NKY Football: Dayton Claims Paddle Over Bellevue; Newport Downs Lloyd; Scoreboard
High school football's fifth week in Northern Kentucky saw RCN's Jason Finnell at the Newport-Lloyd game and he has a full report below while RCN photographer Brian Frey was at the Dayton-Bellevue game and he has a full slideshow below. The full scoreboard from around the region is also below.
It was better late than never for Newport Friday night at Lloyd Memorial, as the Wildcats overcame a 13-0 deficit into the final quarter to escape Erlanger with a 19-13 victory over the Juggernauts in the opening night of district play for Northern Kentucky.
The District Six opponents traded punts on their opening possessions of the evening until MyKel King picked off Lloyd quarterback Jacob Davidson with just under three minutes remaining in the first, however, Newport turned the ball back over to Lloyd several plays later as each team was kept off the scoreboard at the conclusion of the quarter. To begin the second, the Juggernauts’ took advantage of good field position to put up the game’s first points. Davidson found receiver Amari Riley on second-and-seven from the Wildcats’ 47-yard line for a 13-yard gain. Then, overcoming a false start penalty inside the 20, Davidson found Braxton Irwin along the sideline to place the Juggernauts at the Newport seven. On first-and-goal, Spaulding’s number was called again, and the junior running back found the end zone from seven yards out for a 7-0 Lloyd lead. Newport’s ensuing drive began with a lucky break for the Wildcats. Quarterback Ethan Jefferson’s option pitch left was fumbled by King, but he was able to recover in the scrum five yards behind the line of scrimmage. But the Wildcats were unable to advance the ball into Lloyd territory despite beginning on their own 40 and punted away; a common theme into the half as the Juggernauts retained their 7-0 lead.
With time winding down in the third, Wildcats’ defensive back Simon Keating intercepted Davidson and the tide slowly shifted in Newport’s favor. The score was still 7-0 to begin the fourth when King fielded a Lloyd punt near his own 35. Cutting and darting up field, he outraced everyone to the end zone to tie the game, 7-7. On the ensuing kickoff, Juggernauts’ returner Tyson Lemarr had the football carom off his facemask while surrounded by Newport tacklers ready to pounce and the Wildcats took advantage of the fortuitous bounce. Keating came up big for the Wildcats again on their next play, hauling in a 30-yard pass from Jefferson inside the Juggernauts’ five. Keating fell backwards on the tackle and landed awkwardly, limping immediately off the field. However, he would be ok and re-enter the game. Following Keating’s reception, Newport almost squandered its opportunity, fumbling on the next play but it recovered. Out of a timeout on third-and-goal from the three, King found the end zone on a sweep left but the extra point attempt was foiled and the Juggernauts still had a chance to re-take the lead, down 13-7, with 8:21 left. But Lloyd countered when they had to. Davidson advanced the Juggernauts on four consecutive runs for a total of 14 yards. Spaulding then took advantage of a tiring defense and ran through the left side for a gain of 30, down to the Wildcats’ seven. One play later, Spaulding again went through the left side of the offensive line for a seven-yard touchdown run. With the chance to go up by one, Newport defenders broke through the line and block the extra point, keeping the score even at 13 apiece.
After offsetting penalties on the kickoff, Newport for holding, Lloyd for a personal foul late hit out of bounds, the Wildcats turned back to Keating. His 10-yard reception kickstarted the Newport drive near midfield and a new set of downs, however, Jefferson was sacked on the next two plays. But on fourth-and-five and the clock ticking with under one-minute remaining, the Wildcats’ quarterback found his reliable target down field. On a play the Juggernauts argued he got away with a push off, Keating’s catch-and-score put Newport ahead, 19-13, and the receiver was also flagged for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty as he celebrated the touchdown, giving Lloyd good field position and a chance. Despite the kickoff going out of bounds and the yardage assessed because of the penalty, the Juggernauts were unable to take advantage of their field position and Newport left Erlanger with their first district win of the season.
Keating’s game-winning score was almost the touchdown that never was. “I really wanted to punt it on the fourth down and they went man-to-man and I’ll take our two guys on the edge, really, our four receivers, over a lot a DB’s we play this season. Ethan threw a hell of a pass and stood in there and made a good throw. We will clean up the stuff (unsportsmanlike penalty) at the end of the play, but that is how you win a district championship. Start from game one so we’ll take it…We take care of business next week, we guarantee ourselves a home playoff game and play Beechwood, most likely, for one of the first two rounds of the playoffs at home for a one seed,” Newport Head Coach Joseph Wynn said. The Wildcats (3-2) stay home to face struggling Holy Cross (1-4), coming off a 48-6 loss to Beechwood on Friday night, while Lloyd (2-1) travels to Fort Mitchell to take on the 3-2 Tigers.
In the longest-running rivalry in Kentucky football history, the Greendevils claimed victory in the Battle for the Paddle, returning the prized item to the east side of O'Fallon Avenue. Dayton's hot streak continues as the team improves to 5-0 on the year. Next week, the Greendevils play host to Newport Central Catholic. Bellevue falls to 0-5 and Ludlow visits next week. See the photos from the Bellevue-Dayton game in the slideshow below.
Some facts about this rivalry:
Bellevue leads the series 98-44-3 over116 games. The schools have met at least once, and often twice a season, since 1935.
In 2007, the series was given the moniker of the Battle for the Paddle, a nod toward the river-bound geography of both cities. The score of each meeting is inscribed on the Paddle, and the winning school gets to keep the Paddle until the next meeting.
No two Kentucky schools have met more often. The Male-Manual series In Louisville began in 1893, and those schools have met 136 times.
Newport Central Catholic 59
The Thoroughbreds put on a show at Ludlow on Friday night, improving to 4-0 on the season. New Cath plays at fellow undefeated Dayton next week. Ludlow drops to 1-4 and hopes to right its ship next week at Bellevue.
Holy Cross 6
The Tigers routed the Indians in Ft. Mitchell on Friday night to improve to 3-2. Beechwood hosts Lloyd next week. Holy Cross has dropped four straight and falls to 1-4 on the year. Next week, the Indians visit Newport.
Boyd Co. 15
The Bulldogs picked up a win on the road to improve to 3-2 ahead of next week's visit to Harrison Co.
West Jessamine 62
The Eagles were roughed up again and continue to search for their first win. Scott (0-4) hosts Boyd Co. in Taylor Mill next week.
Boone Co. 0
The Bluebirds have recorded back-to-back shutout routs and look to carry their momentum into a big game next week. Highlands (3-2) plays at Covington Catholic.
Campbell Co. 7
The Raiders ended a three-game skid to improve to 2-3 on the year. Ryle hosts Dixie Heights next week. Campbell Co. is 2-3 and hosts Simon Kenton next week.
Bracken Co. 6
Bishop Brossart 34
Make it three wins in a row for the Mustangs. Bishop Brossart is now 3-2 and hosts Paris next week.
Owen Co. 8
The Bearcats have won three straight games to improve to 3-2. Walton is back home next week to host Shawnee.
The Cougars picked up a close win to improve to 3-1 on the year. Cooner is off next week, but will visit Covington Catholic on Oct. 23. Cooper is now 1-4 on the year and hosts Boone Co. next week.