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NKY High School Football Playoffs: Round 2 Results

The second round of the Kentucky high school football playoffs is in the books, and some Northern Kentucky teams are moving on, and others are packing up for the season.

RCN contributors Jason Finnell and Brian Frey were in Newport where Newport Central Catholic nearly pulled off a major upset over Louisville DeSales, only to fall in overtime.

Covington Catholic stayed perfect, shutting out Montgomery County, 43-0.

Walton-Verona, Beechwood, Conner, Highlands, and Simon Kenton all moved on in their respective classes.

Cooper, Scott, Lloyd, and Ludlow all fell.

Story from New Cath-DeSales is by Jason Finnell and the photos are by Brian Frey. The full scoreboard is below (if the date on the scoreboard is something other than Friday, simply click back to the day you would like to see).


Newport Catholic’s Hunter Cain was stopped at the goal line on fourth-and-goal in overtime and the stunned Thoroughbreds’ season ended 21-14, to Louisville DeSales, in the quarterfinals of the AA State Playoffs Friday night at Newport Stadium.

Defense ruled early on as the first quarter remained scoreless and likewise into much of the second until junior quarterback Paul Kremer found senior receiver Aubrey Posey on a slant over the middle for a 32-yard gain to put the Thoroughbreds inside the Colts’ five. Cain – often utilized as a quarterback inside the red zone for NewCath – took the snap from center and found the end zone for a four-yard touchdown to give the Thoroughbreds’ a 7-0 lead with 4:35 remaining in the quarter before halftime. On the Colts’ ensuing possession, Aaron Pfaadt found tight end Demetri Scott on third-and-eight for a 57-yard completion and DeSales was knocking on the door. Three plays later, Pfaadt plowed into the end zone from four yards out to tie the game, 7-7.

NewCath opened the third quarter with the ball but was forced to punt after a three-and-out. Kremer’s kick bounced off the Colts’ returner and Caleb Jefferson was there to fall on it and the Thoroughbreds’ retained possession at the DeSales’ 25. A personal foul penalty after the first play from scrimmage pushed NewCath back to the Colts’ 40. Running back Kyle Kelly’s nine-yard run on third down followed by Hezekiah Miller’s 20-yard reception placed the Thoroughbreds inside the 10, but the drive stalled. Electing not to kick a field goal on fourth-and-goal from the two, Kelly was stuffed near the goal line and NewCath turned the ball over on downs. With 99 yards to go, the Colts’ couldn’t dig their way out of the tough field position and punted away. At midfield, Kremer found Posey and hit the receiver in-stride at the 10-yard line and the Thoroughbreds’ broke the tie with 4:29 to go in the third, 14-7. The Colts’ next drive began with two consecutive incompletions but Pfaadt found his big target, Scott, over the middle and the tight end broke through tacklers down to the NewCath 34. However, Pfaadt’s next pass deflected off his receivers’ fingers and into the hands of a diving Posey. The ball appeared to hit the turf on the interception, but the play stood and NewCath kept DeSales out of the end zone. The Colts’ defense held on the Thoroughbreds’ next possession and the quarter concluded, 14-7.

Junior Darren Hollenkamp keyed DeSales’ scoring drive with runs of 11 and seven yards, apiece. Jayden Scroggins’ 13-yard reception put the Colts inside the 30 and then an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on NewCath after a Hollenkamp run gave DeSales the ball at the seven and a first down. Pfaadt called his own number on third down from a yard out and the Colts’ tied the game at 14 with 7:22 to play in the final quarter. The Thoroughbreds could not get any momentum going on its next drive as Kelly was stopped for losses on three carries and Jefferson dropped a pass on third-and-12 that would’ve given NewCath a first down inside Colts’ territory. On its own 45, NewCath tried a fake punt that was called in from the sideline before the ball was snapped due to the DeSales’ defensive alignment, head coach Stephen Lickert said. The Colts’ defense recognized the fake and recovered, knocking down Kremer’s pass to take over possession, setting itself up for a potential game-winning drive. Hollenkamp burst through the middle of the NewCath line for a 16-yard gain on first down. His second carry netted six more yards, then Pfaadt found Scroggins at the Thoroughbreds’ 15. Hollenkamp added two additional carries and the Colts’ had the ball inside the five-yard line with the clock winding down. Hollenkamp was stuffed on first-and-goal and DeSales called timeout. Too much time had run off the clock after the Colts’ timeout and the referee had it set to 7.3 seconds after the clock had been run to 2.3. With kicker Blake Givens lined up and waiting for the snap on the potential game-winning 21-yard field goal attempt, NewCath called all three of its timeouts. Out of the break, Givens’ kick was blocked by Miller as time ran out and the score remained 14-14 headed into overtime.

After winning the coin toss, DeSales began at the NewCath 10-yard line. Following two plays that gained a single yard, Pfaadt avoided the Thoroughbreds’ rush, scrambled and found Scroggins in the end zone and the sophomore won a jump ball over two NewCath defenders and DeSales had its first lead of the game in overtime, 21-14. On the Thoroughbreds’ turn to possess the ball, a jet sweep to Miller on first down placed the Thoroughbreds at the five. Cain’s two-yard run put NewCath at the three, but Kelly was stopped for no gain on third down and Cain’s keeper on fourth-and-goal was snuffed out by the Colts’ defense, ending the Thoroughbreds’ season.


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