It’s been over eight months since a Tri-State area football team has hit the gridiron, but that will change on Friday night at teams in both Kentucky and Indiana will hit the field for the first time this season for game action.
Friday night is filled with some great matchups right out of the gate to quench local fans craving for some good pigskin action.
Here’s a quick look at some of the area’s top games for Week 0:
Complete schedule at wcpo.com/scores .
Ryle at Cooper - 7:30 p.m. - Two of Northern Kentucky’s top QB’s face off in this one. Cooper’s Tyler Morris is the reigning Class 5, District 5 Player of the Year. Ryle signal-caller, Nathan Davis was knocking on the door of an 1,000 yard passing and rushing campaign as a junior - falling just 74 yards short of 1,000 throwing the ball. Ryle head coach, Bryson Warner and his team will take on anybody during the regular season to help them get ready for the post-season. The Raiders will take on Colerain, Henry Clay, Columbus DeSales and Highlands during the non-conference portion of their schedule. Cooper has relied on defense to push their young program to the next level. The Ryle offense will push them to the brink on Friday night.
Boyle County at Highlands - 7:30 p.m. – Highlands and Boyle County has turned in to quite a rivalry over the years and that only intensified with the Bluebirds drop to Class 4A a year ago. The defending Class 4A champs have a chance to break a tie with Boyle County if they can win their sixth straight title. The two teams are tied at five consecutive championships entering the year, a Kentucky record. Highlands will turn their offense over to Donovan McCoy, who lined up mostly at receiver as a junior. He will have a deep stable of receivers to throw to led by Jac Collinsworth. With junior Zach Harris and the running game keeping the Rebels honest, the Bluebirds should be able to put points on the board. The two could meet again in the state semi-finals, so this could be a good playoff preview.
Bellevue at Walton-Verona - 7:30 p.m. – The 2012 US Marines Backyard Battle Series kicks off with a dandy small-school tilt between the Tigers and Bearcats. Injuries plagued Bellevue a year ago. The Tigers underclassmen showed signs of brilliance but few managed to put together a full season of consistency. Big things are expected for Bellevue and a win over Walton-Verona is only going to boost confidence. Walton-Verona has learned how to win. The Bearcats enter their fifth year of existence having won eight times in each of the last two seasons. Finding capable replacements to replace over 5,000 yards rushing out of the backfield that Walton-Verona graduated is one of head coach, Jeff Barth’s biggest concerns in 2012.
Campbell County vs. CovCath (at Dixie Heights) – 6 p.m. - Two of Northern Kentucky’s top quarterbacks face off in the first of a two-game Crosstown Showdown double header at Dixie Heights. Covington Cath’s Blake Bir is the only QB in the Tri-state with at least 50 touchdown passes at the varsity level. Campbell County’s Tyler Durham ran for or 1,471 yards and 15 touchdowns while averaging 5.6 yards per carry on his way to Class 6A, District 6 Player of the Year. The Camels will need someone to step up and take the pressure off Durham as other teams key in on him. CovCath went 10-3 in 2011 with two losses to district foe and state champion, Highlands. Head coach Dave Wirth feels like this squad has the talent on defense to stop the Bluebirds and take the Colonels back to the title game.
NewCath at Dixie Heights - 8 p.m. – The second game of the night at Ricemount Joy Stadium has the home Colonels squaring off against the Thoroughbreds. NewCath has all the tools to win the Class 2A state title. This will be the first of three games in 15 days for NCC. The Thoroughbreds are no strangers to the end zone under head coach Eddie Eviston with 145 total touchdowns (109 rushing) in 28 contests during his tenure. Running back Dylan Hayes has found the end zone 27 times during that span. Look for a re-energized Dixie Heights squad under new head coach Dave Brossart as the Colonels look to bounce back after a season they would just as soon forget. When the smoke clears look for an experienced NewCath defense to be the difference against a young and “green” Dixie Heights offense.
Lawrenceburg at South Dearborn -7 p.m. - For the second straight season Lawrenceburg and South Dearborn will square off twice. The opener is a non-conference game and they will face in each other again in October which will be a league game. The teams split last year as Lawrenceburg won the opener at home and South Dearborn took the conference game. Lawrenceburg head coach Ryan Knigga feels he has a team that could do some damage come November in the Class 2A state playoffs. The Tigers are led by senior running back Chad Banschbach, the reigning TSF Indiana Offensive Player of the Year. Last season’s seven wins were the most by a South Dearborn