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It Took an Extra Day, But Another Exciting Week of NKY Football is in the Books

With the heavy storm that blew through Northern Kentucky on Friday night, most high school football games were postponed to Saturday morning, though some local teams completed their Friday schedule in games outside the area.

Some of the games picked up Saturday where they left off while others had never started on Friday.

Brossart Holds Off Bellevue, 24-21

Bishop Brossart overcame a sloppy first half, coming back from an early 14-0 deficit to beat Bellevue 24-21 on a humid Saturday morning at Gilligan Stadium. Led by senior quarterback Craig Pfefferman’s three touchdowns, the Mustangs begin their season 3-0. “We are excited. After turning the ball over five times in the first half, we were down by seven at half. That’s what I kept telling my guys: This game should be over but we’re only down by seven, this (game) is ours,” Brossart Head Coach Paul Wiggins, Jr. said.

The Mustangs put the ball on the ground early, spotting the home team a 7-0 lead following a six-yard touchdown run by Tigers senior running back Cameron Chase. Facing third down on its ensuing possession, Pfefferman rolled to his right and found senior wide receiver T.J. Moore open downfield. Moore broke loose through traffic and ran nearly 40 yards down to the Bellevue goal line but fumbled being brought down by a host of defenders and Tigers’ senior Nick Ackerson recovered the ball in the end zone for a touchback. 

Though it drove down to the Brossart 21, Bellevue came up empty, hurting itself with several penalties, an issue the team faced the entire game. But the Mustangs couldn’t take advantage. On second-and-three from its own 40, Pfefferman was hit, fumbled and the Tigers recovered at the Brossart 30 with 1:38 remaining in the opening quarter. Bellevue couldn’t convert its good fortune into points as the end of the first came to a close with the Tigers leading 7-0.

Following empty possessions from both teams, the Mustangs faced a 92-yard drive, beginning at its own eight. Pfefferman rolled to his right, throwing across his body and right into the hands of Bellevue defensive back, Ackerson. Three plays later on fourth-and-four, Chase ran into the end zone from four yards out nearly untouched to put the Tigers up two scores, 14-0.

Then the tide of the game began to change.

With big runs from senior running back Nathan See and a 15-yard touchdown run from Pfefferman in which he bounced off several would-be tacklers, reaching across the goal line for the score, the Mustangs found themselves down by seven at the half, 14-7, despite its five turnovers.

Kicking off to begin the third quarter, Brossart recovered its own onside kick, catching the Tigers off-guard. Aided by a 15-yard personal foul penalty on Bellevue’s Jesse Day, the Mustangs faced first-and-10 at the Tigers 16. After a seven yard gain by See, Pfefferman again found the end zone for his second touchdown of the game, now tied at 14.

Bellevue’s penalties again came back to haunt: following a roughing the passer call which left the Mustangs’ quarterback briefly hobbled, Brossart capitalized to take the lead on the senior’s third touchdown of the day to make it 21-14. Despite Pfefferman being nicked up, Wiggins wasn’t worried about his leader. “He’s fine. He plays both ways and he’s a warrior. I’ve coached him since sixth grade so I know when he’s hurt and…you know, when he’s injured and when he’s hurt. He got dinged up but he’s fine,” he said.

But the Tigers bounced back on their next possession and took advantage of several Brossart penalties, moving the ball steadily down the field with carries from Chase and Ackerson, culminating in a three-yard touchdown run by Chase to tie the game at 21, a few seconds into the fourth.

The Mustangs began their drive with good field position on Moore’s 41-yard return out to their own 46-yard line. But Pfefferman’s pass was picked off by Bellevue’s Tucker Thomas, the quarterback falling down as he threw. But on the Tigers first play from scrimmage, it fumbled, giving the ball right back. 

Though Brossart was unable to find the end zone, it settled for a 25-yard field goal and a 24-21 lead with just over five minutes remaining in the game.

Despite fumbling on its next possession, Bellevue nearly had a chance to win. With the ball back and facing fourth-and-seven on the Tigers 21, Pfefferman’s pass was tipped and nearly intercepted by a Bellevue defender, who had open sideline ahead of him. But, the ball deflected off his hands, into the waiting hands of senior Frank Cetrulo and a Brossart first down.

The Tigers called their final timeout but the Mustangs took a knee inside the Bellevue 10, running out the final minute-and-a-half to seal its 24-21 victory.

-Jason Finnell, RCN contributor

Holmes 15, Walton-Verona 14

Down 14-7 with under six minutes left to play and facing a fourth-and-three, senior Andrew Arnold took the ball on a fake punt and ran it 25 yards continuing a drive that would become one of the scoring variety when Salih Abdullah took it from three yards to make it 14-13.  Then, with the game on the line, head coach Ben Nevels decided to go for two and the decision paid off when quarterback Desean Brumfield hit Arnold with a short pass in the endzone give the Bulldogs the slimmest of margins at 15-14.  That difference proved monumental in the end as Holmes held on for their first win of the season.

Holmes is now 1-2 on the year and heads to Lloyd next week. Walton-Verona remains winless at 0-3 and visits Henry Co. next week.

Sycamore (OH.) 42, Covington Catholic 7

The forgettable start of new head coach Eddie Eviston’s first year with the Colonels continues as his team fell hard once more to an Ohio team, this time to Sycamore, 42-7.  Last week, Cov Cath was run out of Nippert Stadium by St. Xavier, 57-7, after gaining a 50-point halftime lead.

On Saturday, CCH wasn’t able to get anything generated on the ground, as their leading rusher was sophomore quarterback A.J. Mayer with 19 yards on five carries. Conversely, Sycamore gashed the Colonels with their rushing assault, getting two players over the century mark with Clarence Dawson finishing one yard short of 200 yards.

Cov Cath drops to 0-3 on the season, and the road doesn’t get much easier as they head south next week to take on Lexington Catholic.

-Bryan Burke, associate editor

OTHER SCORES

Newport Catholic 28, Campbell Co. 19. The Thoroughbreds are now 1-3 on the season while the Camels drop to 0-3. New Cath heads to Belfry next week and Campbell Co. takes a trip to Ryle.

Scott 61, Newport 6. The Eagles stay hot, improving to 3-0 on the season. Scott has outscored its opponents 105-20. The Wildcats fall to 0-3 and have been outscored on the year 148-12. Scott hosts Conner next week while Newport welcomes Bellevue.

Simon Kenton 54, Conner 0. The Pioneers put up more than 50 points for the third straight week and remain undefeated at 3-0. SK hosts Dixie next week. Meanwhile, Conner's road doesn't get any easier as it heads to red hot Scott next week. The Cougars are looking for their first win after dropping two in a row to open the season and being outscored 97-6 in the process.

Lloyd 36, Grant Co. 33 (OT). The Juggernauts needed overtime to put away the Braves in Dry Ridge on Saturday. Lloyd is now 2-1 and hosts Holmes in Erlanger next week. The OT heartbreaker was the first loss for Grant Co. which falls to 2-1 and hosts Harrison Co. next week.

Scott Co. 54, Highlands 28. The Bluebirds' early season woes continue as Highlands falls to a surprising 1-2. Ryle visits Ft. Thomas next week.

Paris 28, Ludlow 14. It was an unpleasant trip to Bourbon Co. for the Panthers who suffered their first loss of the season and are now 2-1. Ludlow looks to rebound next week when Gallatin Co. visits.

Beechwood 48, Somerset 14. The Tigers traveled to southern part of the state to rout Somerset and are now 2-0 as they prepare to host Covington Catholic in two weeks.

Milford (OH) 42, Dixie 28. The Colonels' early season troubles continue as Dixie falls to 0-2 and heads to Independence to face a dangerous Simon Kenton team next week.

Ryle 52, Boone Co. 7. The Raiders continue to roll and are now 3-0 on the season as they head to Ft. Thomas to take on struggling Highlands next week. Meanwhile, the Rebels remain winless after three games and have been outscored 146-26 in those losses. Boone looks to get on track when the team heads south to Lafayette in Lexington next week.

Score for Dayton vs. Pendleton Co. will be added.

Top photo: Brossart & Bellevue (by Jason Finnell)