This Weekend, Northern Kentucky Schools Vie for 3 Football Titles
What a weekend in store for Northern Kentucky sports fans. Basketball season gets going on the high school hardwood while Northern Kentucky University's men's team hosts #16 West Virginia and the women's team hosts #13 Kentucky.
But it's still football season for three local teams who will compete for state titles in their respective classes on Friday and Saturday in Bowling Green.
RCN's Bryan Burke previews the games:
Trinity vs. Dixie Class 6A Saturday, 6pm.
Dixie is on the cusp of making history. In what has become their finest season ever, the Colonels could come home from Bowling Green with their first football championship trophy if they can take care of business against one the top programs in Kentucky.
Last week, Dixie thumped Ballard, 48-21, at home to make it to the final game in what was their 13th win a row and have yet to play in a close game. They have the glitzy quarterback in senior Drew Moore who can make things happen with his arm or legs, they have the power running game with the scrappy tailback Luke Zajac, but perhaps what is most impressive is their defensive front that puts a tremendous amount of pressure on every opposing quarterback the Colonels have seen this season. Last week against Ballard, the Dixie defense only allowed 90 total yards in the game.
DeSales vs. Newport Central Catholic Class 2A Friday, 2:30pm
New Cath began the season 0-4 and it looked like something of a rebuilding season from some outside perspectives, but the Thoroughbreds demonstrated just how tough they could be within their own class by winning eight straight games against Class 2 opponents. Now they're sitting pretty in a rematch of last season's championship game against DeSales. For the Breds, they have to sustain a push up front by their offensive line and allow running lanes for junior running back Jacob Smith to continue the nice season he's put together thus far.
Owensboro vs. Highlands Class 4A Saturday, 2:30pm
Highlands is seeking to regain its seat as Class 4 champs after being bumped last year in the championship game, ruining their streak of six straight state titles. With that in mind, they haven't lost to a Kentucky team since that loss a year ago to Collins in the last game of the season.
The Bluebirds feature hotshot quarterback Beau Hoge, who has been amazing all season and especially so in the postseason. In fact, Highlands has averaged 40 points a game in the playoffs largely behind the running game of Hoge when he breaks the pocket. His improvisational skills have proven to be the difference in games this season, including against Cov Cath in the quarterfinals of this year's playoffs where he ripped off an amazing 80-yard touchdown run that allowed the Bluebirds to advance this far. Owensboro managed to make the title game after converting on a tipped last-second hail mary that beat South Oldham 27-24. Based on recent history, they may need another miracle to keep the Bluebirds from earning their astonishing 23rd Kentucky state football championship.
Photo: Dixie celebrates victory/RCN file