NKY Football: Holmes Tops Newport, New Cath Downs Holy Cross; Scoreboard
High school football's second week in Northern Kentucky saw RCN's Jason Finnell at the Newport Central Catholic-Holy Cross game and he has a full report below while RCN photographer Brian Frey was at the Holmes-Newport game and he has a full slideshow below. The full scoreboard from around the region is also below.
Newport Central Catholic pulled away from Holy Cross in the second half Friday night at Thomas More University, 32-6, overcoming a slow start and the loss of its first and second-string kickers, seniors Sam Lavin and Nick McSwigan. The pair, members of NCC’s soccer team, were injured in the Thoroughbreds’ All-A match Thursday evening.
Despite Thursday’s unfortunate curveball being thrown at the Thoroughbreds, Head Coach Steve Lickert knows his team is prepared. “We are going to recruit some younger kids from our soccer team to see if they want to come out. We have some guys on our team who I think can kick but this didn’t happen until yesterday. I got a text about 11:30 (P.M.) about Sam, who is the P.A.T. guy so I didn’t know anything about it until I woke up this morning with Sam. Our kicking situation will be fine, we will get that fixed,” he said.
Holy Cross appeared to strike first midway through the opening quarter as senior Brandon McClendon fielded freshman Noah Ohkadlansky’s punt inside Thoroughbreds’ territory and raced 45 yards to the end zone. However, Indians’ defensive tackle Elijah Hicks was penalized for roughing the punter and the down was re-tried. On the Indians’ next play following the re-kick, freshman running back Lavarr Jones fumbled and the Thoroughbreds recovered. NewCath’s first scoring drive of the game began with runs of 14 by Joey Runyon and 10 yards by senior Jahmir Ackerson. Two plays later, senior quarterback Malaki Herndon scrambled for a 21-yard gain to put the Thoroughbreds at the Indians’ 20-yard line. After chipping away at the Indians’ defense with runs, Herndon found senior receiver Quentin Meyer for a touchdown and an 8-0 NewCath lead following a successful two-point conversion. Near the conclusion of the first, NCC capitalized on the second Holy Cross turnover of the night, as sophomore Luke Runyon picked off Indians’ junior quarterback Hayden Spencer on an overthrow. Two minutes into the second quarter, Herndon crossed the goal line on a keeper, giving NewCath a 14-0 lead. But the Indians countered with a quick score. Sophomore Javier Ison found Javier Ward down the left sideline for a 61-yard touchdown and a 14-6 deficit after a blocked extra point.
The Thoroughbreds next possession resulted in a punt, but it was their defense that rose to the occasion. On third down from the Indians’ own eight-yard line, Ison was hit as he dropped back to pass and fumbled. Indians’ junior punter Ian McDonald then batted down a high snap toward his feet and kicked the ball off the turf due to the oncoming NewCath rush and was flagged for illegal touching, resulting in a safety and two additional points for the Thoroughbreds. At the half, the score remained 16-6.
Last season, NewCath rolled over the Indians’ easily, 50-14. Did Lickert’s team overlook them this year? “I think it’s possible. I think it’s more we had some injuries last week and some of our guys didn’t practice all week because they were healing up. It’s only the second week of the season so you can’t take a week off. We weren’t as sharp offensively. We came out slow and lackadaisical, but anytime the McClendon kid is on the other team you have to be ready to play because he can score anytime, and they have big, physical lineman. The biggest thing is our guys just came out a little slow, flat and that’s on me and I’m going to fix it.”
The first drive of the third quarter for NCC featured a false start, delay of game and culminated in an early timeout before the play clock ran out of their offense for the second time in as many plays. A few plays later, McClendon picked off Herndon, however, the Indians were unable to capitalize. NewCath’s next possession resulted in a five-yard touchdown run by Runyon, and NCC stretched the margin to 18, 24-6.
As the final quarter ticked away with several of its starters resting, Herndon scrambled to his right inside the Indians’ 20 and found Luke Brockman in the end zone as the Thoroughbreds wore down Holy Cross, 32-6.
Overall, Lickert was satisfied with his teams’ conditioning level despite the condensed offseason training period. “We went three days a week from June 15, on and an hour-and-a-half like you were allowed to do, and it was intense. Our guys got in shape. I feel like last week and this week our shape was pretty good. We can always do better but I am pleased so far with our shape vs. the team that we are playing…The biggest thing is we need to get a little more crisp on offense, get lined up and read our keys on defense and we will keep getting better.”
NewCath (2-0) faces rival Newport (1-1) next Friday, while Holy Cross (1-1) hosts Bishop Brossart (0-2).
See the photos from this game below in the slideshow. The Bulldogs doubled up Newport to gain their first win of the season, improving to 1-1. Newport drops to 1-1 and will face rival Newport Central Catholic (2-0) next week while Holmes hosts Loveland (Oh.).
Boone Co. 28
This game went to overtime in Taylor Mill before the visiting Rebels put it away, to pick up their first win of the year. Boone Co. (1-1) visits Conner (1-0) next week. Scott (0-1) will look for redemption on the road at Rowan Co.
Gallatin Co. 27
The Tigers fell to 0-2 on the year with a home loss on Friday night. Bellevue travels to Erlanger next week to face Lloyd in what will be the Juggernauts' first game.
Bishop Brossart 33
The Panthers bounced back from last week's home loss to Carroll Co. by running up the scoreboard and putting away the visiting Mustangs. Ludlow (1-1) hits the road next week with a visit to Nicholas Co. while Brossart (0-2) plays at Holy Cross.
Covington Catholic 19
It was another close game for the Colonels, but Cov Cath improved to 2-0 on the season by holding off Beechwood (1-1). Cov Cath visits Cooper (0-2) next week while Beechwood hosts Ryle (1-1).
Read full coverage of this game at Fort Thomas Matters. The Bluebirds went into Union on Friday night and left with a win. Highlands (1-1) hosts Boyle Co. next week in Fort Thomas while Ryle (1-1) vists Ft. Mitchell for a date with Beechwood (1-1).
Campbell Co. 6
The Cougars opened their season with a big win on the road Friday night, beating Campbell Co. in Alexandria. Conner (1-0) hosts Boone Co. next week while Campbell Co. (1-1) continues its home stand with a visit from Oldham Co.
Simon Kenton 39
The Pioneers continue to roll in the early season, routing the Bearcats at home in Independence. Simon Kenton (2-0) hosts Johnson Central next week while Walton (0-2) hopes to put one in the win column when Gallatin Co. visits.
Louisville DeSales 42
The Jaguars were roughed up at home on Friday night and fall to 0-2 on the season. Next week Cooper hosts Covington Catholic.
Dixie Heights 22
The Colonels fell in a tight game, part of the Cumberland Falls Pigskin Classic. Dixie (0-2) is back in Edgewood next week with a visit from Madison Central.