It was about 10 months ago that these two teams found themselves playing for state championships.
Both teams enjoyed 13-2 campaigns last year. The Highlands Bluebirds captured their state-record 23rd state championship with a come-from-behind 49-42 victory over the Owensboro Red Devils in the Class 4A title game. Following that, the Dixie Heights Colonels lost to Louisville Trinity, 47-14 in the 6A championship game.
That marked the first time in school history the Colonels played for a football state championship.
But the transition to this season has been rough on both as they enter Class 5A, District 5 action with identical 1-5 records. Highlands graduated 26 seniors from last year's squad and Dixie Heights graduated 18 including quarterback Drew Moore.
One will leave Friday's game at David Cecil Memorial Stadium at 7 p.m. with a leg up in the district race. The two played in the same Class 5A district from 2007 to 2010.
"Everything is about the district," said Brian Weinrich, Highlands Head Coach. "It has nothing to do with the last however many games. If we win this game, we put ourselves in position to win the district, which is the number one goal right now."
Highlands is coming off its bye week, while Dixie Heights lost 35-7 at Cooper on Friday. District rival Covington Catholic is also 1-5 playing a rugged schedule including Greater Catholic League South power Cincinnati St. Xavier. Dixie Heights recorded its lone win over winless Boone County, 35-21 on Sept. 25.