November 16th, 2019

Cougars Pounce on Bethlehem in 34-13 Win

Jeff Woods 

Staff Writer 


Cougars Pounce on Bethlehem in 34-13 Win
Cougars advance to quarterfinals/ photo by Jeff Woods

It turns out a three-point loss to a district foe in the regular season is the best thing that could have happened to Holy Cross.

 

One month after losing to Bethlehem 31-28, the Cougars flipped the script on the Eagles with a dominating 34-13 victory Friday night. The win propels the Cougars to the Class A quarterfinals for the first time since 2015.

 

“Our kids were ready to play tonight,” said Holy Cross head coach Bob Bronger. “The first time we played them, I think our guys were overconfident. Losing to them really woke us up because we’ve played much better since that game.

 

“Our defensive coaching staff did an unbelievable job having our kids prepared for them. Offensively, our staff called a tremendous game.”

 

Senior Luke Davis rushed for three touchdowns on the night, including a 60-yard run to put the Cougars on the board. It was the only offensive play for Holy Cross in the first quarter.

 

“A hole opened up outside. I saw the defensive end shoot inside, there was a block on the linebacker, and I outran the safety for a touchdown,” said Davis, who leads the team with 24 touchdowns. “It feels great. I’m so happy right now.”

 

Quarterback Chaz Geraghty finished 6-of-11 passing for 134 yards and a touchdown. His 71-yard touchdown pass to Graham Carnes put the Cougars ahead 14-0 just before halftime. Carnes was also responsible for a key interception in the fourth quarter.

 

“When I caught it, I was confident I was going to score,” said Carnes when asked about his touchdown catch. “I was more worried about if I was going to get to the ball.”

 

The Cougars extended their lead to 20-0 midway through the third quarter when Geraghty ran up the middle and sprinted for a 27-yard touchdown. He rushed for a game-high 119 yards.

 

In the fourth quarter, Holy Cross leaned on its running attack as Davis rushed for two scores to go with his lone touchdown in the first half.

 

“Isn’t Luke amazing when he runs the ball?” said Bronger. “He’s such a good player.”

 

As impressive as Holy Cross performed on offense, the Cougars’ defense played arguably their best game of the season. They held the Eagles to just 262 total yards. Bethlehem entered the game averaging 347 yards. The Eagles’ 13 points are their lowest output of the season.

 

“Their young coach out there (Bryan Walker), he’s an offensive wizard. He really is,” said Bronger. “But I have a defensive staff that is showing we’re pretty good wizards too.”

 

The Cougars play for region title next Friday night when they host Newport Central Catholic. The Thoroughbreds are a perennial power in northern Kentucky with a lot of tradition. The task will be difficult, but Bronger believes Holy Cross is ready for the challenge.

 

“Everybody up there says they’re firing at all cylinders and they’re playing their best ball of the year. Well, so are we. If you come back next week, you’re going to see a great football game.”

 

Senior Graham Carnes agrees.

 

“This is our first district championship in four years,” he said. “It’s big. And we’re not done.”

 

 

 

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