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HEBRON ESTATES - The North Bullitt Eagles will attempt to maintain the momentum that they created during three straight district wins on Saturday when they step out of district play for a trip to Cadiz to take on Trigg County.
This will mark the first time that North Bullitt has ever made the trip to play the Wildcats, a Class 3-A program in southwestern Kentucky.
Because of the distance involved in making this trip, the game will be played on Saturday so that North Bullitt does not lose any class time. The game will start at 6 p.m. in Cadiz which is in the central time zone or 7 p.m. on the watches of North Bullitt fans making the trip.
Under this new alignment, the Eagle coaches were considering the first five games of the season as nothing more than glorified scrimmages that prepared their team for the important district slate of games. North Bullitt passed those marks with honors, winning all three district games and earning the right to play the first two rounds of the post-season at home.
North Bullitt enters this portion of the campaign with a 7-1 record and a lot of confidence.
“What we told the kids was that we don’t want any big drop-offs,” Newton said of maintaining what the team has built this season. “Even with Bullitt East and Shelby County still to play (this Friday in a district game), we pretty much know what we are going to be up against (in terms of post-season opponents through the first three rounds).”
The last two games of the regular season haven’t yet had a moniker attached to them. Needless to say, the Eagles want to keep winning and building even more momentum heading into a first-round play-off contest against Grayson County.
North Bullitt head coach Brett Newton has never worked against Trigg County and he doesn’t know anything about the teams that have played the Wildcats this season. Coach Coby Lewis’ team has a 6-2 record after blasting Heath 62-12 last Friday. The Wildcats started the season with four straight wins, but have since gone 2-2 with losses to Fort Campbell, 35-0, and to Paducah Tilghman, 57-7.
“They remind me a little of Nelson County without the huge line splits,” Newton said when asked if Trigg County was like any team that the Eagles have already faced this season. “They will be spread out 95 percent of the time in trips or quads. But, they still run it a lot.
“It appears that the spread offense is more prevalent down in that part of the state,” the coach added. “That’s what Paducah Tilghman and Heath were doing also. The spread is pretty widespread down there.”
You get the sense that Newton is having a hard time getting a grasp on the level of talent that his team will face on this road trip.
“It’s hard to gauge because they are playing a lot of 1-A and 2-A schools,” Newton said. “They look pretty strong. They are big and have some good looking linemen.”
The quarterback for the Wildcats is sophomore Luke McKenzie who through the first seven games of the season had completed 68 of 126 passes for 907 yards and six touchdowns and six interceptions.
Amazingly, the Trigg County statistics show that 15 different players have carried the ball for the team this fall. The leading rusher is senior Hakeem Tyler who had 385 yards on 69 carries heading into the Heath contest. Fellow senior Deondre Wilson had 46 carries for 232 yards. The only other Wildcat ball carrier with more than 100 yards is McKenzie with 132 yards.
When McKenzie does put the ball in the air, his favorite target is senior Devonte Nance. Tyler also has a double-digit number of receptions this year.
On defense, senior Jakeize Martin always seems to be around the ball as he has three interceptions and a pair of fumble recoveries. One of the interceptions he returned for a touchdown.
One aspect of the game that North Bullitt might work on this week is at least showing more of a passing attack. The running game has been so successful for the Eagles this fall that they have seldom had to pass. Against Bullitt East last week, Eagle quarterback Patrick Egnor completed both passes that he attempted with one going for a touchdown.
Still, Newton wants upcoming post-season foes to at least think that North Bullitt could throw the ball.
“We talk every week about throwing it,” Newton said. “Then the game starts and we don’t do it. Patrick was throwing it well in warm-ups last week. We would like to do it, but we’re not going to do it to put ourselves in a bad spot.
“If it’s not broken, then don’t fix it,” the coach added of the Eagles getting a lot of mileage out of handing the ball to senior running back Todd Asbury. “We haven’t had a lot of third and longs. It’s been third and short a lot so it’s better just to all for a run. Still, we know the need will be there (to throw) when we get to John Hardin and Jeffersontown.”
North Bullitt has a few nagging injuries at the defensive end spots. Newton said that both Nick Crisp and Zach Foster will be game day decisions with injuries. In addition, starting defensive back and back-up quarterback Josh Exton will miss this game.
North Bullitt had some special team problems two weeks ago when Exton went out and could not handle the punting chores. The Eagles solved that problem against Bullitt East by moving the ball so well that they never had to punt.
The Eagles will leave school at around noon on Saturday and travel on a chartered bus for the 6 p.m. contest.