November 13th, 2010

Holy Cross Win Means It's Mayfield Time

Brad Knoop

Staff Writer


Holy Cross Win Means It's Mayfield Time
photo by Brad Knoop

Scott's three touchdowns lead Cougars to 35-14 victory

The showdown is set in Class A as top-ranked Mayfield will visit Alumni Field and Holy Cross next Friday night. But the Cougars had anything but a cake walk to earn that matchup.

Holy Cross (11-1) banged out a 35-14 smashmouth win over upstart Bardstown Bethlehem (7-5) behind some timely defensive plays that sparked offensive scores.

Both teams were forced to punt after each of their first possessions. But with eight minutes to go in the first quarter Cougar junior quarterback Cameron Scott hit junior Cody Couch over the middle for a 37-yard touchdown and a 7-0 Holy Cross lead.

The Eagles responded on the ensuing kickoff, as senior Clay Owens raced 63 yards on a return to the Holy Cross 27-yard line.  On fourth down, the Eagles went for it, but an Owens pass was knocked away by Cougars senior Jarrett Clark. Holy Cross worked downfield and used the clock to score before the end of the first quarter. Scott kept the ball for a two yard touchdown and a 14-0 Holy Cross cushion.

Bethlehem began to pick up some steam with Owens again leading the charge. His toughness was visible as he was hard to bring down.  But he gave way to senior Jarren Culver who raced for a 17-yard touchdown to pull the Eagles to within seven at 14-7 midway through the second quarter. 

The Eagle defense went to work on the next series. Facing a fourth and goal at the two yard line, junior running back Jessie Keen ran into more traffic than Dixie Highway at rush hour.  Bethlehem holds and takes momentum into the locker room.

In the third quarter, the Cougars came out like gangbusters. On the opening possession, junior Robbie Valdez picked off an Owens pass at the Bethlehem 27-yard line. Two plays later, Scott is jogging into the end zone untouched and it’s a 21-7 Holy Cross lead.

The next series is where the Holy Cross defense drew a line in the sand. Two straight stops by senior T.J. Pollard led to a third down and long for the Eagles. Then, Henry Vincent takes Owens down for another loss, forcing a Bethlehem punt.

The Cougars next drive lasted about three and a half minutes and went 60-yards. Big carries by sophomore Aaron Drury and Keen set up a one-yard push by Scott, his third TD run of the night.  Cougars up 28-7.

Owens and Bethlehem were not ceding defeat just yet.  The tough-nosed senior raced in for a six-yard touchdown, pulling the Eagles back within two scores at the end of the third quarter.  Another defensive stand backed up at their own six yard line gave the ball back to Bethlehem. Senior Elias King recovered a fumble and returned the ball to the 30-yard line. Owens then hit sophomore Jordan Cooper for a first down at the Holy Cross 29-yard line. 

With a little more than two minutes to go, Owens went to the air again, but was picked off by Holy Cross junior Jake Kaelin. The very next play was a 63-yard exclamation point by senior Greg Johnson, his 12th touchdown of the season. Holy Cross advances to the regional final with a 35-14 win.

“That’s the most physical team we’ve played all year,” Cougar coach Mike Fletcher said. “Owens is a heck of an athlete, hard to bring down. We’ll see an entirely different opponent next week in Mayfield.  They are very fast. We’ll have to work hard and adjust.”

The Cougars host undefeated Mayfield (12-0) next Friday (Nov. 19). The Cardinals have had only one close game all season. They beat Paducah Tilghman 23-20 in September. Mayfield has outscored its opponents 593-113.

 

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