Unbeaten CovCath faces Indiana power Bishop Chatard; Ludlow, Simon Kenton also look to stay perfect

Several NKY schools begin district play this week
One of 3 unbeatens, CovCath faces a challenge
One of 3 unbeatens, CovCath faces a challenge
One of 3 unbeatens, CovCath faces a challenge
One of 3 unbeatens, CovCath faces a challenge
Posted at 7:00 AM, Oct 06, 2017

Class 5A No. 1 CovCath, Class 2A No. 7 Newport Central Catholic and Class 2A No. 9 Walton-Verona are back on the field after bye weeks, and several schools begin district play this week.

Check out these storylines for this week's matchups in Northern Kentucky high school football.

Class 5A No. 1 CovCath hosts Indiana Class 3A power Bishop Chatard

Indianapolis Bishop Chatard (3-4) at Covington Catholic (6-0), 7 p.m. Friday

The Colonels took a week off from their weekly drubbing of 2017 foes but are back on the field Friday to host Indiana power Indianapolis Bishop Chatard. The No. 7 team in the latest Associated Press Indiana Class 3A state poll is 3-4, but that schedule includes losses to Class 5A No. 1 Indianapolis Roncalli, Class 5A No. 5 Indianapolis Cathedral, Class 6A No. 3 Lawrence Central Cathedral and Ohio Division II No. 2 Winton Woods last week in a 28-27 final. The Trojans also have a 42-7 win over Columbus (Ohio) St. Francis DeSales, a team CovCath beat 35-7 Sept. 22.

CovCath, meanwhile, remained No. 1 in the Associated Press Kentucky Class 5A state poll through the bye week and have this final out-of-state test before settling in for a couple of weeks of district play. CovCath has scored at least 35 points in every game this season and has eclipsed 40 points four times while holding every foe to less than 20 points. Through six games, the Colonels have outscored foes by an average of 42-8.

Senior quarterback A.J. Mayer, a Miami University recruit, has completed 75 of 119 passes for 1,170 yards and 15 touchdowns with just one interception. Junior receiver Jack Coldiron has made 15 catches for 302 yards and four touchdowns while senior receiver Malachi Pike has added 15 catches for 219 yards and four touchdowns. Junior running back Casey McGinness has added 11 catches to go with 735 yards on 100 carries and eight rushing touchdowns. Mayer has scored six touchdowns on the ground.

The CovCath defense has allowed just 206 yards per game.

Class 6A No. 4 Simon Kenton visits Boone County

Simon Kenton (7-0) at Boone County (1-5), 7 p.m. Friday

Simon Kenton needed a furious rally to get past Highlands two weeks ago and slipped past Class 1A No. 2 Beechwood, 22-14, last week in a game the Pioneers weren't exactly happy with, so Simon Kenton could use a big-time thumping of Class 6A district rival Boone County this week on the road.

The Pioneers remained No. 4 in the latest Kentucky Class 6A state poll and are the highest-ranked local squad in the big-school rankings.

Senior quarterback Matt Shearer has completed 92 of 149 passes for 1,402 yards and 20 touchdowns with only two interceptions while adding 426 yards on 98 carries and nine more touchdowns on the ground. Sophomore running back Austin Hammack has added 582 yards on 79 carries with five touchdowns.

Senior receiver Sam Murray has 26 catches for 343 yards and five touchdowns and senior receiver Fisher Hayden has added 24 catches for 458 yards and nine touchdowns.

Boone County has lost three straight by a combined score of 140-7 since a 27-6 win at Holmes Sept. 8.

Ryle High's leading rusher, Jacob Chisholm. (Photo provided by Michael Noyes |

Class 6A No. 8 Ryle seeks bounce-back win at winless Cooper

Ryle (4-2) at Cooper (0-6), 7:30 p.m. Friday

Ryle was just short of a late game-tying touchdown last week in a 23-17 loss at home to Indiana Class 5A No. 5 Indianapolis Cathedral, but should be able to get well this week on the road at district rival Cooper.

Cooper still lacks a win seven weeks and six games into the season after a 36-20 loss at home to Dixie Heights last week.

Ryle's narrow loss last week snapped a four-game winning streak since a season-opening loss at Covington Catholic, and the Raiders fell one spot to No. 8 in this week's Class 6A state poll.

Look for senior running back Jake Chisholm to have another stellar performance against the Jags. Chisholm has amassed 1,009 yards on 130 carries and 14 touchdowns while adding 15 catches for 219 yards and two touchdown catches. Senior quarterback Easton Pilyer completed 44 of 83 passes for 532 yards and six touchdowns while adding 261 yards on 43 carries and a touchdown.

Ludlow's Justin Blackburn (Photo provided by

Class 1A No. 5 Ludlow continues offensive onslaught

Ludlow (6-0) at Dayton (1-5), 7 p.m. Friday

Ludlow remained unbeaten and ranked No. 5 in the Class 1A state poll after a 54-27 win over Bishop Brossart last week and should continue to rack up yards and points this week on the road at district foe Dayton.

Senior quarterback Justin Blackburn and company have amassed 2,198 yards on the ground this season while outscoring foes 277-155. Blackburn has 1,343 yards on 121 carries for a per-carry average better than 11 yards thus far in 2017 with 22 touchdowns. Those totals include 320 yards on 21 carries and seven touchdowns last week. He has completed 34 of 84 passes for 720 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Junior running back Sean Stratton has added 659 yards on 106 carries and four touchdowns while senior tight end Trey Donahue has made 10 catches for 201 yards and five touchdowns and sophomore Ian Vallandingham has added 12 catches for 289 yards and four touchdowns for Ludlow.

Dayton has lost two straight since a 17-0 win over Trimble County Sept. 15. Senior Seth Chinn leads Dayton with 545 yards on 69 carries with two touchdowns while completing 44 of 108 passes for 615 yards and four touchdowns.

Campbell County and Conner each seek fifth win

Campbell County (2-2) at Conner (4-2), 7 p.m. Friday

Conner has won two straight over Class 2A programs in Newport Central Catholic, the No. 7 team in that state poll, and Lloyd, and now the Cougars host Class 6A Campbell County. The Camels are coming off a 41-6 rout of Mount Healthy.

Each team could use a win heading into district play next week.

Senior running back Alex Dowds has carried 116 times for 891 yards and 13 touchdowns for the Camels this season, while senior quarterback Austin Hoeh has added 152 yards on 48 carries with four touchdowns. Hoeh has completed 87 of 142 passes for 1,154 yards and 11 touchdowns with three interceptions. Conner senior quarterback Cooper Gullion has completed 64 of 97 passes for 835 yards and eight touchdowns with only one interception this season.

Dixie Heights and Highlands open Class 5A district play

Dixie Heights (3-4) at Highlands (2-4), 7 p.m. Friday

Dixie Heights has won three straight since opening the season with four straight losses. Highlands, meanwhile, has lost four straight after a 2-0 start. Each program could use a win this week with mighty CovCath on the schedule next.

Highlands will visit the top-ranked CovCath Colonels next week while Dixie hosts CovCath Oct. 20 after its bye week.

Senior running back Brandon Barker has 477 yards on 90 carries and two touchdowns for Dixie while junior running back CJ Bensman has added 421 yards on 82 carries and four touchdowns.

Senior quarterback Carl Schoellman has completed 115 of 177 passes for 1,318 yards and 10 touchdowns with five interceptions this season for Highlands. His top targets have been seniors Nick Veneman and Jared Wogan. Veneman has made 29 catches for 377 yards and four touchdowns and Wogan has added 26 catches for 326 yards and three touchdowns.

Class 2A No. 9 Walton-Verona continues district play at Trimble County

Walton-Verona (4-2) at Trimble County (1-5), 7:30 p.m. Friday

Walton-Verona has shut out and blown out foes in each of its last three wins and this week should be no different at Trimble County. The Bearcats are coming off their bye week following a 61-0 rout of Owen County Sept. 22 in the district opener for both schools.

Walton-Verona's only losses this season have come to Class 2A No. 4 Lexington Christian and Class 1A No. 1 Kentucky Country Day.

Junior quarterback Garrett Jones has completed 27 of 61 passes for 383 yards and four touchdowns and the Bearcats feature five players with at least 100 yards rushing. Junior fullback Micah Alford has carried 60 times for 386 yards and eight touchdowns and senior running back Garet Talbott has added 348 yards on 40 carries and five touchdowns.

Trimble County has been shut out in four of its five losses, including a 40-0 loss last week at Carroll County.

Newport Central Catholic quarterback Kyle Kelly (Photo provided by

Class 2A No. 7 NewCath opens district play against Holy Cross

Newport Central Catholic (3-3) at Holy Cross (0-6), 1 p.m. Saturday

The Class 2A Thoroughbreds emerge from their bye week this week ranked No. 7 in the Class 2A state poll after a six-week adventure through a brutal schedule that included games against Class 6A foes and state No. 1s. Now NewCath sets its sights on three straight Class 2A district foes, beginning with winless Holy Cross.

Junior Kyle Kelly leads the Breds offense with 548 yards on 108 carries with three touchdowns. Sophomore quarterback Paul Kremer has completed 37 of 73 passes for 392 yards and seven touchdowns.