Best Bets: Week 5

St. Xavier head coach Steve Specht (photo by Greg Shoemaker/

As we make our way to the halfway point in the regular season, it’s hard not to be excited about what we have seen and what is to come. Most teams are playing their full schedule with fans in the stands, and there are teams in the Tri-state area that appear to be true championship contenders. 

As Week 5 approaches, teams will look to start playing their best ball and get better against the gauntlet that is conference play. Here are the battles to look out for in this week’s edition of the Best Bets.

GCL South play kicks off with an epic showdown that will take place at Nippert Stadium. The Bombers are on a different level than the competition. They have outscored their opponents 163-31 and have had three consecutive contests of a running clock post halftime. They dominate the line of scrimmage, create turnovers, and don’t turn the ball over. 

Signal caller Brogan McCaughey has accounted for 10 touchdowns without one giveaway. Simply put, we might start talking about this team being historically good sooner rather than later. 

Meanwhile, the Crusaders are now 4-0 for the first time since 2014 and are playing their best ball of the season. A balanced attack has led the way, tallying over 200 passing yards and 100 rushing yards in every game so far this year. Last week, Sophomore quarterback Van George started in place of Noah Gasselbracht and threw for 368 yards and scored four touchdowns. 

Although one major cause for concern for Moeller is the penalties. Over the past two games, the Crusaders have been flagged 19 times for 200 yards. They also aren’t great defensively against the run or pass. For Moeller to have any chance at winning this game, they must tighten up and play disciplined and not turn the ball over. The Crusaders look to be in good hands with head coach Mark Elder and will be a tough out come playoff time, but this Bomber team will likely be too much to handle in this contest.

Two undefeated CHL teams will battle for the top spot in the conference. Another year and more of the same from the Cowboys, they come into Week 5 undefeated and one of the best teams in the entire Division IV bracket. 

They are carried yet again by the defense, as they have allowed only 10 combined points over the last three weeks. Offensively they have a superstar in C.J. Hester, who already has multiple 200-yard games and 11 touchdowns. This is a team that plays physical, disciplined football week in and week out. 

The Blue Devils are on pace for their first winning season in four years. They haven’t won their first four games of the season since 2015. Just like the Cowboys, Reading allowed less than ten points in three games and just over 20 in a close win. 

They are loaded with senior leadership on offense. Quarterback Joel Stoeinkoening leads the conference with 802 passing yards. Running back Caden Conner is third in the conference in rushing yards with 363 and wideout Casey Hinton is second in the league with 300 receiving yards. The Blue Devils have a future superstar that is emerging now in freshman Dickie Engal. He ranks third in the conference with 45 tackles and leads the league with four sacks.

Overall, both teams are well coached and have game breakers on both sides of the ball. Although in this game it’s hard not to trust the team that has been there and done that. The Cowboys have been doing this for years now and win these games regularly. This will be an excellent matchup for the Blue Devils, and they will be a problem come playoff time, we will see if the little brother has enough bite to beat the big brother this week.

This contest  will feature two 3-1 Northern Kentucky teams that are playing some excellent football this year. 

After a very close 21-24 loss against Lexington Catholic, the Raiders have been on a rampage since, outscoring their last three opponents 103-21. They have been carried by a stout defense that plays well against the run and pass. Offensively they have been sporadic, but have the talent to explode for 30 plus points at any time. 

The Bluebirds are coming off a tough loss to McNicholas 27-21. The stat sheet would say Highlands outplayed the Rockets, as they had more rushing yards, passing yards, and won the time of possession battle. Although a costly turnover gave the Rockets the advantage and they ultimately prevailed in the highly-contested matchup. Regardless, Highlands still has a high-powered offense led by Charlie Noon. They have scored 21 or more in every game this season. Although the defense has been shaky at times, allowing outputs of 38 and 27 in two of their past three games.

Ryle comes in with all of the momentum while being one of the hottest teams in Northern Kentucky. The biggest question is how will Highlands bounce back from a tough first loss of the season? Get ready for a good one on Friday night.

After a tough Week 1 loss to East Central, the Tigers have righted the ship and are rolling. They have outscored their last three opponents 137-45 and have gotten back to their balanced approach. Senior quarterback Garret Yoon continues to put up excellent numbers, and the experience of this team should have them deep in the playoffs yet again. 

Franklin County has an eerily similar resume to the Tigers, as they were also throttled by East Central last week. They have some jaw dropping wins that include 74-7 and 54-0. Although this defense is much more vulnerable than Lawrenceburg as they gave up 34 to New Castle in Week 1. 

It is safe to say that Franklin County takes care of business, often in a big way against inferior opponents but doesn’t have that next gear for the high-level foes. This game should be close through the first half. But expect the experience and talent of the Tigers to take over in this game. 

Make sure to check out the COMPLETE PREVIEW for this week’s featured game on the Blitz 5 Tour, Covington Catholic at Beechwood.

Here are some other games for teams ranked inside the Blitz 5 Top 25:

No. 2 Lakota West at No. 12 Hamilton
Dupont Manual (KY) at No. 3 La Salle
No. 5 Elder at Louisville St. Xavier
No. 16 Fairfield at No. 6 Princeton
Oak Hills at No. 7 Colerain
Walnut Hills at No. 8 Kings
No. 9 Lakota East at No. 13 Mason
West Clermont at No. 10 Winton Woods
Middletown at No. 15 Sycamore
Little Miami at No. 17 Turpin
No. 19 Ross at No. 21 Badin (Saturday)
Roger Bacon at No. 22 McNicholas

No. 14 East Central at Batesville


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