Eagles gain strength from 'bye' week

-A A +A

North Bullitt 61, Valley 6

By Mike Farner

 LOUISVILLE - With seven different players scoring touchdowns, the North Bullitt Eagles showed no rust from their ‘bye’ week as they blew past Jefferson County rival Valley 61-20.

The game became a blowout late in the first quarter when the green and gold scored three touchdowns over just four offensive plays. By that time North Bullitt was up 27-6. It was 40-6 at halftime and the rout was on.

The win moved North Bullitt to 3-1 with one more game remaining before the team plays three straight district contests starting on Sept. 30 in Shepherdsville against Bullitt Central.

Valley dropped to 1-4 with the loss.

Just a week earlier, Valley had played Bullitt Central tough, falling 7-0 on a touchdown in the fourth quarter. The Vikings were no match for the Eagles on Friday.

“We gave them a cheap one early and then dominated the rest of the way,” veteran North Bullitt head coach Brett Newton said when the team returned to Bullitt County. “They may have had negative yards in the first half.”

The ease of the win was not unexpected to Newton who had watched the Vikings play Bullitt Central the week before. The coach felt Valley had played so poorly against the Cougars that he didn’t show his team the film of that game, instead opting to show them the tape of last year’s 42-18 play-off win over Valley in the first round of the Class 4-A play-offs.

“We beat them by what I expected,” Newton said. “It’s over when you are that much better up front and then we could focus on one player.”

Valley does have a good running back in senior Lee Lee Hayden, but they struggle if he cannot produce. North Bullitt focused on stopping him and that made life easy.

The Eagles lost to South Oldham 38-28 the week before the ‘bye’ and that loss got the player’s attention and helped them focus on what the coaches wanted during the down time. Newton wasn’t looking to make any major changes, just correct a few little things.

“I think we were pretty focused during the break,” the coach said. “Even against South Oldham, we played well. We played three really good downs and then had a bad one. That was the story. Our kids prepared well for Valley and then games down the road.

“We worked hard in the weight room and on conditioning,” Newton said of the week without a game. “We felt that against South Oldham we let the score dictate our excitement level. We worked them hard in the weight room so that problem doesn’t affect us again.”

The only hiccup in the game for the Eagles came on the second play from scrimmage when junior quarterback Patrick Egnor was intercepted. Valley returned the ball to the 10-yard line and quickly scored on a short-run by Kevin Offutt.

That was the high water mark for the Vikings despite missing the extra point kick. North Bullitt answered first when senior Zack Foster bolted free for a 24-yard scoring run. Derek Schweinhart’s extra point kick, the first of seven he made in the game, gave the Eagles the lead for good.

At the end of the first quarter, North Bullitt quickly turned the game into a rout with the help of two Valley fumbles. Senior Todd Asbury, who rushed for 112 yards in the win, got the first of his three touchdowns when he scored from a yard out.

After Valley turned the ball over, Egnor connected with senior wide-out Jesse King on a 30-yard touchdown pass. North Bullitt got the ball right back and this time Asbury scored from 11-yards out.

In the second quarter, North Bullitt added touchdowns as Asbury scored on a 4-yard run before Ryan Collins pushed the lead to 40-6 on a 5-yard surge.

In the third quarter, North Bullitt got a touchdown from junior Travis Downing on a 4-yard run. In the final frame, back-up quarterback Cameron Davis hit senior Brandon Wilder for a 5-yard touchdown. The Eagles then closed out their scoring on a 25-yard run by Cody Hodge.

Downing, who suffered a broken bone in his wrist in the scrimmage against Spencer County, played the first three games this season wearing a cast. That came off on Sept. 6 and that made it more likely he would carry the ball on offense, opening up new avenues for the Eagle offense.

“It was nice tonight to have him as a threat to run the ball,” Newton said of the 220-pound power back. “South Oldham knew he wasn’t going to run the ball. Now everybody knows that he is a threat up the middle.”

Downing carried the ball 10 times for 58 yards. Along with the 112 yards from Asbury, North Bullitt rushed for 253 yards in the win. Egnor added to the attack by connecting on six of his nine passes for 111 yards.

Next Game: North Bullitt will be back at home for the final tune-up before district play starts when they play host to Class 6-A Nelson County.

The Cardinals are 0-5 after falling 38-24 to LaRue County on Friday.

Game time on Friday at C.T. Collins field is set for 7:30 p.m.