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Close games have been recurring theme when Cooper plays Conner in high school football

By Terry Boehmker
NKyTribune sports reporter

Cooper’s first varsity football game was a 57-0 lopsided loss to Conner in 2008. But the two teams have played each other 14 times since then and the final margin in 11 of those games has been eight points or less.

Those two Boone County public schools will continue their rivalry Thursday when Cooper visits Conner in a Class 5A district seeding game. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

Cooper quarterback Drew Warth

Conner won the last four games between the two teams and has a 10-5 advantage in the series. The final score last year was 27-20 and the margins in the three previous games were six, five and one point.

There’s a good chance that tight game trend will continue since both teams are off to a strong start this season. Conner has a 5-2 record with victories in its last four games. Cooper is 4-2 with the two losses coming in close games against Ryle (14-7) and Covington Catholic (31-24).

Both teams have senior quarterbacks running offenses that have gotten most of their yardage and touchdowns on the ground at this point in the season.

Conner’s leading rushers are junior running back Alijah Thompson (714 yards, 12 TDs) and senior quarterback Alex Castrucci (586 yards, 10 TDs). Last week, Castrucci scored on runs of 13 and 23 yards in the second half of the Cougars’ come-from-behind victory over Highlands.

Cooper quarterback Drew Warth has 837 yards passing and leaves the rushing to senior Brendon Tye and junior Eli White, who have a combined total of 1,152 yards and 18 touchdowns. White tied a Jaguars’ team record with six rushing touchdowns in a win over Madison (Ind.) last Friday.

Every match-up on this week’s high school football schedule is a district seeding game. One of them is Bellevue at Dayton, which will be the 146th meeting between the neighboring Class 1A schools. The game is billed as the “Battle for the Paddle” in reference to a traveling trophy between the two river city schools that was created in 2007.

High school football schedule

Cooper (4-2) at Conner (5-2), 7 p.m.
Ludlow (1-5) at Newport Central Catholic (4-2), 7 p.m.
Owen County (2-5) at Walton-Verona (4-3), 7:30 p.m.
Highlands (3-4) at Boone County (3-4), 7 p.m.
Brossart (7-0) at Bracken County (4-3), 7:30 p.m.
Ryle (4-2) at Campbell County (1-5), 7 p.m.
Bellevue (1-5) at Dayton (3-3), 7 p.m.
Boyd County (3-4) at Holmes (4-2), 7:30 p.m.
Beechwood (6-0) vs. Holy Cross (1-5) at Thomas More, 7 p.m.
Lloyd (2-4) at Newport (2-5), 7 p.m.
Dixie Heights (3-3) at Simon Kenton (1-5), 7 p.m.

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