By G. MICHAEL GRAHAM
Fort Thomas Matters Sports Reporter
NEWPORT – The Fireman’s Bell unsurprisingly stayed with the team on the Hill on Friday.
The Newport Central Catholic Thoroughbreds won their 15th straight meeting over the Class 2A, District 6 in-town rival Newport Wildcats, 42-21. The last time the Wildcats beat the Thoroughbreds came in 1999.
NewCath jumped out to a 21-0 lead in the second quarter of this contest and never looked back. The win gave the Thoroughbreds sole possession of first place in the district because every other team has at least one loss in district play. NewCath is 22-0 in district action since the Kentucky state playoffs expanded from four to six classes in 2007. NewCath is 3-4 overall and 2-0 in district play while Newport dropped to 2-5 and 1-1.
The Thoroughbreds outgained the Wildcats, 375-267 in total offense. That included 199-123 on the ground. NewCath ran 58 plays averaging 6.5 per play and Newport ran 64 plays averaging 4.2 yards per touch.
Senior quarterback Mac Franzen led NewCath with 69 yards rushing on 16 carries with a touchdown and 176 yards passing. Franzen completed 9-of-13 passes with no interceptions.
Tommy Donnelly led NewCath with three catches for 107 yards and three touchdowns with Brandon Gray recording two for 34 yards. Teammate Nate Enslen added a 17-yard touchdown reception.
Sophomore Jacob Smith provided a huge spark running the football. Smith led NewCath with 100 yards on 18 carries.
Defensively, NewCath wanted to contain junior running back Dominic Joseph. The Thoroughbreds held him to 68 yards rushing on 22 carries.
Senior quarterback Charlie Mullins led Newport completing 11-of-24 attempts for 144 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed for 61 yards on 13 carries with a score.
Mullins’ top two targets were Jayshawn Stanley and Brian Burton with one touchdown reception each. Stanley had four catches for 55 yards and Burton two for 43.
The Thoroughbreds led 7-0 after the first quarter. Jack Sutkamp scored from a yard out after Smith pulled off a 47-yard run and Wyatt Boberg added the extra-point attempt. John Caudill added three extra-point kicks for NewCath.
The Thoroughbreds extended the lead to 21-0 in the second quarter. Franzen completed a 38-yard score to Donnelly and Enslen hauled in his 17-yarder with 3:09 left in the first half. Smith scored on a two-point conversion run after the Enslen score. NewCath missed the PAT following Donnelly’s score.
Newport trimmed the margin to 21-7 with 1:01 left in the half. Burton hauled in a 35-yard touchdown reception from Mullins.
The Thoroughbreds extended the margin to 28-7 with 8:06 left in the third quarter. Donnelly hauled in a 30-yarder from Franzen for his second touchdown.
After Mullins scored from a yard out in the fourth quarter, NewCath responded with two more touchdowns. Franzen scored on a 36-yard run and Donnelly recorded his third touchdown reception from 39 yards out. The Thoroughbreds led 49-14 with 3:56 left in the game.
The Wildcats scored their final touchdown with 1:31 left in the game. Stanley scored on a 27-yarder from Mullins and Oscar Franco made his third of three PATs.
Turnovers did not play a huge factor in this game. Both teams lost just one penalty.
The Thoroughbreds may address their total number of penalties this week. They committed eight penalties for 59 yards compared to four for 30 for the Wildcats.
Bishop Brossart up next:
The Thoroughbreds look to improve to 3-0 all-time against the county rival Bishop Brossart Mustangs (2-5) on Saturday. Bishop Brossart has been eliminated from playoff contention at 0-3 in district play. The Mustangs started their program in 2007. NewCath dominated last year’s meeting by a 58-0 count.Neither team has a true home field. The game will take place at Scott at 7 p.m.