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Unbeaten NewCath plays host to Beechwood in showdown; Holmes jumps into Class 4A state poll

By Don Owen
NKyTribune sports editor

Both teams have wrapped up regular-season district titles. Both are also considered serious contenders for state championships in their respective classes.

That makes Friday’s 7 p.m. showdown between Beechwood and Newport Central Catholic at Newport Stadium even more interesting. Beechwood (5-2) is ranked No. 4 in the latest Class 2A state poll, while unbeaten NewCath (6-0) is No. 2 in the Class 1A state rankings.

Beechwood quarterback Cameron Hergott has passed for 1,487 yards and 13 touchdowns. (Photo by Dale Dawn)

Beechwood owns a three-game winning streak and has outscored the opposition 156-13 in those victories — all against district rivals. In last week’s 56-7 win at Newport, Beechwood quarterback Cameron Hergott tossed three touchdown passes and rushed for another score.

Hergott passed for 151 yards and added 100 yards on the ground in just seven carries. Mitchell Berger hauled in four receptions for 91 yards and two touchdowns for Beechwood.

For the season, Hergott has passed for 1,487 yards and 13 touchdowns. He also leads the Tigers in rushing with 444 yards on 63 carries and six touchdowns.

NewCath has been equally impressive during its 6-0 start that includes three consecutive district victories over Ludlow (59-21), Dayton (34-6) and Bellevue (42-7). Quarterback Malaki Herndon has passed for 601 yards and nine touchdowns, while Joey Runyon leads the ground game with 465 yards and seven touchdowns.

Herndon has rushed for six touchdowns and 214 yards. Quentin Meyer is NewCath’s top receiver with 16 catches for 239 yards and four touchdowns.

A year ago, NewCath pulled out a 17-14 win over Beechwood in Fort Mitchell. That victory by NewCath snapped a five-game losing streak in the series against Beechwood.

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

NewCath concludes the regular season on Nov. 6 by hosting Holmes, which is ranked No. 8 in the latest Class 4A state poll. The Bulldogs are 5-2 and have won four straight games, including a 50-25 triumph over Scott last week.

HOLMES GROUNDS OUT WIN: During that 50-25 victory over Scott, a trio of Holmes players rushed for at least 100 yards. Tayquan Calloway (159 yards), Quantez Calloway (121 yards) and Emauryon Arnold (101 yards) all eclipsed 100 yards on the ground for the Bulldogs.

Holmes finished with 404 rushing yards in the win over Scott. The Bulldogs play host to Bellevue this Friday night and meet NewCath on Nov. 6 in their regular-season finale.

NEWBORN LEADS STATE: Ludlow running back Braxton Newborn rushed for 151 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Panthers to a 22-12 win over Dayton last week.

Newborn leads the state in rushing with 1,342 yards (10.7 per carry) and his 20 touchdowns rank No. 2 in Kentucky. West Carter running back Leetavious Cline has scored 21 touchdowns this season.

Ludlow improved to 3-4 with the win over Dayton and clinched the No. 2 seed in the local Class 1A district standings. The Panthers meet Holy Cross on Friday night and finish regular-season play Nov. 6 at Gallatin County.

RYLE, COOPER MEET IN SHOWDOWN: Ryle, which wrapped up the Class 6A district No. 1 seed last week with a 42-15 win at Simon Kenton, plays host to Cooper on Friday night. Cooper (3-4) enters that game having won two straight, including a 48-21 victory at Highlands last week.

Jeremiah Lee rushed for 208 yards and a pair of touchdowns to ignite the Cooper win at Highlands. Eric Wright added 193 rushing yards and three touchdowns for the Jaguars, who finished with 401 yards on the ground in that Class 5A district battle.

Ryle is 4-3 and owns a three-game winning streak going into Friday night. The Raiders are ranked No. 9 in the Class 6A state poll. Ryle quarterback Bradyn Lyons passed for 344 yards and three touchdowns in the win over Simon Kenton.

Mathias Cusick led the Ryle ground attack with 141 yards on 14 carries.

A year ago, Ryle posted a 20-16 win at Cooper. The Raiders have won five straight in the series against the Jaguars. Cooper has not defeated Ryle since Oct. 9, 2015, when the Jaguars pulled out a 27-21 victory.

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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