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Saturday, September 12, 2015

Bluebird Notebook: Schedule gets rougher the next two weeks

PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, Highlands defenders Ben Ziegler (34) and Trent Webster (63) make a tackle in Friday's loss to Ryle. The schedule becomes tougher the next two weeks against Louisville St. Xavier (2-1) and Simon Kenton (4-0).

Things have no doubt been rough for the Blue and White through three games.

The Highlands Bluebirds are 1-3 for the first time since 1967 and not 1991 or 2004. The 1991 squad lost its first three games, but the 22-21 loss to Bell County turned into a forfeit win. The Kentucky High School Athletic Association initially made Highlands forfeit 13 wins in 2004 including the first three of that year, but later overturned the decision.

The schedule gets rougher the next two weeks as Highlands plays host to Louisville St. Xavier for the first time since 2006 and travels to Independence to face the Simon Kenton Pioneers for the first time since 1998. It looked as though St. Xavier and Simon Kenton could come into those games undefeated like the two recent opponents in Ryle (4-0 overall) and Scott County (3-1).

But that will not be the case. The Tigers come to town off their first loss (20-17) at Louisville Central. Their two wins came against Lexington Henry Clay (40-13) and Bowling Green (45-19).

The Pioneers are still undefeated at 4-0. They handled Dixie Heights, 45-7 on Friday. Simon Kenton has beaten its first four opponents by a combined 201-66.

Struggling Class 5A, District 5:

After four weeks of action, the combined record of the district is 3-12. The Grant County Braves own a district-best 2-2 record.

The Braves opened the season with wins over Class 2A Carroll County (48-8) and Owen County (47-14) before losing to Lloyd Memorial (36-33) and Harrison County (34-27) on Friday. The loss to Harrison County marked the first time the Thorobreds tasted victory since a 41-34 win over Woodford County on Nov. 1, 2013. The Thorobreds snapped a 14-game losing streak in the process.

Covington Catholic (0-4) dropped a 15-14 decision at Lexington Catholic on Friday. The Colonels also lost to Ryle to open the season before falling to Ohio opponents Cincinnati St. Xavier and Sycamore.

Two undefeated teams left in 5A:

Bullitt Central and North Laurel are the only undefeated teams left in the class at 4-0. Boyle County handed Anderson County its first loss, 43-21.

North Laurel played in the same district with defending 5A champion Pulaski County the last four years. But the Maroons are not on the schedule this year as the Jaguars moved into a mountain district with Perry County Central, Whitley County, Harlan County and Letcher County Central.

Junior Varsity Report:

The Highlands junior varsity team is 3-0 following a 30-26 win over Cooper on Saturday. It marked the second time the Bluebirds beat the Jaguars this year.

Highlands takes on Ryle at 10 a.m. in Union on Saturday.

Injury Update:

Highlands senior quarterback Austin Hergott returned to action after missing the Scott County game while nursing a right shoulder sprain. Senior Jared Dougherty left the Scott County game with an apparent injury but returned to also handle the kickoff, punting and extra-point duties against Ryle.

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