The Newport Central Catholic Thoroughbreds picked up right where they left in their state title run a year ago, by rolling past the Dixie Heights Colonels 42-13 in Friday's FOX19 Friday Prep Rally matchup.
NewCath (1-0) scored 39 or more points in seven straight games to end the 2010 season and surpassed that mark again on Friday night.
Senior quarterback Brady Hightchew lived up to his billing as a member of the 2011 Preseason All-TriStateFootball.com Team by throwing for 230 yards and three touchdowns and added another 116 yards and a score on the ground.
"Coach (Eddie) Eviston is a great coach and the offense he has it doing right now is almost unstoppable basically because of how fast everyone has to move," Hightchew claimed. "With all the motions you never where the ball is going, there is always a play action somewhere."
Dixie Heights (0-1), playing without starting Zeke Pike (suspended), had troubles all night long moving the ball offensively. Their lone offensive score came on an 8-yard run by Goose Cohorn, who moved from his customary receiver role to fill in at quarterback, late in the fourth quarter when the game was clearly in hand.
NewCath jumped out to an early 7-0 lead when Hightchew connected with running back Dylan Hayes on a 4-yard touchdown pass on the team's second possession. Hayes, who fumbled inside the five on the opening drive, finished the night with a pair of scores.
The Colonels got a big pickup on a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by senior Seth Bruns on the ensuing kickoff, but missed the extra point and trailed 7-6.
The Thoroughbreds added two second-quarter scores and to a 21-6 lead in to the locker room and would never look back. For Dixie Heights it marked the ninth time in 11 years that they've lost their opening game with one of the two wins coming via a Highlands' forfeit (2004).
Both teams are involved in the Crosstown Showdown next week. NewCath will tangle with McNicholas at Nippert Stadium in a Saturday affair while Dixie Heights hosts rival Covington Catholic in one of two games at Ricemount Joy Stadium.