CINCINNATI - Over the past two seasons Class 4A has shaped up to become the Highlands’ Invitational. The Bluebirds begin their quest for a fifth straight state championship which would establish a new Kentucky state record.
The list of challengers includes their rivals, Covington Catholic, along with Johnson Central, who is always capable of putting points on the board. For any team to pull off the upset they will have to play a nearly perfect game, but that is why they play the games.
Here is a look at Week 11’s first-round action:
KENTUCKY CLASS 4A
(All games played Friday, Nov. 2, except CovCath which plays at 1 p.m. on Saturday)
#4 Boyd County (5-5) at #1 Highlands (9-1) – The transition from Patrick Towles to Donovan McCoy at quarterback has gone seamlessly for Highlands. After averaging 56.6 points per game in 2011, the Bluebirds put 53.7 points during the regular season this year. McCoy has accounted for 1,949 yards and 24 touchdowns through the air while adding 579 yards and 11 more scores on the ground in nine games. Junior Zach Harris has added 736 yards and 15 touchdowns rushing. Boyd County will have their hands full with Highlands’ balanced attack. The Lions have allowed 22.3 points per game against them, but 38.8 points per contest in their five losses.
#3 Holmes (6-4) at #2 Ashland Blazer (8-2) – Year two under Terry Liggin has seen significant progress made by the Holmes Bulldogs as the team has gone for two wins in 2011 to a 6-4 finish to the regular season. The dynamic duo of running back Jonathan Scruggs and wide receiver DeSean Peterson has helped Holmes to put 25.7 points per game on the scoreboard. Ashland Blazer fell just short of a district title, losing to Johnson Central 22-21 in their regular-season finale. The Tomcats are led by running back Quentin Baker, who 932 yards and 16 touchdowns on 123 carries in nine games. They have won 10 of their last 11 games at home with their last loss coming to CovCath in the 2011 playoffs.
#3 Rowan County (4-6) at #2 Covington Catholic (7-3) – CovCath ended their regular season on a sour note, falling 13-12 at Conner. Look for the Colonels to bounce back in a big way as they return home to begin the postseason. Quarterback Blake Bir has already established a new school record for the most TD passes in a season. He enters Week 11 with 2,115 yards and 32 touchdowns through the air. His favorite targets, Evan Braun and Ethan Egbers, have combined for 54 catches for 998 yards and 16 touchdowns. Rowan County cedes 34 points per game to their opponents. They are not a team built to come from behind as quarterback Justin Graham only has attempted 74 passes on the season.
#4 Harrison County (1-9) at #1 Johnson Central (8-2) – Johnson Central saw their six-game winning streak snapped when they fell to Class 3A Belfry to close out the regular season. The Golden Eagles are led on offense by a strong rushing attack, featuring running back Zach Gound. It has been a year to forget for the Thorobreds. Harrison County has only put 11.1 points per game on the scoreboard while ceding 40.5 points per game. Deshon Talbott leads the team with four touchdowns.
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