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NKY High School Football Week 6: Preview Friday's Games & A Look at the Top 5

As the high school creeps past towards its halfway point, there are still a lot of questions that need to be answered. This is the time of year when teams begin to show their true character as district play becomes even more critical.

There are teams that have run out to impressive early starts like Ludlow and Lloyd, each 3-1, but can they sustain that momentum?  Then there are perennial contenders like Covington Catholic and Highlands who each got off to a 1-4 start, but both are capable of heating up and making runs all the way to the state title if things start to go their way.

Perhaps the most classic example of a team capable of a Jeckyll and Hyde season is the predictable path of Newport Central Catholic, which traditionally starts slowly due to scheduling tough teams early on, only to get it going late in the season and ending up deep in the playoffs. This season, the Thoroughbreds are 2-3, but their remaining schedule is much more in their favor. 

The 'Breds are led in part by dynamic tailback Jacob Smith who has five rushing scores so far this year. Last season, Smith put up huge numbers with 1,477 yards rushing and a whopping 28 total touchdowns. Look for Smith to put up more big games as we head down the stretch.

The top team is still, without question, Simon Kenton, which has looked the part of a champion in its first five games. The Pioneer offense has been consistently explosive putting up big numbers on the scoreboard and huge yardage totals on the field. Running back Dillon Powell has already exceeded the 1,000-yard mark after five games. 

This week, the Pioneers host Highlands in the region's most interesting game of Week 6. As good as the Pioneers have been, Highlands has been put in the unusual position of possessing a losing record. The Bluebirds have a strong winning tradition and produce top-notch prospects on a regular basis, and while their schedule has been a tough one, they cannot feel comfortable about losing three games in a row heading into take on the best team in Northern Kentucky. That being said, the Bluebirds are certainly capable of pulling out the upset in Independence this Friday, but the challenge is a big one.

Just behind SK, is Ryle who also has a perfect record and three quality road wins at Cov Cath, Lexington Catholic and Highlands.  The Raiders crushed Campbell County at home a week ago for their fifth win of the season and host George Rogers Clark this week. Following that game, Ryle has four big games in a row to close out their season, including a showdown at Simon Kenton on October 23.

RCN/NKYSports.com Top-5 Poll:

  1. Simon Kenton     (5-0): The Pioneers have looked nearly unstoppable on offense with a good offensive line and tailback Dillon Powell running behind them.
  2. Ryle                     (5-0): Junior quarterback Tanner Morgan has been strong for the Raiders helping his team put up impressive point totals this year.  
  3. Scott                    (4-1): Their only loss was a one-point come-from-behind loss to Conner in Week 4.  The Eagles scored 56 points last week to Holy Cross, but also                                         gave up 39 points in the win.
  4. Cooper                 (3-2): The Jaguars did lose to SK last week, but they were the only team this season to keep the Pioneers under 40 points so far this year.
  5. Brossart               (4-0): While the competition that the Mustangs have played may underwhelm some, a perfect record is as good as a team can do.

Heating Up:

Cov Cath (1-4), Ludlow (4-1), Conner (3-1)

Cooling Down:

Beechwood (3-1), Bellevue (2-3), Campbell County (0-5)

Games in Northern Kentucky This Week:

Conner at Newport Central Catholic

Western Brown at Campbell County

Williamsburg at Ludlow

Highlands at Simon Kenton

Gerrard County at Lloyd

Boone County at Dixie

Holy Cross at Beechwood

Nicholas County at Brossart

Lexington Catholic at Cooper

St. Francis de Sales at Covington Catholic (Saturday1 p.m.)

Written by Bryan Burke, associate editor