CINCINNATI - The past two Class 2A, Kentucky State Champions, Holy Cross and NewCath, have come out of District 6 and the same could happen again this season.
While the Indians have struggled to recapture the magic of 2011 after a mass exodus due to graduation, NewCath appears to be clicking at the right time. This list of formidable challengers though has grown, including a Walton-Verona team that enters the playoffs with an impressive resume and will not be an easy out. There are great players throughout the bracket which should lead to exciting games ahead.
Here is a look at Week 11’s first-round action:
KENTUCKY CLASS 2A
(All games played Friday, Nov. 2)
#4 Newport (3-7) at #1 Walton-Verona (8-2) – The Bearcats cruised through district play sweeping their slate of opponents while outscoring foes 152-34 in those four games. Now the Bearcats need to translate that success as they matchup against non-district Class 2A opponents, something they’ve struggled with during their program’s short history. Walton-Verona wins football games the old-fashioned way by pounding the football on the ground and playing lock-down defense. Brothers Chris Latimore and Will Latimore have proven to be valuable playmakers on both sides of the ball. Newport enters the postseason as losers of three of their last four contests. The Wildcats give up 32.7 points per game and have allowed four opponents to score 42 or more points. Senior running back Daylin Garland (12 total TD’s) paces a Newport offense that has been held to 19 total points over the past two games.
#3 Carroll County (7-3) at #2 Lloyd Memorial (7-3) – A year after dropping a first-round game on the road a year ago, the Juggernauts played well enough to secure a home game this season. Lloyd started the year 6-1, but dropped two of their final three contests to close out the regular season. Senior quarterback Dexter Smith is one of the best quarterbacks in Northern Kentucky small-school football with over 2,500 total yards of offense and 27 total touchdowns. The Panthers have won three of their last four games, but much do better on defense (allow 25.5 ppg) if they want to stick around in the playoffs. Running back Tyshawn Embs is the focal point on offense. The senior finished the regular season with 2,205 yards and 27 touchdowns on 197 carries.
#3 Holy Cross (3-7) at #2 Owen County (6-4) – Holy Cross enters the playoffs with hopes of defending their Class 2A state championship. However, if the Indians are going to make a stab at it they will need to put forth a much better showing that we saw during the regular season. They were outscored 99-10 in their last two contests against district winners NewCath and rival Holmes. Junior Jalen Beal is as dangerous of a playmaker as there is at this level in the entire state of Kentucky. He scored 14 times while tallying 905 total yards on 119 touches (7.6 ypt). Owen County enters the matchup as winners of four straight and have things going well on offense. Senior Chris Day is enjoying a banner senior season with 735 yards and 13 touchdowns on 565 catches and three interceptions on defense.
#4 Gallatin County (6-4) at #1 NewCath (6-4) – Few teams enter the month of November playing as well as NewCath. The Thorougbreds sat at 2-4 when district play began but rolled through that part of the schedule ease and came away with a convincing win over rival Beechwood in their final tune-up game. Senior running back Dylan Hayes has been the go-to-guy for the ‘Breds most of the year, rushing for 1,229 yards and 20 touchdowns. Quarterback Josh Cain has thrown for 1,496 yards and rushed for 120 more while contributing with 13 total scores. Gallatin County did not fare well against Lloyd or Walton-Verona getting outscored by a combined 79 points two losses. NCC will be an even tougher challenger. Quarterback Austin Chapman has passed for 2,065 yards and 24 TD’s, but has also been intercepted 15 times.
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