Wednesday, October 20, 1999

Playoff scramble heats up in N.Ky.

Highlands, Bellevue lead qualifiers, but several spots open

Enquirer contributor

        The high school football playoff picture is starting to come into focus for Northern Kentucky teams.

        With two district games left, five teams are in: defending state Class AAA champion Highlands; undefeated Bellevue, Beechwood and Newport Central Catholic in Class A; and state No.6 Newport in Class AA.

        There are two battles elsewhere: Covington Catholic, Conner and Holmes for two spots in Class AAA; and Boone County, Simon Kenton and Ryle for two berths in AAAA.

        Bellevue coach Charlie Coleman talked playoffs with his team over lunch Tuesday.

        “What we've got to do is take care of business,” Coleman said. “It will drive you nuts if you think about the scenarios.”

        The Kentucky High School Athletic Association's tie-breaking formula includes head-to-head matchups and a point system based on non-district defeated opponents' record.

        Here is the situation in Northern Kentucky:

        • Class A: Saturday's game between Bellevue and NewCath at Newport Stadium effectively decides the district title, assuming Bellevue beats Dayton on Oct.29.

        The game didn't appear that important three weeks ago, but NewCath (3-5) has won all its district games.

        “Now it's huge for us and for NewCath,” Coleman said. “I think they played a good schedule; they're the best 3-5 team in the state.”

        A win by Beechwood over Ludlow on Friday assures the Tigers of no worse than third, and it would turn an Oct.29 match with NewCath into a battle for a first-round home game.

        Ludlow gets fourth place by upsetting Beechwood or beating Holy Cross on Oct.29.

        • Class AA: Newport is in, but an Oct.8 loss at Mason County dropped the Wildcats to second in the district behind Russell. If the Wildcats beat Bath County (3-5) on Friday and Russell next week, and if Mason County beats Fleming County and West Carter, there's a three-way tie for the title with Russell and Mason County.

        Then, Newport's win over Beechwood should give the Wildcats enough points in a three-way tie-breaker.

        • Class AAA: Dixie Heights is in if the Colonels beat Conner on Friday.

        CovCath and Conner make it by winning one of the last two games. Holmes has to beat Highlands Friday and Scott on Oct.29 to secure a berth. If Holmes loses to Highlands and beats Scott, either CovCath or Conner has to lose its last two games for the Bulldogs to make it.

        • Class AAAA: Lexington Henry Clay and Lexington Bryan Station are in. Boone County makes it with wins over Ryle and Simon Kenton or a split of the two.

        Ryle clinches a berth if: it beats Boone County and Campbell County; finishes in a three-way tie with Scott County and Simon Kenton, or has a two-way tie with Scott County. Simon Kenton's only shot is beating Campbell County and Boone County and finishing in a tie with Ryle.


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