Best Bets: Week 5 in Kentucky and Indiana high school football

Posted at 4:31 AM, Sep 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-23 04:31:56-04

Most teams begin the second halves of their seasons in Kentucky, while this is the two-thirds point of the regular season in Indiana.

The southeastern Indiana 3A division title is likely on the line in the Lawrenceburg-Batesville game.

Meanwhile, much of Northern Kentucky has its final tune-up before district play.

Here are the Best Bets for Week 5 of prep football in Northern Kentucky and Indiana:

Lawrenceburg (4-1) at Batesville (4-1), 7 p.m. – These teams met in the sectional round of the 2015 playoffs with Batesville prevailing, 29-17. Lawrenceburg won its first four games before dropping a 34-20 decision to Franklin County last week. The Tigers average 41.8 points per game. The Bulldogs also started 4-0 but lost to East Central on Friday, 35-14. They have won some tight contests – two by five points or fewer. Both teams are 1-0 in 3A, and Lawrenceburg holds the edge, 19-14 the past 30 years.

Cooper (3-2) at Lexington Catholic (1-4), 7:30 p.m. – It’s still weird seeing Cooper involved in such high-scoring games. The Jaguars are fourth in all of Class 6A with an average of 40.6 points, and they are allowing 30.8 points per game. Jaden Jackson has emerged as a serious threat on the ground for Cooper with 95 carries for 622 yards and seven touchdowns. Of course, there’s the Jared Lonaker-to-Dante Hendrix tandem, with Lonaker throwing for 1,412 yards and 13 scores and Hendrix catching seven of those TD passes and accounting for a team-best 487 receiving yards. LexCath has lost four straight but has played a tough schedule, falling to Louisville St. Xavier by 14, CovCath by one and Madison Central by 13. The Knights’ weakness has been defending the run.Their first three opponents gained 256, 326 and 417 yards on the ground.

Simon Kenton (5-0) at Highlands (1-4), 7 p.m. – Simon Kenton’s offense is rolling. The Pioneers are tied for second in Class 6A scoring at 43.8 points per game with an average margin of victory of 27.4 points. Hayden Fisher has emerged as Simon Kenton’s big-play threat in the passing game, having caught 13 passes for 333 yards (25.6 yards per completion) and five touchdowns, with the latter two team highs. Highlands opened the season with a 52-42 win over Cooper but has dropped its last four, albeit against a tough schedule. The Bluebirds are allowing 247.4 rushing yards per game. Offensively, Highlands has thrived with the Brady Gosney-Nick Veneman connection. Gosney is 86-136-1,059 with eight TDs and Veneman leads the team in catches (25), yards (489) and receiving scores (5).

Newport Central Catholic (2-3) at Conner (3-1), Saturday, 7 p.m. – Once again, NewCath has loaded up on larger-school opponents and faces a 6A team before starting district play. Kyle Kelly has been the Thoroughbreds’ offensive catalyst with 51 carries for 377 yards and four touchdowns. Conner’s average margin of victory is 37, and its only loss came to Simon Kenton by 12 on the road. Armand Jackson has scored seven rushing touchdowns for Conner, and Matt Simpson has 13 catches for 338 yards and five scores.

Beechwood (3-1) vs. Holy Cross (3-1) at CovCath, 7 p.m. – Beechwood played its first three games at home and won them all, allowing just 9.3 points per game, but the Tigers lost 44-10 at CovCath last week. Holy Cross has impressed thus far, with its loss coming to Taft by eight, and the Indians are allowing just 8.5 points per week. Derrick Barnes has emerged as Holy Cross’ main rushing threat with 42 carries for 421 yards and eight scores, so one of the biggest keys to the game will be if Beechwood is able to slow him down.

Dixie Heights (2-3) at Boone County (0-5), 7 p.m. – After a pair of wins to open 2016, Dixie Heights has lost its last two in blowout fashion on the road to Simon Kenton and Conner. Boone County has had a tough run the past few years but has not shied away from tough opponents, losing to Conner, Ryle and Lexington Catholic among others this season. The Rebels are averaging just 11.8 points per game..