A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

High school football teams will face familiar opponents in first round of new playoff format

By Terry Boehmker
NKyTribune sports reporter

Let the rematches begin.

Under the new playoff format for Kentucky high school football, teams that faced each other in district seeding games a few weeks ago will hook up again in first-round playoff games on Friday.

In nine of the 12 playoff games on the local schedule, the winning margins in the previous games were between 16 and 62 points. If the final scores in the rematch games on Friday are much closer, it will be surprising.

Conner coach Dave Trosper

The three playoff games that appear to be the most competitive are Holmes at Harrison County in Class 4A, Highlands at Conner in Class 5A and Dixie Heights at Ryle in Class 6A.

During the regular season, Holmes, Conner and Ryle won close games against those same opponents by margins of 1, 3 and 5 points.

Holmes will be hosting a playoff game for the first time since 2010 on Friday. After pulling out an 8-7 win over Harrison County on Oct. 18, the Bulldogs scored 103 points in their last two victories.

Holmes junior Tayquan Calloway scored seven of his team’s 14 touchdowns in those two games, including one on an interception return and one on a punt return.

Conner upset Highlands, 20-17, on Oct. 4. The Cougars trailed, 14-0, at halftime and mounted a successful comeback behind senior quarterback Jared Hicks, who directed four scoring drives in the second half.

In the final seconds of that game, Hicks threw a 20-yard touchdowns pass to Colton Roy to give Conner its first victory over Highlands since 1993.

Ryle edged Dixie Heights, 13-8, three weeks ago. Senior quarterback Keegan Stanken completed 11 of 16 passes for 150 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Raiders to the win.

Ryle and Dixie Heights both lost in the first round of the playoffs the last two years, so the winner of Friday’s game will have something to celebrate.

Friday’s district playoff games

Class 1A, District 4
Dayton at Newport Central Catholic, 7 p.m.
Bellevue at Ludlow, 7:30 p.m.
Class 1A, District 5
Paris at Brossart, 7:30 p.m.

Class 2A, District 5
Gallatin County at Walton-Verona, 7:30 p.m.
Class 2A, District 6
Holy Cross at Beechwood, 7:30 p.m.
Newport at Lloyd, 7 p.m.

Class 4A, District 6
Harrison County at Holmes, 7:30 p.m.
Rowan County at Scott, 7:30 p.m.

Class 5A, District 5
Cooper at Covington Catholic, 7 p.m.
Highlands at Conner, 7 p.m.

Class 6A, District 6
Campbell County at Simon Kenton, 7 p.m.
Dixie Heights at Ryle, 7 p.m.

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