Highlands' Evan Allen catches the first touchdown of the day from Drew Houliston (Cathy Lachmann/Kypost.com).
Highlands senior Zach Harris scores on this run (Cathy Lachmann/Kypost.com).
It would be a tall order for CovCath sophomore QB Ben Dressman to match Highlands' Drew Houliston in a playoff matchup Friday night.
CovCath (10-2) vs. Highlands (11-1) Kickoff: Friday, November 22nd @, 7:30 p.m at David Cecil Memorial Stadium. Follow on Twitter @TSFootball, #9fridayfrenzy
It has been more than seven years since Covington Catholic beat Highlands. The Bluebirds have owned the Cardinals during that span, going 10-0. The last time the Colonels beat Highlands was in 2006 when they knocked them off twice in three weeks on their way to the state championship.
This is the third straight season in which the two teams are meeting in the regular season and in the playoffs. CovCath, which has battled injuries all season long, is healthier, deeper and more confident than back in September when Highlands handled them, 42-6. Since that Saturday afternoon the Colonels have won seven in a row. With both teams peaking at the right time, this contest has all the makings of a very entertaining affair.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Drew Houliston is having a wonderful season under center for Highlands with 2,101 yards and 44 touchdowns passing. Junior receivers Jenson Feggins and Alex Veneman have become the Bluebirds' home run hitters. The duo has combined to average 22.8 yards on 69 receptions with 22 scores.
Thrust into the role of quarterback because of injuries, Ben Dressman has passed his test with flying colors for CovCath. The sophomore has accounted for 2,537 yards of total offense (1,730 passing, 807 rushing) and 27 touchdowns (19 passing, eight rushing). Dressman has thrown at least one touchdown pass in 10 straight games. Matthew Way is a pickpocket for the Colonels defense with nine takeaways, including seven interceptions.
TEAM TRENDS: The Bluebirds have gotten it done on both sides of the ball during this dominance of CovCath. Highlands has averaged 38.8 points during this 10-0 run. That is 15.2 less than the 54.0 than the Bluebirds are averaging on the season, however. Nine different receivers have at least three touchdown receptions. The defense has been strong during the streak as wel,l allowing the Colonels just 13.2 points per game. Highlands is giving up 20.9 on the season.
The Covington Catholic defense is allowing just 12 points per game during its seven-game winning streak. The Colonels offense has scored 40 or more points in each of their last five tilts.
COVCATH’S KEYS TO VICTORY: The young Colonels must put the past behind them and focus on what they have become over the last seven weeks. Not being intimidated by the past or the current moment will aid the Colonels greatly in their quest to end this drought.
HIGHLANDS’ KEYS TO VICTORY: The Bluebirds will do what they do best, try to run at least 80 plays on offense and wear down the opponent's defense. They will make CovCath prove that they can stop aerial onslaught.
PREDICTION: Highlands 38, CovCath 28