HEBRON ESTATES - There was a time when North Bullitt and Nelson County had a pretty good rivalry going in football.
The two programs met every season from 1987 to 1994 with North Bullitt winning three of those games. The last Eagle win came in 1991 by a 21-14 score.
But for some reason, the two schools have not met since Nelson County won 34-6 in 1994. In the time since that meeting, the Cardinals have often played both Bullitt Central and Bullitt East, but not the Eagles. Nelson County will play Bullitt East at the end of this season.
The rivalry between North Bullitt and Nelson County will be renewed this week when the Cardinals invade C.T. Collins field to battle North Bullitt. The Eagles are surging at this point, standing with a 3-1 record. Nelson County is struggling and is now 0-5.
This is the last year for a full-size Class 6-A program as a second high school will open in Nelson County west of Bardstown next summer. At this point, the new school will be somewhat smaller than the remaining Nelson County High School.
For North Bullitt head coach Brett Newton, there really is no reason why the Cardinals are winless this season.
“It’s kind of a weird thing,” the veteran coach said after watching video on the Cardinals over the weekend. “They always seem to be moving the ball when you look at them. They have some good athletes and throw it well and have a quarterback with a strong arm. They just give up more than they score.”
In five games, the Cardinals have allowed 224 points or 45 points a contest. The 224 total is 35 points more than any other team in Class 6-A has given up.
The defensive woes were obvious from the start as coach Jamie Egli’s team lost to Franklin County 63-35. There have also been losses to Woodford County (42-21), Marin County (37-27) and Bardstown (44-6) before they lost 38-24 to LaRue County last week.
“They are just not good tacklers,” Newton pointed out.
Nelson County will try to put up a lot of points. The starting quarterback is junior Dylan Beasley and he will throw it about 65 percent of the time. There have been times this season when the Cardinals have inserted sophomore Jonathan Breeding under center and at those points they are almost exclusively a running team.
The top running threat is senior Derek Patterson who did rush for 140 yards against Marion County. Beasley’s top receiving threat is sophomore Austin Lavvorn.
“They have good size up front,” Newton said. “We played them in freshman and JV last week (NB won both games) and they take huge splits. Those are easily the biggest we’ll see all year.”
Both teams have played LaRue County this season with North Bullitt having a 26-7 victory in the season opener while Nelson County lost in Hodgenville by two touchdowns. Newton knows his players can figure that out, but he wasn’t too worried about any letdown this week.
“That is not a big concern,” the coach said. “When you look at the scores and the records you might think that, but you see them on film (which the players have this week) and they don’t look like a 0-5 team.”
This is the final tune-up for North Bullitt before they travel to Shepherdsville to take on Bullitt Central next week.
“We want to build momentum and not lose anything for the district games that we have coming up,” Newton said. “That is the importance of Friday night.”
It will be Youth League Night at North Bullitt on Friday. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m.