Kentucky Football

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Playoff Primer: NKY – Class 4A

By Dan Clasgens | Managing Editor

Head coach Dale Mueller is trying Highlands to yet another state title in 2012.

Highlands is the team everyone in Class 4A across the state are trying to catch and the other three teams standing in the region will have their hands full in trying to do. The Bluebirds enter Friday night’s contest clicking on all cylinders and well rested.

CovCath has had a great season and are improved since their last trip to Johnson Central. Getting a signature win against the Golden Eagles on Friday could provide huge momentum.

Here is a look at Week 12’s playoff action in Northern Kentucky’s Class 4A:

(All games played Friday, November 9th - @7:30 p.m.)

#2 Ashland Blazer (9-2) at #1 Highlands (10-1) - It was smooth sailing for Highlands in their Round 1 dismantling of Boyd County. They raced out to a 21-0 first-quarter lead and never looked back. The Bluebirds have now scored 50 or more points in all but two games and have only allowed late-game scoring to most of their opponents. They remain a heavy favorite to win a fifth straight title and another Class 4A Crown.

Junior Zach Harris is playoff tested and posted monster numbers in limited action this season. The running back has averaged nearly two scores per game and will finish with well over 1,000 yards on the ground. Senior Luke Turner leads the team with seven touchdown receptions. Highlands possesses some great speed in his linebacker corps and in its secondary. Quentin Murray and Blake Schutte are among the many playmakers on that side of the ball.

If the Tomcats are going to any chance of an upset they will need to keep the chains moving with running back Quentin Baker and a clock control offense. Junior Aaron Elam picked up 137 yards and scored two touchdowns on the ground and passed for another score in Ashland Blazer’s win over Holmes in Week 11. The last time these two teams met in 2008, Highlands won 53-6 at David Cecil Memorial Stadium.

#2 Covington Catholic (8-3) at #1 Johnson Central (9-2) - The Colonels rolled to a 67-3 win their first-round matchup against Rowan County, but will face a much stiffer test this time around as they make the long trip to Johnson Central. CovCath has seen its season come to end versus the Golden Eagles on the road in three of their last four years and have not beaten Johnson Central since 2006, a year in which they would go to a win a state championship. While many local fans have been clamoring for a potential Highlands-CovCath rematch next week, those close to the program know all too well the Colonels have a major hurdle to clear first.

Senior wide receiver Ethan Egbers set the school’s new single-season record for TD receptions (12) by coming up with three receiving touchdowns last week. He is just one of many talented playmakers quarterback Blake Bir has to throw the ball too. CovCath has gotten a big boost in the ground game with Luke Bir, who has rushed for 471 yards and six scores on just 58 attempts for an astounding 8.1 yards per carry. Linebacker Sam Burchell leads a loaded defense with 79 total tackles and two fumble recoveries.

Johnson Central bounced back from a regular-season ending loss to Belfry by stomping Harrison County 68-14 in Week 11. The Golden Eagles put up 45.6 points per game on the scoreboard and will challenge the CovCath defense. They are tough at home too, the team has only lost three games there total since the start of 2010 season.

Dan Clasgens is a co-founder of TSF and serves as the President/Director of Media & Content for our parent company, GetSports Enterprises LLC. In addition to nearly a decade of experience in covering local high school football, Dan is a widely recognized as a fantasy football guru. He is both a local and national radio personality, including hosting a weekly show on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio.  If you are interested in covering your team, please CONTACT US.