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Lexington Catholic Knights 2014 Football Preview


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Class: 4A, District: 5

Coach: Mark Perry (1st season), Record (Knights): 0-0

2013 Results: 10-4, Region Champions, lost to Highlands in state semi-finals

District Rivals: Boyle County, Mercer County

Returning starters: Reese Ryan (QB), Cameron Bailey ©, Noah Tubridy (G), Colin Carpenter (G), Dominic Castlen (T, DE), Zach Middleton (DT), Chase Bolin (LB), Braxton Couch (DB), Cody Mitchell (DB), Davis Rowady (CB)

Key 2013 Players graduated/transferred: Noah Mitchell (RB), Marcelus Logan (RB), David Bouvier (WR), Sam Letton (TE), Josh Mesmer (LB), Marty Brown (DE)

 

 

Overview

 

2014 will be a year of change for the Lexington Catholic Knights. Gone is head coach Bill Letton who has taken an position in Georgia. Also long-time offensive coordinator Mike Engler who will be the head coach of Ryle this upcoming season. And finally, the Knight program was stunned in early 2014 by the sudden passing ofprogram supporter and mentor George Ewen from a sudden stroke not long after last season.

 

Taking over the reigns at head coach is former Central Hardin coach Mark Perry. Perry, a native of football crazy Ohio and a UK football player and assistant is taking over a program that has long been running the style of football he grew up with and played. Perry likes the pass-oriented game and the Knights have been developing that style for a number of years of Spires and Letton. Coach Perry wants to rev up the Knights horses and not only keep their streak of three straight Region Championships going but also get to Bowling Green in December.

 

On the offensive side Perry will be counting on his very talented senior quarterback Reese Ryan. Ryan will have a completely new running and receiving corpse around him this year with graduation of key receivers and backs of David Bouvier, Noah Mitchell, Marcelus Logan and the departure of standout Sam Letton, who will be playing in Georgia. At wide receiver senior Jordon Hatton and junior JJ Ogbogu will have to step up. At running back junior Jaylen Jones is being looked to as the Knights primary running back. The group can match the play making the capability of last years potent squad but they come into the season lacking something that is always helpful – varsity snaps. 2014 is their time and they will need to come together early in the season and be ready for district play.

 

Where Ryan should get some strong help this year is at the offensive line. The Knights return four starters lead by seniors Cameron Bailey at center and tackle Dominic Castlen and juniors guards Colin Carpenter and Noah Tubridy. This may be the strongest o-lines in years for the Knights. Bailey and Carpenter are well established on the college watch list and Castlen and Tubridy should easily catch some more attention as the season goes on.

 

On the defensive side the Knights graduate 3-year starter and 3-year All-City Josh Mesmer at middle linebacker. But Coach Perry has a plan to fill that hole and the plan’s name is senior Chase Boling. Boling’s physical make-up allowed him to play o-line, d-line and linebacker last year. This year his focus will be at LB to anchor the defensive backfield. Perry is expecting a big year from Boling.

 

Boling will have familiar faces with him the defensive backfield. Senior safeties Braxton Couch and Cody Mitchell will again give the Knights a strong combination of speed and strength in the defensive backfield. Also returning at corner is junior Davis Rowady. Rowady had six interceptions in 2013, including 3 against Russell County in a key playoff game. Junior Zach Middleton is back at tackle and Castlen is expected to play d-line in addition to his o-line responsibilities. Perry will be looking for solid play from expected starters senior Drew Thomas at defensive end, senior Joey Griggs at corner, junior Anthony Hickey at safety and corner and sophomore Eric Foster at linebacker.

 

 

Schedule and Outlook

 

The Knights 2014 schedule looks a lot like its 2013 schedule. Other than the reversing of the home fields the only changes are that the Knights will play Allen County-Scottsville as their opener at the Rafferty Bowl in Bowling Green instead of Bowling Green but Bowling Green will come up and to Lexington and replace the St. X Tigers in the Knights Bluegrass Bowl. It should be noted that the Bluegrass Bowl will be on Friday night this year to avoid conflict with the UK home opener. The Knights non-district games include 6A local rival Lafayette, 6A cross town rival Bryan Station, 6A Madison Central and 6A Boone County.

 

District games in the last year of this set-up include Boyle County, Mercer County, Taylor County and Marion County. The Knight-Rebel rivalry has been no less than legendary but last year the Mercer Titans crashed the party by defeating regular season district champion Boyle County in the second round of the playoffs. No one in the Knight faithful ranks believes that was a one time event. The Titans have arrived and the Knights have to play them in Mercer County on September 26th. The following week the Knights will host the Boyle County Rebels, who be under the leadership of Chuck Smith this season, at home. These are the Knights two key games of the regular season. They will determine the degree of difficulty in the playoff path. Just as in 2013 these three teams will likely come together in some combination in the post season.

 

 

Players to Watch

 

#6 Reese Ryan, QB, 6’ 2”, 180 lbs. Senior. Ryan has offers from Louisville, Illinios, Akron and EKU. Other schools are showing interest. Ryan was the top rising sophomore quarterback at the national NUC combine in Oklahoma City in 2012. In 2013 Ryan threw for 3,349 yards with a 64% completion rate and 37 TDs.

Ryan Highlights:

Junior Season Highlights - Reese Ryan highlights

 

#24 Jaylen Jones, RB, 5’ 10” 186 lbs. Junior. Jones has been hit by the injury bug his first two years. As a freshman Jones averaged over 6 yards per carry on 38 attempts in 7 games. He has explosive speed and runs with power.

Jones Highlights:

JAYLEN JONES - Hudl

 

#56 Chase Boling, LB 6’ 2” 228 lbs. Senior. Boling will be able to focus on the linebacker position this season after playing both o-line and d-line along with LB last year. Boling was third in tackles in 2013. He will anchor the Knights defense in the middle this season.

Boling Highlights:

CHASE BOLING - Hudl

 

#22 Braxton Couch, Safety, 5’ 11” 184 lbs. Senior. Couch is a hard hitter, quick, covers a lot of ground and reads offenses very well with excellent vision. So he is in on a lot of plays. Couch was 2nd in tackles in 2013 for the Knights with 97. He is some schools radar at the next level.

Couch Highlights:

BRAXTON COUCH - Hudl

 

 

#7 Cody Mitchell, LB, 5’ 9” 155 lbs. Senior. Mitchell earned a starting position as a sophomore. He was was starter his junior year but hit a mid-season injury that limited some of his stats. But he is healthy coming into his senior year and is ready to go. A hard hitter with quick feet. Along with his on-field performance his off-field academics have him on the radar of a few Ivy League schools.

Mitchell Highlights:

Cody Mitchell - Hudl

 

#64 Cameron Bailey, lineman, 6’ 2” 292 lbs. Senior. Bailey turned a lot of heads in 2013. On the college radar. Bailey will be noticeable in the middle of the Knights line taking over the center spot. Louisville has shown in interest in Bailey as a preferred walk-on. Other schools interested include EKU and Murray.

Bailey Highlights:

Cameron Bailey - Hudl

 

#57 Colin Carpenter, lineman, 6’ 1” 269 lbs. Junior Carpenter has proven himself as a sophomore. Another standout in the strong Knight line for 2014.

Carpenter Highlights:

COLIN CARPENTER - Hudl

 

#70 Noah Tubridy, 5’6” 246 lbs. Junior. A returning starter and only a junior Tubridy was awarded the Lyon Heart Award and the C.H.A.M.P. camp this past summer.

Tubridy Highlights:

2014 Season Highlights - NOAH TUBRIDY highlights

 

#8 Jordon Hatton, wide receiver, 6’ 5”, 195 lbs, Senior. With Bouvier and Letton gone the Knights will being looking for Hatton to use his unique height and reach to snag passes in the flats and in the post patterns.

Hatton Highlights:

JORDAN HATTON - Hudl

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Seems like a lot of unknowns for Lexington Catholic this year: new head coach, new OC, new receivers, new backs.

 

The new coaches are at least proven at their other stops. Hopefully they will come through at Lexington Catholic.

 

Jaylen did get varsity starts as a freshman, would have played a ton last year, even with the Knights having 2 D1 SR running backs already, if it wasn't for his injury. He will be a beast this season, his hudl page has him listed at 6'1 205, which after seeing him in person I believe is more accurate than the 5'10 that is listed here.

 

I say this with a lot of confidence, and knowing that a lot of people don't believe hype, when I say Jones will be one of the best backs in KY this season. If he is healthy these next 2 seasons he will play D1 football. I know that is a lot to put on a kid but wait until you see him play this year.

 

Also big news is that Donovan Morris decided to rejoin the team this week after originally deciding to focus on basketball. Kid is a talented athlete at receiver and as a returner. Started and played many games last season but didn't get many balls thrown to him.

 

The Knights receiving core is talented but young and inexperienced. Two kids I saw making nice plays in 7-on-7 at UK last week were SR Conor O'neil and Soph Bo Bennington. They both only played baseball before but came out for football this year. Both are good athletes. LC has a lot of athletic talent walking the floors and hopefully Coach Perry can get even more of it out on the gridiron.

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This will be a very tough game for the Purples of Bowling Green. I know we have had your number in recent years but the playing field is a bit more even it seems this year. Should be a great game. When I was keeping up with the Knights in Dalton, GA. I realized after each of their wins that the game between the Knights and the Purples would be a great one.

 

I am looking forward in seeing you all play in the Rafferty's Bowl. Your starters will only play in first half, due to a blowout, but it will be good to see them while they are in the game. Hope you guys have a great season (except for week 2!). Good luck!

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This will be a very tough game for the Purples of Bowling Green. I know we have had your number in recent years but the playing field is a bit more even it seems this year. Should be a great game. When I was keeping up with the Knights in Dalton, GA. I realized after each of their wins that the game between the Knights and the Purples would be a great one.

 

I am looking forward in seeing you all play in the Rafferty's Bowl. Your starters will only play in first half, due to a blowout, but it will be good to see them while they are in the game. Hope you guys have a great season (except for week 2!). Good luck!

 

Has ACS fallen that much since their state championship appearance?

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don't know what you were watching. those guys had nice days but 6-5 jordan hatton was clearly the top guy on Saturday as he had to have averaged over 10 catches per game, and made several jump ball catches that nobody else was making. the other wr that stood out had to be jr Andy Thompson who had a great day out of the slot getting open down field and finding holes in the middle of the field.

 

They all had great games. Every WR on this team will take turns being the statistical leader in each game. I really think with an awesome O-Line and Mr Football candidate @ QB, every player on offense will help each other. This is a solid overall unit and was impressed at the growth from the Blue White game to where these Knights are now. On these threads I see that the best thing to do is speak about the unit and not the individuals because a simple message on a board can be viewed by some as a slight to the other guys busting their hump.....

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Really though LEX. I'm on here all the time giving all LexCath players props and if I don't mention a kid in a post I get called out. Trust me if I leave somebody out it is not out of spite.

 

And to lexcath15 if you want to know which game I was watching it was the Prestonburg game. That was the only one I made it to. When I spoke to Jordan afterwards he said he had had a great day except for that last game. So thats why I didn't mention him. I have hyped him up on other threads. I mentioned the 2 guys I did because they were newcomers. In fact I'll do it right now. (see next paragraph lol)

 

The Knights played Southwestern in 7-on-7 on Thursday and besides one interception the Knights first team offense was not stopped by Southwestern. They didn't keep score and each offense got 10 plays in a row regardless of what happened. Jordan Hatton had a lot of catches including a really nice jump ball in the endzone. Sequence of the day was when LC scored on two long passes in a row. The 1st was to Andy Thompson who out ran the safety and caught a perfect ball. On the very next play JJ Ogbogu used his speed to get behind the defense but the pass hung in the air too long causing JJ to have to make a great jump ball catch on that.

 

LexCath rotated players every series so a lot of reps were had by all.

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Really though LEX. I'm on here all the time giving all LexCath players props and if I don't mention a kid in a post I get called out. Trust me if I leave somebody out it is not out of spite.

 

And to lexcath15 if you want to know which game I was watching it was the Prestonburg game. That was the only one I made it to. When I spoke to Jordan afterwards he said he had had a great day except for that last game. So thats why I didn't mention him. I have hyped him up on other threads. I mentioned the 2 guys I did because they were newcomers. In fact I'll do it right now. (see next paragraph lol)

 

The Knights played Southwestern in 7-on-7 on Thursday and besides one interception the Knights first team offense was not stopped by Southwestern. They didn't keep score and each offense got 10 plays in a row regardless of what happened. Jordan Hatton had a lot of catches including a really nice jump ball in the endzone. Sequence of the day was when LC scored on two long passes in a row. The 1st was to Andy Thompson who out ran the safety and caught a perfect ball. On the very next play JJ Ogbogu used his speed to get behind the defense but the pass hung in the air too long causing JJ to have to make a great jump ball catch on that.

 

LexCath rotated players every series so a lot of reps were had by all.

 

 

I give you credit, I think you do a good job with all of your posts. My response was for lexcath15 who clearly got frustrated that Jordan wasn't mentioned. Personally hope he has a successful season. I think we all want every kid to succeed. So knights please understand that I wasn't frustrated with you

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I give you credit, I think you do a good job with all of your posts. My response was for lexcath15 who clearly got frustrated that Jordan wasn't mentioned. Personally hope he has a successful season. I think we all want every kid to succeed. So knights please understand that I wasn't frustrated with you

 

I wasn't under that impression at all. Sorry if I made it seem that way. And yes I want every kid to succeed.

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  • 3 weeks later...

On Friday the Knights played a inter-squad scrimmage after the first annual George Ewen Alumni Game.

 

One glowing bright spot was Jaylen Jones. He was able to get to the corner and turn it like Logan did last year and he takes on defenders and gets yards after initial contact like Mitchell. A healthy Jaylen Jones is a big plus for the Knights. Unfortunately, Carter Grey, who will be a senior this year is unable to play due to concussion issues. Grey averaged over 10 yards a carry last year and probably had his best game against Mercer in the playoffs when Noah Mitchell went to LB for that game. Ryan looked mechanically good and ready. The receivers were not quite in synch yet. Some dropped passes and some where the effort needed to be be more. But that will come. There are some athletes from other sports playing for the first time year and probably no one has any starting slots locked up as of now.

 

Defensively, the Knights looked good when Jones was not getting around them at the edge. Some interceptions and hard hits. Ryan started out without a red jersey but after the d-line almost got him going full speed the red jersey went on.

 

There will be many new faces on the team and some new looks under new coach Mark Perry. But there are plenty of aesthetes and depth should not be an issue once the new starters get some snaps in real games.

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Man that is heartbreaking about Carter. I was hoping to have him in the backfield and at LB. Never hurts to have another senior with experience. I will say this I think when they review the scrimmage they will learn from it. I'm looking forward to seeing them go against a different look on Friday. Every team in the state has got to be excited to finally hit someone that wears a different jersey. Go Knights

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Man that is heartbreaking about Carter. I was hoping to have him in the backfield and at LB. Never hurts to have another senior with experience. I will say this I think when they review the scrimmage they will learn from it. I'm looking forward to seeing them go against a different look on Friday. Every team in the state has got to be excited to finally hit someone that wears a different jersey. Go Knights

That is a big blow to the team, but from what I have seen during summer practices and inter- squad scrimmage... There will be a few underclassmen that will be a factor in the season. Juniors like Jones, Rowady, Thompson twins, Morris, Ogbogu, Hickey and Sophomores like Foster, Bennington, Pedroche, Balcirak, Fagot twins. Majority had varsity experience and were productive last season. They have a roster that will compete again.

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The theme of the season is a good one - "Find A Way". Very appropriate for a team and program that showed a new level of consistency with three straight Region Championships in a very tough district but has had trouble figuring out the Bluebirds for three straight years. This is the last year in 4A under the current set-up. This team will make its mark if it can Find A Way to Bowling Green at the end of the season.

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