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Friday Football Report: Quarterbacks play important roles in final Class 5A district seeding games

By Terry Boehmker
NKyTribune sports reporter

Starting quarterback has been a question mark on scoring reports for the Covington Catholic and Highlands football teams for much of this season. They’ve both used three players in that position with varying results.

On Friday, both of those teams won Class 5A district games with the quarterbacks their coaches selected. CovCath clipped Conner, 27-7, to clinch the district’s top seed and Highlands clobbered Cooper, 35-7, to create a three-way tie for second place.

Highlands sophomore Brady Benke catches a pass in the end zone to score his team’s fifth touchdowns in a win over Cooper. (Photo by Dale Dawn)

Preston Agee returned to the quarterback position for CovCath. The senior transfer student scored the Colonels’ first two touchdowns and had a net total of 168 yards in passing and rushing.

Highlands moved quarterback Charlie Noon to running back and put sophomore Cameron Bottom behind center. Noon scored three rushing touchdowns and Bottom threw a pair of scoring passes for the Bluebirds, who ended up with 345 total yards.

CovCath (6-3) will take a four-game winning streak into its final regular season game against Ryle next Friday. Highlands finished its regular season schedule with a 5-5 record and has a week off before the district playoffs begin.

Cooper and Conner, the other two teams tied for second place in the Class 5A district, have one more opponent on their schedules. The outcomes of those games will dictate the final district seeds and pairings for the playoffs.

Noon scored all three of his touchdowns in the second quarter to give Highlands a 21-0 halftime lead against Cooper. His first one covered 67 yards and the next two came on 1-yard bursts into the end zone. He finished with a team-high 129 rushing yards on 12 carries and caught three passes for 12 yards.

Highlands sophomore quarterback Cameron Bottom. (Photo by Dale Dawn)

Bottom threw both of his TD passes to sophomore classmates. He connected with Davis Hinegardner on a 57-yard scoring play in the third quarter and threw a 19-yard strike to Brady Benke in the fourth quarter. Final stats had Bottom completing 11 of 22 passes for 192 yards.

Cooper ended up with 230 yards in total offense. The home team’s only touchdown came on a 16-yard pass from Drew Warth to Xavier Smith late in the third quarter. The Jaguars turned the ball over three times with Noon intercepting a pass in the fourth quarter.

CovCath’s defense had three takeaways against Conner. One was an interception that led to Agee’s second touchdown early in the second quarter. But Conner quarterback Alex Castrucci scored on an 11-yard run in the final seconds of that quarter to make it 14-7 at halftime.

The Colonels extended their lead to 20-7 on a pair of 37-yard field goals by Eli Nally and senior running back Reid Hummel scored on a 45-yard run late in the fourth quarter to secure his team’s fourth consecutive win.

CovCath finished with 279 total yards. Agree completed 8 of 10 passes for 79 yards and rushed for 89. Hummel had 90 yards rushing and 29 yards in pass receptions. Conner’s net total was 173 yards and Castrucci accounted for most of it. He completed 8 of 13 passes for 59 yards and rushed for 77 yards, but he also lost a fumble and had two passes picked off.

Lloyd 40, Holy Cross 7

Lloyd senior quarterback Hayden Spencer threw three touchdown passes and junior running back Kaiden Zulager rushed for 192 yards and two TDs in the victory that put their team in a three-way tie for second place in the Class 2A district.

Zulager scored both of his touchdowns in the second quarter when Lloyd opened up a 28-0 lead. Ethan Spaulding’s only two receptions in the game resulted in touchdowns and Braxton Irwin caught the other scoring pass for the Juggernauts, who snapped a five-game losing streak.

Lloyd (3-6) finished with a 332-203 advantage in total yards. Holy Cross (2-7) had four turnovers and got its lone touchdown on a 48-yard run by Javier Ward in the fourth quarter.

Brossart 24, Pendleton County 14

Brossart finished the regular season with a 10-0 record for the first time in program history by rushing for 202 yards and three touchdowns in the win at Pendleton County.

Senior running back Jed Martin led the way with 110 yards on 19 carries, one touchdown and a two-point conversion. Senior quarterback Jacob Leicht picked up 62 yards on 16 carries and scored 10 points with one touchdown and a pair of two-point conversions.

The Mustangs’ other touchdown was scored by senior David Govan, who had 22 yards on four carries.

Ludlow 49, Dayton 6

Ludlow secured the No. 2 seed in its Class 1A district with its highest scoring total of the season in the victory.

Dayton is the No. 3 seed, so the two teams will meet again in the first round of the district playoffs on Nov. 5. Top-seeded Newport Central Catholic will play Bellevue in the district’s other first-round game.

High school football scoreboard

Holmes 40, Scott 0
Covington Catholic 27, Conner 7
Highlands 35, Cooper 7
Beechwood 54, Newport 0
Lloyd 40, Holy Cross 7
Newport Central Catholic 55, Bellevue 14
Ludlow 49, Dayton 6
Dixie Heights 41, Campbell County 21
Brossart 24, Pendleton County 14
Walton-Verona 54, Trimble County 20
Simon Kenton (2-6) at Ryle (6-2), 7 p.m.


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