Saturday, October 23, 1999


QB Guidugli passes for 339 yds, 4 TDs

Enquirer contributor

        FORT THOMAS — By the end of Friday's Class AAA district game between Highlands and Holmes, the only thing in doubt was whether the Highlands cannon crew had brought enough ammunition to celebrate all the Bluebirds' touchdowns.

        Junior quarterback Gino Guidugli completed 31 of 41 passes for 339 yards and three touch downs and ran for a fourth to lead top-ranked Highlands to a 63-0 victory.

        “I can't say enough about the offensive line,” Guidugli said. “They gave me enough time all night.”

        Guidugli's passing was hardly the only reason for Highlands' 586 yards of offense. Senior tailback Brenden Zenni ran 16 times for 137 yards, and junior receiver Brett Hamblen caught 10 passes for 121 yards and a TD.

        Highlands coach Dale Mueller was a little surprised Guidugli completed so many passes.

        “There's not many high school quarterbacks that have completed 31 passes in a game,” Mueller said. “He is so sharp, he reads (defenses) so well, he was so patient.”

        The Highlands defense held Holmes to just 81 yards and sacked senior quarterback Brian Ferguson three times.

        Holmes (6-3) can still make the playoffs, but its chances are slim. Friday's loss drops the Bulldogs to 1-3 in the district standings, which means Holmes must beat Scott next week and hope Covington Catholic loses to Scott today and Dixie Heights next Friday.

        Bulldogs coach John Vander Meer dubbed Highlands (8-1) the team to beat in Class AAA.

        “If they play like that, there isn't a team in the state that can beat them,” Vander Meer said. “They're so well-coached. If you tackled them one way, they went to something else.”

        Highlands' offense shredded Holmes' 3-4 defense for 354 yards in the first half and scored five touchdowns in five possessions. Guidugli threw for for 183 yards, completing passes to six different receivers, and Zenni had 12 carries for 109 yards.

        “They were trying to bring their inside linebackers,” Guidugli said. “We thought we could run outside on them and pass outside on them.”

        If a single play could determine how a team fared, it wouldn't take long Friday for Holmes to find out it was in for a long night. The Bulldogs tried an onside kick to open the game and appeared to gain possession, but instead gave up the ball after being penalized for interference on Highlands' fair catch.

        Zenni finished the drive with a 2-yard score with 8:45 left in the first quarter.

        Holmes' first possession was its only decent scoring chance all night.

        The Bulldogs started from their own 33, and found they could run on Highlands. Senior Marco Hallman ran twice for 20 yards and senior Eddie Bane ran three times for 24.

        But Highlands (8-1) stopped Bane 18 inches from a touch down on fourth down.

        From there, Highlands was never threatened, and Guidugli followed with a 99-yard drive that ended with his one-yard touchdown run. Holmes ....... 0   0   0   0—0

        Highlands ....... 14  20  15  14—63

        Highlands-Zenni 2 run (Jones kick)

        Highlands-Guidugli 1 run (Jones kick)

        Highlands-Zenni 35 run (Jones kick)

        Highlands-Meloche 1 run (Chuke kick)

        Highlands-Grover 12 pass from Guidugli (kick failed)

        Highlands-Grover 17 pass from Guidugli (Chuke kick)

        Highlands-Hamblen 3 pass from Guidugli (kick failed)

        Highlands-Safety, Holmes punt snapped out of end zone

        Highlands-Mueller 21 pass from Donelan (Chuke kick)

        Highlands-Gramstad 32 run (Chuke kick)

        Records: Holmes 6-3 (1-3 in Class AAA, Region 3, District 5), Highlands 8-1 (4-0).


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