12 going into halftime. They just weren’t able to keep pace in the second half – perhaps due to a noticeable lack of ball carrying by offensive workhorse Jose Torres. Still, Dixie managed to 297 offensive yards, only 94 yards short of Cov Cath’s total…despite the 23 point difference in scores. The Colonels will finish off their regular season on Friday against 6A Ryle.

6) Beechwood (1A) 8-1 – Beechwood completed their annual romp over their district competitors on Friday by beating the 1A Dayton Green Devils 50-0. This season the Tigers beat their three district challengers by a combined score of 153-19, as compared to 189-6 (’15), 144-25 (’14), 168-22 (’13) and 164-40 (’12). That’s over 800 points scored against regular season district competition in the last five years, compared to a mere 112 points scored by the other teams. On Friday night, QB Burch threw for 2 TDs to Aiden Justice, and Justice added another TD on the ground, along with rushing TD’s from Castleman, Davis and freshman Josh Derry. Elijah McKinney tacked on a pick-6 on the defensive side of things. Beechwood has their big regular season closer this week against traditional rival, 2A New Cath.

5) Cooper (6A) 6-4 – The Jags wrapped up their regular season schedule on Friday with 7-18 loss to 6A district rival Conner, leaving Cooper to finish last in the district. QB Lonaker had a season-low 118 yards passing, and score the team’s only touchdown on a run. Lonaker’s favorite receiver, Dante Hendrix, was held to a relatively uncharacteristic 71 yards receiving. On the defensive side of things, Hendrix, Roksvag and Wasser led the team with 5 tackles a piece, and Centers, Jackson and Leroy each had 4 tackles. Cooper’s next game will be on November 4th in the first round of the 6A playoffs.

4) Conner (6A) 7-2 – The Cougars sealed their spot as the second place team in 6A District 5 by beating the Cooper Jaguars 18-7 on Friday. It was a defensive battle on Friday, with fewer than 400 offensive yards total by both teams combined. The Cougars passing game was virtually shut down by the Jags, but and all three of their touchdowns were scored on runs by Armand Jackson and QB Walker Buelow. Both Peyton Knippenberg and Peyton VanHorn logged an incredible 16 tackles a piece in the defensive effort. Conner closes out their season on Friday against 4A Mason County.

3) Covington Catholic (5A) 7-2 – The Colonels won their first regular season district championship in a decade this past Friday, beating the 5A Dixie Heights 35-12. The game wasn’t a breeze for Cov Cath, but they ended up winning decidedly in the end. AJ Mayer’s 193 yards passing and a host of Colonel running backs provided for 393 total yards and 4 TDs, while a pick-6 by Kam Butler provided the remaining TD for Cov Cath. Butler also had an impressive 7 tackles, while Alex Shelton added 9 more, and Jack Maile had another 7 tackles of his own. Cov Cath closes their regular season this Friday against 6A Scott County.

2) Simon Kenton (6A) 8-1 – It’s hard to say whether or not Friday was an upset, with NKY #1 Simon Kenton losing to undefeated 6A Ryle, but regardless, when two undefeated teams match up head to head, there’s no changing the fact that one team will come out with a loss. The Pioneers were that unlucky team on Friday in a 25-32 loss to the Raiders. Cameron Racke was held to 45 yards and 1 TD passing, but Matt Shearer added another 115 yards and 1 TD in the air. The SK offense was held to an uncharacteristic 155 total yards by the Raiders. Brian Carter added a solid 10 solo tackles on the defensive side of things. The Pioneers have their final regular season game this Friday against 4A Scott.

1) Ryle (6A) 9-0 – Ryle was the better team on Friday night in Union, and that’s why they have now distinguished themselves as the only remaining undefeated team in NKY following their victory over 6A Simon Kenton by winning 32-25 on Friday. Tanner Morgan and Jake Chisholm went to work on the Simon Kenton defense, with Morgan's 261 yards and 3 TDs passing, and Chisholm’s 174 yards and 1 TD on the ground. Jackson High, Zach Rytlewski, and Justin Selby each added to the team’s performance on defense with 9, 6, and 6 tackles, respectively. The Raiders host 5A Dixie Heights for their regular season closer on Friday.


Trending Up:

6A Conner (7-2) – The Cougars made a strong move towards silencing any remaining doubters by beating 6A district competitor Cooper on Friday, securing the #2 spot in their district.

2A Holy Cross (6-3) – With a 42-0 win over 2A district rival Lloyd Memorial, the Indians won the #2 spot in their district as well as racking up their FIFTH shutout win of the season. It’s hard telling without seeing the teams head-to-head, but there’s decent chance that Holy Cross would have a shot at the #10 spot in NKY were they to play 6A Campbell County at this point in the season.

6A Ryle (9-0) – The Raiders are 1 win away from a perfect regular season, but perhaps more importantly, they were able to prove their dominance over 6A Simon Kenton on Friday and win the #1 spot in the NKY rankings.


Trending Down:

6A Campbell County (3-6) – The Camels were riding high as the apparent kings of Campbell County after beating both 2A New Cath and 5A Highlands earlier in the season, but they have followed that up by losing 5 out of the 6 subsequent games, including an upset loss on Friday to the 6A Boone County Rebels.

6A Cooper (6-4) – They may have a winning record, but the Jags have struggled to win when it really counts, losing to both of the teams in their district this season, as well as 6A Simon Kenton. Cooper will need to dig deep for any shot at a playoff run.

4A Holmes (2-7) – The Bulldogs have had a season-long struggle this year, and it showed on Friday as Holmes lost their 4th straight game to a district competitor, leaving them in last place amongst the district 6 teams, and putting them out of the 4A playoff picture. Holmes will finish their season on Thursday against 2A Newport.


Player Of The Week:

Peyton VanHorn (Conner)

Peyton had 17 solo tackles last week, and added 16 more this week in Conner’s win over Cooper to put him at a total 103 tackles thus far this season – an average of 11.4 tackles per game.


Game Of The Week:

Beechwood (1A) vs. Newport Catholic (2A)

Probably the biggest game around Northern Kentucky in week 10. These two teams used to face each other for a shot at the 1A state championship, but since 2007 this game is all about pride. The Tigers have won the last two of this series, but we’ll see how the two teams match up this year when they play in Newport on Friday.