Catholic Central 2-0 for first time since 2007

The Catholic Central Irish are 2-0 for the first time since 2007, a season that saw them finish 13-1 and reach the state semifinals.

Catholic Central won its home opener at Hallinean Field on Friday night, beating Graham 27-12. That followed a 34-6 victory at Greenon in week one.

“It means everything,” said Catholic Central coach Mike McKenna, the longtime assistant coach who took over when Steve DeWitt stepped down after 37 seasons. “It absolutely means everything. They’re finally getting a little bit of confidence. They know what it takes to work hard. The sky’s the limit for these guys as long as they keep believing.”

Senior Thomas Kavanagh led the attack with two touchdowns. He carried 22 times for 162 yards. He caught two passes for 61 yards.

“It’s incredible,” Kavanagh said. “We have momentum going our way. We’re feeling good. We’re improving each week.”

PHOTOS: Catholic Central vs. Graham

WATCH: Postgame interviews

The Irish scored touchdowns on three of their first four possessions. A penalty against Graham extended their first drive, and Colin Kelly threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Dominic DeWitt. Kavanagh finished the second drive with a 3-yard run.

Central’s third drive ended with a fumble, and Graham turned it it into a 25-yard touchdown pass from Gage Braun to Tyler Powell. A conversion run failed, and the Irish led 14-6.

Central extended its lead to 21-6 with 10:25 left in the second quarter. Kelly threw a 27-yard touchdown pass to Kavanagh.

Graham scored first in the second half. Austin Brayton broke a 79-yard touchdown run down the sideline in front of the Graham bench with 7:04 left in the third. A conversion run failed. Graham trailed 21-12.

The Irish clinched the victory with a 22-yard touchdown pass from Kelly to DeWitt with 1:55 left in the game. Until that scoring drive, Graham had all the momentum in the second half.

“We were getting a little worn down with the big guys they had on the other side,” McKenna said. “I give credit to them. They came after us. We had to gut it out.”

Graham, which lost 51-12 at home to Tippecanoe in its first game, fell to 0-2 for the first time since 2012. The Falcons beat the Irish 59-12 in 2013, 6-0 in 2014 and 12-9 in 2015.

NOTES: DeWitt rushed five times for 39 yards. Sean Alexander carried three times for 22 yards. Kelly completed 5 of 13 passes for 90 yards. DeWitt caught three passes for 29 yards. DeWitt had an interception in the fourth quarter. Cossy Catanzaro had a sack.

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