The Conner Cougars survived the cold and rainy battle in the mud edging Covington Catholic 13-12 on Friday night at Fred Nevel Stadium.
The Cougars (8-2) clawed past the Colonels behind a gritty defensive effort in the trenches, along with a solid performance by junior quarterback Drew Barker. Barker bulled his way through the Colonel's defense when the team needed him to make plays; he rushed for over 100 yards in the game.
Conner scored on the opening drive of the contest, it was Barker who scampered 7-yards and across the goal line to give the Cougars an early advantage.
Conner increased their lead late in the first half after Barker completed a last second shovel pass to senior running back Cameron Fogle before hitting the ground. Fogle was in the right place at the right time and the big play helped the Cougars take a 13-0 lead into the break.
Covington Catholic (7-3) finally found some offensive rhythm on the first drive of the third quarter. The Colonels marched over 80 yards down field to set up a 16-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Blake Bir to junior receiver Evan Braun.
With less than four minutes to go in the game the Cougars, leading 13-6, were forced to punt to Covington Catholic. Senior Ethan Egbers returned the punt to the Conner 35-yard line, a few plays later the Colonels cashed in on a 4-yard touchdown run by junior running back Luke Bir.
The Colonels elected to go for the two-point conversion after failing to hit the extra point on the previous score due to the wet conditions. The Cougars' defense stopped the two-point conversion attempt at the goal line to clinch the game.
Conner had 246 rushing yards and 35 passing yards against Covington Catholic. Barker finished with 113 rushing yards, one rushing touchdown and 35 passing yards. Fogle had 96 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown in the win.
The Cougars secured the No. 2 seed in upcoming district play. The Colonels, also a No. 2 seed in their respective district, will host Rowan County on Nov. 3 at 1p.m.