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NewCath Cruises To Title

The Newport Central Catholic Thoroughbreds secured the school's fourth state championship with a dominating 42-0 win over the Owensboro Catholic Aces in Friday's Kentucky Class 2A championship game at Houchens-L.T. Smith Stadium on the campus of Western Kentucky University.

NewCath Eddie EvistonFor a team that was pegged as needing to play four quarters of football earlier in the year, the ‘Breds saved their best for last as they totally shutdown the Aces' high-powered offense while scoring touchdowns on their first five drives of the game.

"We worked so hard and these kids did so much it is just tremendous," first-year head coach Eddie Eviston said after the game.

Eviston, who replaced the legendary Bob Schneider this past off-season, was appreciative of the opportunity he was given and very proud of his team's effort.

"It says a lot about the program that Coach Schneider built and the school in general," Eviston added. "Newport Catholic is a special place and I am just blessed that I was able to come back here and be a part of it."

NewCath use their power-running game and opportunistic defense to control the game's tempo. They ran for 390 yards, including 165 yards on 28 carries and two touchdowns by senior Chris Kelly.

"It feels great. We worked real hard this season and we wanted this from the very beginning," Kelly stated. "The o-line did a good job. They've done a great job all season opening up holes for us."

--Postgame: Eddie Eviston, NewCath
--Postgame: Chris Kelly, NewCath

Kelly scored the game's first touchdown on a 6-yard run after classmate Brian Doyle came up with the first of two interceptions on the Aces' first drive. After one quarter of play NCC was up 7-0.

Jake Cain would add a 15-yard touchdown run with 7:45 left in the first half to increase the lead to 14-0 in favor of the ‘Breds.

NewCath TeamAfter forcing O-Cath into a turnover on downs on their next possession Kelly would find the end zone again, this from a yard out, to put NCC up three scores heading into the locker room.

Quarterback Brady Hightchew got into the act with a pair of 5-yard touchdown runs in the third quarter to help seal the deal. Hightchew finished with 87 yards on 11 carries and completed 4-of-5 passes for 60 yards. Dylan Hayes rounded out the scoring with a 71-yard touchdown run late in the game.

The story of the day was the defense for the ‘Breds. The unit forced four turnovers and never allowed O-Cath to reach the red zone, limiting them to just 10 first downs and 178 total yards while pitching a shutout.

Aces' quarterback Isaac Hardesty picked up 34 yards on 12 carries and completed just nine of 19 passes for 48 yards and was picked off twice. Running back Russell Hayden was limited to 62 total yards in the loss.

The game was played in front of 7,964 fans, the second largest crowd ever for a 2A title game. NewCath now has four titles in 10 state final appearances and Eviston becomes the first rookie head coach to win a Kentucky state title since 1993.

O-Cath.....0 0 0 0 -- 0
NewCath....7 14 14 7 -- 42

NCC – Kelly 6 run (Burns kick)
NCC – Cain 15 run (Burns kick)
NCC – Kelly 1 run (Burns kick)
NCC – Hightchew 5 run (Burns kick)
NCC – Hightchew 5 run (Burns kick)
NCC – Hayes 71 run (Burns kick)

Records: OC 13-2, NCC 13-2

Written by: Dan Clasgens,

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