Two high school football powerhouses collide Friday, September 25 when Fort Thomas Highlands (5-0) hosts Cincinnati Saint Xavier (4-0) at 6:30PM. The game will be televised nationally on the CBS College Sports Network (airing at 8:00PM on Friday). This event is sold out, with a crowd of 5200 anticipated at David Cecil Memorial Stadium.
The defending Kentucky Class 5A champion Highlands Bluebirds enter the game with wins over Class 6A Louisville DuPont Manual, Class 6A Ryle, defending Class 1A champion Beechwood, Ohio Division I Cincinnati Withrow and Class 6A Boone County.
The Cincinnati Saint Xavier Bombers have wins over Ohio Division I Cincinnati Colerain, defending Indiana Class 4A champion Indianapolis Cathedral, Kentucky Class 6A Louisville Saint Xavier and defending Kentucky Class 6A champion Louisville Trinity.
Both teams have received a great deal of attention in the national polls. Currently, Highlands is ranked:
- 18th nationally in the MaxPreps Xcellent 25
- 25th nationally in the Rivals High 100
- 27th nationally in the ESPN Rise Fab 50
No Kentucky football program is ranked higher than Highlands in the national polls. In addition, Fort Thomas Highlands is presently the highest-ranked team in every statewide Class 5A poll and first in northern Kentucky, regardless of football classification.
Cincinnati Saint Xavier is currently ranked:
- 1st nationally in the Massey Ratings
- 2nd nationally in the CalPreps National Football Power Ratings
- 13th nationally in the Prep Nation National Prep Football Poll
- 16th nationally in the MaxPreps Xcellent 25
- 17th nationally in the USA Today Super 25
- 24th nationally in the Rivals High 100
- 30th nationally in the ESPN Rise Fab 50
The Bombers last won the Ohio Division I championship in 2007, and finished the 2007 season ranked first nationally in some of the national rankings.
The male enrollment at Cincinnati Saint Xavier is approximately four times the size of the male enrollment at Highlands, so the Bluebirds will definitely have their hands full. Of the seven games these storied programs have played in their history, the Bombers hold a 5-2 advantage.