It’s basically an exhibition week in Kentucky. Playoff pairings are set, and Week 10 acts essentially as a tune-up for the postseason, which begins next Friday.
Indiana is the complete opposite, as our last four remaining area teams play in sectional semifinals with two of the top teams in the southeast part of the state – Franklin County at East Central – facing off against each other.
Here are the Best Bets for Week 10 of prep football in Northern Kentucky and Indiana:
Franklin County (7-3) at East Central (8-2), 7 p.m. – Franklin County has scored at least 20 points in every game this season and is averaging 35.6 points per game. East Central has excelled on defense, holding opponents to 15.9 points per game. The Trojans won by 20 when these teams met on Sept. 9 and hold a 29-8 edge the past 30 years in this rivalry. They are also coming off a semistate title last season.
Greensburg (7-3) at Rushville (4-6), 7 p.m. – Greensburg has to be considered a big favorite after shutting out Rushville, 28-0 two weeks ago. The Pirates have won five of their last six. The Lions lost their first four but are 4-2 since. The series is nearly even the past three decades, with Greensburg holding a 15-14 edge in that span.
Lawrenceburg (9-1) at Indian Creek (4-6), 7 p.m. – Lawrenceburg has pulverized its last three opponents, 198-18. The Tigers’ lone loss was at Franklin County in Week 4. Indian Creek has rolled up the points recently, scoring 47.4 points in its last five games. These teams did play earlier this season, with Lawrenceburg coming out ahead, 42-21, but that was in Week 0. These teams have only met five times since 1987, with the Braves winning three.
Beechwood (8-1) at Newport Central Catholic (5-4), 7 p.m. – A great annual finale to the season for both teams. Beechwood blew through its district schedule, outscoring its opponents, 153-19. The Tigers’ only loss this season was at CovCath in Week 3. As usual, NewCath started 2-4 before winning its last three. The Thoroughbreds only allowed 32 points in their three district wins. Beechwood has beaten NewCath two seasons in a row with the Thoroughbreds’ last win in this series coming in 2013.
Dixie Heights (5-4) at Ryle (9-0), 7:30 p.m. – Dixie Heights has played a brutal schedule, losing to Simon Kenton, Conner, Cooper and CovCath, and now faces its toughest test of the season. Jose Torres has rushed for over 1,200 yards and has scored half of the Colonels’ touchdowns. Ryle has been amazingly consistent on offense, scoring between 32 and 50 points in all nine of its games for an average of 39.6. Jake Chisholm is also having an outstanding year running the ball with 1,176 yards and 14 TDs. Tanner Morgan has thrown for 1,916 yards, and his top target – Bryce Ashley – has 51 catches for 718 yards and eight scores. The Raiders beat Dixie Heights last season but lost twice to the Colonels in 2014.
Scott County (7-2) at Covington Catholic (7-2), 7 p.m. – Scott County’s record has just two blemishes – a six-point loss to Elder and a bizarre forfeit vs. Lexington Lafayette over weather delay issues. Despite those setbacks, the Cardinals are averaging 56.8 points per game in their last four contests. Kendrick Hamilton is the team’s leading rusher with double-digit touchdowns. CovCath’s only in-state loss was to Ryle in Week 0, and the Colonels have won seven of eight, including five consecutive victories against in-state opponents. Casey McGinness is 95 rushing yards short of 1,000 for the season, and A.J. Mayer has thrown for 1,878 yards and 15 touchdowns.