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Don Owen: At the midway point, Kentucky prep football churning out big yards and great stories

Is this really the midway point of the season for prep football in Kentucky? Some teams have played four games. Meanwhile, other squads have two or three results going into Week 5 of high school football.

Because of the pandemic, it is hard to call anything the halfway mark for sports this fall. Instead, we need other numbers to help calculate what’s happening on the Kentucky gridirons — and where football really is at this point in 2020.

Campbell County ended Pikeville’s 17-game winning streak last Friday night in Alexandria. (Photo by Jeff McCurry)

2 – Campbell County evened it record at 2-2 a week ago by knocking off Class 1A powerhouse Pikeville by a 14-8 score in Alexandria. The Camels ended Pikeville’s 17-game winning streak and surpassed last season’s entire win total (1-10) in the process. Campbell County also owns a win over Cooper this season and one of the losses is a 17-14 heartbreaker against Oldham County.

10 – The number of rushing touchdowns scored by Ludlow’s Braxton Newborn this season. Newborn has gained 691 yards in four games for the Panthers and averages 172.8 yards per contest. Ludlow plays host to Newport Central Catholic in a Class 1A battle on Friday night.

19 – That’s how many consecutive games Covington Catholic has won entering its showdown on Oct. 16 with Highlands. The Colonels finished 15-0 last season en route to capturing the Class 5A state championship and currently own a 4-0 record. CovCath has a bye this week, with a district clash against Highlands the following Friday in Park Hills.

Since the beginning of the 2017 season, CovCath is 48-1 and has won a pair of state championships. The Colonels only loss during that period is a 20-16 setback against South Warren in the Class 5A state championship game on Dec. 2, 2018.

57 – Louisville Shawnee has lost 57 consecutive games dating back to the 2014 season. Shawnee’s last victory came on Sept. 12, 2014, when the Golden Eagles posted a 46-8 triumph over Fort Knox. Shawnee plays host to Gallatin County this Friday night.

Beechwood quarterback Cameron Hergott has passed for 915 yards and three touchdowns. (Photo by Dale Dawn)

915 – Beechwood quarterback Cameron Hergott has passed for 915 yards and three touchdowns during the opening four games. He has added another 289 yards and four scores on the ground.

0 — That’s how many points Louisville Central has allowed this season. The Yellow Jackets (2-0) own shutouts against Meade County (30-0) and Shelby County (44-0) in their two contests. Central plays at unbeaten Waggener (2-0) on Friday night. Waggener is averaging 41.5 points per game in its two wins.

1996 – That’s the last time a Dayton football team began a season 4-0 until this fall. The Greendevils improved to 4-0 with a 36-8 win at Trimble County last week as Trey Matthews rushed for 78 yards and two touchdowns. Landyn Hopper showed his versatility in that win by gaining 48 yards on the ground and adding 57 yards on three receptions. He also intercepted a pass as Dayton remained unbeaten.

Dayton plays at Class 1A rival Bellevue on Friday night. A year ago, the Greendevils and Tigers split two games, with the visitor winning each time.

425 – Highlands sophomore quarterback Charlie Noon has rushed for 425 yards and four touchdowns in four games. Noon has also passed for 279 yards and two touchdowns as the Bluebirds own a 2-2 record.

Highlands avenged a pair of 2019 losses to Conner with a convincing 36-0 win over the Cougars in Hebron last Saturday night. Noon passed for 169 yards and added another 90 yards on the ground to key the Bluebird attack.

1 – As in who is No. 1 in Lexington? That will be decided on Friday night when Class 2A powerhouse Lexington Christian visits 2019 Class 5A state runner-up Frederick Douglass. Lexington Christian (4-0) already owns victories against city rivals Lexington Catholic and Paul Laurence Dunbar this season. Frederick Douglass — which finished 14-1 last season, with the only loss against CovCath in the state title game — enters Friday with a 2-1 record. The Broncos’ only loss is a 19-17 decision against Class 6A power North Hardin.

NewCath quarterback Malaki Herndon scores a touchdown against Walton-Verona. (Photo by Dale Dawn)

23 – The number of consecutive wins Newport Central Catholic has recorded against crosstown rival Newport. The Thoroughbreds posted a 17-14 win over the Wildcats earlier this season to extend the streak to 23 in that series. Newport has not defeated NewCath since the 1999 season.

300 – The number of career wins that Johnson Central head coach Jim Matney has after his team defeated Clay County 49-6 last week. Matney is in his 17th season at Johnson Central and has built the Golden Eagles into a powerhouse in Class 4A, having gone to the state championship game in each of the last five seasons. Johnson Central captured last year’s Class 4A state title.

15 – The number it takes to lead the state in passing touchdowns as well as rushing touchdowns. Bardstown’s Brady Clark has completed just 43 passes, but 15 have gone for touchdowns as the undefeated Tigers are averaging 54.5 points per game. Leetavious Cline has 15 rushing touchdowns for a West Carter team that is off to a 4-0 start. Cline gained 927 yards in 12 games in 2019, but he has already rushed for 851 yards this season.

26 – As in the number of state championships won by Louisville Trinity, which ranks No. 1 all-time in Kentucky in that category. Trinity is currently 3-0 and appears destined to capture its fourth state championship in the past five years. Highlands is No. 2 all-time in Kentucky with 23 state championships.

6 – That’s how many teams will leave Lexington with state championships in December — assuming the pandemic doesn’t halt the postseason. Below are my picks for the six state titles. Check back in December and see if my picks were correct — two months in advance.

6A: Louisville Trinity

5A: Covington Catholic

4A: Boyle County

3A: Belfry

2A: Lexington Christian

1A: Pikeville

Campbell County knocked off defending Class 1A state champion Pikeville by a 14-8 score last Friday night in Alexandria. (Photo by Jeff McCurry)

Don Owen is sports editor of the Northern Kentucky Tribune. Contact him at don@nkytrib.com and follow him on Twitter at @dontribunesport.

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