Saturday, August 28, 1999


The Cincinnati Enquirer

CovCath's Tom Beck tries to break away from Boone County's Nick Woodward.
(Thomas E. Witte photo)
| ZOOM |
        HEBRON, Ky. — Covington Catholic football coach Lynn Ray called his quarterback, Brett Dietz, the best QB in Kentucky. Then the season started, and people began to believe him.

        Operating CovCath's diverse offensive attack, Dietz bombed Boone County with 337 passing yards in a 38-13 victory Friday night at Conner High School.

        “He was extremely accurate,” said CovCath senior wideout Chris Ryan, who caught five passes for 104 yards and a touchdown. “When he gets in a rhythm, he tears up defenses.”

        This wasn't rear-back-and-launch-it passing, like Mr. Football winner Jared Loren zen perfected last year at Highlands. Think Roger Staubach or Terry Bradshaw, patiently finding holes in a defense.

        Dietz, a 6-foot-4, 198-pound senior, completed 20 of 27 passes and threw two TDs in beating Boone. The third-year starter began the season last Saturday with a 16-for-25, 215-yard night in an upset of preseason Class AAAA favorite Louisville St. Xavier.

        It's still August, yet CovCath is 2-0 and Dietz already has 552 passing yards and three TDs. Last year he totaled 1,642 yards and 10 TDs in 13 games.

        “I just have that feeling like I've been here before,” Dietz said. “I'm not as nervous before the games. With three years (starting), I'm totally comfortable in the offense.”

        CovCath, ranked second locally and No.3 in the AAA state coaches poll, has a new group of receivers. Dietz is breaking them in evenly; he completed passes to seven different players Friday and to six in the opener.

        “Our receivers are doing an excellent job,” Ray said. “They're not super-talented, but they're working very hard and making good catches.”

        Four Colonels — seniors Adam Burke, Mike Applegate, Tom Beck and Ryan — had at least three catches and 53 yards receiving Friday.

        “They're coming out with no fear,” Dietz said. “I'm helping them calm down.”

        Said Ryan: “Brett makes it easy. He puts it right there; all you gotta do is catch them.”

        CovCath raced to a 21-0 lead. The Rebels (0-1) then appeared to ensure a 14-point halftime deficit by scoring with 1:51 left in the second quarter, but Beck had other ideas.

        He caught four passes for 71 yards on the next drive, including a 27-yard TD with 12 seconds left in the half. It was a statistical anomaly: The drive was only 58 yards, but Beck's catches compensated for negative yardage from a sack and a penalty.

        When Boone cut the lead to 28-14 on Charles Clifford's 58-yard score on a fumble recovery, Cole Chadwick returned the ensuing kickoff to Boone's 15 and set up a field goal. End of comeback.

        Chadwick totaled 94 yards and two TDs on 19 carries.

        Boone was hamstrung by early injuries to linebackers Timmy King and Nick Woodward. King, who's also Boone's top tailback, was diagnosed with a separated shoulder.

        “We had to put two sophomores in at linebacker,” Boone coach Rick Thompson said.

        CovCath's next victory will be Ray's 200th. He is 199-97 in 24 seasons at CovCath.

        “That means absolutely nothing to me,” Ray said. “It just means I've been around a long time.”

        Covington Catholic ....... 6 22 3 7 — 38

        Boone County ....... 0 7 6 0 — 13

        CC—Chadwick 2 run (kick failed)

        CC—Ryan 29 pass from Dietz (Chadwick run)

        CC—Chadwick 4 run (Goetz kick)

        BC—Parkey 3 run (Kuhl kick)

        CC—Beck 27 pass from Dietz (Goetz kick)

        BC—Clifford 58 fumble recovery (kick blocked)

        CC—Goetz 30 FG

        CC—Albanese 25 run (Goetz kick) Records: CovCath 2-0, Boone County 0-1.

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