NKY High School Football: Week 11 Results
The final week of the regular season was played under Friday night lights in Northern Kentucky.
The playoffs start next week.
RCN's Jason Finnell was at the Newport-Holmes game in Covington and has a full report below. The full scoreboard is beneath that. If the scoreboard shows scores from a day other than Friday, simply click "back" on the scoreboard widget to see Friday's results from around Northern Kentucky.
A defensive play was the momentum shifter for Newport that propelled it to victory in a game that featured 859 yards of total offense by the Wildcats and Holmes Bulldogs on a rainy Friday night at Tom Ellis Field in Covington. Linebacker Jahmaree Cosby picked off Holmes quarterback James Walker to begin the final quarter and the Wildcats found the end zone three plays later to pull ahead 41-26, and ultimately held off the Bulldogs, 41-32.
On its first possession of the night, Newport quarterback Kaleal Davis couldn’t find an open receiver downfield on fourth-and-25. Avoiding the oncoming rush in the pocket, Davis unleashed a prayer 40 yards into the end zone. Waiting, Simon Keating was there and came down with the reception between two Holmes’ defenders and Newport led 7-0, early in the opening quarter. Following a Bulldogs three-and-out, Davis and the Wildcats took advantage of a short punt and an offsides penalty to bail them out and continue the drive. However, Tyler Porter lost four yards on his first down carry and Davis’ second down pass fell incomplete. On third-and-long from their own 42, Davis spotted Samari Miller behind the safeties for a 62-yard scoring reception and a 13-0 lead after a missed extra point near the end of the first quarter. After only one minute had ticked by on the clock, Holmes’ Walker found Quantez Calloway in the left corner of the end zone for a 40-yard score and the Bulldogs trailed, 13-7. But Newport countered quickly on the strength of Giaunte Jackson’s legs. Following the Walker-to-Calloway touchdown, Jackson responded on his teams’ first play from scrimmage with a 53-yard carry and was dragged down inside the Bulldogs 10. Two plays later, Jackson plowed through the middle for a nine-yard touchdown and 21-6 Wildcats advantage. After a fumbled snap by the Holmes punter gave Newport field position inside the Bulldogs 30, the Wildcats appeared poised to widen their lead. Davis found a wide-open Keating in the end zone, but the pass slipped through his fingers and Holmes took over.
With under five minutes remaining until halftime, the Bulldogs bounced back from their earlier miscues. On first down from its own eight, Walker hit Tayquan Calloway with a quick slant resulting in a 71-yard gain to the Newport 21. Aided by a roughing the passer penalty that placed the ball inside the Wildcats 15, Walker pushed his way into the endzone from a yard out to cut into the Wildcats lead, 21-14, at the break.
The Bulldogs looked to continue their momentum in the second half but stumbled. A coverage sack of Walker resulted in a 10-yard loss for the Bulldogs on second down near midfield. On the ensuing play, Walker was picked off by Davis and 64 yards later he crossed the goal line on the defensive side of the ball to stretch the Wildcats lead to 28-14. With good starting field position near midfield, Holmes Calloway used his breakaway speed to outrace defenders 48 yards before being knocked out of bounds at the Newport one-yard line. Walker was stopped short on two consecutive quarterback sneaks but found the end zone himself on the third try, scoring from six yards out. After a Jackson fumble to begin their drive, the Bulldogs were able to cash in for the second time in as many minutes. On first-and-10 at the Newport 48, Walker found Calloway open near the 10 and his pass bounced off the fingertips of cornerback Zach Wilson and into Calloway’s hands. Holmes trailed by two, 28-26 with under two minutes remaining in the quarter but that would be all the closer they would come. Newport’s next possession resulted in an 80-yard scoring play from Davis to Miller and the Wildcats increased their lead back to seven, 34-26.
To open the final quarter, Cosby intercepted Walker and Newport never looked back. “He (Cosby) does that in practice all the time,” Wildcats’ head coach Joseph Wynn said. “The best thing about it is, they came back and made it a game and our kids could’ve shrunk in that moment but instead they came back and finished well.” Newport finished with a 17-yard touchdown run from Tyler Porter on the heels of the interception and held on to beat Holmes on its home field, 41-32.
Wynn knows his team’s test next Friday night against 9-1 Louisville DeSales will be a great challenge. “We’ve got to tackle better than we did tonight, but I’ve seen DeSales and they’re good. We’ve just got to line up and do us and control what we can control; no mistakes and penalties that are really crucial to the game.”
The 2018 season for Newport is its first above the .500 mark since 2014 when it finished 8-5. The Wildcats look to improve to 7-4 in Louisville.