Explosive plays propel Aces past Hornets in turnover-ridden game

November 13, 2021 | 12:02 am

Updated November 13, 2021 | 12:21 am

The Owensboro Catholic Aces football program found its rhythm late in the first half to leave visiting Hancock County behind and secure a 36-0 victory. The triumph marks the seventh consecutive victory for the Aces, earning the title of district champions in Class 2A for the second year in a row. 

In a contest plagued with turnovers, the Aces (7-5, 5-0 2A) used grit and some explosive plays to get the win. Head coach Jason Morris said he was most proud of how his team has rallied together in recent weeks. 

“That’s seven in a row — we’re playing great football right now,” he said. “We will need to cut out some silly turnovers; our ball security wasn’t where it needed to be tonight, but we’re still playing good football.”

The Aces tallied two touchdowns within a mere 10 seconds to extend their lead to 21-0, approaching the 2-minute warning in the first half. The first score came when Hunter Monroe took one 13 yards up the middle for a touchdown. The Hornets then fumbled the ensuing kick-off return and set up another Monroe touchdown run up the middle. 

Explosive plays appeared to be the difference-maker in tonight’s contest, and Catholic’s Braden Mundy rallied of his fair share, tallying two touchdowns on the evening with more than 120 yards receiving.

“We have big-play potential,” he said. “With kids like Braden Mundy — any time you can get him the ball, you have a chance to score. We just tried to get him the ball in space, and he went and made plays for us.”

Catholic jumped on the scoreboard first when senior quarterback Lincoln Clancy found Braden Mundy in the end zone from the 1-yard line. 

The Hornets appeared to have all the momentum halfway through the first half, using a no-huddle, option offense to march it to the 10-yard line before fumbling it back to the Aces. They followed with an interception to recover possession, only to commit another turnover in the red zone. 

The turnover-laden second half began with a quick three and out for the Hornets, followed by a Catholic fumble on the punt return. Mere seconds later, the Hornets launched a long-ball, picked off by the Aces on their 7-yard line. 

The Aces capitalized on the pick, capping off the drive with a screen pass that Braden Mundy took to the end zone, breaking several tackles while en route. That play gave the Aces a 28-0 lead with 7:24 remaining in the third quarter.

Hancock County found its way to the red zone yet again, but an errant pass finds the hands of Catholic’s Reid Clark. They advanced the ball across the fifty, only to fumble it back over to the Hornets. 

The Aces forced a punt and finished the ensuing drive with a Jaden Fulkerson touchdown run up the middle. They used a similar play for Luke Bivins to convert the 2-point conversion, extending their lead to 36-0 and forcing a running clock. 

Catholic will travel to Lexington Christian Academy next Friday for an opportunity at a regional championship. Their host is undefeated on the season and will present a daunting task for the Aces.

Hunter Monroe passed the 1,000-yard mark for rushing with his two touchdowns. Morris hopes that he and the entire team can carry this momentum into next week. 

“Our defense has been playing very well for all seven of these wins that we have in a row. I’m excited about the way we’re playing defense,” he said. “Our offense keeps getting better. You can see Clancy getting some zip on his ball. Monroe is a great running back and is always willing to go to work. I’m really proud of my team.”

November 13, 2021 | 12:02 am

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