A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

CovCath returning to Class 5A championship game with perfect record for third consecutive year

By Terry Boehmker
NKyTribune sports reporter

Covington Catholic has a 43-1 record in high school football over the last three seasons, but that one loss in last year’s Class 5A state final was hard to handle because the Colonels had won every state championship game they played in up until then.

CovCath earned a return trip to the state final by defeating Bowling Green, 28-0, in  a semifinal game on Friday and wants to end this season with a victory that will give them a perfect 15-0 record.

CovCath wide receiver Andy Molique makes a leaping catch over Bowling Green cornerback Tucker Prieskorn to score his team’s first touchdown. (Photo by Bob Jackson)

“It feels really good, especially because last year we didn’t come out on top,” CovCath senior Daniel Felix said of getting back to the title game. “We have a great opportunity ahead of us, me and my team, so hopefully we’ll take advantage of it and win next week.”

The Class 5A state final will be a battle between two unbeaten teams. CovCath (14-0) will play Fredrick Douglass (14-0) in the season finale at 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7 at the University of Kentucky’s Kroger Field.

Fredrick Douglass is a new high school in Lexington that began playing varsity football  three years ago. The Broncos had a 3-2 record in Class 6A playoff games over the last two years and will be making their first appearance in a state final.

CovCath has a 7-1 record in state finals that includes a 49-13 victory over Madison Southern in 2017 and a 20-16 loss to South Warren last year that snapped a 29-game win streak by the Colonels.

“This is the third time we’ve maximized our season, and that’s what we wanted to do this week,” said CovCath coach Eddie Eviston. “We’ll be playing in our 15th game next week, and we’re excited about that opportunity.”

The Colonels posted their sixth shutout of the season in Friday’s win over Bowling Green, a team that had not been held scoreless since 2014. The Purples got 91 of their 179 total yards on pass plays in the fourth quarter and had the ball on the 3-yard line when time ran out.

“That’s our defense, they’ve been doing it all year and they stepped up and did it again tonight,” coach Eviston said. “They play very well together. When you do that and give a great effort like they did, you pitch a shutout.”

CovCath quarterback Caleb Jacob looks for an open receiver while he’s in the grasp of Bowling Green linebacker Keaton Oldham. (Photo by Dale Dawn)

CovCath’s offensive unit finished with 400 total yards, but 28 points was the team’s third lowest scoring total of the season. Junior quarterback Caleb Jacob completed 16 of 24 passes for 240 yards and three touchdowns. Felix picked up 97 of his team’s 160 rushing yards.

“They’ve got some very good football players and tough kids,” Eviston said of Bowling Green. “We didn’t fully expect to come out here and be perfect and score on every drive, but we were able to make plays when it counted.”

The Colonels got most of their 214 yards in the first half on back-to-back scoring drives of 68 and 81 yards.

The first drive ended in the opening seconds of the second quarter with wide receiver Andy Molique making a leaping catch over a defender in the end zone on a 27-yard pass from Jacob.

With 5:03 left in the period, Jacob fired a 15-yard touchdown pass to a wide open tight end Michael Mayer, who ended up with with five catches for 95 yards on the night.

In the third quarter, CovCath scored on its first two possessions to take a 28-0 lead. Jacob’s third touchdown pass went to wide receiver Ethan Reardon, who was tightly covered by a defender. A few minutes later, Owen Nally capped an 80-yard drive with a 1-yard dive into the end zone.

“I saw some plays tonight where things broke down and he was still able to make some plays,”  Eviston said of Jacob. “He did a great job of throwing on the run and guys made some good catches for him. That was good to see.”

Jacob, who has passed for 2,723 yards and 33 touchdowns this season, was the quarterback on last year’s state runner-up team. He and the other returning starters who have championship game experience could give the Colonels an advantage over the first-timers on Fredrick Douglass’ team.

“I feel like it might help us, but we’ve still got to go out there and earn it,” Jacob said. “We know nothing’s given to you.”

COVCATH                 0  14  14   0 — 28
BOWLING GREEN    0   0    0    0 — 0

CC — Molique 27 pass from Jacob (Gronotte kick)
CC — Mayer 15 pass from Jacob (Gronotte kick)
CC — Reardon 35 pass from Jacob (Gronotte kick)
CC — Nally 2 run (Gronotte kick)
RECORDS: CovCath 14-0, Bowling Green 9-4

Football state semifinal scores

Paintsville 44, Kentucky Country Day 20
Pikeville 36, Louisville Holy Cross 7
Mayfield 35, Beechwood 7
Somerset 40, Breathitt County 25
Bell County 46, Taylor County 28
Belfry 15, Louisville DeSales 14
Boyle County 31, Louisville Central 14
Johnson Central 52, Madisonville-North Hopkins 14
Covington Catholic 28, Bowling Green 0
Fredrick Douglass 28, Owensboro 17
Louisville Male 48, Lexington Tates Creek 18
Louisville Trinity 54, North Hardin 7

State championship games at University of Kentucky

Class 1A — Pikeville (13-0) vs. Paintsville (11-3), 2 p.m.
Class 3A — Belfry (10-3) vs. Bell County (14-0), 7 p.m.
Class 2A — Mayfield (12-1) vs. Somerset (13-1), 1 p.m.
Class 4A — Johnson Central (14-0) vs. Boyle County (14-0), 4:30 p.m.
Class 5A — Covington Catholic (14-0) vs. Fredrick Douglass (14-0), 8 p.m.
Class 6A — Louisville Male (14-0) vs. Louisville Trinity (12-2), 2 p.m.


Recent Posts

Leave a Comment