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Johnson Central at Covington Catholic Predictions/Updates

Who wins?  

122 members have voted

  1. 1. Who wins?

    • Johnson Central (9-3)
    • Covington Catholic (12-0)

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  • Poll closed on 11/18/2023 at 12:00 AM

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This Friday Cov Cath and Johnson Central will face off for an eighth time in the history of these two programs. With their previous 8 meetings all taking place in the playoffs, the Colonels have never hosted the Golden Eagles, nor have they ever faced a Johnson Central team coached by anyone other than the late-great Jim Matney. But the apple didn't fall far from the tree with JC skipper Jesse Peck, who still coaches the same brand of smashmouth, run the ball down their throat offense that has come to be associated with Johnson Central Mountain Football.

The Golden Eagles are 8-3 this season, with early season losses to Pikeville and Belfry, and a third loss in late September to the still-undefeated Corbin Redhounds. Their marquee win for the season was a 36-33 win over Ashland on October 20th, giving the Tomcats their only loss of the season leading up to their 35-28 defeat in last night's second round playoff match with Cov Cath. And you wanna talk running the ball? Leading up to their game last night, Johnson Central's offense has gained a stout 87% of their offensive yards on the ground, with 3,577 rushing yards compared to 549 passing yards this season. Senior quarterback Jacob Grimm averages about 4 passing attempts per game this season, compared to the average 16 pass attempts per game by Cov Cath's quarterback Evan Pitzer. Johnson Central has an impressive FOUR players who have rushed for 500+ yards this season, with Conley Carter toting a 1000 yard season rushing, and Christian Barnes nipping at his heels, just shy of 1000 yards. Headed into their game last night, junior linebacker Seth Davis leads the Golden Eagles' defense with 19 solo tackles, junior linebacker Logan Castle had 17 tackles, and senior linebacker Ryan Rice had 15. Johnson Central has been fairly effective against both rushing and passing attacks, holding their opponents to an average 210 yards this season, and Ashland has been the only team that has managed to put up over 200 yards passing against the Golden Eagles thus far.

Covington Catholic's offense looks to be firing on all cylinders, with an average of 391 yards per game this season, split almost perfectly evenly between rushing (49.8%) and passing (50.2%). It's been that balance that has provided fits for their opponents this season, and is perhaps one of the major reasons for their 12-0 undefeated season headed into the game this upcoming Friday. Senior quarterback Evan Pitzer is touting a 73.4% passing record this season - currently a program record - and has only been intercepted 4 times in his 192 pass attempts. The Colonels' ability to move the ball down the field quickly has been an effective weapon for them this year, with the hands of TE Willie Rodriguez, and WRs Braylon Miller, Oliver Link and Noah Johnson always ready and waiting. And when rushing yardage is what's needed, RB Owen Leen and QB Evan Pitzer are always ready to pick em up and put em down, with Leen's 706 rushing yards and Pitzer's 500 rushing yards this season.

The Colonel defense has managed to handle what's been brought at them this year, but with some size disparity up front, they have struggled at times to stop the run as effectively as they might like to, especially when faced with capable rushing quarterbacks. They will be looking to focus hard this week on how to shut down Johnson Central with their "hey diddle-diddle, we're running up the middle" offense, and force the Golden Eagles to try to turn to the air for yardage. The defense is led by linebackers Tate Kruer and Josh Flood, and by linemen Ben Reeves who leads the Colonels in sacks this year.

Who wins the battle of the C-helmets?

Series Record:
2006 Cov Cath (Rodenberg) beat Johnson Central (Matney) 38-14
2008 Johnson Central (Matney) beat Cov Cath (Brossart) 49-14
2009 Johnson Central (Matney) beat Cov Cath (Wirth) 51-32
2010 Johnson Central (Matney) beat Cov Cath (Wirth) 41-28
2012 Cov Cath (Wirth) beat Johnson Central (Matney) 45-15
2013 Cov Cath (Wirth) beat Johnson Central (Matney) 42-14
2014 Cov Cath (Wirth) beat Johnson Central (Matney) 19-7


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I know this team beat an Ashland team that hung right with us, but I love our D and specifically our run D with the legit LB’ing corps we have and with the stout D Line play we are getting…..huge games for Big Ben, Tate Kruer, Willie, and lookout for Josh Flood to really establish He is back in this game.  If they lean that much to the run, specifically right up the middle, it could be a long night for Johnson Central.

And that is not even mentioning that Pitzer at QB is just heating up and getting started….Home Field is a huge advantage as well…..Colonels by 2 TD’s

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If I didn’t have other obligations I’d be going to this one. I’ll take CovCath by two scores or more. 

What is JC capable of if the running game can’t get going? 

Safe travels.

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Rule 2 reads in part:

2. No disparaging, taunting, or boastful comments--especially between opponents trying to intimidate each other. This includes, name calling or personal attacks toward any member, username, team, or school. Additionally this includes a pattern of posts that inflames or incites other posters (i.e. trolling or gaslighting).

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JC's running game enables them to control the clock as long as they have the ball. CCH has close games when the other team's O is effective controlling the clock. JC is obviously a good team so I expect this one to be closer than some might think.

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19 hours ago, The Double Deuce said:

Can't imagine you can win at this level, against this kind of balanced opponent, being (virtually) completely one-dimensional.  

Even though it would be a really tall order this year, Johnson Central has made 6 of the last 8 4a title games being one dimensional. It seems to work there.

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