Prep Football: Boyle coach says John Hardin will be a major test for Rebels
Boyle County tight end Blake Mason, left, is tackled by Danville¿s Jawan Grey during the Rebels¿ loss last week. The Rebels host John Hardin, the No. 2-ranked team in Class AAAAA, on Friday. (Clay Jackson / September 6, 2012)
“It’s just blocking and tackling, that’s the big thing. If we block and tackle well, we can win games,” Boyle coach Larry French said. “And right now, we’re not doing either one well.”
Coming off a 28-21 loss to archrival Danville last week, French said the Rebels have to block and tackle as well as they can this Friday when Class AAAAA’s No. 2 team — John Hardin — comes to Rebel Stadium.
French is just hoping Boyle can avoid a similar fate to last year’s matchup with the Bulldogs when the Rebels (1-2) went to John Hardin and were shut out for the first time in 95 games in their 28-0 loss. Boyle was held to 10 yards rushing in the game, 109 yards overall and turned the ball over four times.
French said the Bulldogs (3-0)¿are just as strong this season as they were last year while making the state semifinals.
“They may be better offensively. I think they’ve got a good line in front of them, their guards pull and get down the field and block,” French said. “Their running backs are quick and strong and the quarterback runs the wing-T really well.”
John Hardin is averaging 47 points and 423 yards of total offense per game and had beat Henry Clay (44-27), West Jessamine (70-27) and Meade County (28-10).
Quarterback Patrick Anderson is 17 of 32 passing for 373 yards and eight touchdowns with no interceptions. Dorian Collins leads the receivers with nine catches for 233 yards and four touchdowns.
Wade Holtsclaw, a 5-10, 190-pound senior, has rushed for 373 yards and four touchdowns, and 5-9, 191-pound senior Jalen Fleming has 154 yards and three scores.
“They’re extremely good, they can run the football in that wing-T offense and find the holes and accelerate through them,” French said of the Bulldogs’ backs.
John Hardin is giving up 21 points and 294 yards per game.
The offensive and defensive lines are big, with five players who are at least 286 pounds. The lines are anchored by 6-6, 342 pound senior Matt Elam, who plays both ways.
“That kid moves well, and when he decides to play, we don’t have anybody that can block him,” French said of Elam. “We’ve got to be able to double team him and keep him out of the backfield.
“Defensively, they’re pretty sounds and they’ve got people all over the field making tackles. We’ve got to be able to stay with our blocks and be able to control the line.”
Boyle is averaging 34 points and 367 yards, but the Rebels also have fumbled the ball eight times, losing seven, and have thrown four interceptions.
“We also have to cut down on our penalties. We had 100 yards in penalties (against Danville). We had four turnovers last week, and you can’t win many games doing those things,” he said. “And we just didn’t tackle well last Friday night, especially in the second half,” he said. “We’ve just got to learn. Sooner or later it’s got to register with them, and we have got to get better at doing things.”
Seph Burke has rushed 61 times for 478 yards and six touchdowns, and Lloyd Hall has 31 carries for 253 yards and four scores as the Rebels average 280 yards on the ground.
Quarterback Casey Whittle has completed 20 of 44 passes for 260 yards and two touchdowns with three interceptions. Blake Mason leads the team with seven catches for 102 yards and a score, and Hall has five grabs for 69 yards.
However, the Boyle defense is giving up 351 rushing yards, 487 yards overall, and 35 points per game. So playing a high-powered team like the Bulldogs may not be the best way to get well, but French said they are just preparing for ‘the next team on our schedule” as good teams must do.
“John Hardin presents a great challenge for us, and it will be a challenge for us to stay on the field,” French said. “We’ll see what we’re made of.”