Saturday, October 16, 1999

Covington Catholic 24, Holmes 7

Colonels rally for Ray's 200th win

Enquirer contributor

        COVINGTON — For a long time Friday, it looked as if Lynn Ray was going to be denied his 200th high school football coaching victory for a sixth time. Ray's Covington Catholic Colonels trailed Holmes 24-7 with 1:42 remaining in the first half, and the Bulldogs seemed able to score almost at will.

        But persistence, muscle and ball control overcame speed and pizazz, and Ray finally got his Gatorade shower at midfield. His Colonels broke their five-game losing streak with a 34-31 victory and kept themselves alive for a berth in the district playoffs with a 3-5 record.

        “It took longer than I anticipated,” said Ray, smiling. “I never thought that (the five-game drought) was going to happen.

        “It's a big monkey off my back, but this is just one step forward. We're happy for the victory, but we've got a tough opponent next week in Scott.”

        Holmes (6-2) dazzled the Colonels in the first half. Quarterback Brian Ferguson scored touchdowns on runs of 8, 70 and 8 yards and had a 5-for-12, 80-yard passing night.

        As Holmes rolled to its 24-7 lead, Covington Catholic could manage only an 18-yard scoring run by Mike Albanese.

        There was only one way the Colonels could come back, Ray said. Ball control, including a controlled passing game.

        They didn't wait for the second half. They didn't even need all of the remaining 1:42 to start their comeback.

        Quarterback Brett Dietz directed a textbook two-minute drill, moving the Colonels 72 yards in 12 plays that took only 1:30. Dietz completed seven of 10 passes on the drive and hit Adam Burke with a 6-yard toss for the touchdown that cut the deficit to 24-14.

        That was big, Holmes coach John Vandermeer said. “That touchdown gave them momentum,” he said. CovCath took the second-half kickoff and scored again, marching 69 yards in 11 plays to the first of two 1-yard touchdown plunges by 230-pound sophomore fullback Vaston Brooks. That made it 24-21, but the Bulldogs needed just one play to get their 10-point lead back. Eddie Bane popped through the line and sped 80 yards for the score. It still wasn't quitting time for the Colonels. “We were calm over there,” Brooks said. “We knew what we had to do. We kept our momentum going.”

        Just two plays after Bane's dash, Sean Ryan broke loose over right tackle for 41 yards and a Colonels touchdown that cut the deficit to 31-27.

        Two fumbles and a motion penalty helped the Colonels stop Holmes' next drive, then they earned the winning touchdown with a 77-yard, nine-play drive to Brooks' second TD plunge.

        Covington Catholic ....... 0 14 13 7—34

        Holmes ....... 10 14 7 0—31

        H—TD Ferguson 8 run (Rankin kick).

        H—FG Rankin 28.

        CC—TD Albanese 18 run (Goetz kick).

        H—TD Ferguson 70 run (Rankin kick).

        H—TD Ferguson 8 run (Rankin kick).

        CC—TD Burke 6 pass from Dietz (Goetz kick).

        CC—TD Brooks 1 run (Goetz kick).

        H—TD Bane 80 run (Rankin kick).

        CC—TD Ryan 41 run (pass failed).

        CC—TD Brooks 1 run (Goetz kick).

        Records: CC 3-5, H 6-2.


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How ranked teams fared
Top performers
Aiken 26, Woodward 20
Anderson 42, Amelia 18
Badin 28, McNicholas 13
Batavia 10, New Richmond 7
Beechwood 50, Holy Cross 14
Bellevue 28, Ludlow 6
Brookville 24, Middletown Madison 17
Bryan Station 41, Boone County 28
Chaminade-Julienne 42, Ontario St. Thomas Aquinas 6
CHCA 54, Landmark Christian 0
Cincinnati Country Day 50, Lockland 21
Colerain 42, Hamilton 21
- Covington Catholic 24, Holmes 7
Fairfield 28, Princeton 7
Finneytown 21, Mariemont 14
Goshen 35, Norwood 28
Grant County 47, Montgomery County 27
Henry Clay 49, Campbell County 7
Highlands 24, Dixie Heights 6
Hillsboro 22, Bethel-Tate 7
Hughes 6, Withrow 0
Indian Hill 27, Deer Park 3
Indianapolis Cathedral Prep 34, LaSalle 24
Kings 42, Wilmington 7
Lakota West 38, Sycamore 34
Lebanon 49, Ross 21
Lima Senior 35, Lakota East 32
Little Miami 13, Loveland 7
Madeira 28, Taylor 0
Mason 35, Harrison 0
Middletown 14, Milford 7
Moeller 19, Franklin Co. 18
Newport 32, Lloyd 0
Newport Catholic 22, Dayton 0
North College Hill 44, New Miami 6
Northwest 19, Glen Este 14
Oak Hills 22, East Central 16
Purcell Marian 20, Roger Bacon 17
Ryle 35, Scott County 20
St. Xavier 30, Elder 13
Turpin 35, Winton Woods 0
Walnut Hills 46, Mount Healthy 8
Western Brown 42, Summit Country Day 37
Western Hills 44, Taft 0
Williamsburg 37, Clermont Northeastern 6
Wyoming 42, Reading 3