BOWLING GREEN — Covington Holy Cross started its football program only 14 years ago, but the Indians have already added their own chapter to Northern Kentucky's rich championship tradition.
Led by Kyle Fuller's four touchdown passes and a solid defense, the Indians won the Class 2A state title by whipping previously undefeated Glasgow 33-14 Friday at WKU's L.T. Smith Stadium.
Fuller came into the title game having thrown for 2,509 yards and 32 TDs, and run for 1,343 yards and 15 TDs.
He did most of his damage against Glasgow through the air. The nimble senior was able to repeatedly elude the Scotties' rush and find his receivers for 231 yards.
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His first two TD passes were to Eric Walker, who caught a short 7-yard toss for one score, then out-scrapped two Glasgow defenders to make a 24-yard scoring grab.
It was just a routine night's work for Walker, who finished the season with 72 catches for 1,282 yards and 20 TDs.
"Kyle and Eric have been doing that all year but people didn't know it until we got to the big stage," Indians Coach Bruce Kozerski said.
Walker's second TD gave Holy Cross a 12-7 lead at halftime.
Fuller hooked up with Lamar Chames on a 62-yard pass-catch-run TD late in the third quarter to make it 19-7.
Fuller's last TD was an 18-yarder to Burt Pouncy early in the fourth quarter.
That was more than enough of a cushion for the Holy Cross defense. It forced Glasgow into four turnovers, picking off three Parker Cash passes and forcing him to fumble a punt return.
Paul Lampone, Adam Kozerski and Justin Kohake led the Indians' defense in tackles. Devyn Herndon capped the night for Holy Cross by intercepting a pass and returning it 14 yards for a TD in the closing minutes.
For Bruce Kozerski, leading Holy Cross to a state championship rivaled anything he accomplished as a standout center for the Cincinnati Bengals.
"I enjoyed every minute I played, but to be part of this and coach this group of players to this height is just a tremendous feeling," he said. "I'll remember this moment forever."
Kozerski also remembered the late John Wysong, who started the Indians' program in 1998 and was head coach until he retired after the 2003 season. He died in 2004.
"What a tremendous gift this is for Coach Wysong, our school, community and all of Northern Kentucky," Kozerski said.
Even though this title game was rated a toss-up, Glasgow was considered a favorite by most people because nobody knew much about Holy Cross, which was making its first trip to the finals.
"We've played as underdogs our entire sports career," Fuller said. "We do a great job with that role, and I'm completely content to continue in that role."
Glasgow Coach Rick Wood said his team's "dream season" came up short against the Indians' playmakers.
The Scotties didn't make enough plays. Cash passed for 120 yards and ran for 72, but he had four turnovers. Jalen Sublett ran for 79 yards.
Still, Glasgow football is back on the right track.
"Our seniors were 0-11 as freshman. Now we're 14-1. That speaks for itself the type of leaders we've had. We've got this thing back rolling the way we want it."