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Ludlow star Newborn rushes for school-record 345 yards, five touchdowns in victory at Bellevue

By Don Owen
NKyTribune sports editor

Braxton Newborn became the first player in Northern Kentucky to eclipse 1,000 yards rushing this season during Ludlow’s 54-8 win at Bellevue on Friday night.

And the Ludlow junior running back surpassed the mark in record-breaking fashion.

Ludlow’s Braxton Newborn has rushed for 1,191 yards this season.

Newborn rushed for a school-record 345 yards on just nine carries — five of those for touchdowns. He sprinted for touchdown runs of 97 and 94 yards as the Panthers rolled up 501 yards of total offense.

The all-time Kentucky record for rushing yards in a single game is 584, set by J.J. Jude of Johnson Central against Woodford County on Oct. 15, 2010. Locally, Ryle’s Jake Chisholm churned out 449 yards on the ground against Simon Kenton on Oct. 20, 2017.

Newborn leads the state in rushing yardage (1,191 yards) and is No. 2 in touchdowns (17). The versatile junior is also the top defender for the Panthers with a team-best 58 tackles.

“Bray has been a big part on both sides of the ball for us this year.” Ludlow head coach Greg Taphouse said of Newborn. “He has led the charge on offense and makes plays on defense. He has come along way this offseason and has stepped into a leaders role this season.”

A year ago, Newborn rushed for 784 yards and 10 touchdowns in the high-powered Ludlow offense. The Panthers featured a pair of 1,000-yard rushers last season — seniors Cody Kramer and Ian Vallandingham — and posted an 8-4 record.

Having graduated both Kramer and Vallandingham, Taphouse has turned to Newborn as the Ludlow go-to player this season.

Greg Taphouse

“He was voted team captain by his teammates and he has rose to the challenge,” Taphouse said. “He works to improve each week and strives to be successful in everything he does.”

Ludlow owns a 2-4 record and plays host to Dayton (5-1) in a Class 1A district showdown Friday night. A year ago, the Panthers outlasted the Greendevils in an offensive shootout by a 54-46 score at Dayton.

In that Ludlow victory a year ago, Vallandingham rushed for 251 yards and five touchdowns. He also passed for 101 yards and a pair of scores.

Dayton, which was ranked No. 7 in the Class 1A state poll last week, is looking to bounce back from a 34-6 loss to No. 3 Newport Central Catholic. The Greendevils — off to the best start in program history going into that game — fell behind 20-0 and were unable to rally against the unbeaten Thoroughbreds (5-0).

Trey Matthews rushed for 68 yards on 21 carries to lead Dayton. Matthews also scored on an 8-yard run late in the third quarter to cut the NewCath lead to 20-6. The Thoroughbreds, however, sealed the victory with a pair of scoring runs from Joey Runyon in the fourth quarter.

NewCath held Dayton to 150 yards of total offense to win the battle of unbeaten teams. The Thoroughbreds finished with a 16-8 advantage in first downs as Runyon rushed for 100 yards on 14 carries.

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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