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MOUNT WASHINGTON – The Bullitt East Chargers will get a chance to win a second-round play-off match-up for the first time since 2008 on Friday when they play host to Grayson County in a Class 5-A match-up.
Bullitt East (10-1) will take a six-game winning streak into the contest after dismantling North Hardin 30-7 last week in Mount Washington. That was the program’s first post-season win since 2008.
Grayson County (5-6) earned the road trip with a 34-26 victory over North Bullitt.
This will be the first meeting ever between the two schools in football.
“Just watching them on film, they looked against North,” Bullitt East head coach Darrell Vincent said on Monday. “Their quarterback keeps it a lot. You have to stay at home and play your position against option football teams.”
In fact, Bullitt East can look across the line and almost think they are looking in a mirror. Much of what Grayson County tries to do on offense is based on the veer attack that Bullitt East has used for much of the past 25 years. The formations might be a little different and varied, but the point of attack is much the same.
“Some things might be different, but the base stuff is the veer. The concept is the same,” Vincent said. “It’s a lot like what South Oldham does and we scrimmaged them.
“They do have a lot of the same tendencies as us,” the coach added. “They want to have the quarterback keep the ball. They might use the ‘I’ or flex out players, but the concept is the same as what we do.”
Vincent says that the Cougars will run the ball at least 75 percent of the time, but that his team will have to be alert for pass plays when they are least expected.
“They do a good job of lulling you to sleep and then throwing to the tight end,” the coach explained. “You have to be disciplined. The tight end is a big part of their offense.
“When they do throw, they are looking downfield,” Vincent added. “They are trying to get big things out of it.”
Sound familiar? Vincent said that Grayson County’s tight end is much like his team’s Cruise Coulter and Trent Meredith. In the win over North Hardin, Meredith caught four passes for 80 yards and a touchdown.
Grayson County actually uses two quarterbacks as junior Trey Waltermire and Talon Gary both take snaps. Waltermire played more late in the season under center, but then Gary took more snaps against North Bullitt.
“Number 21 (Waltermire) is the quarterback mostly,” Vincent said. “They do a lot of the same things and the one not playing quarterback the other is the wide receiver. Number 21 is listed as the starter.”
The Cougars also have an over-sized fullback in junior Lane Rackley who is 6-2 and 250-pounds. He wears number 81 as he started as a defensive lineman before becoming a running back.
Like Bullitt East, the Cougars want to be ball control and look to find success on long drives. They don’t have the overall team speed that Bullitt East has sometimes seen this season.
“They don’t have the track speed like North Hardin had,” Vincent said. “But I’ve seen the quarterback go 58 yards and the tight end makes big plays. They can make big plays.”
On defense, Grayson County normal has been using a 4-3 alignment, but like many teams have this season, the Cougars may shift to a five-man front because of Bullitt East’s powerful running game.
“They use a lot of two high safeties like we do,” Vincent said of another similarity between the two teams.
Vincent said that the one player that stood out on defense for the Cougars was linebacker Tyler Jacobs, a senior.
The two teams have just one common opponent other than the first-round play-off foes. Both teams lost to Central Hardin in the first part of the season. Back on Aug. 30, the Cougars lost to Central Hardin 45-0 while Bullitt East’s only loss was a 28-19 setback to the Bruins three weeks later.
Both teams beat North Hardin and North Bullitt.
Grayson County earned the number two-seed behind John Hardin in District 3 with wins over North Hardin (34-16) and Jeffersontown (17-14). The Cougars also had district losses to John Hardin (40-7) as well as to Iroquois (21-0) the last time they made a trip to the Louisville area.
Bullitt East played without junior linebacker Shane Satori last week, but Vincent was hoping that he would be ready to play this week. If not, then senior Seth Thompson will fill-in at that position again.
Otherwise, the Chargers are at full-strength for this play-off contest.
The winner of this game will advance to the regional final against the winner of the Shelby County at John Hardin contest on Friday. Bullitt East would play at John Hardin if the Bulldogs win that game and would play host to Shelby County if the Rockets pull off the upset of the second-ranked team in Class 5-A.
Despite the fact that Grayson County will be coming from the central time zone, the game on Friday in Mount Washington will start at the normal time of 7:30 p.m. Grayson County played all of its district games this season at 7:30 p.m. as well as the game against North Bullitt so they just wanted to keep to that schedule.