Best Bets: Round 2 promises excitement

Beechwood QB Cam Hergott (photo by Greg Shoemaker/

What an exciting opening weekend it was for teams in Northern Kentucky as they began their postseason run. We saw a historic comeback, dominating performances from start to finish, and some new players making their name on the biggest stage. 

As we get ready for this week’s matchups, a few teams are playing their first game in weeks, for some a whole month. It will be interesting to see if they have the rest or rust factor, and there will be no room for error with the season on the line. Here are the showdowns to look forward to in another edition of our Best Bets.

Class 5A – Friday 7:00 PM

Two historic programs do battle with both teams coming off an impressive playoff win. These teams did meet in Week 6; a game the Colonels won 42-0. Highlands is at their best when running the football effectively, and that was visible in a big way in their first playoff win. From the start of the game they dominated Conner at the line of scrimmage, which gave quarterback Charlie Noon the ability to open up the passing game. The defense held strong as well giving up only 16 points. The Colonels got back to their winning ways after a tough last-second loss to Lexington Catholic in the regular-season finale. They looked like the team we saw in the middle of the season; dominating on defense and offensively letting their playmakers go to work. This matchup should run similar to the first meeting between these two. The Bluebirds just don’t have the firepower on defense to slow down the CovCath offense. The Bluebirds also won’t be able to generate the offense against a lights out defense. The Colonels should continue their dominance against Northern Kentucky opponents and advance to round three.

Class 2A – Friday 7:00 PM

This is a rematch of a Week 4 showdown that Beechwood won handily 49-0, overall both of these teams have had excellent seasons, although the Juggernauts just played a close game last week. Meanwhile, the Tigers haven’t played a game in a calendar month. Lloyd defeated Newport 20-13, and this team really thrives when their offense is scoring points. In their four wins this season they averaged 30 points per game, in their two losses that number deflated to 6.5 points per contest, again getting blown out by these same Tigers earlier. The biggest storyline will be the way Noel Rash’s team comes out. Not playing in so long could be a blessing or a curse. This team went 6-2 during the season and is currently on a 4 game win streak where they are dismantling teams. The Tigers have outscored opponents 169-14 over their last four games, and they have been led by superstar playmaker Cam Hergott and a stifling defense. All signs point to Beechwood winning big. The best chance for the Juggernauts is to come out quick and punch Beechwood in the mouth, which could shake their confidence and get them out of a rhythm. Although this Tigers’ team knows their history and have their eyes on a second state championship in three years. If there is any rust, don’t expect it for long.

Class 2A – Friday 7:00 PM

These teams played a defensive struggle in Week 4; a game the Bearcats won 14-6. Unfortunately, the Panthers have only played two other games this season since that meeting, with their last one being a month ago. They do have impressive wins against Dayton and Ludlow, but that was so long ago we don’t know what to expect from this team. Their offense was much better in their two wins with outputs of 48 and 32. The Bearcats have had an up-and-down year to say the least. After losing their first two games, they reeled off a four-game winning streak where they outscored opponents 142-28. Since then they are 2-2 with up and down performances. When the Bearcats lose, their offense completely goes to sleep; they scored under 10 points in three of their four losses. Three games leaves a lot of question marks into how good or the ladder Carroll County really is, although with the early season result between these two and experience on the Bearcats’ side, the favorite here is clear.

Class 1A – Friday 7:00 PM

After a month of the season, seeing this matchup pop up again would be a brush off. New Cath was 6-0, and defeated this same Ludlow team 59-21 in Week 4. Although the past few times we have seen the Thoroughbreds, they did not look like the same team. They lost their last two contests and were shut out in both games. Granted they played Beachwood and Holmes, two of the best teams Northern Kentucky has to offer. Although looking at New Cath’s wins early in the season, they were against inferior competition. This is not an indictment on Stephen Lickert’s team, but the results speak for themselves. They should be able to get on track against a Ludlow team that is 4-5 and have given up 20 points in eight of their nine games. The Panthers have shown flashes of good football, but have not been able to maintain any consistency. Expect the Thoroughbreds to right the ship this week and move forward in the playoffs with the swagger they had earlier in the season.

Make sure to check out the complete preview for this week’s Blitz 5 Game of the Week presented by TriStateFootball.comDIXIE HEIGHTS AT RYLE.

Here’s a look at all the complete KHSAA playoff brackets:

CLASS 6A (Bracket)

CLASS 5A (Bracket)

CLASS 4A (Bracket)

CLASS 3A (Bracket)

CLASS 2A (Bracket)

CLASS 1A (Bracket)

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