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Owen County will compete in the first round of the Class 2A state playoffs Friday.
The Rebels will travel back to Newport Stadium to take on the Newport Central Catholic Thoroughbreds. It will be the second time this season the Rebels have played at Newport Stadium. They opened up the year by taking on Bishop Brossart High School in August.
The task of leaving Newport with a win this time will be distinctly tougher.
Newport Catholic will come into the game with a 9-1 record and ranked third in the latest 2A state poll. The Thoroughbreds closed out the season Friday by handing Beechwood its only loss of the season, defeating the Tigers 31-20.
Owen County did not play Friday. The Rebels ended their regular season two weeks ago with a 21-6 loss to Trimble County. Owen County finished the season with a 2-8 overall record.
Coach Adam Fowler said the team spent the bye week “getting back to basics” in practice.
Fowler said he and his staff worked the team hard in an effort to make up for what happened during the team’s last two games. The coach said he wants to see his team get back to playing a tough style of football.
Friday’s opposition features a well-balanced attack.
Mark Kelly leads the rushing attack with 1,083 yards rushing and 16 touchdowns on the season.
Quarterback Mark Kues threw for 1,265 yards and 13 scores. His main target was Ben Parr who finished the year with 25 catches for 409 yards and five touchdowns.
Despite the strength of Newport Catholic, Fowler said he has tried to treat this week like any other game.
Fowler and the team plans on taking Friday night’s game “one quarter at a time.” The team, Fowler said, will use the game as a measuring stick to see how far the Owen County program has come in the past year.
Newport Catholic is coached by Bob Schneider, the state’s all-time winningest coach with 334 career wins.