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NKY Football: Only Beechwood to Finals; Cov Cath, New Cath Fall in Semis

The semifinals of the Kentucky high school football playoffs saw three Northern Kentucky teams take the field in their respective classes, but only one survive to next week's state championship games.

The Beechwood Tigers won in dramatic fashion at West Carter in Class 2A, securing a one-point win on a late two-point conversion, to seal the game at 35-34.

See highlights from WXIX:

Beechwood (9-2) carries its seven-game winning streak to Kroger Field in Lexington for next week's title game against Lexington Christian (10-1).

In Class 1A, Newport Central Catholic saw its season end at Painstville, 21-7.

The Thoroughbreds finish the year at 8-3. Painstville will play Kentucky Country Day in the 1A state finals.

In Class 5A, Covington Catholic was shut out at home in Park Hills by its guests from Bowling Green. RCN's Jason Finnell has the recap and Brian Frey has a photo slideshow below:


Covington Catholic fell in its return bid to the state championship, falling 20-0 to Bowling Green, as the Purples’ dominated on their way to Lexington where it will face Owensboro in the 5A State Final at UK’s Kroger Field next Saturday afternoon.

Colonels’ senior quarterback Caleb Jacob was unable to find a rhythm with his receivers and struggled all evening, throwing four interceptions. After its first drive resulted in a punt, Bowling Green needed only two plays to get on the board. On second down at their own 27, Purples’ quarterback Conner Cooper raced up the middle 73 yards for a touchdown and an early 7-0 lead for Bowling Green. CovCath’s Jacob was picked off by Eli Burwash, but the Colonels held and forced a punt, keeping the Purples in-check for the remainder of the opening quarter. Senior Dylan Echols intercepted Jacob deep in Colonels’ territory to begin the second, inside the 10-yard line, but the Purples gave it right back. On first down, Cooper was tackled by a host of CovCath defenders and while falling to the turf, the ball squirted out toward the goal line and was recovered at the two. The Colonels were unable to gain any momentum after Owen Nally was stopped for a yard and Garrett Benke dropped an open pass that would have given CovCath a new set of downs and a little more breathing room out from the shadow of its own goal line. As Bowling Green was driving down field, Nally intercepted Cooper as the Purples appeared headed for their second score of the game. However, Jacob’s third down pass deflected off Benke and into the hands of linebacker Rece Jones, who returned it to the Colonels’ two. Then, Javeius Bunton’s one-yard dive put the Purples ahead 13-0, a lead it held into halftime.

Neither team was unable to get on the board to begin the second half, with each team punting away their first two possessions of the third quarter. Echols’ second interception on the game – again with the Colonels’ deep inside their own territory, also resulted in Bowling Green’s final touchdown of the game. But Echols’ interception return was taken off the board by the officials on a block in the back call on the Purples. Following the penalty, Bunton’s 16-yard carry placed the Purples at the one and Cooper punched it in three players later, a keeper for a three-score advantage for Bowling Green, 20-0. 

The Purples’ opponent, Owensboro, defeated Frederick Douglass in a nail-biter, 28-27, on Friday night. Bowling Green (9-2) looks to ruin the Red Devils’ 12-0 record next Saturday afternoon. CovCath finishes its season at 10-2.

-Jason Finnell

Slideshow Images & Captions: