Owensboro Catholic football is back in the 2A state semifinals for the first time since 2010. They secured their spot in absolute dominant fashion at Steele Stadium Friday night with a 50-12 drubbing that was even more one-sided than the score suggests.
“It feels so good,” head coach Jason Morris said. “We’ve waited for this for nearly 15 years now in this program. We keep battling and just knocking on that door. Our kids were so focused tonight. They’ve just executed the game plans all year long. It’s just a credit to everyone involved in our program. I’m super proud of my thing.”
Things with Catholic’s way from the start, as the Aces (13-0) recovered Green County’s onside kict attempt near midfield to open the game.
A few plays later on 3rd-and-8 from the 30, Bray Atwell floated a pass Tutt Carrico, who broke free from a tackle and made it to the end zone for a 7-0 lead.
The Dragons (10-3) were on the brink of responding with a long, methodical drive. Carrico had other plans, stripping the ball from the breadbasket of Green County running back Jullian Seymour to give the Aces possession on their own 8.
“They came out with a good game plan and attacked it, and the best player on the field made a play for us,” Morris said. “Tutt Carrico was not gonna let us lose. I can promise you that.”
The next play was an Atwell run up the middle for 48 yards. He also added a carry of 35 yards, dragging a host of defenders for the final 10. Then it was Atwell to Carrico again, this time for a 5-yard touchdown. A missed extra point attempt left the lead at 13-0 with 7:09 left in the first quarter.
The next three drives for Green County ended the same: a turnover on downs on 4th-and-long, with all three drives ended on their own 27-yard-line.
The first time, Atwell found Rhinerson in the middle for a 23-yard completion, then Atwell walked in on a 4-yard keeper; the 2-point conversion pass to Rhinerson was good for a 21-0 lead.
The second time, a sack by Catholic’s Evans was followed immediately be a 27-yard touchdown toss to Carrico.
The third time, a holding penalty back the ball up to the 37. Atwell flicked a short pass to Waryn Ebelhar, who went untouched to the end zone. The 2-point conversion pass to Ebelhar but the Aces up 36-0 and started a running clock with 2:19 left in the first quarter.
Green County’s next drive ended abruptly when a pass was tipped straight to Carrico, who returned it about 15 yards for the score.
The final score for the Aces came on a botched play for the Dragons. Finally deciding to punt, the snap sailed high and the ball nearly went out of the back of the end zone. The punter picked it up and barely got the kick off, rolling it to about the 20-yard line where Vince Carrico scooped it up and trotted to the end zone.
Green County finally got on the board with a 4-yard run by Seymour just before the half, but the 2-point attempt was no good, leaving the score at 50-6.
The Dragons scored on the final play of the third quarter with a 54-yard pass and on the final play of the fourt with a 4-yard run.
The Aces will remain home for the semifinal round on November 24 when they host Somerset (10-3). The victor will play whoever wins the other semifinal between Mayfield (12-1) and Beechwood (12-1).
“We just have to continue to stay humble, stay focused,” Morris said. “We’ve been practicing great. We get after each other in practice. We try to make practice harder than Friday nights, and it’s working. Our boys are doing a great job executing. We’re just trying not to get ahead of ourselves. We’ve got to take this thing one day at a time.”