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NKY Football: Bellevue Tops Dayton; Photos, Recap, Regional Scoreboard

Another week of high school football is in the books for Northern Kentucky teams. The River City News's Jason Finnell and Brian Brey attended the Bellevue-Dayton game, and Finnell's recap and Frey's photos can be found below along with the rest of the region's results from Friday night.

For the 75th consecutive year, Bellevue and Dayton gathered on the gridiron for the 2019 season’s second edition of the Battle For The Paddle and the Tigers’ avenged a week-two loss to the Greendevils, 21-12, Friday night at Davis Field. Bellevue’s Aaron Atkins led the way with two touchdowns to give the Tigers their first victory in district play.

Dayton’s opening drive of the game stalled deep inside Bellevue territory, following a three-yard touchdown run from Jordan Marksberry, nullified by a holding penalty and a fourth down pass into the end zone that fell incomplete. The Tigers’ turn ended with Atkins falling on the ball 19 yards behind the line of scrimmage and they punted away but Dayton was unable to muster any momentum and Bellevue gained possession again as the first quarter came to a scoreless end. 

On fourth-and-three from the Dayton 49 in the second quarter, Atkins found Gunner Barnes, who made an acrobatic catch after the ball was tipped in the air by a Greendevils’ defender, corralling the ball before it reached to ground at the 34. But despite his efforts, the Tigers had an ineligible receiver downfield on the play and were forced to punt.

Marksberry put the game’s first points up with a 66-yard run on the Greendevils’ ensuing drive. Their successful two-point conversion was called back due to a false start penalty, but they could not convert the extra point on the re-try and led 6-0, with 9:17 remaining in the half. Bellevue countered with points of their own on a steady drive complemented with runs by Austin Hazeres and Gavin Hayes. Facing fourth down from Dayton’s 34, Atkins found Hazeres over the middle for a 34-yard catch-and-score to put the Tigers up by one, 7-6. The Greendevils’ following drive was again snake bitten by penalties. Quarterback Nolan Brooks scrambled for 34 yards but two plays later, Marksberry had his second would-be touchdown of the evening called back due to offensive holding. On the down replay, Brooks’ pass downfield was intercepted by Colton Hissong, who jumpstarted the next Tigers’ scoring drive. The junior caught a 12-yard slant for a new set of downs, followed by Atkins’ keeper to the Dayton 46. After a false start penalty pushed Bellevue back on their side of the field, Hazeres bailed out the Tigers with a reception at the Greendevils’ 18. Several plays later, Atkins called his own number from eight yards out for a 14-6 Bellevue lead at halftime.

The Tigers’ kept the momentum going into the third quarter. Beginning on their own 30, Atkins found Barnes for 13 yards and a first down. Atkins and Hazeres tacked on extra yardage to put the Tigers inside Dayton territory. Hissong put Bellevue inside the 20 with a key reception followed by an Atkins carry to the six. On first-and-goal, Atkins kept the ball around the left side, diving across the goal line in the left corner of the end zone for a 21-6 advantage for the Tigers. 

Despite its penalties, Dayton had an opportunity to close the gap in the final quarter. This time, Marksberry’s long touchdown run stood for the Greendevils, as the standout junior’s 51-yard score got the Greendevils to within nine, 21-12, following a failed two-point conversion attempt. An onside kick was recovered by the Tigers, but they were unable to put the game out of reach on its possession, punting the ball back to Dayton with over three minutes to go in the game. With 94 yards to go, Brooks began the final Greendevils’ drive of the night with an incomplete pass, stopping the clock at 3:34. A screen pass to James Matthews put to ball out to the 22 followed by another nice run from Marksberry for 13 yards. After a Bellevue facemask penalty, Brooks found Marksberry for 31 yards to the Tigers’ 15. However, the Greendevils’ drive ran out of gas there and Bellevue would take over on downs and run out the clock.

Dayton’s abundance of penalties despite a good week of practice for the Greendevils bothered Herbst, who said it was the best week his team had all year leading up to a game. On the penalties: “Lack of discipline and the easy way out. I teach my kids all the time, the hard way and the easy way. The hard way is the right way. It’s easy to hold, to grab onto that shirt, it’s easy to do something stupid. The hard way is the right way. Lack of discipline.”

“We played not to lose instead of playing to win. It’s hard to beat a team twice, especially these guys,” Herbst added.

Dayton falls to 4-3 with the loss and faces another district foe, Newport Catholic, next week in Newport. Bellevue (2-5) travels to face Ludlow to continue its district play.


Lloyd 26

Newport 7

The Juggernauts picked up their third straight win to improve to 5-2 on the year. The Wildcats suffered their second setback of the season and fall to 6-2. Next week, Lloyd plays host to Beechwood, while Newport visits Holy Cross in their regular seasons' penultimate games.

Boyd Co. 0

Holmes 33

The Bulldogs picked up wins in back-to-back weeks to boost their season's record to 4-3. Harrison Co. visits Covington next week.

Beechwood 68

Holy Cross 6

The Tigers routed the Indians on Friday night to pull closer to evening their season record. Beechwood is now 3-4 in its first year in Class 2A, and next week heads to Erlanger for a date with Lloyd. Holy Cross falls to 2-5 and hosts Newport next week.

Highlands 49

Boone Co. 0

The Bluebirds ended their two-game skid by walloping Boone Co. in a shutout in Florence. Highlands improves to 5-3 on the season and hosts Covington Catholic next week. The Rebels, meanwhile, have dropped six straight games, being shut out in three of them. Boone Co. tries to right the ship next week at Cooper.

Ryle 41

Campbell Co. 0

The Raiders snapped a three-game losing streak to even their record at 4-4, in a rout of Campbell Co. The Camels remain winless at 0-7 and were shut out for the fifth time this season. Next week, Ryle travels to Dixie Heights while Campbell Co. visits Simon Kenton.

LaSalle (Ohio) 7

Covington Catholic 27

The Colonels added another rout to their unblemished season, easily beating back Cincinnati LaSalle in Park Hills on Friday night. Cov Cath is now 8-0 and heads to Fort Thomas next week to take on Highlands.

Owen Co. 19

Walton-Verona 49

The Bearcats have won three in a row, easily handling Owen Co. at home on Friday. Next week, Walton (5-3) heads to Louisville to face Shawnee.

Cooper 29

Conner 35

The Cougars fended off their cross-county rival on Friday night to extend the season's winning streak to six. Conner is now 7-1 on the year and will take next week off before playing host to Covington Catholic on Oct. 25. Cooper falls to 4-4 and hosts Boone Co. next week.

Bishop Brossart 41

Bracken Co. 0

The Mustangs picked up an easy win on the road and are now 3-4 on the year. Next week, Brossart visits Paris.


Newport Central Catholic 49

Ludlow 10

The Thoroughbreds are picking up steam after a slow start to the season, and have won four straight games to improve to 5-2 on the year. Ludlow dropped its second straight game and falls to 4-3 on the season. Next week, New Cath hosts Dayton while Ludlow hosts Bellevue.

Simon Kenton 43

Dixie Heights 27

The Pioneers bounced back from last week's lopsided loss at Johnson Central to beat rival Dixie in Edgewood on Thursday night. Simon Kenton is 4-3 now and hosts Campbell Co. next week. Dixie, meanwhile, falls to 2-5 ahead of next week's game at home against Ryle.

-Staff report

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