It was a record-setting night for Drew Hartz.
The Owensboro Catholic senior quarterback threw for 548 yards and a school-record nine touchdown passes Friday night to lead the Aces in a 68-14 rout of visiting Hopkins County Central at Steele Stadium.
"It means a lot, marking my name down in the record book," the 6-foot-3 signal-caller said afterward. "I like to be up top with the great quarterbacks like Ray Zuberer and Houston (Hartz), and all of the greats. I like to put my name in the record book."
It didn't take long for Hartz to get going, either. The very first play of the game was a short toss to Braden Mundy, who zipped 54 yards through the Storm defense to the end zone.
Hartz added a 70-yard touchdown throw to Hagan Edge less than five minutes later, followed by a 35-yard strike to Jackson Staples, a 50-yard TD to Mundy and a 45-yard score to Dre Thruston.
Catholic (4-1) led 35-7 at the end of the first quarter and never looked back.
"Drew was on target all night long," Aces head coach Jason Morris said. "Our offensive line did a great job of getting him going. Once he got those five touchdowns in the first quarter, our seniors came together and they were begging me, 'Please give him the school record, please, he deserves it.'
"So, we made it a point to go ahead and get Drew that school-record nine touchdown passes. Just really proud of the whole group effort and them coming together to get Drew that record, it was nice to see."
For the game, Hartz completed 17-of-20 passes. He added two 16-yard TD throws to Edge in the second quarter, with the second forcing the KHSAA-mandated running clock when the Aces went ahead 48-7 with 7:49 left in the second quarter.
Hartz found Thruston for a 2-yard score six minutes later, providing Catholic a 55-7 advantage at halftime.
The Storm (0-5) used a 10-play, 72-yard drive to open the second half, with quarterback Adrian Stringer capping off the possession with a 6-yard touchdown to Colin Rodgers. The two connected earlier in the first quarter, as well, when Stringer's 23-yard toss pulled Hopkins Central within 14-7.
Stringer completed 18-of-36 passes for 214 yards and two TDs, but the Storm were held to just 268 yards of total offense -- including two lost fumbles, two sacks allowed, two turnovers on downs and three punts.
"We're a bend-but-don't-break defense, but then we're also a big-play defense," Morris said. "We'll give up plays and give up plays, then all of a sudden we're sacking the quarterback and we got them in 2nd and 18, so we're right where we need to be."
Hartz wrapped up his night with a 57-yard TD pass to Thruston with !:10 left in the third quarter.
"We have the people to make plays," Hartz said. "Our line did a great job. They gave me plenty of time to get this record and make all the passes I needed to. Great team effort."
Edge finished with 158 yards and three touchdowns on four receptions, Thruston recorded five catches for 142 yards and three scores, and Mundy snagged three passes for 138 yards and two TDs.
Lincoln Clancy, Catholic's reserve quarterback, ran in a 3-yard TD for Catholic's final score late in the game.
Now, the Aces turn their attention to Class 2-A district play, which begins next week with a trip to take on Todd County Central.
"We need all hands on deck," Morris said. "Todd County's gonna be undefeated when we go to Elkton next week. That's probably gonna be one of their biggest games in school history. We know we're gonna get their best shot, but our guys know what it's like to go into an environment like that.
"That's what you do at Owensboro Catholic -- you play in those kinds of games. Our kids will be ready for it."
HOPKINS COUNTY CENTRAL 7 0 7 0--14
OWENSBORO CATHOLIC 35 20 6 7--68
OC-Mundy 54 pass from Hartz (Payne kick)
OC-Edge 70 pass from Hartz (Payne kick)
HCC-Rodgers 23 pass from Stringer (Garrett kick)
OC-Staples 35 pass from Hartz (Payne kick)
OC-Mundy 50 pass from Hartz (Payne kick)
OC-Thruston 45 pass from Hartz (Payne kick)
OC-Edge 16 pass from Hartz (Payne kick)
OC-Edge 16 pass from Hartz (kick failed)
OC-Thruston 2 pass from Hartz (Payne kick)
HCC-Rodgers 6 pass from Stringer (Garrett kick)
OC-Thruston 57 pass from Hartz (kick failed)
OC-Clancy 3 run (Payne kick)