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Friday Night Preview: Playoffs, Round 2
Bryan Burke - The River City News
Newport (7-4) at Walton Verona (10-1) Class 2A

For Newport to advance past Walton Verona, the Wildcats must control the line of scrimmage and not let the stable of running backs run roughshod over them. The Bearcats have put up tremendous rushing totals this season with fullback Mason Compton getting the heaviest load and racking up 1,420 yards so far in 2014. Running back Will Latimore has also carried for over 1,000 yards this year.

Newport has a stout defensive line led by Breandon Johnson and Kameron Covington that can negate the rushing prowess of Walton Verona. The Wildcats won the first match between the two schools in Week 2, 36-26, at home. A road playoff victory is a much harder game to win, though, and coach Matt Schmitz and his defense need to be the utmost prepared to beat the Bearcats again. Schmitz was pleased with his quarterback Paul Price last week, noting the senior had played perhaps his best game of the year managing the game. If Price can do the same on Friday night, the Wildcats have a chance to reach the quarterfinals.

Ashland Blazer (6-4) at Highlands (9-2) Class 4A

Highlands has yet to lose to a team in Kentucky this season, and have no intentions of starting this week. Ashland Blazer has earned a winning record on the season and beat Holmes 49-14 a week ago at home. Traveling to Ft. Thomas, though, is a different beast and the Bluebirds feature a deadly passing attack highlighted by senior quarterback Beau Hoge who has thrown for 30 touchdowns this season. His top target is wide out Alex Veneman who has piled up 1,344 receiving yards and caught 20 of those Hoge touchdowns. If Ashland Blazer will have a chance on Friday, Highlands would have to hurt itself with turnovers and penalties.
For more, read the full article at The River City News
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