The Highlands Bluebirds defeated the CovCath Colonels Friday night for the eighth straight time 35-21. Highlands was able to convert on some CovCath miscues to coast through the fourth quarter for the victory in our 9 On Your Sidelines Matchup.
Covington Catholic (4-2, 0-1) got the scoring underway late in the first quarter as Ethan Egbers hauled in a two-yard touchdown pass from Blake Bir on fourth down, and after the extra point the Colonels led 7-0. That score was set up when defensive back Adam Fischer picked off a Donovan McCoy pass and returned it 20 yards to the 24-yard line.
Highlands (5-0, 1-0) quickly answered early in the second quarter when Colin Seidl ran nine yards for the score. The point after missed and the Bluebirds trailed 7-6. While the Colonel defense was the much heralded group coming into the game it was the Highlands’ defense that played superior, allowing only 235 total yards.
That Bluebird defense got the ball back for its offense and this time it was Zach Harris on an 11-yard touchdown run that gave Highlands its first lead at 14-7 after a two-point conversion.
CovCath had an answer for that score going 60 yards on just five plays culminated with a 37-yard touchdown pass from Bir to Matt Summe and the game was tied at 14.
As halftime was coming, the Bluebirds were able to run off most of the first-half clock and with just 27 seconds remaining McCoy hit Jac Collinsworth on a 5-yard touchdown pass to put Highlands ahead 21-14, a lead they would not relinquish.
The Bluebirds received the second half kickoff, but were forced to punt. The Colonels fumbled the punt giving Highlands a very short field and the Bluebirds, as they often do, capitalized on that mistake with seven points. This time it was McCoy on the ground for a 2-yard touchdown, capping off the nine-yard drive.
CovCath continued to fight, driving 70 yards to get within seven points with five minutes remaining in the third quarter as Summe made an excellent catch in the endzone for his second touchdown hook up with Bir. That made the score 28-21 in favor of Highlands, but the Colonels would never threaten again.
Harris scored the game’s final touchdown running up the middle for the 6-yard score. The point after was good and the Bluebirds were ahead 35-21, which would wind up being the final score.
No points were produced in the final quarter although Highlands would take a knee in the shadow of the Covington Catholic endzone as time was expiring, giving them their 25th consecutive victory.
Neither team’s passing game was all that impressive, while both teams were able to gain yardage on the ground. In the end it was the Bluebirds 277 yards rushing on 60 carries that really separated the two teams, along with three costly turnovers by the Colonels.
Highlands looks to win its 26th straight contest next week against the Harrison County Thorobreds (0-5), while CovCath tries to get back on track against Pendleton County(1-4).
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The Moeller High School baseball team added to the illustrious history of the program Sunday afternoon with a commanding 7-1 victory over Cleveland St. Ignatius in the Division I state championship game.