Vaught's Views: Familiar foes for Title Town

November 29, 2004|LARRY VAUGHT

While Title Town anticipates adding two more state championship trophies, northern Kentucky is again thinking about redemption.

Not long ago, northern Kentucky prided itself as being the class of Kentucky high school football.

Then Title Town took over.

Newport Central Catholic made it to the Class A title game in 2000 and 2001. Each time it lost to Danville. Last year Beechwood got its chance at Danville in the title game and lost 42-7.

Highlands' reign stopped when Boyle moved from Class AA to Class AAA in 2001. But that was supposed to change last year before the Rebels embarrassed Highlands' 44-10 in the championship game.

This year was supposed to at least be the year Highlands reclaimed its spot as state champion and both Newport Catholic and Beechwood figured Danville was vulnerable, too. Certainly that feeling only escalated when Highlands easily beat Boyle and Danville in September.


But guess what? Going into this weekend's state championship rematches, there shouldn't be anyone counting out the Title Town teams.

Danville gives Beechwood the rematch it wanted Friday at noon in Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. Boyle will let Highlands have a chance to prove that its regular-season win was no fluke when the two meet Saturday at 11:30 a.m.

Highlands made no secret of its objective this season.

"This is a team that has just been obsessed with getting in position to win a state championship," Highlands coach Dale Mueller said in August. He also noted at the time that Highlands did not have a "team weakness."

Highlands is good. The Bluebirds have kept six of 14 opponents from scoring, including Boyle. However, last week they had to return a fumble for a touchdown and recover a Bell County fumble in the end zone to win 15-10 in the state semifinals.

Boyle primed; Danville beat up

Boyle is primed for this game. Not only do the Rebels want to avenge the 21-0 regular-season loss to Highlands, but they also remember the nasty ending to last year's state title game when tempers flared. Plus, the Rebels are rolling. There's not a team in the state playing better offensively than Boyle.

Danville is not in as good of shape entering Friday's game. The Admirals have had four straight difficult playoff games and are going into the state title game a tired, bruised team.

Running back Kelvin Turner rushed for 163 yards and three touchdowns in last week's win over Mayfield despite not being close to full speed because of a strained hamstring.

Danville coach Sam Harp plans far less contact in practice than normal this week for his whole team because he's worried about the Admirals' physical status.

Beechwood lost its quarterback, top running back and three offensive linemen off last year's team, along with eight defensive starters. Still, it's offensive line has players weighing between 245 and 280 pounds, and the defense allowed only a fourth-quarter score in last week's 40-7 semifinal win over Pikeville.

The Durden Ratings favor the northern foes because Highlands is a two-point favorite and Beechwood a five-point favorite. However, in Title Town there's no way anyone can expect anything but another Title Town sweep.

Central Kentucky News Articles