NKY Football: Holmes Shuts Out New Cath; Local Games Canceled by COVID
The final week of the regular season for Northern Kentucky high school football saw several games canceled due to COVID-19 policies. Those games included Bellevue at Lloyd, Bishop Brossart at Dayton, Cooper at Dixie Heights, Ludlow at Gallatin Co., and Scott at Holy Cross.
RCN's Jason Finnell and Brian Frey were at Friday night's Holmes-Newport Central Catholic game. You can read Jason's article and see Brian's photos below. The full regional scoreboard is also below.
The Holmes Bulldogs kept on rolling Friday night against Newport Catholic as it heads into the playoffs riding a six-game winning streak after defeating the Thoroughbreds, 20-0, at Newport Stadium.
Looking to put last week’s tough loss behind them, the Thoroughbreds’ defense had trouble containing Holmes quarterback Quantez Calloway. The two teams, meeting for the first time in eight years, Calloway led the Bulldogs down field, culminating in a one-yard sneak to put Holmes up 6-0. After picking off NewCath’s Malaki Herndon, the speedy Calloway extended Holmes’ lead, racing to the end zone past Thoroughbreds’ defenders giving chase for a 42-yard score and 14-0 margin after a successful two-point conversion. As the second quarter began with the Thoroughbreds at midfield following a 22-yard run from Joey Runyon, NewCath appeared to swing momentum its way as Herndon found Quentin Meyer for a 33-yard gain to the Holmes’ 17. Runyon’s run around the right side put NewCath inside the Bulldogs’ 10 and a new set of downs. However, on third-and-goal from the two yard line, Herndon extended out toward the goal line but as he landed into the end zone, he lost control of the football and it was recovered by Holmes for a touchback. NewCath would not get inside the Holmes’ 10-yard line for the remainder of the game. While the Thoroughbreds’ misfortune had much to do with its offensive struggles, Bulldogs’ punter (and center/defensive lineman) Nate Pouncy played a role, as well. Pouncy’s strong leg placed the Thoroughbreds deep inside their own territory multiple times on the evening. On its last possession before halftime, he pinned NewCath’s offense deep with a 63-yard punt despite Holmes having to punt the ball away inside its 20. “Nate did a fabulous job. Most people don’t realize he’s also our starting center and he starts on the d-line. When he gets a hold of it, he booms it. He’s done a great job for us the past two weeks of punting us into great field position defensively,” Bulldogs’ Head Coach Ben Nevels said.
Near the end of the third quarter and to begin the fourth, Calloway intercepted Herndon twice with a span of minutes and kept the Thoroughbreds from getting anything going. Back under center for their initial drive of the final quarter, Calloway led the Bulldogs 51 yards while chewing up nearly seven minutes off the clock to seal the victory. Facing fourth-and-three from the NewCath 44, Holmes lined up in punt formation. But Curtez Hill took the direct snap to the surprise of Thoroughbred defenders, 20 yards before being tackled at the 24. “I wear a mask to stay safe. We’re out here on the football field, we are playing for the win and I knew that if we could get that first down, we would have it rolling and put the nail in the coffin. We put it in the other day, practiced it and saved it for the right moment and our kids executed it and it was good,” Nevels said of the decision to go for the fake. After three consecutive stops by NewCath on the goal line, fullback Emauryon Arnold put the game out of reach from one yard out for a 20-0 Holmes advantage.
“It’s great to keep it rolling. To get a win and anytime you come on the road and get a win over a quality opponent like NewCath going into the playoffs, it’s huge. We came out healthy and we couldn’t be happier.”
Holmes is off to its best start since 2010, when it also was 7-2 after nine games. The Thoroughbreds head into the postseason on a two-game slide, being shut out by a combined score of 65-0. Each schools’ first round opponent has not yet been determined.
Covington Catholic 28
Lexington Catholic 29
The Colonels' 22-game winning streak, dating back through last year's championship season, was snapped on the road in Lexington. Cov Cath finishes the regular season 7-1.
Campbell Co. 21
The Bluebirds ended a three-game skid to close out the regular season with a 4-5 records. Campbell Co. finishes the regular season at 2-6.
Boone Co. 12
The Rebels ended their six-game losing streak by beating their smaller neighbors to the south, and finish the regular season at 2-7. Walton finishes the regular season at 5-4.
The Raiders cruised to their fifth-straight win, finishing the regular season at 6-3. The Cougars are 3-3.
Scoreboard compiled by Michael Monks
Photos by Brian Frey