NKY Football: Only Two of Six NKY Teams Survive Quarterfinals
Northern Kentucky sent six teams into the quarterfinals of their respective classes' football playoffs.
Only two advanced to the semifinals.
Covington Catholic dominated Madison Southern in Class 5A action to remain undefeated. RCN photographer Brian Frey was in Park Hills for the game and a slideshow is below.
Beechwood also won big over West Carter in a Class 2A clash in Ft. Mitchell. RCN contributor Jason Finnell was at that game and has a full recap below.
The four local teams who were made to hit the road for their quarterfinal games were all defeated. The full scoreboard is below.
The visiting West Carter Comets had the better record entering Friday night’s 2A state quarterfinal match-up – 9-3 versus Beechwood’s 7-5 – but the Tigers dominated the Comets on the way to a 42-7 victory and a trip to Mayfield next week in the state-semifinals.
Following a short kickoff and beginning on its own 40-yard line, Beechwood’s Cam Hergott found Brady Moore near midfield and the sophomore receiver was brought down at the 36 and the Tigers were off and running. On the heels of Moore’s big play, Avery Courtney took a handoff up the middle for a gain of 17 yards and a first down. Mason Williams got the Tigers inside the 10 with a six-yard reception but Beechwood came away empty-handed as normally sure-footed kicker Colin Graman’s 37-yard field goal attempt came up short. Comets’ quarterback Orry Perry found Leetavious Cline for a 27-yard gain into Tigers’ territory on third down to keep their drive alive. However, an ensuing three-yard loss on a Cline run, an offensive holding penalty followed by a false start forced West Carter to punt it away. Hergott’s legs jumpstarted Beechwood on its next possession. On second-and-16 on their 45, Hergott found a seam through the right side and scrambled his way down to the Comets’ 30. After a Courtney carry to the 18-yard line, Hergott kept the ball for eight additional yards. Courtney was stuffed for a three-yard loss on the ensuing play but made up for it on third-and-three, with a 13-yard score up the middle and a 7-0 Tigers’ lead with 2:08 to play in the opening quarter.
Then, Williams’ big play keyed Beechwood’s next scoring opportunity with a 21-yard punt return inside the West Carter 30, one of a myriad of big plays for the senior receiver. “He’s been like that all year. We were able to create moments for him; once you create space for him, he’s special,” Tigers’ Head Coach Noel Rash said. Parker Mason kept the Tigers going with a fourth down reception then Courtney was stopped just short of the goal line on a run up the middle. On first-and-goal, Hergott pushed his way into the end zone behind Mitchell Corts and Torin O’Shea for a 14-0 Tigers’ advantage. As the clock ticked down toward the half with under two minutes remaining, Beechwood looked to increase its lead. Williams again gave the Tigers good field position with a solid punt return and the Comets were flagged for pass interference in the end zone after Hergott’s pass fell incomplete. Several plays later, Courtney found the end zone from two yards out for his second touchdown of the half and a 21-0 Tigers’ lead.
For nearly eight minutes, the third quarter remained scoreless but on the Tigers’ scoring play, it received a brief scare. On second-and-eight on the West Carter 39, Hergott scanned the field and found Mason behind Comets’ defenders for a 39-yard touchdown. The junior quarterback was hit hard on the play, lying on the turf and exited the game, briefly. He is fine, Rash said, adding he just took a hit at an awkward angle. Down 28-7, West Carter took advantage of two Tigers’ penalties on their next possession. Beechwood was flagged for roughing the passer on second down and pass interference on third, which wiped away a Moore interception. Following the call, Perry rolled to his right and found Logan Berry in the corner of the end zone for the Comets’ first points of the game on a pass that deflected off the hands of Moore. But the Tigers’ countered in quick fashion. After recovering the onside kick, Hergott raced 65 yards on second down and put Beechwood back ahead by four touchdowns, 35-7. Then on West Carter’s ensuing drive, Williams intercepted Perry and returned it into Comets’ territory and the Tigers were in business once again. Courtney’s first down run was called back by holding but Hergott found Williams for a 15-yard gain two plays later and Mason finalized the scoring for Beechwood with his second touchdown on the night, a 22-yard reception.
The Tigers' win Friday sealed their first regional championship as members of 2A. Mayfield, also new to the division, face Beechwood for the first time since their state-semifinal five years ago. While they have met five times previously, the Tigers are searching for their first win against the Cardinals. “I know that Joe Morris runs one heck of a football program…By Sunday night, I should know everything I need to know (watching game tape) to give ourselves a chance,” Rash said of Mayfield.
Next week: Beechwood (8-5) travels to Mayfield (12-1) for a Class 2A semifinal game.
Newport Central Catholic 16 (10-3)
Louisville Holy Cross 21 (11-2)
The Thoroughbreds saw their season end on the road in Louisville on Friday night. New Cath finishes the season at 8-5.
Walton-Verona 28 (8-5)
Breathitt County 57 (13-0)
Had the Bearcats managed to win on the road Friday night, hopes would have remained alive for an all-NKY Class 2A final between Walton and Beechwood. But after Walton was thrashed on the road in eastern Kentucky, only Beechwood remains. Walton-Verona finishes the season at 8-5.
Scott 0 (8-5)
Boyle County 55 (13-0)
The Eagles' season ends at 8-5 on the road in south-central Kentucky.
Madison Southern 9 (7-6)
Covington Catholic 49 (13-0)
The Colonels' perfect season continued with a rout of Madison Southern. Cov Cath retains home field advantage for next week's semifinal match-up against Bowling Green (9-3). Photos from the Colonels' win on Friday can be seen below.
Simon Kenton 8
Tates Creek 47
The Pioneers were beaten badly in Lexington and their season ends at 8-5.