NKY Football: Cov Cath Heads to State; Beechwood Falls in Semis
The final game of high school football to be played this season in Northern Kentucky ended with a victory for Covington Catholic as the Colonels secured a spot in the state championship game for the third consecutive season.
The Class 5A title game will pit Cov Cath (14-0) against another undefeated team in Frederick Douglass (14-0) next Saturday at Kroger Field in Lexington.
Kick-off is set for 8 p.m.
RCN contributor Jason Finnell was in Park Hills and has a full recap from the game below. RCN photographer Brian Frey was also there, and has a slideshow from the game below.
In Class 2A action, Beechwood fell at Mayfield, 35-7. The Tigers finish their first season in Class 2A at 8-6.
For the third consecutive year, Covington Catholic will play in the 5A state championship in Lexington at the University of Kentucky’s Kroger Field following its 28-0 victory over Bowling Green Friday evening in Park Hills.
Each team was held scoreless in the opening quarter as Colonels’ running back Daniel Felix fumbled away CovCath’s first possession of the game as he tried to head upfield after his second down reception from quarterback Caleb Jacob and the Purples recovered.
However, Bowling Green was unable to take advantage of the turnover and punted away. Pinned inside its own 10-yard line, Jacob found Michael Boydston uncovered coming out of the backfield and the Colonels had a new set of downs at the 27. Felix tacked on 14 additional yards around the right side but CovCath’s possession stalled there and the Purples’ defense held.
With under three minutes to go, the Colonels began to find their rhythm.
Felix pushed the Purples’ line backward through the middle for 13 yards on second down. Then, the senior running back found an opening through the right side two plays later, gaining 15. Jacob scrambled for five yards on the next play and Luke Zimmerman put the Colonels inside the Bowling Green 30 with a sweep to the right and the quarter came to an end with CovCath facing third-and-short. Jacob found Andy Molique in the right corner of the end zone to kick off the second quarter with a 27-yard pass with Molique leaping above the Purples’ defender for a 7-0 Colonels’ advantage.
Shortly thereafter, standout Notre Dame commit and tight end Michael Mayer began to put his mark on the game with a 25-yard reception over the middle on the Colonels’ second drive, followed by another catch for nine yards on second-and-10 from the Bowling Green 25, and culminating with a 15-yard touchdown reception and a 14-0 lead.
Bowling Green’s high-powered offense continued to be stifled in the second half, going three-and-out on its initial possession. Felix and Boydston carried the Colonels to their third score of the game on its next possession with a mix of screens and runs that kept the Purples’ defense on its heels. Jacob then found receiver Ethan Reardon over the top for 35 yards and Colonels’ stretched the margin to 21 points.
The Purples’ next possession gained eight yards on a quick pass from Conner Cooper to Scott Brown, but the drive regressed from there and they were forced to punt. Mayer got the drive started for the Colonels with his second big catch over the middle gaining 26 yards. Several plays later, Jacob’s pass to Molique gave the Colonels a first down after Molique was held on the play. After the penalty, Felix’s 21-yard run put CovCath at the Purple 21.
This time, it was junior running back Owen Nally who added the Colonels’ fourth and final touchdown to conclude the third quarter from two yards out for a 28-0 CovCath lead. They would get within three yards of the end zone on their ensuing possession but Jacob’s pass on fourth-and-goal from the three-yard line was intercepted by Bowling Green and the Purples had possession at the 20 following the touchback.
Bowling Green ends its season at 9-4 while the Colonels look to finish their second undefeated season in school history next Saturday evening, December 7 at 8 p.m. vs. fellow undefeated opponent, Frederick Douglass.
According to Jacob, the Colonels have learned their lesson after last season’s 20-16 loss to South Warren in the state final. “Focusing more. Last year we thought we got ‘em, we beat everybody. This year, we have to earn it this year. Everything,” he said.