FORT THOMAS — Highlands quarterback Donovan McCoy is the real McCoy.
The 6-foot-1, 200-pound senior was the stick-out standout as Highlands ripped Lexington Catholic 61-28 in a cold, wind-whipped Class 4A semifinals on Friday night.
McCoy ran 25 times for 219 yards and three touchdowns, and the left-hander threw for 174 yards and a TD as the Bluebirds won their 46th consecutive home game against in-state competition.
Highlands (13-1), a 21-time state champ, will play Collins (11-3) in the 4A finals in Bowling Green on Friday night. The Bluebirds will try to become the first school in Kentucky history to win six consecutive championships.
Lexington Catholic, which lost to Highlands in the semifinals last year, had no luck slowing the Bluebirds' relentless offense, which piled up 647 yards.
Knights Coach Bill Letton said McCoy was the catalyst.
"We didn't tackle well, and we didn't hold the edges at all. When that happens and you've got a guy like (McCoy) on the corner, you're asking for trouble, and he gave it to us all night long."
McCoy wasn't Highlands' only weapon.
Colin Seidl, who returned two kickoffs for TDs against the Knights last year, had a 62-yard scoring run this time around. He finished with 134 yards and two TDs.
Zach Harris pounded his way for 113 yards and three TDs.
Luke Turner led the receiving corps with five catches for 100 yards.
"We played really well," Highlands Coach Dale Mueller said. "We executed, and up front we played great."
Lexington Catholic's attempt to keep up on the scoreboard fizzled in the closing minute of the first half.
The Knights, trailing 28-14, faced a fourth-and-2 at their own 47 with 30 seconds left. Casey Nash got open behind the Bluebirds' defense, but he couldn't hold onto the pass.
Highlands took over and had time for another score. A 38-yard pass from McCoy to Luke Turner was the key play, and McCoy capped the quick drive with a 2-yard TD with one second left.
"That was huge," McCoy said. "It put us up three touchdowns, and they were going to get the ball to start the second half.
"That may have been the game-changer right there."
"Instead of being down seven, we go down 21, and that changed things drastically. We came out and moved the ball the second half, but we just couldn't get any stops."
The Knights had a few bright spots on offense.
Marcelis Logan rushed eight times for 75 yards and caught three passes for 12.
"By far his best effort running the ball," Letton said.
Sophomore quarterback Reese Ryan dodged a heavy Highlands rush most of the night and fared pretty well. He completed 15 of 31 passes for 137 yards, and ran 16 times for 72 yards and a TD.
Lexington Catholic 7 7 7 7—28
Highlands 13 22 12 14—61
H—Colin Seidl 39 run (Luke Brockett kick). LC—Noah Mitchell 7 run (Bobby Jacoby kick). H—Donovan McCoy 13 run (kick failed). H—Zach Harris 4 run (Luke Brockett pass from McCoy). LC—Reese Ryan 12 run (Jacoby kick), H—McCoy 10 run (Brockett kick). H—McCoy 2 run (Brockett kick). LC—Marcelis Logan 1 run (Jacoby kick). H—David Christian 30 pass from McCoy (kick failed). H—Colin Seidl 62 run (pass failed). H—Harris 9 run (Brockett kick). LC—Logan 15 run (Jacoby kick). H—Harris 9 run (Brockett kick).
Records: Lex. Catholic 11-3; Highlands 13-1
Mike Fields: (859) 231-3337. Twitter: @MikeFieldsNotes. Blog: fieldsnotes.bloginky.com