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Simon Kenton visits unbeaten Russell in Friday showdown; Beechwood plays host to Dixie Heights

By Don Owen
NKyTribune sports editor

A week ago, Simon Kenton squared off against defending Class 4A state champion Johnson Central and dropped a 47-17 decision to the unbeaten Golden Eagles.

It gets no easier for the Pioneers on Friday night as they hit the road to meet unbeaten Russell (3-0) at 7:30 p.m. Simon Kenton is 2-1 and ranked No. 7 in the Kentucky Associated Press Class 6A state poll. Russell is ranked No. 6 in the Class 3A state poll.

Simon Kenton quarterback Chase Crone has passed for 587 yards and four touchdowns this season. A week ago against Johnson Central, Crone was 14-for-32 passing with 124 yards and a touchdown.

Jayden Lawson (left) leads the Simon Kenton rushing attack with 187 yards and three touchdowns. (Photo by Dale Dawn)

Jayden Lawson leads the Simon Kenton rushing attack with 187 yards and three touchdowns in the first three games. Lawson gained 46 yards on 11 carries last week against Johnson Central. The visiting Golden Eagles rushed for 493 yards to defeat Simon Kenton for the second straight year.

Russell features quarterback Charlie Jachimczuk, who has passed for 522 yards and seven touchdowns this season. Jachimczuk tossed three scoring passes last week during a 51-0 win at Fleming County. The Red Devils held Fleming County to 46 yards on the ground in that victory.

Running back Nathan Conley has gained 222 yards on the ground and scored five touchdowns for Russell, which posted a 9-3 record last season. The Red Devils lost twice to Ashland Blazer last year, including a 33-14 setback in the Class 3A playoffs.

NEIGHBORHOOD RIVALRY: Beechwood plays host to Dixie Heights at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Fort Mitchell. The Tigers are 2-1 and ranked No. 3 in the state Class 2A poll. Beechwood’s only loss was a 19-17 decision at Covington Catholic, which is the top-ranked team in the state Class 5A poll.

Dixie Heights (1-2) recorded its first win of the season last week with a 26-14 triumph against Madison Central. The Colonels’ two losses this season are to CovCath (21-14) and Corbin (26-22).

A year ago, Beechwood pulled out a 14-10 win at Dixie Heights. Cameron Hergott threw a pair of touchdown passes to lead the Tigers to that victory.

SATURDAY SHOWDOWN: Conner plays host to Highlands this Saturday at 7 p.m. in a Class 5A showdown. Conner (2-0) is ranked No. 9 in the Class 5A state poll, followed by Highlands (1-2) at No. 10.

A year ago, Conner defeated Highlands twice, including a 38-28 victory in the second round of the Class 5A state playoffs.

Conner quarterback Alex Castrucci has passed for 308 yards and two touchdowns the first two weeks. Colton Roy leads the ground attack with157 yards and four touchdowns.

Don Owen is sports editor of the Northern Kentucky Tribune. Contact him at don@nkytrib.com and follow him on Twitter at @dontribunesport.

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