NKY Football: Holmes Downs Scott; Weather Halts Some Games; Photos & Scoreboard
High school football's seventh week in Northern Kentucky saw RCN's Jason Finnell and Brian Frey at the Scott-Holmes 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.
Overcoming an early 14-point deficit and a weather delay that created a pause in action for nearly an hour, the Holmes Bulldogs assured themselves a home playoff game, running away from Scott, 50-25, Friday night in Covington.
The Eagles showed great urgency early on, befitting of a game that held its playoff fate, beginning with a quick 39-yard strike from quarterback Gus Howlett to Riley Huff for a 7-0 Scott lead, 15 seconds into the contest. Though Holmes went three-and-out on its possession, punter Gavin Bell’s 58-yard boot pinned the Eagles deep within their own territory at the two. However, Howlett and the offense were up for the challenge. The junior methodically led his team downfield with a mix of pass and run with Nolan Hunter and Bennie Hill combining for the second-consecutive scoring drive for Scott, culminating with Huff’s second touchdown of the game on a 34-yard pass over the middle and a 14-0 early advantage for the Eagles midway through the opening quarter. Down by two scores, Bulldogs’ squads of the past might have given up, Holmes Head Coach Ben Nevels said. But the 2020 version is a different team and it showed. “Credit Scott. They came out with a good game plan and jumped on us right now and kind of caught us off guard. Fortunately, our kids…we’ve grown. Our culture has changed. In the past, everybody used to say, ‘If you can get up on Holmes early, they will quit but as you saw tonight, a team got up on us early and we didn’t quit, we responded. Our culture has changed.” When sophomore Braidin Green made a diving interception of Howlett on Scott’s ensuing drive, the Bulldogs’ excitement on the sideline exhibited that “change” Nevels talked about, sensing an opportunity. With under three minutes remaining, quarterback Quantez Calloway scraped his way for five yards on a fourth-down keeper to keep the drive alive inside the Scott 30. Several plays later, Calloway handed off to his brother, Tayquan, and the fellow senior found the end zone from 12 yards out to cut into the deficit, 14-6, after Q. Calloway was stopped short on the two-point conversion attempt.
For as quickly Scott jumped out to a 14-point lead, it evaporated. Howlett threw two interceptions to begin consecutive possessions, the second a one-handed pick by T. Calloway in the middle of the field. After Q. Calloway ran around the right side for 13 yards and a first down, he was shoved by an Eagles defender, as Scott began to unravel. After the personal foul penalty placed the ball inside the Eagles’ 20-yard line, sophomore Curtez Hill ran around his left side on a jet sweep for 15 yards and a Bulldogs’ touchdown to tie the game at 14-14. However, Holmes was not finished. Taking advantage of good field position inside Eagles’ territory after another first-play-from-scrimmage interception from Howlett, the Bulldogs’ quarterback added to the Holmes’ lead on a six-yard keeper. In nearly a quarter’s time, the Bulldogs’ turned a 14-0 deficit into a 22-14 advantage with 5:28 left before halftime.
During several minutes of the second quarter, the game went on as the sky lit up the houses framing Tom Ellis Field. Once the lightning became too close, the referees called everyone off the field and play halted for an hour until the weather passed and a light drizzle remained. Once play resumed with 5:11 left prior to halftime, Howlett spotted Hill down the left sideline but the ball sputtered out of his hands as he immediately took off his gloves and tossed them toward the sideline after the drop. Scott was unable to regroup after the extended break and punted away. As Holmes continued its momentum, sophomore Emauryon Arnold became involved in the Bulldogs’ offense with carries of 10 and nine yards, respectively. After a big gain by Q. Calloway on a keeper, Arnold carried through the middle of the Eagles’ defense for a 36-yard score and a 28-14 Holmes lead, which it would maintain into the weather-shortened halftime.
Out of the break, the Eagles tried an onside kick to no avail as the ball rolled out of bounds, giving Holmes field position on the Scott side of the 50. It appeared the Bulldogs’ were on their way to another score when T. Calloway raced past Eagles’ defenders, but he was caught from behind and had the ball knocked loose before crossing the goal line. Scott recovered at the six and did not waste any time, as Howlett lofted a pass down the left sideline for a streaking Hill and the running back outraced Bulldogs’ chasing him to complete the 94-yard play. After Holmes was called for offsides, Scott decided to go for two; the try was successful and the Eagles were within six, 28-22, with just over five minutes remaining in the third. However, Holmes countered. Arnold gashed the Eagles’ with several big runs through the middle while T. Calloway and Hill kept stretching Scott’s defense on the outside with jet sweeps. On first-and-goal from the Eagles’ eight, Hill ran around the left side for his first touchdown of the evening and a 36-22 Bulldogs’ lead. While Scott was able to get on the scoreboard after a bit of a draught on its ensuing drive, it left points on the board. On third-and-eight from the Holmes’ 11, Howlett found Hill wide open in the end zone but the ball fell to the turf as the ball appeared to arrive before the running back could get his hands up. The Eagles settled for a field goal to inch closer, 36-25. The Bulldogs’ next possession featured T. Calloway, as the speedy senior found the end zone from 21 yards out to increase the lead to 19, 44-25, to close out the third. With six minutes remaining, Arnold’s 14-yard run up the middle capped the evening’s scoring, 50-25. “Tonight, we were able to explode on offense and we did just enough on defense to get by and it is going to be fun. We are on the verge of figuring this thing out,” Nevels said.
The Bulldogs (5-2) stay home to face Bellevue, who dropped to 0-7 on Thursday evening after a 42-7 loss to NewCath. Scott (1-5) returns home to face Dixie Heights (3-3), who take on Campbell County Saturday afternoon.
Dayton suffered its second straight loss after a perfect start to the season. The Greendevils are now 5-2 and hope to get back on the winning side of things when Carroll Co. visits next week. Ludlow, meanwhile, has won two straight and is now 3-4 on the year. The Panthers visit Holy Cross next week.
Newport Central Catholic 42
New Cath is still perfect through six games this year after routing the visiting Tigers. New Cath (6-0) will face a tough Beechwood team at home next week. Bellevue (0-7) visits Holmes next week.
Note: This game was played Thursday, October 22
NOTE: The Beechwood-Newport game was halted Friday evening and is set to be resumed Saturday morning with Beechwood leading 27-7 in the second quarter.
The visiting Jaguars took swift care of the Bluebirds in Fort Thomas on Friday night. Read about the game at Fort Thomas Matters. Cooper (3-4) looks to build on its two-game winning streak next week at Ryle while Highlands (3-4) brings in Cincinnati Moeller next Friday.
West Carter 26
Boone Co. 13
The Rebels were handed their fifth-straight loss, doubled up at home on Friday night. Boone Co. (1-6) visits Campbell Co. next week.
NOTE: The Bishop Brossart-Sayre game was halted Friday evening and will be resumed Saturday evening with Sayre leading 13-6 in the second quarter.
NOTE: The Ryle-Simon Kenton game was halted Friday evening and will be resumed Saturday morning with the score tied at 7.
NOTE: Lloyd plays at Holy Cross on Saturday morning at 10.
Covington Catholic 40
Cov Cath is now 6-0 and has held its opponents scoreless in three of its past four games and has outscored its opponents this season, 208-38. Next week, the Colonels visit Simon Kenton. Conner (3-2) visits George Rogers Clark next week.
North Laurel 28
Walton had its four-game winning streak ended on the road Friday. The Bearcats (4-3) welcomes Louisville Holy Cross to town next week.
Scoreboard assembled by Michael Monks
Photos by Brian Frey