Garrard County had to slug it out to down Clay County 15-14 in last week’s opener. Now the Golden Lions are going to have to show some more of that toughness against Anderson County in Saturday’s Bob Allen Pigskin Classic at Danville.
“I liked our determination and grit. I feel like our defense did an outstanding job for the vast majority of the night. When we did have a breakdown, we adjusted quickly and learned from our mistakes,” Garrard coach Mark Scenters said of last week’s win. “I felt that our young men responded well at critical times, particularly in the third and fourth quarters. That mental toughness and character is something we are always looking for from our young men.”
Anderson (0-1), last year’s Class AAAAA runner-up, is coming off a 41-34 loss to Bryan Station in last week’s opener. Despite losing several stars off last years’s squad, Scenters knows the Bearcats still present a huge challenge.
“I have been impressed with Anderson County's physical play along the lines as well. They are running the ball, (even some option) more than they have,” he said. “They have some very good size up front and the (Zach) Carmichael kid at quarterback is a very solid young quarterback. He runs well and throws a very good ball. Already seems very much in command of the offense.”
Scenters said receivers Austin Hall and Zack Kearns and running backs Ryan McGregor and Granville Hayes will present problems.
Garrard (1-0) managed just 183 yards of offense last week, and fumbled the ball away twice.
“We need to improve on protecting the football and really possessing the ball,” Scenters said. “Tuck the ball away after the catch and cover it with two hands in traffic and continue to show that mental toughness.”
But the Lions’ defense stepped up big. Slade Crutchfield returned an interception for a touchdown and Garrett Caudill and Antonio Harvey each recovered fumbles.
Casey County (0-1) at Taylor County (1-0)
The Rebels may have lost their opener to Lincoln County, but Casey coach Sam Marple said he took away lots of positives.
“We only had four kids playing on the team that had played in a varsity game,” Marple said. “I was worried about us being so young and being able to answer adversity. The thing I liked the most was Lincoln came down and scored two touchdowns in a row (in the second half), and it was the first time momentum had gone Lincoln’s way, and the kids answered with a touchdown (by Rance Carman) and we put ourselves into a position to win in the end.”
But young or not, Marple isn’t looking for moral victories. He wants his team to improve on its three-turnover performance Friday at Taylor County.
“If we show up with this mindset we showed up with the other night and battle every single quarter, we’re going to be fine,” he said. “I think the biggest thing we need to get across to the kids is attack every single play. If we can get the tempo like the one we like, we’re going to be OK.”
Alex Bolin ran for 196 yards and two scores and Casey had 271 yards rushing and 313 yards overall against Lincoln.
The Cardinals are coming off a 42-12 win over McCreary Central in their season opener, and Marple said the teams are similar offensively.
“They’re better than they were lat year. It’s the second year for coach (Eric) Graves and when you put in the game film, you can see their system is so much smoother than a year ago,” he said. “They run that option just like us, and we’re basically a mirror of the two teams except we run ours out of the split back and they run theirs out of the wishbone. Coach Graves does an excellent job teaching his system.
“I feel we’re the more physical team, and I think we’ve got a good opportunity to win if we’ll come out and get after them from the start.”
Casey only tried six passes last week, and Marple said Taylor also rarely throws.
“One way or the other, the clock is going to keep ticking and we’ll be home early,” Marple said.