Best Bets in NKY/Indiana football this weekend

Posted at 5:05 AM, Sep 18, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-18 05:05:16-04

District play starts for some Northern Kentucky teams while arguably the top two teams in Southeastern Indiana face off in a non-conference showdown.

Here is a look at the Best Bets for NKY/Indiana for Week 4:

Cooper (3-1) at Simon Kenton (4-0) – The premier matchup in Northern Kentucky features two of the only three area Class 5A and 6A teams with winning records. Cooper has scored an average of 35.7 points in its wins and zero in its loss, allowing 6.7 in victories and 36 in its defeat. QB Nathan Brown has thrown for 497 yards and RB Torey Cordell-Armstrong has rushed for 324, but the Jaguars’ defense has been a key reason for their success, They are allowing just 112 yards per game and have nine interceptions with Dante Hendrix, Chad Michels and Seth Keller recording two each. But the Cooper defense will have to contend with Simon Kenton’s offense that is scoring 50.3 points per game. Dillon Powell has rushed for 750 yards and is averaging 8 yards per carry, and QB Cameron Racke is 41 of 66 for 513 yards and five TDs. The Pioneers are piling up 479 yards per game.

Conner (2-1) at Dixie Heights (0-3) – After getting obliterated by Simon Kenton two weeks ago, Conner bounced back with a one-point win over Scott last Friday. QB Kyler Padgett has been the Cougars’ only legitimate running threat, having gained 224 yards and scored five touchdowns, and he is 30-for-65 passing for 418 yards, three TDs and no picks. Dixie Heights has lost all of its games by at least 14 points and is still in recovery mode from its massive graduations at key positions. The Colonels must tighten up their defense, as they are allowing 41 points per game.

Louisville St. Xavier (2-1) at Highlands (1-3) – After a 2-0 start, St. Xavier was stunned by Central last week, 20-17. QB Desmond Ridder has averaged 10.7 yards per carry, gaining 372 ground yards and scoring four TDs, but he has thrown four interceptions of 52 pass attempts. Teams are rolling up 206 passing yards per game vs. the Tigers. Speaking of picks, Highlands’ quarterbacks have thrown six already this year. RB Nick Kendall is having a solid year for the Bluebirds, rushing 56 times for 352 yards and five scores. The Bluebirds are allowing 421 yards and 38.5 points per game, so expect a high-scoring affair.

Scott (3-1) at Holy Cross (2-1) – Scott was tripped up by Conner last week, losing by one after winning its first three games. RB Roberto London has scored six touchdowns and a pair of two-point conversions, leading the team with 295 ground yards. QB Danny Fitzgerald is 31 of 46 passing for a 67.4 percent clip, throwing for 385 yards. After a miserable 1-10 campaign last year, Holy Cross won its first two games before falling to Taft last week. The Indians’ games have been decided by an average of eight points, so they are used to playing in close games. Holy Cross has three 200-yard rushers – Scott Hamilton (339), Xavier Abernathy (225) and Derrick Barnes (200).

Covington Catholic (0-4) at Beechwood (3-0) – The records would indicate this shouldn’t be much of a contest, but CovCath is still 4A and Beechwood 1A. After scoring 28 points in their opener, the Colonels’ offense has dried up, as they have scored just 28 more since in their last three games. QB A.J. Mayer has thrown 96 passes already in his first season under center, necessitated by CovCath falling behind frequently. He has completed 38 for 483 yards, three TDs and three picks. The Colonels are also uncharacteristically allowing 415 yards per game – 214 on the ground and 201 in the air. Even though it’s the fifth week of football in Kentucky, this will be Beechwood’s home opener. The Tigers haven’t had any trouble scoring, as they are piling up 43.7 points per game. RB Ethan Stringer has 66 carries for 478 yards and five touchdowns, and QB Kyle Fieger has thrown the ball just 36 times, but he has 26 completions for 511 yards, seven touchdowns and one interception. If this were the NFL, he would have a maximum passer rating.

East Central (3-1) at Batesville (4-0) – East Central has won by margins of three, one and eight points, so it is used to winning close games. Its only loss was by 23 vs. La Salle. Batesville has played in four blowouts, winning all of its games by at least 20. This is the third straight 4-0 start for the Bulldogs, but last season the Trojans handed them their first loss. East Central has won 24 of the last 30 meetings between these teams.