Prep Football: Garrard facing more balanced Bourbon in key district matchup
Garrard County defensive lineman Bradley Rector (50) and the Golden Lions defense will try to slow down a Bourbon County offense averaging 50 points per game when the two teams meet up in a key Class AAA, District 5 contest Friday in Lancaster. (Clay Jackson / October 3, 2012)
Hopkins is still there for the 6-0 Colonels, but has more help this season under new coach John Hodge, a Garrard graduate and former Boyle County assistant. Bourbon, ranked fifth in Class AAA this week, is more balanced on offense going into Friday’s district contest against host Garrard County.
“They do seem to be more balanced and I believe that has a lot to do with the addition of some outstanding playmakers to what was already a very skilled group with Hopkins, Brent Holman and Jaxson Hilander,”¿Garrard coach Mark Scenters said. “The addition of Charles Johnson, who is another outstanding athlete, as well as the quarterback Dalton Pope, they have the ability to put five really skilled playmakers on the field all at the same time. Their speed is outstanding at all skill spots.”
Hopkins has rushed for 698 yards and 10 touchdowns, which is a considerable drop-off from last season when he ran for more than 2,000 yards. He has also caught seven passes for 209 yards and five more scores. But Bourbon is averaging 52 points and 373 yards per game, while giving up just 13 points and 174 yards per game. The Colonels have won their two district contests by a combined score of 130-22.
Pope is 24 of 33 passing for 633 yards and 10 touchdowns with no interceptions, and has rushed for 264 yards and six touchdowns.
“Hopkins is outstanding and a definite Mr. Football candidate in my opinion, but we really have to defend the whole field,”¿Scenters said. “Pope gives them the ability to throw as well as they run, and he is a very strong running threat himself.”
Hilander has nine catches for 198 yards and two touchdowns and Holman has rushed 24 times for 191 yards and three touchdowns.
Scenters said Bourbon’s defense has been just as impressive as its offense.
“Bourbon has shown to be running the 4-4 scheme that we are all familiar with seeing Boyle County run,”¿he said. “They do a great job of playing a good, sound defensive game.”
Garrard (3-3, 1-1) comes into the game off a win at Powell County, snapping a two-game slide. The Golden Lions are averaging 22 points and 304 yards per game.
“It was really good to go on the road and get a good district win, especially under the difficult conditions that the game was played in,”¿Scenters said.
Noah Williams has emerged as the Lions’ main ball-carrier, rushing for 742 yards and five touchdowns. Billy Abney is 30 of 67 passing for 465 yards and three touchdown with no interceptions, and has two rushing touchdowns. Jacob Simpson has six catches for 153 yards and two scores.
Garrard won at Bourbon in overtime last year, and knows it’s important to hold home field to stay in the district race.
“It will be important for us to play well in all phases of the game in what is always a very key district matchup,”¿Scenters said. “Hopefully a big home crowd will really give our kids a lot of support.”