DevilMayCare's Avatar
Friday night's encounter between the Catholic school powers of Covington and Lexington boasted two of Kentucky's top college prospects and Mr. Football candidates. It was a matchup of teams featuring both standout individual talent and state championship aspirations. Yet, despite both teams being ranked in the top 5 of their respective classes and LexCath featuring the gifted right arm of Beau Allen, the popular opinion was that Covington Catholic simply had too much for the Knights. The prediction thread poll favored the Colonels by a final tally of 73-7, with most predictions calling for a comfortable 4-5 touchdown win for CovCath.

Fortunately for any non-partisan fans in attendance in Park Hills or watching live via PrepSpin, the teams shirked pregame expectations and waged a holy war that rates among the best games of this young season.

On their second possession deep in LexCath territory, the Colonels dented the scoreboard first with a Caleb Jacob keeper from a yard out. The Knights swiftly countered with a 75 yard scoring drive in under two minutes that prominently featured Allen's arm and legs. That was the story for much of the first half. The UK commit picked apart CovCath's defense for 269 first half yards and three touchdowns to lead the Knights into halftime leading 21-17. The opening drive of the second half saw more of the same, with Allen marching the Knights right down the field to extend the lead to two possessions. Covington Catholic eventually fell behind behind 24-38 midway through the fourth quarter, leaving onlookers to wonder if they were about to witness a shakeup sure to send shockwaves across two different classes. Is Lexington Catholic really this good, or are the Colonels a little overrated? It was hard not to wonder.

Down by two scores and with time ticking away, it would be hard to blame any CovCath fan for feeling a little pessimistic about their team's fortunes. But the Colonels never wavered. They went to work with 8:09 to go in the game, mixing up the ground and air elements of their offense to move the ball 70 yards in 1:22 to draw within a score. A quick LexCath three and out followed, allowing the Colonels plenty of time to matriculate the ball down the field once again. What would be the game winning drive featured strong running from Daniel Felix (game high 86 yards and a TD) and another QB sneak from Caleb Jacob to put Covington Catholic ahead with under three minutes to go. An offsides call on the Knights during the extra point attempt provided Coach Eddie Eviston with the opportunity to be bold and go for a two point attempt, which Felix powered into the endzone. Lexington Catholic's last chance was thwarted by the surge of CovCath's interior d-line blowing up a sneak attempt by Allen on fourth down.

CovCath won't see another QB on Allen's level the rest of the season, but the ease with which he shredded the Colonels' secondary - 455 yards and 5 TDs - was alarming considering how dominant CovCath's defense had been coming in. Highlands surely took notice, and may be licking their chops in anticipation for their crack at the current kings of NKY football.

Elsewhere Around The Rankings

Pulaski County has faced three ranked opponents to start the year, and are a one touchdown loss to Lexington Catholic away from being 3-0. Corbin, ranked #3 in 4A coming in, was the latest ranked team to highlight Pulaski's early season schedule. The Hounds have dominated the Maroons the past two years on their path to consecutive 3A runner-up finishes, but Pulaski's decided edge in experience this year was enough to beat Corbin to the finish line. The Maroons had to battle back from two separate second half deficits to down Corbin, 23-22. Drew Polston continued to play well following in the footsteps of Wiley Cain. The sophomore QB accounted for 360 yards of total offense and a couple of TD passes - one to Jake Sloan, the other to Tristan Cox. This win over Corbin is one of the better wins by a 5A team so far this year and should serve to bolster their RPI if/when the time comes.

Frederick Douglass laid it on Lafayette to the tune of 40-0 behind a suffocating defense that allowed the Generals a paltry 5 yards of offense. Josh McClurg led the way for the Broncos offensively with 174 yards of total offense and two touchdowns. FD's record against other Lexington schools now stands at 15-0.

Scott County posted one of 5A's most impressive performances of Week 3, defeating 6A #5 Manual, 48-35. The Crimsons' defense had looked strong in their victories over Central and Fern Creek, but had no answer for Scott County's running game. The Cardinals rushed for nearly 350 yards and also found success through the air with a couple of long touchdown passes. Philip Garner had his third straight big game on the ground for Scott County and ranks second in rushing yards (586) in 5A through three weeks.

Highlands made short work of Campbell County behind four first half touchdown passes from Austin Hollingsworth. A first half running clock paved the way for short night for the Birds, and a 47-0 destruction of the visiting Camels. Wearing #22 to honor Jared Lorenzen, Hollingsworth turned in a performance that the Hefty Lefty surely would have loved.

Through one quarter of play against South Warren, Franklin-Simpson looked like they might be finding the form that led them to two straight 4A championships. The Wildcats turned two 80+ yard drives into points to lead the Spartans 14-7 after one. But that was it for FS, as South Warren outscored them 34-0 in quarters two and three en route to a 41-14 victory. Spartan QB Caden Veltkamp continued his great start to the season with 259 yards passing and two TDs, giving him nine touchdown passes on the season against zero interceptions.

Owensboro shut down Drew Hartz and a high powered OCath offense on Friday night, 36-7. The Aces came in averaging 50+ points and 400+ yards a game, but were stifled all night by a Red Devils defense that has been one of 5A's most underrated units through three games. QB Gavin Wimsatt paced Owensboro's offense with over 200 yards passing and two touchdowns.


Scanning The Periphery

One of the state's longest active losing streaks came to a halt on Friday night. Seneca, losers of 27 straight games dating back to October 14th, 2016, blew out Shawnee 58-0. Those 58 points are more than they scored all of last season or the year before. Not only was this the Redhawks' first win in three years, it's only their second win in the last five seasons. No matter the outcome versus Shawnee, someone's futility was going to end, at least for a week. Seneca's victory means that Shawnee's losing streak climbs to 48.

Tobias Storm ran and passed for two touchdowns each in Madison Southern's 34-25 win over rebuilding rival Madison Central. This marks the Eagles' first win over the Indians in five years. Storm's favorite target on the night was Walt Smith, who totalled 116 receiving yards and both of MadSouth's passing touchdowns.

Grayson County and Hunter Gibson are becoming fixtures in the 5A notebook so far this season. The Cougars moved to 3-0 on the year with a 31-18 win over Edmonson County, and Gibson again left a substantial imprint on the outcome. He was Grayson's workhorse, carrying the ball 25 times for 178 yards and three touchdowns.

Q'Daryius McHenry posted a second straight 200 yard game in Week 3. His 202 rushing yards and 3 total touchdowns helped lift the Eagles past the Hancock County, 34-22.

Quarterback Jared Hicks had perhaps 5A's best passing performance of Week 3. His 277 yards and 4 TDs/0 ints. on 19 of 26 passing propelled Conner past Dixie Heights, 35-0. He also added 47 yards and a touchdown on the ground.

GOTW For Week 4

Conner vs. Lloyd Memorial - Dating back to 2009, the Cougars have beaten the Juggernauts six straight times. Both teams sit at 2-1 and could be fighting for position on the back end of the BGP NKY top 10. Through three games, RB Dakota Thiel (128 rushing yards per game) has proven to be a productive successor to Travon Mason in Lloyd's backfield. Conner counters with QB Jared Hicks, who's completed 60% of his throws for 581 yards and six touchdowns, as well as three rushing scores.