CINCINNATI - The Beechwood Tigers rolled to another district title and appeared ready for a deep playoff run. However, with nearly 20 of its players suspended to start the postseason doubts have surfaced about the Tigers’ chances. Our TV partner WCPO-TV reports that as many as 19 players on the Beechwood High School football team were suspended or kicked off the team for underage drinking at a party. First-time offenders were suspended for Friday's playoff game and those who've offended before were kicked off the team by head coach Noel Rash.
"This is a teaching moment and we've been forged by fire," Rash told 9 News. "We will play 'Beechwood football' this Friday and make our community proud as they've always been."
With Beechwood battling its internal issues there are other teams focused on what lies ahead. Frankfort enters the playoffs with a 9-1 mark and will be a tough out. Bellevue enters this weekend red-hot as winners of three straight games.
Here is a look at Week 11’s first-round action:
KENTUCKY CLASS 1A
(All games played Friday, Nov. 2)
#4 Ludlow (1-9) at #1 Frankfort (9-1) – The Panthers only loss to the season came to one of the top 5A teams in the state of Kentucky. Frankfort enters the postseason riding a six-game winning streak. Senior quarterback Chris Hawkins has tormented opponents through the air and on the ground with 27 total touchdowns. He is a big and physical player that will present matchup challenges for the Panthers. While Frankfort puts up 42.1 points per game on the scoreboard, Ludlow has managed just 12.3 points per game while allowing 44.1 points to be scored against them each week.
#3 Eminence (7-3) at #2 Bellevue (6-4) – Bellevue features Dylan Huff and Tyler Ackerson on offense. Huff has made 21 trips to the end zone to this point of the season while tallying 165 total yards per game. Ackerson has gotten better as the season has progresses as he transitioned from running back to quarterback. He’s only completed 23-of-63 attempts for 457 yards and six touchdowns, but remains a threat on the ground as well. The Warriors won three more games than a year ago. Quarterback Justin Mitchell has thrown for 20 touchdowns, but been picked off 15 times.
#3 Dayton (3-7) at #2 Paris (5-5) – After winning back-to-back games for the first time in nearly four years, the Greendevils dropped three straight games to close out the regular season. If Dayton is going to pick up a post-season win they’ll need a better effort on defense where they’ve allowed 35.6 point per game and 48 points per outing over their last three contests. Paris runs a balanced offense with quarter Nathaniel Stevens and running backs Marcus Champs and James Clark leading the way.
#4 Bracken County (5-5) at #1 Beechwood (6-4) – It remains to be seen which players will be available for Beechwood in their playoff opener with 18-19 players suspended for the game. It will be a huge challenge for the Tigers to overcome. The fact they’re facing Bracken County will greatly help their chances. The Polar Bears are 5-5 for the season, but they barely squeaked past Brossart and were beaten by Dayton. Something tells us the players left on the field for Beechwood and with the crowd behind them the home team will still prevail.
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