NKY Football Playoffs: New Cath Downs Ludlow; Beechwood Advances; NKY Scoreboard
The next round of the Kentucky high school football playoffs is set after another slate of games on Friday that saw multiple Northern Kentucky teams in action. RCN's Jason Finnell was in Fort Mitchell to cover Beechwood's shutout win over Lloyd. His article is below. RCN photographer Brian Frey was in Newport for Newport Central Catholic's win over Ludlow, and his photo slideshow is below. Other area games are detailed in the scoreboard below.
Playing its first game in three weeks, the Beechwood Tigers overcame a slow start and a tough Lloyd team that hung around before the Tigers pulled away in the second half, 38-0, Friday night in Fort Mitchell in the Second Round of the 2A State Playoffs.
On the heels of a blocked punt by Nick Stecht that placed Beechwood inside the Lloyd 30-yard line, Tigers’ standout quarterback Cam Hergott scanned the field for open receivers but tucked the ball away and weaved his way between Juggernauts’ defenders into the end zone from 24 yards out for his first touchdown of the game. After Lloyd was forced into a three-and-out on its ensuing possession, Beechwood tried to keep the momentum going. Hergott hit running back Avery Courtney out of the backfield on a swing pass for 16 yards. Courtney bulled his way to the 27, then Hergott found a hole through the middle for another 16 yards. However, the Tigers were stopped shortly, thereafter when a holding call that nullified a completion near the goal line after Hergott scrambled to his left and found an open receiver. After junior Parker Mason’s third down reception put Beechwood well within field goal range, Colin Graman’s 25-yard attempt sailed wide right as the quarter ended with the Tigers clinging to a 7-0 lead. Beechwood Head Coach Noel Rash credited Lloyd’s aggressiveness coming out of the gate on Friday night. “Lloyd played aggressive and they have a great run game, and we couldn’t get off blocks. At the snap, they were playing better than us. And the second thing is, we’ve been off, but everybody has been off. COVID has been affecting everybody and we have to overcome that as coaches just as much if not more than the players. Give Lloyd credit, they earned it,” adding that if the Tigers want to attain their goals, they must play better overall.
Lloyd’s opening drive of the second quarter chewed up most of the clock. The duo of quarterback Jacob Davidson and running back Amari Riley led the Juggernauts down the field and into Beechwood territory, steadily keeping pressure on the Tigers defense. Riley’s two consecutive runs of 14 and 12 yards, respectively, put the Juggernauts in good position for their first scoring opportunity. However, on what might have been the turning point of the game, Beechwood stood up four running plays from seven yards away for Lloyd, ultimately stuffing Davidson near the goal line to keep the Juggernauts off the board. The Tigers’ quickly seized the opportunity provided by their defensive goal line stand. After a personal foul late hit out of bounds on Lloyd pushed the ball to the Juggernauts’ 30, Hergott’s 26-yard scramble placed Beechwood at the four. Then, Hergott found a crease through the left side for his second score of the night and a 14-0 Tigers’ lead.
Beechwood began pulling away in the second half. This time, Graman redeemed himself from his earlier miss, connecting on a 22-yarder to give the Tigers a 17-0 advantage midway through the third quarter after Lloyd stopped Hergott scramble just shy of a first down inside the 10-yard line. On their next possession, Beechwood went through the air, as Hergott spotted Cole Stammer for a 32-yard reception by the senior running back to put the Tigers up, 24-0. After Lloyd’s next drive stalled in their own territory and their fourth down conversion attempt failed, Hergott found junior receiver Liam McCormack for a 29-yard touchdown and a 31-0 Beechwood lead.
Tanner Schultz intercepted Davidson’s fourth down pass on the Juggernauts’ ensuing possession and the Tigers’ took advantage of the turnover once again. This time, Torin O’Shea’s run from six yards out gave Beechwood a 38-0 lead and instituted a running clock for the remaining 7:20 of the game.
The Tigers (7-2) stay in Fort Mitchell to face Breathitt County (6-1), a 41-19 winner over Leslie County on Friday night while Lloyd completes its 2020-shortened season at 4-3.
Class 1 A
Newport Catholic 45
The Thoroughbreds snapped a two-game losing streak by taking it to the Panthers on Friday night to advance to the next round of the Class 1A playoffs. New Cath (7-2) will play Kentucky Country Day next Friday. Ludlow finishes its season at 4-6. Photos from this game are in the slideshow below.
Note: Bishop Brossart forfeited its Class 1A playoff games on Friday, automatically losing to Nicholas County, due to COVID-19 policy. The Mustangs finish the season at 5-4.
Carroll Co. 0
The Bearcats snapped Carroll Co.'s five-game winning streak to advance to the next round of the Class 2A playoffs. Walton (7-4) plays at West Carter next Friday.
Covington Catholic 38
Cov Cath pulled away from the Bluebirds in Park Hills to advance to the next round of the Class 5A playoffs. Cov Cath (9-1) will host Madison Southern next week. Highlands ends its season at 5-6. Read a recap of this game at Fort Thomas Matters.
Dixie Heights 41
Dixie had been beaten by Ryle earlier in the season by 30 points but managed to hold off the Raiders in Union on Friday night to advance to the next round of the Class 6A playoffs. Dixie (6-3) plays at undefeated Louisville Trinity next week. Ryle ends its season at 6-4 after having its five-game winning streak snapped.
Scoreboard compiled by Michael Monks
Photos by Brian Frey