Covington Catholic celebrated the new Dennis Griffin Stadium on Friday night with new lights and a big win over Ryle.
The school dedicated the new stadium on its Park Hills campus before the game, showcasing the $2.6 million renovation that provided new stands, a new press box, a new turf field (partially funded by a $200,000 NFL Foundation Grassroots Grant), and permanent lighting to allow for evening events for the first time in Cov Cath's 92-year history.
The stadium project is just one part of a $7.6 million capital campaign that also includes the Yung Family Tennis Complex, which opened last year, and a new academic building.
Phase II of the overall campus master plan will include gymnasium renovations and a new multipurpose gymnasium, requiring an additional $2.8 million.
But on Friday night, the focus was football and the Colonels opened the stadium with a thrashing of the Ryle Raiders, 49-17.
Ryle jumped out to the early lead, with a 75-yard touchdown pass to senior running back Jake Chisolm. The Colonels struggled on their opening drive, having two touchdowns called back after penalties.
Soon after, though, it was all Cov Cath. The Colonels racked up 35 points in the second quarter to blow the game open.
A.J. Mayer threw for 267 yards and 3 touchdowns, hitting seven different receivers on the evening.
Both teams hit the road to Lexington next week with Ryle (0-1) visiting Henry Clay (0-1) and Covington Catholic (1-0) meeting up with Lexington Catholic, which opens its season Saturday against Madison Central.
Lloyd 34, West Jessamine 14
The Juggernauts open their season with a win, beating West Jessamine on the road. Lloyd (1-0) hosts Beechwood next week in the opening game for the Tigers, who are looking to defend their 2016 state championship.
Walton-Verona 43, East Jessamine 20
The Bearcats racked up a big win in a visit to East Jessamine on Friday night. Walton (1-0) travels to Kentucky Country Day (1-0) next week.
Campbell Co. 27, Dixie Heights 23
It was a battle in Alexandria on Friday night but the Camels prevailed. Campbell Co. (1-0) visits Highlands (1-0) next week while Dixie (0-1) hosts Scott (0-1).
Highlands 42, Cooper 22
The Bluebirds look to be in good shape to start the new season, rolling into Union and beating up Cooper. Highlands (1-0) plays host to Campbell Co. (1-0) next week while Cooper looks to rebound at Newport Central Catholic (1-0).
Ludlow 56, Carroll Co. 39
It was a shootout in Carrollton on Friday night and the Panthers came home with a win. Ludlow (1-0) will hit the road again next week to face Bracken Co.
Newport Central Catholic 17, Scott 7
The Thoroughbreds proved to be too much for the Eagles on Friday night in Taylor Mill. Next week, New Cath (1-0) hosts Cooper (0-1) while Scott (0-1) will have its hands full at Dixie (0-1).
Simon Kenton 47, Meade Co. 13
The Pioneers went down to Brandenburg and won easily. Next week, Simon Kenton (1-0) visits Lexington for a date with Bryan Station.
Pikeville 51, Holy Cross 14
It was a long trip to eastern Kentucky and an even longer trip back for the Indians, who went down big in Pikeville on Friday night. Holy Cross (0-1) visits Goshen (Ohio) next week.
Nicholas Co. 38, Bellevue 36 (OT)
It took extra time for Nicholas Co. to beat the Tigers in Carlisle on Friday night. Bellevue (0-1) will try to recover next week in the rivalry game with Dayton.
Dayton faces Bishop Brossart on Saturday night.
-Brian Frey & Michael Monks