Garrard County could be without its senior quarterback Friday when the Golden Lions host Lloyd Memorial.
Billy Abney, who went out with a knee injury late in Saturday’s loss to Anderson¿County, is listed as day-to-day, and Garrard coach Mark Scenters is not sure to what extent Abney’s knee is hurt.
“We will see what the doctor says as the week progresses,”¿Scenters said. “The doctors at Danville Orthopaedics provide outstanding care to many of our student-athletes and we trust them and know they are looking out for the good of our young people. We have several kids banged up right now, and we hope as the next few weeks progress that we will start to see them back out on the field.”
But having Abney will be key if the Lions (1-1), ranked 10th in Class AAA, want to knock off the Juggernauts (2-0).
Quarterback Dexter Smith has rushed for 97 yards and two touchdowns and has completed 11 of 17 passes for 205 yards and a touchdown with an interception in Lloyd’s spread offense.
“He is a dual threat-type quarterback. He’s a little bigger and more experienced version of the quarterback we faced against Anderson County,”¿Scenters said. “They also have a couple of stout running backs, and Akintomide Mejolagbe (four catches, 133 yards, one touchdown) is a very athletic receiver that can go get it. He’s probably their best athlete.”
Scenters said Lloyd runs primarily a 3-4 defense, but would not be surprised to see eight players in the box to stop the Garrard run game, which averages 131¿yards per game.
“Their length is very impressive defensively as they have several tall, long players. Nose guard Nehemiah Robinson is an impressive kid as well as the linebackers as a whole. They seem to rotate quite a few on the D-line,” Scenters said.
If Abney can’t go, freshman Slade Crutchfield will take over. Crutchfield was 2 for 3 for 40 yards against Anderson, and he also returned an interception for a score.
Washington County (0-2) at Lincoln County (1-1)
The Patriots are looking to bounce back after a blowout loss to Danville by taking on a Washington County team which is allowing 43 points per game.
“Washington County is a team that has beat us the past four years,”¿Lincoln County coach Mike Settles said. “They may be 0-2, but we cannot take anything for granted. Their kids play hard and they have a tough offense to defend.”
Washington has averaged 20 points per game in losses to Bethlehem and Clay County, and Settles said the Commanders run a lot of option schemes.
“They run primarily out of double slots and make your defense play assignment football with their various option plays,”¿he said. “Morgan Churchill is another big quarterback that we will face, who also plays outside linebacker. He executes their offense well and runs the football effectively.
“They played an intense and exciting game with Bethlehem the first week, but they didn't play very well last week. I'm sure they are looking to bounce back against us. We look forward to the challenge.”
Settles said the Commanders will rely on a big line, anchored by 6-3, 348-pound Alex Mann and 5-11, 263-pound Marquail Riley. The Patriots will have to avoid giving up big plays like they did against the Admirals.
“We did some good things, but gave up too many big plays defensively and couldn't put the ball in the end zone when we needed it the most,”¿he said. “There were some fundamental things that we need to get better at as well. We didn't tackle very well, but give credit to Danville. They have some pretty good runners.”
Casey County (0-2) at Sheldon Clark (1-1)
The Rebels fumbled the ball away four times and had seven penalties in a loss to Taylor County, miscues coach Sam Marple said have to be corrected if they want to beat the Cardinals on Saturday.
“Between our turnovers and penalties, that killed us last week. We were down six at halftime, and I felt we should have been up seven,”¿Marple said. “But we had some things called back, and we have to learn sometimes the ball doesn’t bounce your way.
“We let some calls really get our heads down. We have to learn how to compete to win every single play and control the things we can control.”
Marple knows his team has to learn to overcome adversity, especially on the road against a Sheldon Clark team coming off a 48-40 loss to Prestonsburg.
“They’re big. I counted 18 juniors and seniors, so they’re an older team. They’re a pretty good squad,”¿Marple said. “That’s kind of what you see when you see them on tape. They’ve got some big, strong, fast kids.”
Marple said 215-pound senior Tyler O’Connor is the main ball carrier, and that sophomore Trevor Blackburn is the Cardinals’ top playmaker. He added that freshman quarterback Bryce Workman looks much better than a typical freshman.