Dan Weber’s Just Sayin’: Catching up with NKY college football players & looking towards high school playoffs

Dan Weber
Dan Weber
Dan Weber is LINK nky's sports editor-at-large. Contact him at [email protected]

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Covington Catholic’s Colonels were having a bit of a tough time scoring Friday night at Cooper but that didn’t keep Colonel fans from talking about what a quartet of alumni did in Division I college football the weekend before. Three of them scored points – for Notre Dame, Miami of Ohio, and West Point, while a fourth got another big sack for Virginia.

*** The Notre Dame name is no surprise as All-American tight end Michael Mayer caught the game-winning touchdown from six yards out in the 24-17 Irish win over Cal. Michael kept his scoring streak going Saturday with a 10-yard TD catch in a 45-32 win over North Carolina where he totaled a game-high seven receptions for 88 yards. The 6-foot-5, 260-pounder from Independence needs just five catches to tie the all-time Notre Dame career tight end record of 140 set by Tyler Eifert and just three TD catches to tie Ken McAfee’s career mark of 15.

*** In the Miami of Ohio-Cincinnati game at Paycor Stadium a week ago, former Colonel Jack Coldiron scored on a two-yard TD pass in the Redhawks’ 38-17 loss to the Bearcats. This past Saturday, Coldiron caught two more passes in Miami’s upset 17-14 win at Northwestern.

*** In the most recent West Point game against Villanova, sophomore placekicker Trey Gronotte scored his first college points with an extra point in Army’s 49-10 win, also adding three kickoffs and a tackle to his season total.

*** Over on defense, 6-foot-3, 265-pound Virginia defensive end Kam Butler had sacks in both the Old Dominion and Illinois games and now has a total of 14 tackles on the season for the Cavaliers.

RYLE’S MORGAN HAS MINNESOTA ROLLING

Ryle alum Tanner Morgan is a rare six-year college player and even more rare, he’s the winningest quarterback in Minnesota football history with a 31-12 record and the owner of a dozen school passing records not including career records. He’s thrown TD passes in 18 consecutive games for one record and has hit on 83 percent or better of his passes in four games including Saturday’34-7 win at Michigan State when the 6-2, 216-pound passer from Union hit on 23 of 26 for 268 yards and three TDs in the Golden Gophers’ Big Ten opener. Minnesota is now ranked No. 21 in the AP Poll, No. 23 in the Coaches Poll.

PAINTING THE KHSAA FOOTBALL PLAYOFF PICTURE

We’ll admit we’re not a big fan of the high school football playoff setup in Kentucky but with district play starting this past week and/or next week, it’s time to take a look at how things stack up. The big issue for us has always been the one-sided first-round games matching the No. 4 team in a district against No. 1 in rematches that did not need to be played. This year, at least, the Nov. 3-4-5 matchups are across districts so they’re not rematches. But they’re just as likely to be one-sided mismatches.

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Now is also a good time to look at the RPI rankings the KHSAA uses to determine home sites and opponents starting in Week 3 of the playoffs. Before that, district finishers one through four will play cross-district games against teams from adjacent districts with the lower-ranked 1-4 teams traveling to the higher-ranked teams.

For reference, here’s how the RPI ratings look after Friday’s games.

CLASS 1A

District 4: 6 (Number indicates state overall RPI ranking). Newport Central Catholic (5-1) .710; 20. Dayton, 2-4, .488; 21. Ludlow (2-3), .475; 30. Bellevue (0-6) .259.
(District 4 teams will play District 3 teams, in reverse order of their district finish with No. 1 hosting No. 4, No. 2 hosting No. 3 . . .)
District 3: 2. Kentucky Country Day (5-1) .765; 14. Frankfort (3-3) .626, 26. Berea (2-4) .419, 29. Eminence (0-6) .322.

District 5: 4. Bracken County (5-0) .733; 8. Nicholas County (6-0) .702; 13. Paris (5-1) .637; 18. Brossart (4-2) .530.
(Bishop Brossart’s District 5 will face District 6 in the playoffs)
District 6: 7. Raceland (5-1) .706; 16. Paintsville (2-3) .612; 22. Betsy Layne (3-2) .472; 28. Fairview (1-5) .371.

CLASS 2A

District 5: 17. Walton-Verona (4-2) .555; 14. Owen County (3-2) .565; 24. Carroll County, .502; 26. Trimble County (3-3) .490; 31. Gallatin County (1-4) .342; 35. Louisville Shawnee (1-4) .318.
District 6: 1. Beechwood (4-1) .830; 15. Lloyd (3-2) .560; 22. Newport (2-4) .511; 30. Holy Cross (1-5) .374.
(Northern Kentucky’s District 6 plays Walton-Verona’s District 5)

CLASS 4A

District 6: 6. Boyd County (4-2) .599; 8. Holmes (4-1) .572; 26. Rowan County (2-4) .428; 29. Scott, 3-3, .410; 30. Harrison County (2-4) .406.
(District 6 with Holmes and Scott plays District 5)
District 5: 1. Boyle County (6-0) .801; 4. Lexington Catholic (5-1) .743; 33. Bourbon County (1-4) .382; 37. Anderson County (1-4) .330.

CLASS 5A

District 5: 2. Covington Catholic (5-1) .708; 9. Highlands (4-2) .621; 18. Cooper (2-3) .530, 26. Boone County (3-3) .424; 30. Conner (2-4) .409.
(Northern Kentucky’s District 5 plays District 6)
District 6: 1. Frederick Douglass (6-0) .732; 6. Scott County (4-1) .647; 11. Great Crossing (5-0) .605; 24. Montgomery County (2-3) .438; 39. Grant County (0-6) .286.

CLASS 6A

District 6: 7. Ryle (3-2) .564; 12. Campbell County (3-3), .538; 20. Dixie Heights (2-3) .469; Simon Kenton (2-2), no RPI ranking this weekend, (2-2), .538 last week.
(Northern Kentucky’s District 6 plays District 5)
District 5: 3. Ballard (5-1) .631, 14. Trinity (3-3) .524; 18. Eastern (3-3) .489.

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