The River City News's coverage of Northern Kentucky high school football this week includes a column from Dan Weber who was at the Cov Cath-Beechwood game with RCN photographer Brian Frey (who has a photo slideshow at the bottom of the article), and a game report from Jason Finnell who was at the Lloyd-Bishop Brossart game. The full regional scoreboard is below.
BEECHWOOD ROUTS COVINGTON CATHOLIC, 27-7
Dan Weber writes a sports column for The River City News. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For the folks out Ft. Mitchell way, this could not possibly have gone better in front of a double-overflow crowd where the standees and the hill-sitters at both ends of Edgar McNabb Stadium almost equalled the couple of thousand fans filling every possible seat.
Covington Catholic's Colonels arrived late Friday for the Dixie Highway version of the Hatfield and McCoys -- and left early.
A half-hour after a Cameron Hergott-led Tiger team had dispatched CovCath 27-7, hundreds of celebrating Beechwood fans and players looked like they were going to hang around and spend the night on the McNabb turf.
By then, a CovCath team that had warmed up out of sight on the nearby baseball field and barely made it to kickoff was once again out of sight. Start the bus, the winners like to tell the visiting losers. On this night, the losing team couldn't wait to get out of here.
"I'm so glad I came back for this season," super-senior Hergott said of taking advantage of a Kentucky law allowing high school students to return for a repeat year with no loss of eligibility. "I've never beaten them . . . I was a freshman at Highlands and they beat us there too."
But after Hergott's initial touch of the football, Kentucky's first-ever returning Mr. Football made it clear he wasn't taking any chances with this one. On a called pass, the 6-foot-3, 200-pound quarterback with 4.5 speed in the 40, said "Naw, baby, naw."
"I could see it was covered," he said and in the blink of an eye, Hergott turned a pass into a run, splitting two CovCath tacklers just past the line of scrimmage with a little cutback move so slick and quick, well, Hergott couldn't believe they missed him. Ditto for the CovCath kids.
Where'd he go? Well, 62 yards thataway. Although he was disappointed he didn't get it into the end zone, something Hergott did the next two times he had the opportunity in the first half -- once from the 50, another time on a dive over a goal-line pile from the one.
"I love putting the ball in that guy's hands," Beechwood Coach Noel Rash said after his team's first win over CovCath in the last seven tries. "Cameron sets the tone in so many ways."
On this night, Cameron rushed for 165 yards on 17 carries and finished a perfect five for five passing for 35 more yards. In other words, he didn't have to throw it because a surprisingly less-than-physical CovCath couldn't stop him when he was running it.
Which made a lot of folks happy here, especially Rash, who reveled in the big-game atmosphere for his now 5-0 Tigers, the state's top-ranked 2A team. "This is as good as it gets," he said as the media crowded around him, "you're all here."
Indeed we were. There was WLWT with a seven-man crew -- Hey, is that George Vogel? -- sending back live shots from a satellite truck, the first time its 2021 "Comeback Tour" had originated at a Northern Kentucky game. There were in all four TV video cameras on the sidelines.
And courtesy of Chatterbox Sports, the local sports service of the Jeff Wyler Auto Group, there was an ESPN Gameday-like pre-game set in front of the Beechwood student section broadcasting online and to a 15-foot large screen video board behind the end zone.
Hey, is that Thom Brennaman? It sure is. The former Reds and NFL broadcaster banished after a homophobic slur a year ago is back calling high school sports. And here he was at Beechwood.
And like all the media, here for the Cameron Hergott Show. That was obvious when the ball was kicked to Beechwood at one end of the field and the camermen headed to the other end knowing that Cameron would soon be heading their way.
"This means the world to us," Cameron said, ". . . to the whole city. We dream about this, beating them . . . I've been dreaming about it since I was five years old."
A dream for Cameron, a nightmare for CovCath's legendary student cheering section, the "Crazies." Friday night was a "Braveheart" themed event with some 400 Colonel students in kilts and blue chest and face paint. That's it. Needless to say, lots of their sisters and girl friends at Notre Dame and Villa Madonna academies contributed their school uniform plaid skirts to the cause -- but to no avail. Although we heard the bagpipe guy leading the Crazies to their seats wasn't allowed into the stadium.
But the Crazies didn't have all that much to say after Cameron's 200 yards of offense and two TDs. "But you should see my phone," Cameron said of the ways the CovCath kids had gone after him through social media. "They get behind their keyboards and . . . " well you get the idea, "but not so much here."
Beechwood's Rash gathered his team after the game and said "Look at the board," pointing to the 27-7 final score. When they return for practice "next week," he said, "I won't remember this game," but he said they had his permission to enjoy the heck out of it tonight.
"This was a lot tougher than that scoreboard shows," Rash said, praising the Class 5A CovCath team that dropped to 2-3 after a daunting first-half season schedule. Thanks to Cameron's fast start with 149 first-half yards of offense and those two TDs giving Beechwood a 20-7 lead at intermission, "We made 'em drive the ball," Rash said.
But the Beechwood defense really wouldn't allow it, limiting CovCath to 203 yards, just three more than Hergott totaled by himself. Running back Reid Hummel led CovCath with 72 yards on 13 carries while quarterback Adam Holtz, who completed 10 of 18, scored the lone CovCath TD on a five-yard keeper.
And even when CovCath did drive the ball, on a 14-play effort that took 9:30 at the end of the first half to cut the deficit to 13-7, the Tigers' Parker Mason returned the kickoff 80 yards to set up a four-play scoring drive for the Tigers just before halftime.
Beechwood’s first TD was scored by physical junior Mitch Berger (six carries, 31 yards plus five tackles) and the final score by Avery Courtney (6-18) from four yards out. Xavier Campbell led the Tigers with seven tackles.
"I don't think they had a game plan for being behind," Rash said of a Colonel team that had won five of the last six in this series by an average 47-11 score.
-- Dan Weber
BISHOP BROSSART 13, LLOYD 8
What a difference 14 years makes.
Members of Brossart’s 2007 inaugural team stood at midfield as honorees at halftime; the 2021 Mustangs were adjusting their game plan in the locker room in a bid to begin its season 5-0 for the first time in six years.
The ’07 team was winless, experiencing the trials and tribulations often associated with new programs trying to find their way in the football world but gave the present group of Mustangs its solid foundation upon which it now sits with a home field and a team looking to put together an unprecedented season of success.
The Mustangs and Juggernauts battled it out Friday night in Alexandria at the Mustangs Athletic Complex with defenses that held each other in check, limiting first half scoring to a 45-yard touchdown pass from Jacob Leicht to Evan Orth for Brossart and Lloyd’s Jeremiah Lyles with a TD and a successful two-point conversation to put his team up for what turned out to be most of the game. According to Brossart Head Coach Paul Wiggins Jr., this was a ‘measuring stick’ type of game for his team. “It looked a little precarious at times, but I hold them at halftime: Character is everything.”
The Mustangs must have tested the character and patience of its coach early in the contest as it let a potential scoring opportunity slip through its collective fingers with four minutes remaining before the half with several dropped passes. “We are trying to get Jacob to throw the ball more and he did but no one could catch it,” Wiggins said with laugh. After Sam Willike’s interception placed Brossart in Lloyd territory inside the 45, the Mustangs were unable to take advantage of the Juggernauts turnover. Leicht found Willike for 22 yards, but tight end David Govan was unable to secure Leicht’s pass near the five-yard line. Daniel Williamson could not hang on, on third down, and Leicht’s final attempt sailed over Govan’s head in the corner of the end zone on fourth down. However, Lloyd went three-and-out on its ensuing possession and punted away. The senior quarterback advanced the Mustangs to the 30, but his last second end zone heave was intercepted by Juggernauts cornerback Quinton Jones as Lloyd held on to its one-point margin at the break.
Dan Weber writes a sports column for The River City News. You can contact him at email@example.com.
St. Henry District High School honored its 1981 state champion volleyball team and renamed the floor at its athletic complex in honor of a former principal.
Northern Kentucky University athletics announced a new app so that fans can follow their favorite Norse teams.
The new app is powered by SIDEARM Sports.
The Florence Y'alls clinched the 2021 Frontier League West Division regular-season title, riding a five-game win-streak.
ESPN and the Horizon League announced a multi-year, multi-platform media rights agreement, continuing a long-standing relationship.
Dan Weber writes a sports column for The River City News. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Northern Kentucky Sports Hall of Fame announced its three newest inductees and that radio personality Dennis "Wildman" Walker will be the guest speaker at the event.
Northern Kentucky University's women's basketball program announced that Molly Glick will serve as director of basketball operations and the NKU Athletics Department announced that Sarah Crosby wil
Northern Kentucky men's basketball will travel to Bloomington to face Indiana and Chicago to take on DePaul as part of the Norse's nonconference schedule this upcoming season.
Nate Jones, a product of Pendleton Co.