No Time to Waste: Cov Cath Must Shake Off Moeller Loss, Prepare for Henderson Co.
There is no time for sympathy in football. Covington Catholic was rocked last week by Cincinnati's Moeller, 39-0, but another formidable foe awaits the Colonels this Saturday. Henderson County comes to Park Hills with a 2-1 record and back-to-back wins.
Headlining the Henderson County offensive line is senior lineman Mason Wolfe who is over 300 pounds and has committed to play at Kentucky next season. There is plenty of beef elsewhere on the line as well. Cov Cath, however, is ready for a big team after taking on one of the biggest in Ohio last week.
“That's why we play the GCL game early in the year because we want to see that size and that speed early. That way when we line up against everyone else for the rest of the year, our eyes don't get quite as big,” said Colonel head coach Dave Wirth.
Henderson County is the fifth largest school in Kentucky with a rich football tradition. Also nicknamed the Colonels, Henderson County has finished the last five seasons with nine wins and are off to a nice start this year. Head coach Tony Lewis enters his second year with the school and has had success in both Ohio and Indiana as a coach.
“They are a well-coached, discipline team. They have a great mix of players. It's a really good game for us, post-Moeller to kind of find out where we are physically and mentally. They're a good team,” Wirth said.
One of the areas Wirth would like to clean up the most this week is working on mental mistakes. He felt that last week against Moeller, his team allowed two touchdowns that were each a direct result of a mental breakdown.
“We're really trying to work on crossing those T's and dotting those I's and making sure that we are in the right place at the right time, especially on defense,” he said.
With such an anchor on the offensive line like Mason Wolfe, one might suspect that Henderson County would look to run behind the big fella as much as possible, but Wirth said he isn't going to change his scheme on defense in response to only one player.
“We're going to go at them one-on-one. We feel good about the guys we have. We're going to use our quickness and our speed in and around Wolfe, but they don't seem to game plan to always do everything right behind him. Obviously their short-yardage game is heavily depended upon him as most teams that have a guy that size would do, but we're going to have to defend them based on how we best match up personnel-wise and how our defense best matches up against their formations and the plays they run.”
The Colonels certainly have speed and quickness. The collection of small but fast receivers they employ is impressive and last week the speedsters were able to get behind the Moeller secondary on a couple of deep throws. Cov Cath also likes to make quick throws to the flats in hopes that one of their receivers can break one to the outside for a big play. These types of plays worked well in their first game against Boone County, but Moeller was able to rally to the ball carrier to limit the impact the quick throws had against them.
As far as morale goes after such a decisive defeat, Wirth says his players feel fine.
“We actually played them very tough for most of the game,” the coach said. “You look at the tape and we did a lot of really good things although the score did not reflect that. Every game comes down to a handful of plays and against Moeller your mistakes are compounded. We didn't feel like 39-0 losers last week and we're sure as heck not going to act like it this week.”
The Colonels are eager to put last week behind them and take their frustrations out on Henderson County. The game is scheduled to start on Saturday at 1pm, though the last two home games have been moved earlier in the day due to the heat and humidity. This week, however, temperatures are expected to be cool in the upper 60's with morning rain.
Story & photo by Bryan Burke, Associate Editor