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Last weekend Class 1A Beechwood (5-0) caught everyone’s attention by putting up 62 points in their victory over 6A Dixie Heights. It was an impressive showing by the boys from Fort Mitchell over their Crestview Hills rival. This week they head down the hill to face another rival, Bellevue in their district opener. Bellevue hasn’t beaten Beechwood since 2005. They have lost eight in a row by an average score of 47-8. This Friday’s matchup will take a herculean effort from the home team.
Beechwood is looking like it has state championship pedigree. Bellevue is just trying to stay healthy. No matter how bleak things may look for Tigers head coach Mike Croley a Gilligan Field crowd will energize his squad. They are going to be up for the challenge whether or not they have the depth to be the last man standing remains to be seen.
BEECHWOOD TIGERS (5-1) at BELLEVUE TIGERS (3-3)
Site: Bellevue Civic Stadium, Gilligan Field
Kickoff: 7:00 P.M.
LISTEN LIVE - Game streamed on TriStateFootball.com
PLAYERS TO WATCH: When it is all said and done Cameron Vocke will go down as one of the greatest players to ever lace ‘em up for Beechwood. The senior is capping off a wonderful career with 1,426 all-purpose yards and 13 rushing touchdowns this season. He has 490 yards on the ground and 10 total touchdowns in four games against Bellevue. Jordan Fogelman has been one of Northern Kentucky’s most pleasant surprises. The Bellevue senior is averaging 106 yards per game rushing with a team-high six touchdowns.
TEAM TRENDS: The combined record of Bellevue’s last three opponents (including Beechwood) is 16-2. The Tigers have scored just 14 points in their last eight quarters after averaging 26 points per contest while jumping out to a 3-1 start. Beechwood has scored at least 62 points in three of the last four weeks. They are averaging 55.5 points during that span and 45.5 on the year.
BEECHWOOD’S KEYS TO VICTORY: The Tigers ability to strike first, fast and often could knockout Bellevue early in this on. Forcing their opponent to play catch up will allow head coach Noel Rash to unleash his defensive line. Their pressure causes one of the game’s biggest mismatches if they can get to this point. Beechwood has so many weapons on offense that keeping fresh legs on the field should eventually wear down their not so deep opponent.
BELLEVUE’S KEYS TO VICTORY: Staying in this game will take incredible discipline by the Tigers offense. They will need to take care of the football – no turnovers. Most importantly the line has to hold up and support the run game. Controlling the clock will play a major role in how long Bellevue stays close and churning up yards on the ground in priority one.
PREDICTION: BEECHWOOD 55, BELLEVUE 12
Greg is a co-founder of TSF and is now entering his ninth season as a Featured Analyst for the website. The Xavier University grad also serves as the Content Manager for the website and is widely considered one of the top high school football experts in the region. If you are interested in covering your team, please CONTACT US.