This week’s 9 On Your Sidelines matchup takes us to Scott High School where the Eagles are playing host to the Conner Cougars in a key Class 5A affair.
Post-season seeding is very much on the line and both teams have something to prove. This contest could come down to which team’s defense is able to make the most stops. Expect plenty of fireworks all night long as points promise to be put up on the scoreboard.
Kickoff: 7:00 p.m.
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PLAYERS TO WATCH: Conner quarterback Drew Barker is just 55 rushing yards away from a second consecutive 1,000 yard passing and 1,000 yard running season. The junior has 15 scoring tosses after throwing just three during the 2011 regular season. There may not be a more productive player in Northern Kentucky than, Cameron Fogle. The senior, has 1,390 all-purpose yards, 17 total touchdowns, 41 tackles, two interceptions while averaging 41. 5 yards per punt. Brandon Padgett, Brian Loney and Andrew Way have combined for 10 touchdown receptions. On defense Jacob Warwick, Ryan Romey, Nathan Ball, Landon Montgomery and Jared Kunkel lead the way.
Scott makes no bones about how they want to win the game on offense by running the football. Quarterback Ben Osborne, Josh Castleman, Reed Sparta, Nick Brinkman and Chris Roberts will all see their share of carries. Trevor Evans, Jacob Smith, Jordan Smith, Andrew Hicks, Castleman and Roberts will be called upon to slow down Conner for the Eagles’ defense.
TEAM TRENDS: All signs point to this being a shootout. The two schools are combining to produce over 70 points on offense. The defenses have combined to give up 55 points per game between them. Dating back to 1998 Conner is 10-0 versus Scott with an average margin of victory of 29.2. The Cougars are on a three-game winning streak. They haven’t won four in a row since starting the 2009 campaign 5-0. Scott hasn’t had a five-win season since 1990.
SCOTT’S KEYS TO VICTORY: The Eagles have to show that they can keep teams with winning records out of the end zone. Playing keep away with a ball control game plan on offense will keep Conner’s strength off the field. On defense, Scott needs to force some turnovers and give their offense a chance to score points on a short field.
CONNER’S KEYS TO VICTORY: By forcing the issue through their aerial attack the Cougars will be able to open up their run game. Keeping Scott off balance with a mixture of run and pass plays will benefit Conner as the game wears on. Hidden yards on special teams may come into play in a bigger fashion than their opponent may think.
PREDICTION: CONNER 42, SCOTT 24
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