Cincinnati high school football: McNicholas defeats Highlands

How does one of the smallest co-ed schools in Cincinnati’s Greater Catholic League find itself in first place, undefeated and dead-even with powerhouses like Moeller and St. Xavier through the season’s first month?

For 4-0 Archbishop McNicholas, the answer is trust and plenty of it.

The Rockets beat the visiting Highlands Bluebirds on Friday by a score of 27-21, propelling the program to its best start in seven years. They were led by a stymying defense, which held Highlands to just seven points in the second half after trailing early. McNicholas withstood blow after blow from the previously undefeated Bluebirds, holding them to their lowest point total yet despite multiple opportunities late in the game.

“We always say, ‘bend, don’t break,’ and they broke us a couple times,” McNicholas coach Mike Orlando said. “But we hung in there, and when we needed to make plays, we made plays.”

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