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NKY High School Football: Week 5 Results

Junior quarterback Kaleal Davis and the Newport Wildcats ran away from the Ludlow Panthers, giving the program its first win against the fellow river city squad in six years and propelling the Wildcats to their best start since 2006 on Friday evening at Newport Stadium.

A 7-6 first quarter gave way to a second quarter that began to tilt in the Wildcats’ favor. Giaunte Jackson’s 11-yard touchdown run, and quarterback Tyler Porter’s successful two-point conversion try put Newport ahead of the Panthers with time running out in the opening quarter, 14-7. Facing second-and-12 on its own 38, Ludlow quarterback Ian Vallandingham found Cody Kramer over the middle, but the pass deflected off Kramer’s fingertips and into the hands of Wildcats cornerback Karac Clayton who returned the interception 45 yards the other way to put Newport in scoring position. Only 10 seconds ticked off the clock to begin the second quarter when Davis found the end zone from 15 yards out to put his team ahead 20-7. Davis, playing cornerback on the defensive side of the ball, got into the action after his hit on Ludlow running back Sean Stratton, causing a fumble and recovery by the Wildcats at the Panthers’ 44. However, Newport couldn’t cash in on the opportunity, going three and out. A wide-open Cameron Craig dropped a pass at the 10-yard line, forcing a Newport punt but Ludlow could not capitalize. The Panthers were forced to punt, and JT Daniels blocked the kick in the end zone, giving his team an additional two points, stretching the Wildcats’ lead to 22-7, with 8:04 left in the second quarter.

On Newport’s third play of its next drive, Samari Miller hauled in a 46-yard pass from Davis, snatching the ball out of the air between two Ludlow defenders, coming down with it at the Panthers’ nine-yard line. Several plays later, Davis scrambled to his right only to be trapped by three Ludlow defenders and the sideline. However, Davis sidestepped and eluded the Panther tacklers and found his way into the end zone for the score and a 30-7 lead going into halftime.

Each team punted away their initial drives of the second half, but the Wildcats got back on the scoreboard with just over five minutes to play in the third. On third-and-three from their own 25, Davis paused in the pocket then found an opening through the middle and outraced Ludlow defenders 75 yards for the score and 36-7 advantage.

Ludlow’s final two drives of the game resulted in scores. Its first drive featured runs of 20 and 19 yards by Cody Kramer followed by a 13-yard touchdown pass from Vallandingham to Cameron Underwood. The second scoring drive resulted in a touchdown run by Sean Stratton as time expired.

Newport closed out its scoring on Porter’s 37-yard keeper down the sideline prior to the Panthers’ score as time ran out, giving the Wildcats its best start in 12 years, overpowering the Panthers, 43-19.

Newport (3-1) travels to face Frankfort next Friday, while Ludlow (3-1) makes the long bus ride to Williamsburg.

Story by Jason Finnell, photos by Brian Frey

Scores from around Northern Kentucky (if Saturday scores are displaying and you wish you see Friday football scores, simply click on the date to go back):

Slideshow Images & Captions: