Highlands, 2-0, beats Simon Kenton

INDEPENDENCE – Bob Sphire’s goal when taking over the Highlands football program was to bring the program's winning tradition back to Fort Thomas.

It’s only two games in, but the Bluebirds are awakening the echoes of their past championship teams after giving football fans an offensive shootout worthy of the days of Gino Guidugli and Jared Lorenzen.

Sphire, a 30-year head coaching veteran in Kentucky and Georgia, has won his first two games in Bluebird gear after Highlands held on for a 53-38 win at Simon Kenton Friday night.

HIghlands double-teams SK senior Aiden Gill, 98. Highlands at Simon Kenton. KHSAA high school football. Aug. 27, 2021.

Both teams had more than 600 yards in the game, a lot of it in the second half when the teams combined for 54 points.

“I got a split personality,” Sphire said. “As a head coach, I’m really excited to get the win. And as the defensive coordinator, I’ve got some frustrations as to how many yards we gave up and how many points we gave up.”

The game, originally slated to kick off at 7 p.m., did not start until 8:45 p.m. because of weather issues in the area.

Highlands at Simon Kenton. KHSAA high school football. Aug. 27, 2021.

Both teams’ array of explosive playmakers didn’t play like they were past their bedtime.

Highlands posted 605 yards offense to 603 for the Pioneers.

Highlands junior quarterback Charlie Noon threw for 394 yards and five touchdowns, and rushed for 164 yards and a score. Speedy receiver Jacob Welch, a state track champion in June, had eight catches for 194 yards.

SK’s veteran junior quarterback Chase Crone threw for 319 yards and four touchdowns. Chase Williams had 10 catches for 168 yards. Sophomore running back Jayden Lawson rushed for 233 yards.

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