Preview: CovCath at Beechwood

The FOX19 Friday Prep Rally continues its tour this week with a stop in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky for a neighborhood rivalry between Covington Catholic and Beechwood.

CovCath comes into the game with a 2-2 record and are hoping things start rolling downhill for them after a rollercoaster start to the season. Beechwood's record stands at 1-2 after starting the season against some stiff competition.

Beechwood Cameron VockeYou can throw all the records out the window in this one though, as the bragging rights of Dixie Highway are on the line this Friday night.

Edgar McNabb Memorial Stadium – Fort Mitchell, KY
7:30 p.m. kickoff
TV: LIVE Pregame Show FOX19 (6:30 – 7:00)
RADIO: Listen Live on

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Covington Catholic has had some big offensive numbers in their wins this season and wide receiver Alex Connelly is a big reason why. The tall, lanky receiver has exceptional hands, great leaping ability and good body control. Also, defensive end Troy Timmerman could make a big difference against the smaller Beechwood offensive line. For the Tigers, keep an eye on running back Cameron Vocke. The junior running back is an electrifying open-field runner and is always capable of making the big play.

TEAM TRENDS: Both quarterbacks playing in this one had two interceptions last week. CovCath's Blake Bir has shown the ability to really stretch the field with his arm but has committed some costly turnovers with bad decisions. Bir finished the game against Campbell County with four touchdowns and two interceptions, while Beechwood's Michael Colosimo tossed for two scores and two picks. Turnovers could be a big factor in this game so keep an eye on those two talented quarterbacks and their decision-making.

COVCATH'S KEYS TO VICTORY: The key for the Colonels is simple. They must run the ball effectively and they must stop the run effectively. They have a bigger line on both sides of the ball than Beechwood and both running backs, Gabe Gray and Alex Slabaugh, had big games against Campbell County. If the Colonels can keep them going and get their strong receiving core, led by Connelly, into the mix then they should be fine against the Tigers.

BEECHWOOD'S KEYS TO VICTORY: The Tigers are giving up some size and depth to the Colonels and in order to stop the run then it might mean bringing some extra help into the box defensively. That would give CovCath an advantage in the secondary where the Colonels big and fast receivers could have a field day. Beechwood will have to limit their mistakes and have some players on their defense step up and make big plays. If the Tigers can force a few turnovers then it would greatly increase their chances of pulling off the upset.

FINAL TAKE: CovCath doesn't know what a close game is as their smallest scoring margin between them and their opponent is 33 points. Will this be their first close game of the season? It definitely has the potential to be, but the Tigers will really have to play mistake-free and catch a few breaks. Realistically, the Colonels should win this one by a few touchdowns.