Senior Trevor Stewart rushed for a game-high 98 yards on 22 carries for Greenon, which won on Homecoming for its 13th straight division victory.
The key third down play was designed for Hough, said Knights coach Josh Wooten.
“Clay Hough is one of the best football players on our team and it’s been that way for four years,” he said. “He’s our go-to guy. If someone wants to man him up, Kaden just has to do a good job of setting his feet and throwing it and (Hough) is going to go up and get it just like he did. Hats off to our O-line for giving Kaden time, him making the throw and Clay going up and making the catch.”
Senior Ashton Young scored on a 75-yard punt return for Catholic Central, which fell to 6-2 and 2-1 in the OHC South.
“At the end of the day, I think we gained respect from a lot of people who doubted us,” said Irish coach Ty Myers. “It was a great game. We fought hard. We got a couple silly penalties that we’re not used to getting and kind of shot ourselves in the foot a little bit.”
The teams traded possessions in the first half until late in the second quarter. The Irish drove the ball into Knights territory, but sophomore quarterback Ty Myers, Jr.’s pass was intercepted by Hough after being deflected by Arlie Benson, Jr.
The Knights moved into Irish territory to open the third quarter on a 49-yard pass from Kaden Wooten to Zack Stevens. A few plays later, Greenon’s Matthew Gossett booted a 44-yard field goal to give Greenon a 3-0 lead.
Early in the fourth quarter, Catholic Central’s Tyler Young had a 4-yard touchdown run negated by two penalties. The drive eventually stalled on Greenon’s 20.
After stopping the Knights on their own 35, Ashton Young returned a punt 75 yards for a touchdown to give the Irish a 6-3 advantage.
“If you kick to him, he’s going to make you pay,” Myers said. “He probably made 10 guys miss. He probably broke 10 tackles. His will to be great and put us on his back in spots, it’s unbelievable. But we’ve got to finish.”
On the next possession, Kaden Wooten found Hough on the key third down play, setting up the game-winning run. The Knights recovered the ensuing onside kick, taking nearly two minutes off the clock. The Irish got the ball back with about three minutes remaining, but weren’t able to mount a comeback.
Next week, Catholic Central travels to Greeneview (4-4, 3-0 OHC South), which is tied with Greenon atop the division.
“We go from one dogfight right into another one,” Myers said. “I think we came out of his game fairly healthy. We’ll line it up next week and see how the ball falls.”
The game-winning drive was extra special for Josh Wooten, he said.
“It’s my son and (Clay Hough) is one of my best friend’s sons,” Josh Wooten said. “I’ve known him since he was born. It makes it even more special.”
Hough was happy to earn the victory in his final Homecoming game at Greenon. The Knights will celebrate Senior Night next week in their final regular season home game against Madison-Plains (1-7, 0-3).
“I’m going to miss it here,” Hough said. “It’s a special game. We needed this win. It was a great team win.”