Friday, November 26, 1999

Lawrence County (12-1) at Highlands (12-1)

        • WHEN: 7:30 p.m. today

        • WHERE: Highlands High School, 2400 Memorial Pkwy., Fort Thomas

        • WHAT TO WATCH: Records aren't kept for average margin of victory, but when Highlands' 15-0 superteam of last year outscored opponents by an average of 39.9 points, that was believed Kentucky's best ever.

        But here comes Lawrence County, winning by an average of 39.3 points. The Bulldogs have scored 731 points and are threatening Highlands' single-season mark of 801 points set last year.

        “We have a lot of respect for Lawrence County, because they are 30 points ahead of the (scoring) rate we had last year,” Highlands coach Dale Mueller said. “They have been drilling teams.”

        The Bulldogs scored 50 or more points in every regular-season game except their 18-16 loss to Inez Sheldon Clark. Their 12 victories have come by an average of 43 points.

        They run the option and are primarily a rushing team; sophomore Michael West has gained more than 2,500 yards. The one receiving threat is a good one: senior Gerad Parker's 4,668 career receiving yards are the second-highest total in national history.

        Highlands has enjoyed a surprising season from junior QB Gino Guidugli. He has completed 59 percent of his passes for 2,635 yards, 35 TDs and just nine interceptions.

        “I had a lot of confidence in Gino, but even as optimistic as I am, he has surprised even me,” Mueller said. “And I think he'll absolutely continue to improve.”

        Highlands' MVP is junior Brett Hamblen. He has caught 52 passes for 1,138 yards, has totaled 20 TDs and has intercepted 10 passes.

        The rushing threat is senior TB Brenden Zenni, who has rushed for 1,199 yards (7.3 avg.) and 21 TDs.

        Highlands, outscoring opponents by 30 points a game itself, should meet this challenge.

        • PICK: Highlands


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