Story Matters

Story Matters

THE Official HHS Football Site

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Thoroughbred football wins another district rematch

Fort Thomas Matters Sports Reporter

It came down to beating their in-town rivals another time to earn a trip into the mountains of eastern Kentucky.

The Newport Central Catholic Thoroughbreds football team had to beat the Newport Wildcats (8-5) in the Class 2A, Region 3 finals to earn a third straight trip to the state semifinals. They used their balance and turnovers to accomplish that feat with a 42-26 win at Newport Stadium on Friday.

NewCath (7-5) travels to Region 4 winner Shelby Valley (11-2) this upcoming Friday in the Class 2A state semifinals as a result. Host Shelby Valley held off Prestonsburg, 20-14 in overtime in the region title game.

The Thoroughbreds had beaten the Somerset Briar Jumpers in the previous two state semifinal contests. But Somerset finished a winless 0-10 this year so NewCath will have to travel further away this season unlike two years ago.

NewCath avoided the fate of three years ago. The Thoroughbreds also beat Lloyd Memorial for the second time in the second round of the playoffs that year but lost to Covington Holy Cross, 24-21 in another regular season rematch in the region title game. Holy Cross won the 2A title that year.

In Friday’s win, NewCath took advantage of five Newport turnovers while committing none. The Thoroughbreds recovered 4-of-5 Wildcat fumbles and recorded an interception.

“We told the kids all week there are two things we wanted to learn,” said Dan Wagner, NewCath Head Coach. “We wanted to win the turnovers and we definitely won the turnover battle. The other thing was the discipline end. We had some penalties but they weren’t unsportsmanlike conducts. They were holds. Anyone who knows football knows you can call holding on every play. Those two areas were huge.”

The Thoroughbreds outgained the Wildcats, 415-338 in total offense, including 228-146 on the ground. The Wildcats had 14 first downs to 12 for the Thoroughbreds.

Junior Jacob Smith had another wonderful game for the Thoroughbreds. He rushed for 177 yards on 26 carries and added five touchdowns. John Harris followed with 34 yards on 11 carries.

“Our offensive line played really, really well,” Smith said. “They had great blocks and gave great protection on everything. I give all the credit to the offensive linemen. We thought they’d make some changes (defensively based) on what happened in the last game. But they didn’t and we executed very well.”

The NewCath offensive line protected sophomore quarterback Patrick Henschen well. Henschen completed 12-of-19 passes for 187 yards. Brandon Gray led the Thoroughbreds with five catches for 78 yards and Nate Enslen recorded four for 92 yards.

“Pat had a very confident, mature game,” said Dave Schneider, NewCath Offensive Coordinator. “He did some things he hasn’t done all year. It’s nice to see. The whole group played well. We had to do some five-step drops because (Newport was) taking (the quick stuff) away.”

The one area where NewCath struggled was penalties. The Thoroughbreds had 15 for 125 yards and the Wildcats had just four for 35 yards.

The Thoroughbreds contained the dynamic rushing duo of quarterback Paul Price and running back Dominic Joseph. Price completed 11-of-19 passes for 192 yards and a touchdown. Ryan Ochoa led the way with five catches for 135 yards and Brian Burton had five for 40 yards.

“We knew it was either screen pass or turn and chuck it as far as you can,” Wagner said. “We got burned three or maybe four times on the long pass. We were disappointed with that. But we got the win so that’s all that matters.”

But neither Price nor Joseph ran wild on the ground. Price had 15 carries for 52 yards and a touchdown with Joseph gaining 35 yards on 17 carries and a score.

The Thoroughbreds led 6-0 after the first quarter. Smith scored from a yeard out with 4:32 left in the first quarter.

Newport cut the lead to 6-3 just two seconds into the second quarter when Taylen Spicer hit a 24-yard field goal. But the Thoroughbreds went on a 19-0 run to build a 25-3 advantage.

That started when Smith ran it in from a yard out with 10:33 left in the quarter and continued when Henschen hit Enslen for a 33-yard touchdown pass with 9:29 left. The Thoroughbreds then made it 25-3 when Smith broke free for a 68-yard touchdown.

Newport gained some momentum with 13.1 seconds left in the quarter. Joseph ran it in from a yard out to trim the margin to 25-11 Thoroughbreds at halftime.

The Wildcats kept things close in the third quarter. Price hit Ochoa for a 35-yard score with 9:58 left in the quarter. NewCath led 25-18 at that point before Ryan Hans made a 30-yard field goal to put the Thoroughbreds up 28-18 with 5:53 left in the third quarter.

The Wildcats came closer with 10:14 left in the game. Price scored from three yards out and he ran in the two-point conversion to cut the Newport lead to 28-26.

But the Thoroughbreds put the game away. Smith had runs of a yard and 24 yards with 4:52 and 3:33 left in the game.

NewCath has won 16 straight against Newport dating back to 1999. The Thoroughbreds moved to 43-18-1 in the all-time series.

No comments:

Post a Comment