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Walton-Verona rushes past Holy Cross, 47-24, to pick up 100th victory in program’s 14th season

By Terry Boehmker
NKyTribune sports reporter

Walton-Verona rushed for 422 yards and seven touchdowns in a 47-24 win over Holy Cross on Saturday to record the 100th victory in the 14-year history of the Bearcats football program.

Senior fullback Jonathan Freeman and sophomore tailback Tyson Beach led the Walton-Verona ground attack with matching totals of 131 rushing yards. Freeman scored three times and Beach was one of four players who had one rushing touchdown.

Walton-Verona tailback Tyson Beach turns up field after eluding a Holy Cross tackler. (Photo by Carla Martin)

Senior quarterback Trey Hatmaker attempted only eight passes. He completed three of them for 30 yards, but he had two passes picked off by Holy Cross defensive backs Terrell Moses and Landyn Phillips.

The Indians’ defense also scored a touchdown on a fumble recovery by junior linebacker Steffan Willis late in the second quarter.

Walton-Verona (1-1) opened the second half with a touchdown drive that ended with Jacobs Gaines carrying the ball 19 yards into the end zone. Lincoln Mann kicked the extra point to give the Bearcats a 21-12 lead.

Holy Cross junior Javier Ward returned the ensuing kickoff 82 yards for a touchdown that cut the margin to 21-18. But Walton-Verona scored 26 unanswered points after that to put the game away.

The Indians finished with 189 total yards (101 rushing, 88 passing). Ward scored the team’s first touchdown on a 67-yard pass reception in the second quarter and the last one on a 33-yard run late in the fourth quarter.

With those two scoring plays and 119 yards in kickoff returns, Ward had a total of 219 all-purpose yards. He has now scored six touchdowns in two games on offense, defense and special teams.

The other local game that was scheduled on Saturday — Pendleton County at Dayton — was moved back to Monday at 7:30 p.m. Both of those teams are coming off a loss in their season opener.

The third week of the regular season will get off to an early start when Brossart (2-0) visits Bellevue (0-2) at 7 p.m. Thursday. If the Mustangs win that game, it will be their first 3-0 start since 2015 under coach Paul Wiggins.

Holy Cross defensive players try to bring down Walton-Verona fullback Jonathan Freeman. (Photo by Carla Martin)

Last Friday, Brossart defeated Newport, 21-7, with senior Jed Martin rushing for 167 yards and two touchdowns. The Mustangs’ first touchdown came on an 8-yard run by senior quarterback Jacob Leicht, who has scored five touchdowns in his team’s first two victories.

The annual Battle of Union between neighboring rivals Ryle and Cooper will be at 7:30 p.m. Friday. Cooper has a 2-0 record after stunning Dixie Heights, 19-10, last Friday. Ryle evened its record at 1-1 with a 40-7 win over Conner.

Cooper’s offense netted 348 yards against Dixie Heights. The team leaders were senior running back Brendon Tye with 152 yards rushing and senior quarterback Drew Warth with 107 yards passing.

Ryle has an 11-3 record against Cooper over the last 13 seasons, including one playoff game. The last time the Jaguars beat the Raiders was 2015.

Covington Catholic (1-1) will play its first home game of the season on Friday against Lexington Catholic (2-0). Last year, CovCath’s 22-game winning streak came to an end with a 29-28 loss at LexCath.

High school football schedule

Pendleton County at Dayton, 7:30 p.m.
Brossart at Bellevue, 7 p.m.
Ryle at Cooper, 7:30 p.m.
Conner at Dixie Heights, 7 p.m.
Somerset at Beechwood, 7:30 p.m.
Holmes at Boone County, 7 p.m.
Lexington Catholic at Covington Catholic, 7 p.m.
Frankfort Western Hills at Dayton, 7 p.m.
Campbell County at Highlands, 7 p.m.
Scott vs. Holy Cross at Thomas More University, 7 p.m.
Providence (Ind.) at Lloyd, 7:30 p.m.
Roger Bacon (Ohio) at Newport Central Catholic, 7 p.m.
Newport at Pendleton County, 7:30 p.m.
Grant County at Walton-Verona, 7:30 p.m.
Simon Kenton at Pulaski Southwestern, 7:30 p.m.


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