NKY Football: New Cath Downs Dayton in Battle of Unbeatens; NKY Scoreboard
High school football's sixth week in Northern Kentucky saw RCN's Jason Finnell and Brian Frey at the Newport Central Catholic-Dayton game and we have a full report below along with dozens of photos from the game in the slideshow at the bottom. Plus, check out the full NKY scoreboard below.
Newport Catholic notched its second district win Friday night at Dayton’s historic O.W. Davis Field, wearing down the Greendevils with its depth and size, 34-6.
In the matchup of undefeated teams, Dayton held its own in the first half but was on its heels for most of the game because of the Thoroughbreds’ strong ground game and senior running back, Joey Runyon. With under three minutes remaining in the opening quarter, Runyon fielded a punt at midfield and returned it 18 yards to the Dayton 32-yard line. On second-and-11, quarterback Malaki Herndon rolled right and found Quentin Meyer for a 19-yard gain. Several plays later, Herndon faked an inside run but pitched to his left for Ryan Routzan, who took it in from nine yards out for the score and a 6-0 NewCath lead. The Greendevils moved backward on its ensuing possession as the second quarter got under way with two consecutive false start penalties followed by a one-yard run on third down. After re-gaining possession, NewCath quickly found itself in Dayton territory after Runyon gave the Thoroughbreds a new set of downs after a 23-yard run up the middle. Herndon pushed his team to the 11, then found tight end Preston Baggett in the flat and Greendevils’ defenders were unable to bring him down and NewCath went up by two scores, 13-0. While Dayton did not have any long-sustained drives in the half, they were able to slow Herndon at times because the running quarterback slipped down several times on the grass field. Thoroughbreds’ Head Coach Steve Lickert said the grass at O.W. Davis was a little longer than what his team practices on but “we’re not making excuses and I was telling our guys, we better get ready for what this is because we are going to be playing on grass at some point in the playoffs and when we do that we can’t say, ‘oh, crap we’re playing on grass.’ It’s just a mentality.”
Herndon was able to keep his feet on NewCath’s opening possession of the third quarter when he scrambled 14 yards for a touchdown, capping off a seven-play, 53-yard drive which featured sophomore Chad Atkins and Runyon teaming up for chunk yardage runs and putting them ahead, 20-0. However, the Greendevils put together their best drive of the game on its next possession, chewing up over seven minutes, as James Matthews – replacing Jordan Marksberry, out for the season with an ACL tear – carried 11 times, culminating in an eight-yard run up the middle for a touchdown, cutting into NewCath’s lead, 20-6. The Dayton defense held the Thoroughbreds on their next possession, forcing a turnover on downs, but were unable to take advantage. After forcing a Dayton three-and-out, the Thoroughbreds found the end zone again on their second drive of the final quarter. Like he had done for the majority of the second half and the game, Runyon took advantage of his offensive line’s blocking, adding another score for NewCath on a 28-yard run as he kept his feet just long enough to fall across the goal line after he was tripped up by Dayton defenders. The Thoroughbreds’ widened the margin to 21, 27-6. His second touchdown on the night came five minutes later from five yards out to widen NewCath’s lead, 34-6, as the clock wound under two minutes. “He’s (Runyon) a warrior. He’s a guy that every single play you are going to get every single once of energy that he has and he played really well tonight,” Lickert said.
NewCath (5-0) stays undefeated and returns home next Thursday on a short week to face Bellevue in another District Four matchup. The Tigers (0-6) are still searching for their first victory after falling 54-8 to Ludlow (2-4) on Friday evening. Dayton (5-1) looks to bounce back next Friday at Ludlow.
The Panthers ended their three-game skid by pounding their host on Friday night. Ludlow (2-4) hosts Dayton next week. Bellevue, meanwhile, remains winless at 0-6, and visits Newport Central Catholic next Friday.
Holy Cross 20
The Wildcats picked up their third-straight win, holding off Holy Cross on Friday. Newport (4-2) hosts Beechwood next week while Holy Cross (1-5), which has lost five straight, plays host to Lloyd.
Covington Catholic 42
The Colonels had to trouble with their visitors from Fort Thomas, and improved to 5-0 on the year. Cov Cath hosts Conner next week while Highlands (3-3) hosts Cooper. Read coverage of this game from Fort Thomas Matters.
Boyd Co. 26
The Eagles picked up their first win of the year, holding off their visitors in Taylor Mill Friday. Scott (1-4) visits Holmes next week.
Harrison Co. 14
The Bulldogs picked up their third-straight win to improve to 4-2 on the year. Holmes hosts Scott next week.
The Tigers put up their second consecutive rout in Fort Mitchell, easily dispatching the visiting Juggernauts. Beechwood (4-2) will try to keep the momentum going next week in a visit to Newport. Lloyd, meanwhile, falls to 2-2 and visits Holy Cross next week.
Simon Kenton 41
Campbell Co. 34
The Pioneers ended a three-game losing streak in their visit to Alexandria on Friday. Simon Kenton (3-3) hosts Ryle next week. Campbell Co. (2-4) visits Dixie Heights next Friday.
Louisville Shawnee 6
The Bearcats were unkind to their visitors from Louisville, improving to 4-2 on the year, with four straight wins. Walton visits North Laurel next week.
Boone Co. 6
The Jaguars started a four-game road trip on the right foot, beating the Rebels easily in Florence on Friday night. Cooper (2-4) visits Highlands next week while Boone Co. (1-5) looks to end its four-game losing streak at Louisville Valley.
Dixie Heights 14
The Raiders picked up their second consecutive win to even their season record at 3-3. Ryle visits Simon Kenton next week. The loss snapped Dixie's three-game winning streak, but the Colonels (3-3) will hope to be back on the winning side of things next week when Campbell Co. visits Edgewood.
Bishop Brossart 27
It is four wins in a row for the Mustangs, who easily dispatched Paris in Alexandria on Friday. Brossart (4-2) visits Sayre next week.
Story by Jason Finnell
Photos by Brian Frey
Scoreboard by Michael A. Monks