Tomorrow’s 2A title game kicks off at 1:00 CST and can be watched on the KHSAA’s Live Stream.
Newport Central Catholic
Best Win: Danville 15-7
NewCath got hot at the right time to advance to the state. The Thoroughbreds went 5-5 and managed to advance to the state title. NewCath forced two big turnovers last week in a comeback win over Danville. Jacob Smith ran for two touchdowns and Patrick Henschen threw for 99 yards. Smith is the main player to watch for NewCath’s offense. With big games of 260 and 179 yards on the ground, Smith has been the key contributor during the Thoroughbreds strong finish. John Harris will also get a lot of carries. With Smith out in the first round of the state playoffs, Harris for 116 of the Thoroughbreds 167 yards. NewCath is a grind it out kind of team that likes to force turnovers. Lead by six forced turnovers against Lloyd Memorial, NewCath has 13 takeaways in their four postseason games.
Best Win: DeSales 24-19
The defending 1A state champions look to continue their stretch of dominance in a new class. Mayfield is riding a ten game win streak that includes wins over Caldwell County and DeSales. Trajon Bright ran all over DeSales and Owensboro Catholic the last two weeks. Bright has five consecutive games of 100 or more. The last time he ran for less for 100? He had two carries for 74 yards in a blowout win. Bright has carried this team at times. In an overtime loss to McCracken County, Bright ran for 232 yards on 40 carries. There are very few backs in the state who can take 40 carries against a good 6A team. Landon Arnett has shown glimpses of being a great QB throughout the season. As long as he keeps the interceptions down, Arnett is one of the most effective quarterbacks in 2A. Mayfield’s defense has four shutouts this season and allows just under 12 points a game. Nick Workman intercepted two passes last week. Kyle Hurt is the lead man for a team that has the third best scoring defense in 2A.
NewCath’s defense has struggled to stop both the pass and run against better competition. Beechwood’s Kyle Fieger shredded their defense for 253 yards. The same thing happened last week against Danville, but NewCath found a way to win late. Mayfield will jump all over a defense that allows Trajon Bright to run free. It’s highly doubtful that NewCath will shut down Bright on the ground and Arnett in the air, but if they both get going this will be over fast. The Thoroughbreds will need to force turnovers and maintain good field position. If Mayfield finds a big lead early, the Cardinals will run away with the game.
Trey’s Pick- NewCath didn’t have to play the level of competition that Mayfield did in the postseason. Mayfield has looked great to this point, and they will finish off a 14-1 season.
Nick’s Pick- NewCath’s biggest weakness is that the Eastern half of the 2A bracket isn’t very good. No offense, but that’s why they’ve made it three consecutive years. This year’s team might be the best of all three, but they still won’t be able to take down Mayfield. Their win over the DeSales was the de facto title game. Bright will roll the Cardinals to a 17-point victory.