NKY Round-Up: Playoffs kick off

After being delayed a week due to COVID-19, the KHSAA playoffs finally got started on Friday night. Four Northern Kentucky teams opted out of the playoffs and several others drew a bye, but there were still some fantastic opening-week matchups.

After falling behind 23-0 in the first quarter of Friday’s Class 6A playoff matchup, the Colonels fought back to pull off a thrilling 34-33 win over the Pioneers.

It was all Simon Kenton early on Chase Crone ran for a pair of touchdowns and threw for another on a 51-yard pass to Trey Little.

Dixie Heights stopped the bleeding in the second quarter and following TD runs by Logan Landers and Pierce Rohlman the Colonels only trailed by 10 points heading into the locker room.

The Pioneers pulled away again by scoring the first TD of the second half on a Jayden Lawson 5-yard TD run and following a 24-yard field goal by Nick Seger Simon Kenton once again opened up a 20-point lead.

From that point on it was Dixie Heights. Landers threw a pair of TD passes and he put the Colonels ahead for good with a 1-yard TD run with 5:31 left in the game. He finished the night with 282 yards and two touchdowns on 18-of-27 passing and 62 yards rushing on 14 carries.

Devin Holbert and Kel Hawkins each hit the century mark in the win and Rohlman finished with 101 yards and a TD on a team-high 16 carries for Dixie Heights.

The Colonels hit the road next Friday for a playoff tilt with Ryle.

After seeing their 22-game winning streak snapped their last time out, the Colonels started a brand new streak as they breezed by the Jaguars. For the sixth time in nine contests the CovCath defense held their opponent to a single score.

Both offenses were able to move the ball as the two teams combined for 673 yards, but the 14 points off of turnovers CovCath came up with were too much for Cooper to overcome.

Caleb Jacob completed 9-of-13 passes for 166 yards and added 87 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries to lead the charge. Reid Hummel, Brayde Collins, and Owen Nally each added a rushing score of their own in the win.

Jeremiah Lee was hard for CovCath to stop on the ground. The Cooper quarterback had a game-high 128 yards and a TD on 17 carries. However, he only completed 7-of-15 passes as was picked off twice in the loss.

Next up, the Colonels will welcome Highlands next Friday night.

The Bluebirds advanced by holding off the Cougars on the road. Highlands built a 20-0 halftime lead, but had to fight off Conner down the stretch to pull out the win.

Quarterback Charlie Noon got the scoring started with a 12-yard run midway through the first quarter. After the PAT was blocked the Bluebirds led 6-0. Noon would add a second score in the opening minutes of the second quarter to build the lead to 13.

Noon wrapped up the half with a 24-yard scoring strike to Clayton Lloyd with just 13.6 seconds left in the half.

The Cougars finally dented the scoreboard in the final minute of the third quarter when Colton Roy found the end zone from three yards out. Roy cut the lead to six with a second TD run from seven yards out with just over seven minutes left in the contest.

Noon extinguished any hopes of Conner completing the comeback when he ran for a third touchdown on a 56-yard run.

It was apparent early on that the Juggernauts were going to be able to move the ball on the ground and during the opening minutes of the game Amari Riley was the star of the show.

His 2-yard TD run in the opening minute of the second quarter out Lloyd up 6-0 (conversion failed). Kaiden Zulanger and Jeremiah Lyles each came up with a key fumble recovery for Lloyd on defense in the half.

One of those turnovers led to a 11-play, 73-yard scoring drive capped off by a 1-yard TD run by Jacob Davidson with less than a minute to go in the first half. Another failed conversion kept the score 12-0.

Newport came out of the locker room with purpose on offense and quickly scored with Ethan Jefferson hitting Kaleb Thompson on a 41-yard TD pass to cut the lead to 12-7.

MyKel King gave the Wildcats the lead with 11:17 left in the game a 20-yard run. Newport failed on its two-point conversion, but led 13-12.

Lloyd battled back though as Riley scored for a second time on a 8-yard run and added a two-point conversion as the Juggernauts advanced and will now face Beechwood next Friday night.

Here’s a look at the rest of area teams in action this week:

CLASS 6A (Bracket)
Bye: Ryle (District 6)
Opted Out: Campbell County

CLASS 5A (Bracket)
Scott County 63, Grant County 12

CLASS 4A (Bracket)
Boyd County at Holmes – Saturday 4:00 PM

CLASS 2A (Bracket)
Walton-Verona 41, Shawnee 18
Carroll County 46, Gallatin County 9
Bye: Beechwood (District 6)
Opted Out: Holy Cross

CLASS 1A (Bracket)
Ludlow 39, Dayton 20

Byes: Newport Central Catholic (District 5); Brossart (District 5);
Opted Out: Bellevue

Check out complete scores on The Underground Sports Shop Scoreboard.

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