What happened this week in Kentucky high school football? Here are five observations from Friday night.
1.) Northern exposure
There were a number of notable matchups in Northern Kentucky last night (say that five times fast).
Lexington Catholic visited Highlands and came back home with a 21-18 victory, pulling ahead with less than a minute left in the contest. It was Highlands’ third straight loss and their first to Lexington Catholic since 2005; the Knights snapped a six-game losing streak to the Bluebirds, whom they used to meet regularly in the Class 4A playoffs before both teams moved classes in the most recent re-alignment of schools.
It was a strong bounce-back performance for the Knights, who last week lost at Lexington Christian for the first time in program history.
“I think we’re showing the capability of being a pretty good but we’ve got a lot of highs and lows right now,” LexCath Coach Mark Perry said. “ … We’ve got one more game before district (play) starts, and we’ve gotta continue to build from this and go forward. This was a learning experience to go play in a tough environment.”
Covington Catholic continued to look like the Class 5A team to beat by clobbering Beechwood, 45-9. The Colonels now have won seven straight games against Northern Kentucky competition, their last loss coming at Ryle, 31-13, to open last season.
CovCath is the only Northern Kentucky team to have defeated Beechwood in the last three seasons and was responsible for the Tigers’ only loss en route to a Class A championship last year. The Tigers are 2-8 against the Class 5A Colonels over the last 10 years.
Newport Central Catholic snapped a two-game skid and knocked Christian Academy of Louisville from the unbeaten ranks with a 20-15 home win. CAL, the top-ranked team in Class 2A and the defending champ in the class, gave up more than 14 points for the first time since a 48-24 win over Mayfield in last year’s state semifinals, and for the first time in the regular season since its 2016 opener against Simon Kenton, a 41-14 loss.
2.) Fifth week, first loss
Beechwood and CAL weren’t the only programs to suffer their first losses of the year in “Week Four” of the season (which is actually the fifth week of the season).
Ten teams went from unbeaten to blemished on Friday: Allen County-Scottsville, Beechwood, Bell County, Bullitt Central, CAL, Fleming County, Floyd Central, North Laurel, Paris and Phelps.
3.) Marooned no more
Pulaski County had gone three weeks without a victory, its longest losing stretch since it dropped four straight in 2011.
Before defeating Allen County-Scottsville, 36-20, on Friday, Pulaski had not beaten a Kentucky team this year. The Maroons defeated Jeffersonville (Ind.) to open the season before dropping bouts to Wayne County, Corbin and Danville — all considered title contenders in their respective classes.
ACS was ranked No. 8 in the Class 4A media poll this week while Pulaski was unranked in Class 5A, making the result something of an upset despite the Maroons’ recent run of postseason success.
A fun fact courtest of Pulaski’s Twitter account: Barren County upset ACS, 21-18, on the road in 1993. The head coach of the winners was John Hines, who’s been the coach at Pulaski County since 1999.
4.) The “Moeller Mark”
Cincinnati Moeller played three Kentucky teams — Lafayette, Scott County and Trinity — in 15 days. The results help paint an accurate picture of the Class 6A landscape this season.
Trinity was the only team to come out with a win, 38-30, over the Fighting Crusaders at home. Scott County held strong in a 38-28 home defeat last week (and also didn’t allow another Ohio power, La Salle, to run away in a 28-14 defeat on Friday). Lafayette went on the road and was never in the contest; the Generals trailed 49-0 at the break and fell 55-6 this week.
5.) Unlikely unbeaten
There are five undefeated teams remaining in Class 6A. Four of those — Pleasure Ridge Park, Simon Kenton, St. Xavier and Trinity — are among the usual suspects.
The fifth? Ohio County, which at 5-0 has matched the 2011 team for the program’s best start this century. The Eagles, who are in their first season led by former New York Jet DaMarcus Ganaway, went 2-9 last year.