COVINGTON – The Bowling Green offense never could get on track in Friday’s 28-0 loss to Covington Catholic in the Class 5A state semifinals.

The Colonels held the Purples to 182 yards, with Bowling Green unable to score for the first time since a 7-0 loss to Graves County on Nov. 21, 2014.

“We never could consistently do anything on either side of the ball,” Bowling Green coach Mark Spader said. “They are a really fine team and they were all they were billed to be.

“We had some flashes here and there. I thought defensively there were some opportunities for us to get some turnovers that we’ve gotten throughout the year that we didn’t come up with. We just couldn’t find that spark to get us going and really give us some confidence.”

The Purples were looking for the first win against Covington Catholic in three tries, but like the previous two meetings, the Colonels were able to come away with the victory.

Bowling Green (9-4) forced a turnover on Covington Catholic’s first possession when Tucker Prieskhorn recovered a fumble at the Purples’ 40-yard line, but the offense couldn’t convert the miscue into points.

“That drive we had some things going and on second down we had a play get blown up,” Spader said. “We’d get behind the sticks and that would take us out of our rhythm offensively.”

It was a sign of things to come for the Bowling Green offense, which was held to 75 yards and four first downs in the first half.

The BG defense was able to hold the Colonels in check for the first quarter, but Covington Catholic broke through on the first play of the second quarter when Caleb Jacob connected with a leaping Andy Molique for a 27-yard touchdown pass.

Covington Catholic added another score with 5:03 left in the half, with Michael Mayer opening up the seam for a 15-yard touchdown reception that gave the Colonels a 14-0 halftime advantage.

Bowling Green continued to struggle in the second half on offense and Covington Catholic was able to build its lead.

Jacob’s 35-yard touchdown pass to Ethan Reardon on third down pushed the margin to 21-0 midway through the third and Owen Nally capped the scoring with a 2-yard run late in the third period.

Bowling Green’s best drive came on its final possession, with Scotty Brown stopped at the Covington 2 as time expired.

“We were struggling getting the ball down the field a lot,” Brown said. “We had a few (big) plays. The defense held up well the whole game and gave our offense some confidence. Our offense just couldn’t get the ball in the end zone.”

Jacob finished with 240 yards passing, while Daniel Felix ran for 100 yards for the Colonels.

Bowling Green quarterback Max Payne threw for 68 yards – all in the fourth quarter – while Brown had 31 yards receiving. Quarterback Conner Cooper led the Purples in rushing with 27 yards.

While the loss denied the Purples a chance to play in the 5A title game, Bowling Green’s run to the semifinals was the program’s deepest since 2016 – with BG winning the school’s first region title since that season.

“Our schedule really challenged us and prepared us for the playoffs,” Brown said. “It allowed us to get this far in the playoffs. I know we can’t be satisfied with the loss, but we got far.”

Spader said his team made great strides this season and laid the groundwork for the future.

“As I told our team, only one team a year in each class gets to end their season happy,” Spader said. “We are not happy, but I am proud of this group – proud of how they pulled together and what we have done. I think this senior class leaves a good legacy behind.”

BGHS 0 0 0 0 – 0

CCHS 0 14 14 0 – 28

Second quarter

CC – Andy Molique 27 pass from Caleb Jacob (David Gronotte kick), 11:55

CC – Michael Mayer 15 pass from Jacob (Gronotte kick), 5:05

Third quarter

CC – Ethan Reardon 35 pass from Jacob (Gronotte kick), 6:43

CC – Owen Nally 2 run (Gronotte kick), 0:34{&end}

– Follow prep sports reporter Micheal Compton on Twitter @mcompton428 or visit bgdailynews.com.

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