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Team effort carried undefeated CovCath to semifinal round of Class 5A football state playoffs

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By Terry Boehmker
NKyTribune sports reporter

There’s a roster full of reasons behind Covington Catholic’s impressive march to the semifinals of the Class 5A state football playoffs this season.

The offensive unit that has scored a team record 587 points gets much of the credit for the Colonels’ 13-0 record that includes nine victories by 36 points or more. But coach Eddie Eviston said that’s just one block in the team’s pyramid of success.

CovCath senior linebacker Grant Dyer, right, shows an official the football after he recovered a fumble in last week’s playoff game. (Photo by Steve Dyer)

“There’s a lot of guys on this team that are just doing their job and doing that job at a very high level,” Eviston said. “We can go down the roster left and right and a lot of people probably deserve a lot more recognition than what they get, but that’s the nature of football. It’s a team sport. But I think they really don’t care about that as long we win that final game.”

Grant Dyer is one of the unsung heroes for the CovCath team that will play South Warren in a state semifinal game at 7 p.m. Friday in Bowling Green.

After sitting out most of last season due to back pain caused by a stress fracture, Dyer has been a mainstay in this year’s lineup. In addition to being a starting linebacker, he is a running back, punt returner, punter and does kickoffs for the Colonels.

In last week’s playoff game against South Oldham, Dyer recovered a fumble, scored his fourth touchdown of the season on a 33-yard run and booted six of eight kickoffs into the end zone for touchbacks.

“He’s definitely a workhorse for us,” Eviston said of the 6-foot-2, 215-pound senior. “He brings a lot of physicality to our football team, and that’s always a good thing. I’m surprised that there’s not a lot more colleges knocking down his door. I don’t know where he’s going to end up, but he’s going to be a steal for somebody. I think he can play at a very high level (in college).”

Dyer is among CovCath’s team leaders in tackles with 44. Local coaches named him one of the top 10 candidates for all-state honors at linebacker because he’s such a vital part of the Colonels’ defensive unit that has not allowed a touchdown in the first half of its last six games.

“I think we’re just really focusing, getting into playbooks and watching film and knowing our opponent before each game,” Dyer said.

In Friday’s semifinal game, CovCath’s defense will be facing a South Warren team that’s averaging 189 yards passing and 139 yards rushing per game. Last week, the Spartans upset two-time defending state champion Bowling Green, 28-21, with Christian Winn rushing for 166 yards and three TDs and quarterback Gavin Spurrier passing for 158 yards.

“We’ve just got to attack the running back and play our formations to keep them from moving the ball,” Dyer said. “It just comes down to basics, playing our mental game and doing what we’re coached to do.”

South Warren’s defense also played well last week. The Spartans intercepted three passes and forced Bowling Green to turn the ball over on downs three times. How well the Spartans do against a CovCath offense that scored on its first five possessions last week and went on to win its 10th game with a running clock remains to be seen.

“It’ll be something to see if our kids get into a close battle and how they handle it,” Eviston said. “I’m confident they’ll handle it well if we do get into that situation, but we’ll see.”

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