Friday, October 08, 1999

Northern Ky. football picks

By Neil Schmidt


Beechwood (5-1) at Bellevue (6-0)
        • WHEN: 7:30 p.m. today

        • WHERE: Gilligan Stadium, on Berry Street, Bellevue

        • WHAT TO WATCH: Mike Yeagle has known no equal. In his nine-season reign, his Beechwood Tigers have ruled the local Class A district with an iron fist.

        Bellevue — which reached six Class A state title games from 1976-90, winning twice — hasn't beaten Beechwood since a 28-6 victory in the 1990 state quarterfinals. That was Bernie Barre's last game as Beechwood coach; Yeagle took over and has gone 108-11, never losing to Bellevue.

        “We've said all year we want to get to this position to play this kind of a game,” Bellevue coach Charlie Coleman said. “It's a real honor for us, but it's old hat for Beechwood.”

        Said Yeagle: “This is a huge game, no question. We figured Bellevue would be a great football team this year, and they are.”

        These teams rank 1-2 in Northern Kentucky defensively; Beechwood allows just 134 yards per game and Bellevue just 137.6.

        Each also offers an explosive offense. Beechwood mixes the run and pass — highlighting super senior Ben List both ways — behind a massive offensive line. Bellevue has steady quarterback Nate Berkley and the two-headed rushing attack of James Delaney and Chad Montgomery.

        • PICK: Beechwood

Holmes (6-0) at Dixie Heights (5-1)
        • WHEN: 7:30 p.m. today

        • WHERE: Dixie Heights HS, 3010 Dixie Hwy., Crestview Hills

        • WHAT TO WATCH: Holmes is one of just 15 unbeaten teams in Kentucky — one of only four in Class AAA — but is the more unproven quantity here. It hasn't played anyone of Dixie Heights' caliber.

        Some experts feel the Colonels, ranked fourth in the Enquirer's coaches poll, are Northern Kentucky's best team. In the Courier-Journal's Litkenhous computer ratings, Dixie is 10th among all Kentucky schools — second locally only to top-ranked Highlands.

        Holmes will challenge with unsurpassed speed and a tricky, misdirection offense. Dixie prefers to pound it down the field, tossing in occassional bombs by senior QB Chris Unkraut (1,043 yards, 10 TDs).

        • PICK: Dixie Heights

Ryle (3-3) at Franklin Co. (6-0)
        • WHEN: 7:30 p.m. today

        • WHERE: Franklin Co. HS, 1100 E. Main St., Frankfort

        • WHAT TO WATCH: Don't believe the records. Believe the rankings. Franklin County is tied for 15th in the Class AAA state poll, and ranks 13th and 20th in AAA in the state's two computer ratings.

        Ryle is a AAAA team, and a good one. It has hit hard luck in a three-game losing streak, but should right itself tonight.

        • PICK: Ryle

Boone County (3-3) at Lex. Henry Clay (6-0)
        • WHEN: 7:30 p.m. today

        • WHERE: Henry Clay HS, 2100 Fontaine Rd., Lexington

        • WHAT TO WATCH: Boone County has won three consecutive games, but that streak dies tonight. Lexington Henry Clay is ranked No. 2 in the AAAA state poll and is the top-ranked AAAA team in both state computer ratings.

        • PICK: Lexington Henry Clay

Conner (2-3) at Cov. Catholic (2-4)
        • WHEN: 2 p.m. Saturday

        • WHERE: Covington Catholic HS, 1600 Dixie Hwy., Park Hills

        • WHAT TO WATCH: Covington Catholic in a must-win game in Week Seven? Believe it. Both these teams are in peril with 0-1 district records. This game might well determine the last of the local AAA district's four playoff berths.

        Coach Lynn Ray, 199-99 in 24 seasons at CovCath, should get career victory No. 200.

        • PICK: Covington Catholic

Other top games
        • Newport at Mason County: Newport cruises to 7-0. Pick: Newport.

        • Highlands at Scott: Highlands is No. 1 among all Kentucky schools in the Litkenhous computer ratings. Pick: Highlands.

        • Dayton at Ludlow: This game might well decide a Class A playoff berth. Pick: Ludlow.

        • Simon Kenton at Lexington Bryan Station: Bryan Station is ranked No. 7 in AAAA. Pick: Bryan Station.

        • Holy Cross vs. Newport Central Catholic at Newport: NewCath (1-5) goes for its second straight victory. Pick: NewCath.

        Last week: 7-2. Season: 45-15


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Cincinnati football picks
- Northern Ky. football picks
Enquirer polls
Ohio football polls
This week's football schedule