Friday, November 12, 1999

Ky. underdogs out to even the score

Try to overcome earlier losses to playoff foes

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The mantra this week at Holmes, Newport Central Catholic and Ludlow has been simple: Everything to gain. Nothing to lose.

        Those football teams enter playoff games tonight as sizeable underdogs, facing teams which beat them in the regular season.

        “We don't really talk about revenge or anything,” Holmes coach John Vander Meer said. “We look at it as the second round of the playoffs. The kids are just excited to be in this position.”

        Holmes (8-3) travels to Dixie Heights (9-2), where it lost 35-13 on Oct. 8. NewCath (4-7) visits Bellevue; it lost 37-23 to the Tigers three weeks ago at Newport Stadium. And Ludlow (6-5) is at Beechwood (9-2), where it lost 62-0 three weeks ago.

        “We didn't give them our best shot,” Ludlow coach Tom Staley said. “Our motive is to go back there and show them we're a better team that that.”

        None of the underdogs thinks an upset impossible.

        “Our kids think they can play with Bellevue, and that's part of the battle,” NewCath coach Bob Schneider said. “I doubt if too many people think we'll win, so there's nothing to lose.”

        Losing earlier won't necessarily mandate changes.

        “I don't think we're going to change anything,” Vander Meer said. “We've run the option all year. We're not going to reinvent the wheel (tonight).”

        The only non-rematch game has Highlands (10-1) playing host to Harrison County (8-3). The Bluebirds had been expecting Covington Catholic.

        “All year long our players get excited to play CovCath in the playoffs,” Highlands coach Dale Mueller said. “That didn't work out this year, but we were able to refocus and get ready for Harrison County.”

        (All games 7:30 p.m.)

        CLASS A

        Newport CC (4-7) at Bellevue (11-0)

        Ludlow (6-5) at Beechwood (9-2)

        CLASS AAA

        Harrison Co. (8-3) at Highlands (10-1)

        Holmes (8-3) at Dixie Heights (9-2)


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