Game Of The Week:
Ryle (6A) vs. Highlands (5A)
After two seasons of struggle, Ryle has been showing some solid steps forward in the beginning of the 2015 football season. Highlands has been somewhat the opposite, starting off 1-2 for the first time in over a decade. It will be interesting to see how each of these teams fare in this matchup – which will also be our first opportunity this season to compare performances by Highlands and Covington Catholic against a mutual opponent.
10) Conner (6A / 1-1)
9) Campbell County (6A / 0-3)
8) Newport Central Catholic (2A / 1-2) – New Cath had a rough start to the season, losing in a sloppy week one game to 4A Scott, and being shut out in a 35 point loss to the 6A Cooper Jaguars, who were on a strong roll after beating 5A Highlands in their first game of the season. This week the Breds were happy to have stud running back Jacob Smith returned to their backfield, and they appeared to have started working their way out of the early season hole they had found themselves in by beating 6A Campbell County 28-19 on Saturday. New Cath travels to Pike County this week to take on the 2-0 Belfry Pirates, the current 3A defending state champs.
7) Scott (4A / 1-0)
6) Covington Catholic (5A / 0-3)
5) Beechwood (1A / 2-0)
4) Highlands (5A / 1-2) – This is the first time since 2002 that the Bluebirds have started out a season with two losses out of their first three games, and it may be the first time they have ever had a running clock put on them in the first half of a football game. The Bluebirds can take a sigh of relief, albeit a small one, that there’s little doubting their a-typical performance this past week was in part due to the fact that they had both their starting quarterback Austin Hergott or wideout Mitchell Cain on the sideline. Highlands’ M.O. has always been steady improvement over the course of the season in order to come into the playoffs firing on all cylinders, and that certainly isn’t out of the question as of yet, but the next three weeks are going to be tough for the Bluebirds, with games against the undefeated 6A Ryle Raiders, the undefeated 6A St. Xavier Tigers, and the undefeated 6A Simon Kenton Pioneers.
3) Ryle (6A / 3-0)
2) Cooper (6A / 2-1)
1) Simon Kenton (6A / 3-0)
6A Ryle – The Raiders are 3-0, having beaten 5A Cov Cath, 3A Lex Cath, and now 6A Boone County. They have made their way back to their pre-season #3 spot in the NKY Power Rankings, and this week’s game against the 5A Highlands Bluebirds will tell us a bit more about how this Ryle program is really developing.
5A Highlands – They may not have been at full strength this week – particularly with their starting QB sidelined to a shoulder injury – but running clocks are something the Bluebirds are used to handing their opposition, and something that rarely happens to them. Truth be told, they may not have EVER had a running clock hung on them in the first half of a football game ever. The Birds will be looking to rebound this week against 6A Ryle. Hopefully they come into the game healthy.