Simon Kenton Routs Highlands on Bad Night for River City Teams
It was a tough night for football teams from the NKY River Cities as each of them took a loss this week, and Simon Kenton showed who's boss when struggling Highlands came to town. Here are the dispatches from Week 6 in Northern Kentucky high school football:
Simon Kenton 42, Highlands 3
Simon Kenton played host to a struggling Highlands team on Friday night. Coming into the game, the Bluebirds were in an unfamiliar position with a 1-4 record. Simon Kenton on the other hand, has dominated all of their first five opponent. Unfortunately for Highlands, that trend continued on Friday night as Simon Kenton won in convincing fashion by the score of 42-3.
That being said, Highlands came out of the gate playing well; making it seem as though this game was going to be a hard fought battle. Highlands was moving the ball well for most of the first quarter. They looked well on their way to scoring on their second possession of the game when Pioneer junior defensive back Trent Kincaid intercepted a pass from Highlands senior quarterback Austin Hergott. On the ensuing possession, Simon Kenton unsuccessfully went for it on fourth down to give Highlands the ball around midfield.
Following the turnover on downs, Simon Kenton's defense stepped up and forced a 4th and 16. Highlands then surprised everyone on 4th and 16 by successfully executing a fake punt. Senior linebacker/punter Jared Dougherty fooled the Pioneers by taking the fake punt for a 37-yard gain, and a Highlands first down. The Bluebirds benefited from the risky play call by getting on the board first with a 43-yard field goal made by Dougherty himself. With that score, Highlands went up, 3-0 with 46 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
However, Highlands first quarter success was short lived as Simon Kenton went on to score 49 unanswered points thanks in large part to senior running back Dillon Powell. Powell got the offense started for the Pioneers with an explosive 48-yard touchdown run to close out the first quarter. With that score; Simon Kenton went up, 7-3 and never looked back. An ongoing theme for the night was turnovers. Highlands threw a total of six interceptions on the night. The second one came with 9:26 remaining in the second quarter as junior defensive back Casey Mitchell came down with the Austin Hergott pass. Simon Kenton did a great job all night of capitalizing on turnovers and translating them into points, as was the case following this turnover.
After a good job of getting positive yards and moving the chains by Simon Kenton, Dillon powell finished the drive off by running it in from 4-yards out for his second touchdown of the night. With that score, Simon Kenton went up, 14-3 with 7:03 left in the second quarter. On the next series, Simon Kenton's ball hawking defensive back Trent Kincaid made a great play for his second interception of the night, and the team's third. The Pioneers would score two plays later on an 11-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Cam Racke to junior wide receiver Luke Vance.
The two-point conversion was no good giving Simon Kenton a 20-3 lead with 5:54 remaining in the second quarter. Simon Kenton would then get the ball back after a short drive by the bluebirds with a chance to put the game out of reach for Highlands. They did just that with junior running back Dylan Hampton capping off a 71 yard drive by running it in from 22-yards out. That score came with 1:10 left in the quarter, and gave Simon Kenton a 28-3 lead going into halftime.
Simon Kenton started where they left off in the second half with Casey Mitchell getting his second interception of the night on Highlands opening drive. Once again, Simon Kenton capitalized on the turnover thanks to Dillon Powell and the offensive line. Powell ran it in from 6-yards out for his third touchdown of the night giving the Pioneers a 35-3 lead with 5:54 to go in the third quarter. On Highlands following possession, the nightmare continued as Simon Kenton’s Trent Kincaid remarkably had his third interception of the night. He had six interceptions all of last season as a sophomore. “That's the most interceptions I've had in one game,” said Kincaid. Just for good measure, Simon Kenton scored once again with 3:24 left in the third quarter on a 5-yard touchdown run by Dillon Powell. It was Powell's fourth touchdown of the night, and it pushed Simon Kenton’s lead to 42-3 which would ultimately be the final score. After that score, the referee’s issued a running clock to close out the game. The starters were pulled for the entirety of the fourth quarter, and we got to see a preview of what the junior-varsity matchup will look like.
Simon Kenton’s recipe for success during this game was forcing turnovers, and running the ball effectively. The Pioneers forced a total of six interceptions on the night. They translated four of those interceptions into touchdowns. The touchdowns came mostly due to a dominating performance by Dillon Powell and the Pioneers offensive line. Simon Kenton finished with 250 rushing yards on the night. 189 of those yards came from Dillon Powell. On top of his 189-yards rushing, Powell also finished with 4 touchdowns. Powell gave credit to his offensive line for the great performance. “Running the ball was working because my line was playing hard, and opening up huge holes for me."
Simon Kenton is now 6-0 and hopes to stay hot next week in a game against another struggling team, Boone County. That game is in Florence. As for Highlands (1-5), they hope to right the ship next Friday against Dixie at home.
Beechwood 55, Holy Cross 21
Beechwood overpowered Holy Cross Friday night, 55-21, on the strength of three touchdowns each by senior running back Ethan Stringer, senior receiver Brett Slusher and two from junior running back Aiden Justice. Despite pulling away for good in the second half, Holy Cross hung around due to a few Beechwood turnovers but did not help its own cause and Beechwood kept the visiting Indians at bay.
The Tigers’ initial drive featured Stringer running through the Indians’ defense with ease, culminating in an 8-yard touchdown run and a 7-0 Beechwood lead with 9:04 left in the opening quarter. Holy Cross’s ensuing drive ended with senior quarterback Hamilton Scott’s pass intercepted by the Tigers’ Logan Castleman but Beechwood gave the ball right back as Stringer fumbled the exchange from senior quarterback Kyle Fieger. A few plays later, Scott rolled left and found junior Derrick Barnes open past Beechwood defenders, but Barnes dropped the pass and the Indians were forced to punt.
On second down from its own 23, Slusher took a handoff all the way down to the Holy Cross 25, setting up a second Stringer touchdown run – this time from four yards out. Mario German’s extra point was good and the Tigers were up 14-0 at the end of the first.
Beechwood was not as fortunate on Stringer’s second fumble as Holy Cross turned it into points this time around. Scott found a streaking Jaylin Williams down the right sideline, and the receiver won the jump ball, making an acrobatic catch lying on his back after it had been tipped in the air. A few plays later, Scott found Williams again for the Indians’ first touchdown of the game. With 7:12 left in the second, Beechwood’s lead was cut to 14-7. But, that would be as close as Holy Cross would get. The Tigers’ found the end zone on its next possession, as Fieger found Aiden Justice in the back of the end zone and Beechwood increased its lead back to 14.
Following a Holy Cross punt, Fieger found senior Cameron Way down the middle of the field and Way took the ball down inside the Indians’ 20 and Beechwood was in business again. On its next play Slusher again found the end zone and his team took a 28-7 lead into halftime.
Entering the third, Holy Cross was able to cut into Beechwood’s lead and again it involved Williams and a little bit of luck. Scott found his receiver down the seam and the receiver reached out and tipped the pass with one hand to himself and took it the rest of the way 35 yards to the end zone. It was 28-14. But on the Tigers’ ensuing possession, Stringer ran 47 yards nearly untouched to widen the gap, 35-14. Holy Cross then lost its last opportunity to draw closer. Following a two-yard touchdown run by Xavier Abernathy, the Indians’ recovered the ensuing kickoff. Unable to take advantage, they turned the ball over on downs, their fake punt coming up empty.
On the Tigers’ first play from scrimmage, Fieger fired a long pass to Slusher in the end zone and Beechwood led 42-21. In seemingly rapid-fire fashion, Slusher and Justice each found the end zone again for Beechwood, completing the scoring for the Tigers, who ultimately ran away from the Indians.
Next week, Beechwood (4-1) hosts Newport, while Holy Cross (2-3) returns home vs. Bethlehem.
Williamsburg 23, Ludlow 14
Williamsburg rolled into Ludlow to face a Panther team that is enjoying a nice start to its season. Williamsburg, on the other hand, had not won in its first four games.
That losing streak ended Friday with a surprising win over Ludlow.
The Panthers were in their own way in the first quarter, strugglign with penalties, bad blocking, bad snaps, and turnovers. Williamsburg jumped out to a fast 14-0 lead on two touchdown runs by Alec Poore. Ludlow, meanwhile, struggled to move the ball, and when things got going, strong drives typically ended without a score.
Though the Panthers cut the lead to 14-6, Williamsburg answered with another score.
The game was delayed for about twenty minutes in the third quarter when Williamsburg's Darrell White was injured upon landing after he leaped for a pass. He was taken from the game on a stretcher and transported to a local hospital. There were no immediate details about the extent of White's injury.
Williamsburg (1-4) has next week off and Ludlow (4-2) celebrates homecoming with a tough match-up against Bishop Brossart.
Conner 21, Newport Catholic 17 The Cougars' terrific start continued Friday as Conner improved to 4-1 on the year. New Cath drops to 2-4. Next week, Conner travels to Lloyd while the Thoroughbreds have the week off.
Western Brown (OH) 42, Campbell Co. 14 The Camels continue to struggle this year as Western Brown rolled into Alexandria and handed Campbell Co. its sixth straight loss. The Camels (0-6) have next week off.
Walton-Verona 21, Carroll Co. 0 After struggling to start the season, the Bearcats have put together a two-game winning streak. Walton-Verona is now 2-4 and hosts Owen Co. next week.
Lloyd 54, Garrad Co. 26 Make it three wins in a row for the Juggernauts who are off to a 4-1 start this season. Next week, Conner visits Erlanger in what will be a fun game to watch.
Dixie 35, Boone Co. 21 Two struggling teams met in Edgewood looking for their first win and Dixie came out on top. The Colonels are now 1-4 and go to Cooper next week while Boone Co. (0-6) hosts red hot Simon Kenton.
Bishop Brossart 27, Nicholas Co. 20 The Mustangs' undefeated season was threatened but Brossart held off feisty Nicholas Co. to improve to 5-0 on the season. Brossart visits Ludlow next week.
Bracken Co. 40, Dayton 0 The Greendevils' woes continued with their visit to Bracken Co. on Friday. Dayton drops to 1-5 but has next week off to regroup.
Harrison Co. 25, Holmes 14 It was a rough visit to Harrison Co. for the Bulldogs who drop to 2-4 on the season. Holmes has next week off.
Scott 43, Mason Co. 7 The Eagles soared on Friday in its trip to Maysville. Scott is now 5-1 and welcomes Harrison Co. to Taylor Mill next week.
Owen Co. 8, Newport 6 In 5 games, the Wildcats have only scored 26 points and on Friday, Newport's 6 wasn't enough to overcome Owen Co. in a low-scoring affair. Newport is now 1-4 on the season and heads to Ft. Mitchell to face Beechwood next week.
Cooper 28, Lexington Catholic 0 A big win for the Jaguars who improve to 4-2 with a win over a solid Lexington Catholic team. Dixie visits the Jaguars in Union next week.
Scores from NKYsports.com, records from KHSAA, and additional reporting from Michael Monks