Saturday, October 02, 1999

CovCath hopes to end slide against Highlands

4-1 Bluebirds play today at 2-3 Colonels

Enquirer contributor

        The Highlands-Covington Catholic football rivalry is as intense this year as ever, but something's missing.

        For the first time in years, today's Class AAA district opener will not be a battle between two of Kentucky's top 10 teams. Defending AAA champion Highlands (4-1) is ranked first in the state, but CovCath (2-3) is 12th thanks to consecutive losses to Ryle, Columbus (Ohio) St. Francis DeSales and Beechwood.

        CovCath junior tailback Cole Chadwick called the Colonels' slide unexplainable.

        “Everybody knows we have to do something,” Chadwick said. “And hopefully after this week of practice ... maybe we found that something, and we can show people this weekend.”

        Highlands coach Dale Mueller said records mean nothing.

        “They've played some good quality football teams that wound up beating them,” Mueller said of CovCath. “It looks like they're on a down streak, but they've played good competition.”

        CovCath lost twice to Highlands last year, the Bluebirds' payback for the Colonels' 41-35 double-overtime victory in the 1997 AAA regional finals. CovCath has not beaten Highlands during the regular season since winning 42-6 in 1994.

        CovCath started this season with a 24-14 upset of Louisville St. Xavier, which had been ranked 24th in USA Today's Super 25, and followed with a 38-13 victory over Boone County. Senior quarterback Brett Dietz threw for 337 yards against Boone County, a school record.

        And despite scoring just 89 points through five games and only 27 in the last three, CovCath's offense has put up some significant numbers: an average of 316.6 yards a game; Chadwick's 823 all-purpose yards, six TDs and 4.5 average per rush; and Dietz's 68-for-128 for 924 yards and five TDs.

        “(Dietz is) good when he's back in the pocket and he has a lot of time to throw,” Highlands junior defensive back Brett Hamblen said. “He's real accurate.”

        CovCath's defense has struggled the last three weeks. For the season, the Colonels have allowed 273.8 yards per game and 111 points.

        Ray ticked off a list of woes on both sides of the ball: Open receivers dropping passes on third-and-10, lineman missing blocks or jumping offside, a center snap over Dietz's head.

        “We make mistakes at crucial times,” Ray said. “... We feel like we stopped ourselves.”

        This week, CovCath has to deal with Highlands junior quarterback Gino Guidugli. Entering this weekend, his 953 passing yards were tops in Northern Kentucky.

        Highlands has scored 201 points and allowed 104. Senior tailback Brenden Zenni has 10 rushing touchdowns, and Hamblen has 12 catches for 249 yards and three scores.

        The Bluebirds' major concern is consistency. In the second half of a 35-14 loss to Elder two weeks ago, the Bluebird defense surrendered 28 points, and the offense managed less than 50 yards.

        “There was pressure, and I was getting hit a lot,” Guidugli said. “I was rushing my decisions instead of taking my time and doing what I knew.”


Sports Stories
Cincinnati football scores
N.Ky. football scores
SE Indiana football scores
Today's football games
Top performers
How ranked teams fared
Ohio football scores
- CovCath hopes to end slide against Highlands
Indiana football scores
Kentucky football scores
Anderson 35, Glen Este 14
Badin 14, Roger Bacon 7
Batavia 20, Hillsboro 19
Beechwood 52, Dayton 0
Bellevue 51, Holy Cross 6
Bethel-Tate 22, Williamsburg 20
Blanchester 14, East Clinton 0
Boone County 39, Campbell County 21
Bourbon County 22, Grant County 7
CHCA 42, North College Hill 27
Cincinnati Country Day 42, Summit Country Day 7
Clermont NE 14, Western Brown 6
Deer Park 35, Mariemont 19
East Central 20, Lawrenceburg 0
Edgewood 36, Dayton Stebbins 0
Elder 28, La Salle 10
Fairfield 28, Lakota East 7
Hamilton 14, Middletown 10
Harrison 18, Turpin 12
Holmes 28, Conner 25
Hughes 41, Taft 14
Indian Hill 34, Finneytown 14
Kings 56, Little Miami 24
Lakota West 14, Colerain 3
Landmark Christian 47, New Miami 20
Lebanon 15, Loveland 7
Lemon-Monroe 27, Franklin 12
Mason 42, Amelia 7
Mason County 50, Lloyd 20
Middletown Madison 43, New Lebanon-Dixie 0
Mount Healthy 54, Woodward 23
New Richmond 14, Clinton Massie 7
Newport 36, Fleming County 14
Norwood 28, Wilmington 20
Purcell Marian 14, Kettering Alter 6
Ross 40, Goshen 0
Simon Kenton 31, Ryle 28
St. Xavier 21, Moeller 19
Sycamore 14, Princeton 10
Talawanda 20, Fenwick 19
Taylor 7, Reading 3
Western Hills 56, Aiken 19
Winton Woods 24, Northwest 0
Wyoming 29, Madeira 28

Playoff hopes on hold
Brewers 4, Reds 3
Dodgers 5, Astros 1
Mets 3, Pirates 2
Box, runs
Time to celebrate Reds is now
Arizona playoffs start at 11:09 p.m.
Griffey to interview with Rockies
Marge Schott's official statement
Schott: A 'heartbreaking' end
Reds ownership restructured
Copeland tired of failure
Coslet apologizes for Carter flap
Rams change with Vermeil