Oct. 29, 2012 — After a disappointing 44-26 loss at George Rogers Clark High School on Friday (Oct. 26), the Rowan County Football Vikings now look forward to a trip to Covington Catholic on Saturday (Nov. 3) and the first round of the Class 4-A playoffs.
“It wasn’t a good night,” said Viking Coach Kyle Singleton. “We knew that GRC was a much better team than an 0-9 record might indicate. They have had a chance to win nearly every game they’ve played against a very tough schedule.”
“It was senior night for them, and they played with a great deal of emotion, and we didn’t play as well as I would have expected. We also were victimized by some injuries that took some of our key players out of the game and some strange calls, including a phantom roughing the punter penalty at a key point in the game.” Singleton said.
Covington Catholic will also be coming off a loss when the two teams kick it off at 1 p.m. this Saturday. The Colonels lost 13-12 at Conner on Friday and will bring a 7-3 record into the game against the Vikings.
In last Friday’s game, Rowan County jumped out to a 7-0 lead on the first series of the game. After a long return of the opening kickoff by Chris Baker, the Vikings began on GRC’s 37 yard line. On the third play from scrimmage, Tristin Hamrick scored on a 17-yard run, and Ty Alderman kicked the extra point.
The Cardinals scored the next 23 points of the game. Da’von Marshall caught a six-yard pass from Luke Sharrock with 7:12 left in the first quarter and C.D. Spight rushed for a two-point conversion and GRC led 8-0. The Cardinals then recovered an onside kick, and four plays later Darian Farris scored on a 29-yard run and Danny Dailey kicked an extra point to give the home team a 15-7 lead.
Ten seconds into the second quarter on the first play following a lost Viking fumble, Sharrock scored on a 38-yard run and Spight rushed for another two-point conversion to extend the GRC lead to 23-7.
Rowan County countered with one of the two best scoring drives of the game. The Vikings moved the ball 74 yards on 12 plays and scored on an 18-yard pass from Justin Graham to Isaac Lee with 6:39 left in the half. After a failed two-point conversion attempt, the GRC lead was 23-13.
On the ensuing drive, Marshall scored on a 22-yard run, Dailey kicked the extra point, and the Cardinals led 30-13. Rowan County cut the lead to 30-20 at the 2:03 mark of the second quarter thanks to a nine-yard run by Keontae Moore and an Alderman extra-point.
GRC scored the first 14 points of the second half on a 70-yard run by Farris, a 13-yard run by Spight and two Dailey extra-point kicks to lead 44-20.
Late in the game, the Vikings put together another outstanding scoring drive, driving 77 yards on 14 plays with quarterback Justin Graham scoring from two yards out to account for the game’s final margin.
Rowan County finished the regular season with a 4-6 record. George Rogers Clark broke a 12-game losing streak and will take a 1-9 record into the playoffs. Unfortunately for the Cardinals, that playoff matchup will be at top-ranked Louisville Trinity on Friday.
“Covington Catholic is an outstanding team,” Singleton said. “There are so many good teams in Northern Kentucky. They just happen to be the number two seed in a district that includes Highlands, the five-time defending state champions in their classification. They will be big, strong and disciplined, and they have tremendous depth.”
Of major concern for the Vikings will be the physical conditions of Baker, Moore and Terrance Danckert. All three suffered concussion like symptoms against GRC. Rowan County is expected to get fullback Michael Lambert back for the playoff game. Lambert sat out the final regular season game due to concussion like symptoms following an injury in the Johnson Central game two weeks ago.