Chargers get back to a winning formula

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By Mike Farner

      LOUISVILLE - Scoring just 19 seconds into the contest, the Bullitt East Chargers were off and galloping Friday as they rolled past Waggener 57-14.

     The quick start bolted the Chargers to a 33-0 lead at halftime and the red and gold were never challenged in the second half.

     A year ago, Bullitt East beat the Wildcats 55-0.

     The win exorcised a poor outing a week earlier when the Chargers fell at Spencer County 27-0.

     Bullitt East is now 3-2 for the season as they enter the toughest games of the season. The Chargers will be at home this week to celebrate homecoming against Class 6-A Central Hardin and then after an off week, will play their three district foes in consecutive weeks.

     Waggener (0-4) was really no challenge for the red and gold. Bullitt East had 412 yards of total offense while holding the Wildcats to 266 yards despite the fact that the home team ran 19 more plays from scrimmage and had a definite advantage in time of possession. Waggener hurt themselves with three turnovers.

     After the Spencer County loss, Bullitt East head coach Darrell Vincent didn't make any wholesale changes, but preached to the team to respect every opponent and to go into battle with sharper focus.

     "That's the main thing. We wanted to come out and execute," the coach said on the field after the game. "Spencer County was not a bad team, but we didn't come to play.

     "The kids responded well this week," Vincent added. "They will have to continue to improve for the district games. We don't have very much time left."

     Senior Bullitt East starting quarterback Anthony Doran said that the turnaround started on Monday after the loss to Spencer County.

     "We got to practice 30 minutes earlier just so we could get more practice in," Doran explained. "We didn't underestimate this team. I think that happened last week.

     "We ran more (in practice) this week," the quarterback added. "We ran like two miles on Wednesday. That helped us tonight in this game."

     Bullitt East is not a passing team and Doran completed just three of his seven pass attempts, but all three of the completions went for touchdowns. That included the first play from scrimmage when Doran connected with wide-out Trent Meredith on a short slant play that turned into a 53-yard touchdown.

     "The coaches and I had talked about that play," Doran said of the preparation leading up to the game. "It worked because the corner backed off. Trent made a good move on it."

     Moments later, following a 15-yard punt by the Wildcats, Bullitt East was knocking on the door again. The 37-yard drive took just five plays, all on the ground, with Brandon Samuels covering the final 7-yards.

     Bullitt East's only turnover in the game ended the next drive when Doran was intercepted. However, the Chargers quickly returned the action when junior defensive back Kevin Carter stepped in front of a Waggener pass near midfield and raced all the way to the endzone for a touchdown on the first play of the second quarter.

     "I just made my read and I made a play on it," Carter said of his pick-6. "After that it was all from the Lord.

     "We came out more focused," the junior said. "We just had to come out and line-up right and get our heads in the game and get focused.

     Waggener managed to get at least two first downs in its next two drives, but never could get across midfield, while Bullitt East kept answering quickly.

     Another score was set up when Meredith returned a punt 30-yards into Waggener territory. Two plays later, Doran found junior wide receiver Cruise Coulter free down the middle of the field and hit him in stride for a 34-yard touchdown.

     In the final three minutes of the half, Bullitt East marched 72 yards in eight plays. The first seven plays were all on the ground including a 21 yard dash by Doran. The touchdown came with 36 seconds remaining in the half when Doran connected with Meredith from 9-yards out.

     While the outcome of the game was never in doubt in the second half, Vincent had to call his team together on the sideline after the Wildcats scored on a 58-yard punt return midway through the third quarter. Waggener also scored in the fourth quarter on a 52-yard run by quarterback Tyrone Stallard.

     "I wasn't worried about the score," Vincent said. "But we had talked about at halftime not making mistakes and I saw some mistakes that were a little disappointing. We had a three or four minute span where we didn't play well and we can't afford those things."

     The Chargers kept the scoring coming even after Waggener scored its first touchdown. Late in the third quarter, Bullitt East senior running back Blake McGill busted up the middle and raced 58 yards to the endzone.

     With the big lead, Bullitt East got to use a lot of players. On the first play of the fourth quarter, junior Garrett Tingle ran 47 yards before being hauled down at the 2-yard line. On the next play he got the ball again and scored the touchdown.

     In the final four minutes of the game, the Chargers added two more scores. Senior kicker Devyn Noe converted a 25-yard field goal to cap one drive and after a Waggener fumble, the red and gold had to go only 7-yards. The touchdown was scored by Tingle from the 1-yard line.

     NEXT GAME: Bullitt East will be at home on Friday for homecoming as they will take on Central Hardin. The Bruins will visit Mount Washington with a 2-2 record after they defeated North Hardin 24-21 last week.

     The crowning of the Queen and King will take place starting at 7 p.m. with the game set to start at 7:30 p.m.