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THE RANKINGS:



1) 6A Simon Kenton (1-0) – The Pioneers kicked off their season with a W on the road against 6A Meade County, beating the Green Wave 47-13. QB Matt Shearer showed that he has what it takes to follow in Cam Racke’s footsteps, passing for 213 yards and 4 touchdowns, and adding another 56 yards on the ground. Junior linebacker Bryson Pernell tallied a total 10 tackles on the defensive side. Simon Kenton heads to Lexington to take on 6A Bryan Station (0-1) on Friday.

2) 5A Covington Catholic (1-0) – Cov Cath took back the overall lead in their series against the 6A Ryle at 8 wins to 7. They did so in powerful fashion, beating the Raiders 49-17 in the Colonels’ first ever home game under permanent lights. AJ Mayer had a commanding 267 yds & 3 TDs passing, and added another 18 yds & 2 TDs rushing. The Colonels defense looked powerful and tenacious on Friday, showing potential doubters that they mean business in Cov Cath’s 50th football season. The Colonels will take on 3A Lexington Catholic (1-0) on Friday in the Bluegrass Bowl.

3) 6A Ryle (0-1) –
One play in, Ryle’s first game of the season looked promising after a 75 yard touchdown by Jake Chisholm, but that was the essential highlight of the night for the Raiders, who lost 49-17 to 5A Covington Catholic. Chisholm and soph. RB Kyle England combined for both of Ryle’s TDs and 235 of the team’s 298 total yds of offense. Ryle’s junior QB Jake Smith was sidelined for the second half with an injury. The Raiders will be looking to bounce back when they head south to take on 6A Henry Clay (0-1) in the Bluegrass Bowl at Lexington Catholic.

4) 1A Beechwood (0-0) –
No action this week. Beechwood is one of a handful of teams around Northern Kentucky who did not open their regular season last Friday. After having their scheduled scrimmage against 2A Shawnee cancelled last week, we’ll be seeing the first of the defending 1A state champs when they open their season in Erlanger this week against 2A Lloyd Memorial (1-0).

5) 6A Conner (0-0) –
No action this week. After having a rough go of things in their scrimmage against 1A Beechwood, there will be a lot of eyes on the Cougars as they open their season this week against 6A Boone County (0-0).

6) 6A Campbell County (1-0) – Campbell County had a bit of a struggle this week, heading into the locker room at halftime at a 16-0 deficit to 5A Dixie Heights. However, the Camels came out in the second half with a renewed will, and put up 3 unanswered TDs for 20 points, before winning the game with a final score of 27-23. Senior RB Alex Dowds rushed for over 100 yds in the second half, and scored all 4 of the team’s TDs. Campbell County heads north to Ft. Thomas this week to take on 5A Highlands (1-0) this Friday.

7) 5A Dixie Heights (0-1) –Dixie was on a roll in the first half, starting from the opening kickoff with an 82yd return for TD. The Colonels controlled the first half on Friday, leading 6A Campbell County at halftime, but they were unable to stop the Camels’ running game in the second half, losing 27-23 on the road. QB Paul Guenther passed for 92 yds, and rushed for 132 yds with 2 TDs on the ground, while senior DB Brad O’Conner put up an impressive 11 tackles in the defensive effort. Dixie Heights takes on 4A Scott (0-1) this Friday in Taylor Mill.

8) 5A Highlands (1-0) – After a year of questions about what is going on in Ft. Thomas, the Birds make a statement about the directions things are moving at Highlands last Friday, beating the 6A Cooper Jaguars 42-22. RB Cooper Schwalbach ran for 150 yds and 4 TDs, but the story of the game was second year starting DB Joe Steiden setting a new school record with 4 interceptions. Harrison Traylor added a 5th Bluebird interception returned for TD. Highlands will continue their pursuit of redemption this Friday against 6A Campbell County (1-0).

9) Newport Central Catholic (1-0) – New Cath was noticeably absent from the pre-season power rankings. In Week 0, the Breds came out to prove their place by beating the 4A Scott Eagles 17-7 on the road. Junior QB Hunter Cain went 6-12 passing for 125 yds, while junior RB Kyle Kelly added on 16 yds and 1 TD rushing. On the defensive side, sophomore LB Daniel Craig wowed with 12 tackles, while Hunter Cain, Jason Decker, and Hezekiah Miller each added on another 9 tackles of their own. The Thoroughbreds will host 6A Cooper (0-1) this week for their home opener.

10) 6A Cooper (0-1) – We all knew it would be tough for the Jags to replace all they lost to graduation this past may, and it appears to be every bit of what we imagined. Cooper jumped out to a 9-0 lead over 5A Highlands this past Friday, but then they stalled out – hard – allowing 42 unanswered points by the Birds before scoring twice more themselves in their 42-22 loss. The Jags run game was their offensive strength, with 223 total yards, including 123 yds by sophomore RB Antony Witschey. But when it came to passing, Cooper QB’s connected more with Highlands DB’s than their own receivers, throwing 5 INTs and only 3 pass completions for 15 total yards in the air. Cooper will look to improve on Friday against 2A Newport Central Catholic (1-0).


GAME OF THE WEEK: WEEK 1

6A Campbell County vs. 5A Highlands

Both teams are going to be coming into their second game of the season energized off of Week 0 wins. After a disappointing 4-8 season for the Camels in 2016, and an eyebrow-raising 3-8 season for the Bluebirds in 2016, these two teams are looking to make statements early in the season this year. Last year Campbell County kicked off Highlands’ longest losing streak in over 8 decades, so this game is going to be a grudge match, no doubt.


TRENDING UP:

5A Covington Catholic (1-0) – Coach Eddie Eviston continued pushing his team forward by managing to knock of 6A Ryle for the first time in his tenure – and by doing so with a 49-17 romp over the Raiders.

5A Highlands (1-0) – After going down 9 points on Friday, the Birds scored 42 unanswered points, making folks wonder if we aren’t seeing Highlands flex some familiar muscles in the process of getting back to their usual form.

1A Ludlow (1-0) –
The Panthers put an impressive 56 points on the board in their win over the 2A Carroll County Panthers, and will be looking to continue their winning form on the road this week against 1A Bracken County.


TRENDING DOWN:

6A Cooper (0-1) – Most folks around NKY didn’t know exactly what to see out of Cooper on Friday. Coach Borchers has proven year after year to be able to work with what he has to make the wins happen, but after Friday’s 42-22 loss to 5A Highlands, it looks like this could be a difficult year for the Jaguars.

6A Ryle (0-1) –
The Raiders looked a little rough in their scrimmage against 6A Trinity two weeks ago. Many left saying, “Well, Trinity did what Trinity does.” However, after losing 49-17 to 5A Covington Catholic on Friday, many of those same folks may now be wondering what it will take for Ryle to regroup.


PLAYERS OF THE WEEK:

Alex Dowds (Campbell County) – The Camels’ second half comeback against 5A Dixie was done so on the back of junior RB Alex Dowds, who scored all 4 touchdowns (all in the second half) for Campbell County.

Daniel Craig (Newport Central Catholic) – 12 tackles by this sophomore against 4A Scott on Friday – yes sophomore. 10 were solo tackles. Craig made the varsity roster at NCC last season, and I think we’re be looking at something special on The Hill with this athlete.

Justin Blackburn (Ludlow) – This ought to be a familiar name around NKY by now. Blackburn had a hand in every single touchdown scored by the Panthers this past Friday against 2A Carroll County, passing for 3 touchdowns, and rushing for 4 more touchdowns.