By G. MICHAEL GRAHAM
Fort Thomas Matters Sports Reporter
It does not look great on paper.
The Newport Central Catholic Thoroughbreds football team fell to 0-4 on the year with a 34-13 loss to the 3-1 Dixie Heights Colonels on Saturday at Newport Stadium. But they went 0-4 against a brutal stretch of competition from Classes 5A and 6A last year and still finished Class 2A state runner-up.
The Colonels had their way on both the offensive and defensive fronts. The Colonel defense sacked the Thoroughbred quarterbacks 10 times.
The Thoroughbreds kept things closer pouncing on 4-of-6 Colonel fumbles. Peyton Davis, Nate Enslen, Spencer Pangallo and Ben Barbara recovered Dixie Heights fumbles for NewCath.
NewCath junior defensive lineman Maleek Lawrence recorded several punishing hits on the Colonel running backs throughout the day. That led to some tackles for a loss.
The Colonel offensive line paved the way for senior quarterback Drew Moore. He burned the Thoroughbreds a lot keeping the ball on read options. He rushed for 178 yards on 14 carries and two touchdowns. He also passed for the same amount completed 10-of-13 attempts to go with a touchdown.
Cameron Barrett had 12 carries for 35 yards and two touchdowns for the Colonels. Teammate Luke Zajac had 10 carries for 67 yards.
Seth Caple led the Colonels with two catches for 69 yards. Teammate Gunter Faeth added two catches for 51 yards and a touchdown.
Dixie Heights outgained NewCath, 453-159 in total offense. The Colonels also out had 13 first downs to eight for the Thoroughbreds.
NewCath quarterback Patrick Henschen showed more signs of good things at quarterback. He completed 11-of-20 passes for 127 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
Enslen had four catches for 67 yards and a touchdown. Teammate Brandon Gray followed with two catches for 33 yards.
The Thoroughbreds did rush for 32 net yards on 30 carries despite the sacks. Jacob Smith had 13 carries for 57 yards.
Dixie Heights led just 14-0 at halftime. The Colonels scored on their first possession. On the second play, Moore ran right and cut back to the left for a 38-yard touchdown score.
The Colonels extended the advantage to 14-0 with 6:51 left in the second quarter. Barrett scored from a yard out two plays after Moore completed a fourth-down 32-yard pass to Faeth.
Dixie Heights pulled away in the third quarter. Moore had a 70-yard run with 6:14 remaining and Faeth hauled in a 19-yard pass from Moore.
The Thoroughbreds hit the scoreboard 10 seconds into the fourth quarter. Smith used a stiff-arm to score from 23 yards out and Erik Anderson hit the extra-point attempt.
Following Barrett’s second touchdown run with 8:30 left in the game, Henschen hit Enslen for a 25-yard score with 1:35 remaining. The two-point run failed.
The Colonels lead the all-time series against the Thoroughbreds, 15-7. The teams have met for six straight seasons but are not scheduled to play each other next year.
NewCath travels to Erlanger on Friday to face the undefeated Lloyd Memorial Juggernauts (4-0). Game time is 7 p.m.