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What Happened in NKY High School Football on a Rainy Friday Night

Fall showed up in a cool, wet way on Friday night so it was the good fortune of many area high school football teams that they had the night off.

For those who took the field, another exciting week of gridiron action.

Brossart 19, Ludlow 14

The dream season continues for Bishop Brossart, as the Mustangs came from behind on the road to beat a quality Ludlow Panthers team, 19-13. Brossart is off to one of its best starts ever and improved to a perfect 6-0 on the season.

The weather appeared to be a factor for both teams, as a cold early October rain fell through gusting winds and soaked everything by the second half. By then, being tough was more important than being fast and the more physical team down the stretch won the game.

Early on, it looked like the Panthers would put on a show for the home fans, racing out to a quick 13-0 lead in the first quarter. Coming into the game, quarterback Justin Blackburn and running back Jeremiah Martin came in as one of the more productive one-two rushing punches in the area, and in the first half, it was easy to spot each of their explosive abilities on both sides of the ball.

On Brossart’s first possession, Blackburn sacked Mustangs quarterback Craig Pfefferman, forcing a punt. On the ensuing Ludlow possession, Blackburn hit Kalib Mitchell with a short pass, who was able to make one player miss and race to the endzone untouched for a long score, putting the Panthers up 7-0.

The next time the Panthers had the ball, Martin got the drive started nicely with a 29-yard carry, dragging multiple defenders with him up the middle. Blackburn followed that up with a long gain on a quarterback scramble and put Ludlow in scoring position where he later punched it in from two yards out. When Ludlow failed to pick up the extra point, it would serve as a sign of offensive struggles to come from that point on for the Panthers.

The game was marked by a different offensive approach by each team, and the weather may have favored the Mustangs and their grind-it-out attack.  While Ludlow had a handful of huge plays for big yardage, they were never able to consistently stay on schedule and avoid the pitfalls of a boom-or-bust offense that they became on Friday night.

With this team down, 13-6, senior Mitchell Reis came up with a huge sack on fourth down that gave the Mustangs the ball back at midfield. Running back Logan Schoulthies—who had a number of big runs up the gut, took this one 28 yards deep into Ludlow territory. From there, Brossart ran behind the big Stangs offensive line and scored on a two-yard sweep play to tailback Frank Cetrulo. The extra point, though, was blocked by defensive tackle Jamin Garrett, who stood out in the first half. The halftime score was 13-12, Ludlow.

For a long portion of the second half, that one-point Panthers margin was the difference as the rain picked up and the offense on both ends fizzled into short runs and punts.  Penalty flags also rained throughout the entire game, and also increased in the second half. One pivotal example came when Brossart roughed the kicker deep in their own territory and extended the Panthers drive. From there, Blackburn made them pay with a terrific run down the sidelines, where he broke tackles and juked his way for over 60 yards, but it fell short after that and turned into another punt.

It became a battle of field position which was slowly beginning to favor Brossart. This was made possible by some good special teams play by the Mustangs. Nathan See helped keep his team around midfield with his punt returns and this small success allowed for a humongous play in the game.

With Ludlow inside their own 10-yard line, a standard run to the right side for what looked like another short gain actually turned out to be a back-breaking fumble recovered by the Mustangs’ Brett Martin, setting up first and goal.

The very next play, Pfefferman kept it himself, rolled right to the outside, cut it back to the inside, broke a tackle, and dove into the endzone for the go-ahead score from eight yards out, putting Brossart up 19-6.

That score remained in place as both teams botched snaps and missed throws and ran for few yards at a time and ultimately punted back and forth. Inside of three minutes, Brossart converted a run up the middle by Schoulthies on fourth and three that put the Mustangs near the red zone and in total control of the game. They continued to run and force the Panthers to use their time outs and looked to have the game in hand when they turned the ball over on fourth down.

The challenge of driving 86-yards with a little over a minute left and no timeouts to win the game proved too much for Blackburn and the Panthers as his last desperate toss into the air with three seconds left was intercepted and perfection for Brossart was, for now, sustained.

Next week, Brossart takes on Bracken County (2-5) on the road, but then travels to Paris (6-0) the following week in what could be the battle of the unbeaten.

Ludlow (4-3) looks to bounce back next week against Dayton (1-5), and avoid a three-game skid.

-Bryan Burke

Scott 43, Harrison Co. 0

The night got off to an unfortunate start for the Scott faithful with it literally raining on their homecoming parade. However, the Eagles refused to let the weather alter their plans for victory as they handled Harrison County with relative ease. Scott pulled off a 43-0 win, dominating from start to finish.

Scott started the scoring off with a 25-yard touchdown run from senior running back Roberto London. With that score, Scott went up, 7-0 with 8:53 remaining in the first quarter. Harrison County did its best to answer on the following drive, but the push was ended unpleasantly as senior defensive back Deondre Pleasant intercepted the Brock Jenkins pass. Scott would capitalize on the turnover by punching it in from 4-yards out thanks to Mr. Pleasant himself. With a missed extra point; Scott went up, 13-0 with 4:20 left in the first quarter.

Harrison County once again showed signs of life by driving the ball all the way to the 15-yard line. And once again, the drive was halted by Deondre Pleasant making a fourth down stop forcing a turnover on downs. After the interception, Scott drove down the field quickly thanks to multiple big runs from Roberto London. The drive was capped off by the star of night, Deondre Pleasant running it in for his second touchdown of the night with 11:22 remaining in the second quarter. With that score; Scott went up, 21-0.

The turnover theme continued on the following drive, with yet another interception by the Scott defense. This time the interception was made by senior defensive back Jordan Velasquez. On the first play after the turnover, senior quarterback Danny Fitzgerald broke off a 43-yard touchdown run with 9:27 remaining in the second quarter. With that score, Scott went up 28-0.

The nightmare continued for Harrison County on the ensuing kickoff as they were unable to corral the football, yet again giving the ball back to Scott. Harrison County had a total five turnovers on the night. Once again, Scott struck quickly as sophomore Nelson Perrin ran it in from 32-yards out giving Scott a 34-0 lead. Scott decided to go for two after the score because a 36-point lead would mean a running clock for the rest of the game. On a cold and rainy night in Taylor Mill, the gesture was appreciated by the fans. The two-point conversion was successful pushing the lead to 36-0 with 9:05 left in the second quarter. That would end up being the final score of the very lopsided first half.

The second half wasn’t quite as eventful as the first. Scott got the ball to start, and methodically marched the ball down the field for the final score of the game. Because of the running clock, that drive took about ten minutes off the clock. With the score being what it was, the rest of the game was used to get the younger players some quality game reps. Neither team was able to move the ball well once the starters were removed from the game.

Scott dominated every aspect of the game on Friday despite all the distractions that come with homecoming. Perhaps the reason for the dominating performance was the Scott coaching staff making focus the theme of the week. “I was just so impressed with our focus, that was our word of the week. Our focus this week was focus,” said Head Coach Dan Woolley. Scott must now turn its focus to a big matchup against Bourbon County in two weeks. Coach Woolley is very excited for what this matchup could mean for the Scott program. “We feel like the game against Bourbon County could decide the district championship,” said Coach Woolley. 

-Patrick Henke

Holy Cross 29, Bethlehem 6

The Holy Cross Indians bounced back from a 3-game skid, stuffing a good Bethlehem team in Covington.

Tom Ellis Field was a muddy, sloppy mess for the game which got off to a slow start with both teams punting in their first two possessions. Finally, Holy Cross was first to punch a score when Bethlehem's Hunter Downs was tackled for a 1-yard loss in the endzone, causing a safety. A punt by Hamilton Scott put Bethlehem at its own 3-yard line prior.

Holy Cross started to pile on late in the first quarter when Joey Wilder took an interception 29 yards for a touchdown, putting the Indians up 8-0. Bethlehem's Downs scored a touchdown bringing his team back within 2, at 8-6, but before the first half concluded, Hamilton Scott had a 34-yard touchdown run putting the Indians up 15-6 at the break.
Early in the third, Derrick Barnes scored a 37-yard touchdown run for the Indians, and the Holy Cross defense created struggles for Bethlehem which was forced to punt three more times down the stretch and lost possession on another interception, this time by Owen Finke.
Xavier Abernathy added another score for Holy Cross in the fourth.
Holy Cross held Bethelem to just. 140 total yards. The Indians' Hamilton Scott led all rushers with 12 for 103, followed up by Derrick Barnes with 74, Barnes also average 10 yards a carry on his 10 carries. After Friday's 29-6 win, the Indians (3-3) will prepare for next week's match-up with Newport Central Catholic in Covington.
Holy Cross Homecoming
-Brian Frey
Other Scores
Walton-Verona 27, Owen Co. 6 The Bearcats have put together a three-game winning streak since starting the season 0-4. The three remaining games on Walton's schedule are all winnable. Next week, the Bearcats (3-4) travel to Gallatin Co.
Conner 6, Lloyd 0 Two teams that have put some serious points on the board all season opted for defense on Friday and the Cougars came out on top in this low-scoring affair. Conner has won four straight and is now 5-1 on the year and will welcome Campbell Co. to Hebron next week. The Juggernauts fall to 4-2 but will aim to get back on track next week at Newport.
Beechwood 69, Newport 23 The good news for the Wildcats of Newport is that the team finally scored more than single digits this season. The bad news is that Beechwood tripled their number. Newport falls to 1-5 on the year and hosts Lloyd next week. Beechwood is now 5-1 and will head to Bellevue next Friday.
Ryle 49, George Rogers Clark 10 The Raiders show no signs of slowing down in a season that they have dominated. Ryle is now 6-0 and heads across town to Cooper next week.
Cooper 35, Dixie 7 The Jaguars had no trouble with the Colonels on Friday en route to improving their record to 5-2. Next week, Cooper welcomes neighbor Ryle for what should be a fun game. Dixie, meanwhile, drops to 1-5 on the year and will face a fellow struggling team next week when the Colonels travel to Ft. Thomas to take on Highlands.
-Michael Monks
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