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Ryle, Dixie Heights enter Class 6A district seeding game with impressive stats in different areas

By Terry Boehmker
NKyTribune sports reporter

Ryle has a defensive unit that’s allowed just 220.8 yards and 11.7 points per game. Dixie Heights has a balanced offensive attack that’s averaging 337 yards and 25.2 points per contest.

Those impressive statistics make the Class 6A district seeding game between the two teams games the most intriguing match-up on Friday’s high school football schedule. The fact that Dixie Heights eliminated Ryle in last year’s playoffs adds more spice to the showdown.

Dixie Heights quarterback Logan Landers has passed for 1,843 yards in seven games. (Photo by Dale Dawn)

In that playoff game, Dixie Heights quarterback Logan Landers completed 22 of 26 passes for 359 yards and five touchdowns in leading the Colonels to a 41-36 victory. His favorite receiver that night was Devin Holbert, who had 13 catches for 187 yards and four TDs.

They both returned this season and have played major roles in their team’s offensive success. In seven games, Landers has thrown for 1,843 yards and 13 touchdowns. Holbert ranks among the top receivers in the state with 59 catches for 923 yards and eight TDs.

Ryle’s defense has limited its first seven opponents to 129.5 passing yards per game. The Raiders have been even more effective at stopping the run, allowing just 91.2 yards. Takeaways have been a factor in those statistics. Ryle has eight pass interceptions and five fumble recoveries in seven games.

The Raiders’ leading tacklers are senior linebackers Gabe Savage (78) and Jackson Belk (72), who both have one fumble recovery. Senior defensive back Nathan Yowan has a team-high four interceptions, including one that he returned for a touchdown.

The other major matchup on Friday’s schedule is Covington Catholic at Highlands in a Class 5A district seeding game. CovCath has won the last seven meetings between the long-time rivals and Highlands hopes to end that run under new head coach Bob Sphire.

Last week, Highland snapped a four-game losing with a 41-0 win over Boone County. Sphire did not have junior Charlie Noon at quarterback in that game. He was replaced by sophomore Brody Benke, who threw touchdown passes to three different receivers.

CovCath had a bye last week after winning back-to-back games with sophomore Evan Pitzer at quarterback. He has completed 17 of 21 passes for 242 yards and two TDs. The Colonels have been using former quarterbacks Adam Holtz and Preston Agee as rushers and pass receivers in their offensive scheme.

Beechwood and Brossart will take perfect records into district games on the road Friday. Scott needs a win at Boyd County to remain on top in its Class 4A district standings.

High school football schedule

Ryle (5-2) at Dixie Heights (4-3), 7 p.m.
Covington Catholic (4-3) at Highlands (4-4), 7 p.m.
Beechwood (7-0) at Lloyd (2-5), 7 p.m.
Brossart (8-0) at Paris (3-5), 7:30 p.m.
Scott (5-2) at Boyd County (3-5), 7:30 p.m.
Campbell County (1-6) at Simon Kenton (1-6), 7 p.m.
Harrison County (2-6) at Holmes (5-2), 7:30 p.m.
Boone County (3-5) at Cooper (5-2), 7:30 p.m.
Newport (3-5) vs. Holy Cross (1-6) at Thomas More, 7 p.m.
Bellevue (1-6) at Ludlow (1-6), 7 p.m.
Dayton (4-3) at Newport Central Catholic (5-2), 7 p.m.
Walton-Verona (5-3) at Louisville Shawnee (2-6), 7:30 p.m.

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