Well timed bye for South football

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By Sam Draut

With a first round bye in the Class 5-A playoffs, South Oldham football reverted back to fundamentals in practice while nursing several injuries as the Dragons prepare for Highlands Friday night.

Before the bye week, South Oldham had played eight weeks in a row, which took a physical toll on the players.

“It really came at a great time,” South Oldham coach Jamie Reed said of the bye week.

Though the time off has benefited the Dragons off the field, Reed doesn’t know if the week away from facing an opponent will mean his team will start fast or slow. He hopes his team can come out of the gate as soon as the bell rings.

“The goal is to hit the ground running versus a team of Highlands caliber, we can’t wait to feel it out one or two series,” Reed said. “That is the unknown, how we are going to come out of it. I hope we are fresh and fast.”

In Highlands’ 34-7 victory over Oldham County last week, Bluebird quarterback Grady Cramer threw for 150 yards and two touchdowns while Cooper Schwalbach rushed for 106 yards on 12 carries.

Cramer started in place of injured starting quarterback Carl Schoellman, who has thrown for 1,633 yards and 13 touchdowns this year. Schoellman could play on Friday night.

South Oldham, a team that averages 290 yards rushing per game, could find some room to run against Highlands. Despite trailing for most of the game and attempting 32 passes, Oldham County rushed for 158 yards last Friday.

Keaton Martin surpassed the 1,000 mark for the second straight season against Shelby County while Colton Bowlden (452 yards), quarterback Drew Zaubi (351 yards) and JT Benson (270 yards) are capable ball carriers as well.

Not everyone has been in favor of South Oldham’s bye week. Highlands head coach Brian Weinrich told Fort Thomas Matters, a northern Kentucky media outlet, that he wouldn’t exchange film with South Oldham since they were able to watch their game against Oldham County last Friday.

“It’s just so frustrating that the KHSAA allows a team to have a buy in the 5A playoffs when they’re in a six-team district and we have to go out here and play a game,” Weinrich said to Fort Thomas Matters following the game against Oldham County. “I can not believe they allowed that to happen. They talk about fairness and they talk about safety.”