Saturday, August 18, 2001

Henry Clay 33, Highlands 12

First in-state loss since '97

Enquirer staff, wire reports

        LEXINGTON - Henry Clay took advantage of four Highlands turnovers to hand the Bluebirds a 33-12 setback Friday in the opening game of the football season in Lexington.

        “This is probably the biggest win I've had in nine years of coaching here,” Henry Clay head coach Sam Simpson told the Lexington Herald-Leader. “It was a complete team effort that won it for us.”

        The loss was Highlands' first to a Kentucky team since 1997, when Covington Catholic won a muddy, memorable playoff game 41-35 in double overtime. The Bluebirds, who have won the last three Class AAA state titles, have gone 43-2 the last three years, with both losses coming to Cincinnati Elder.

        The loss also was Highlands' first in a season opener since 1995, when the Bluebirds lost to a Tim Couch-led Leslie County team.

        Trailing 19-12 with 9:54 remaining, Highlands allowed the big play that enabled Henry Clay to break the game open.

        Quarterback David Buchanan threw a shovel pass to Harry Hicks, who was trapped in the backfield. But Hicks eluded five tacklers and went 66 yards for the TD, erasing Highlands' hopes.

        The Bluebirds' offense was their own worst enemy. They fumbled inside the Henry Clay 10 in the second quarter when trailing 9-6. Quarterback Kyle James also threw three interceptions and was sacked numerous times.

        “I'm surprised we didn't play as well as I thought we would,” Highlands coach Dale Mueller told the Herald-Leader. “We made a lot of mistakes I didn't expect, but Henry Clay really played well and deserved to win.”

        James completed nine-of-19 passes for 160 yards and scored both the Bluebirds' TD's on one-yard runs. Highlands rushed for 127 yards with Matt Gramstad picking up 75 yards and Eamon Mueller 52.

        Henry Clay's offense was in mid season form, rushing for 256 yards while quarterback David Buchanan completed 12-of-19 passes for 209 yards and one touchdown. Isaiah Stewart rushed for 88 yards on 12 carries.

        Louisville Male, the No.1 ranked big school team in Kentucky, plays Highlands at David Cecil Memorial Stadium in Fort Thomas next week.

        Highlands ....... 6  0   6   0—12

        Lexington Henry Clay ....... 0  9  10  14—33

        H—Kyle James 1 run (Blocked)

        HC—Scored on safety

        HC—Stewart 4 run (Ballard kick)

        H—James 1 run (Failed)

        HC—Ballard 20 field goal

        HC—Hicks 7 run (Ballard kick)

        HC—Hicks 66 pass from Buchanan (Ballard kick)

        HC—Buchanan 7 run (Ballard kick)

        Records: H 0-1, HC 1-0.

Prep football page

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