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East to face a ‘big load’ with J-town

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Football

By Mike Farner

 MOUNT WASHINGTON - Bullitt East will kick off the home portion of its schedule when the Chargers take on the Chargers, the Jeffersontown Chargers, on Friday in Mount Washington.

The two programs have not met on the football field since 2006, but the two schools will soon be developing a more intense rivalry as they will share the same district in many sports starting either this school year or in 2012-13.

Coming off their overtime 9-6 victory over Doss, Bullitt East will take on a team that has yet to play a game this season. Bullitt East head coach Darrell Vincent did get video of Jeffersontown in scrimmages the past two weeks, first against Male and Ballard and then against Waggener this past week.

Head coach Gary Weiter has put together back-to-back winning seasons at Jeffersontown after the school went 15 years with losing marks. The Chargers were 6-5 a year ago, but suffered some key losses to graduation.

Still, Jeffersontown has two of the better players in Kentucky in running back Demichael Jackson and man-child Dan Ross who recent committed to the University of Kentucky. Jackson rushed for over 1,300 yard last season and scored 26 touchdowns.

Ross, who is projected as a defensive lineman in college, will play a number of positions for the Chargers this season including as a running back.

“He is a load,” Vincent said earlier this week of the 6-5, 280-pound Ross. “He ran right at Male’s defensive ends and they didn’t want any part of that. We’ll have to gang tackle him.”

To take advantage of his speed, the Chargers have been using Jackson as the quarterback this season in certain situations.

“Most of the plays go through the quarterback or the fullback,” Vincent noted. “Jackson will run the ball about 35 percent of the time.”

Jackson will wear number 2 while Ross is number 44. Most of the Jeffersontown offense is out of the shot gun with double wings. Some of the offense is the traditional wing-T.

“They held their own (against Male and Ballard),” Vincent said of watching the other Chargers on tape. “They have good athletes.” 

Much of the rebuilding for the Chargers has come up front.

“I don’t see them as big or good as Doss,” Vincent noted. “They are solid there, but they are really trying to get to the edge running the ball. It’s base blocking.”

Vincent certainly feels that his team has an advantage already having a game under its belt.

“It’s important just that our kids being in that game and having experience,” the first-year coach said. “We saw things we could work on. We spent yesterday (Monday) working more on ourselves than what Jeffersontown will do.”

Midway through the second half of the win over Doss, senior quarterback Chase Payne went out with an injury. Sophomore Nathan Christmas came in and led the team to all nine points that it scored. Payne can go this week, but Vincent said the coaching staff is evaluating that position early this week.

“We weren’t moving the ball and then Nathan came in and we had over 100 yards on the ground in the fourth quarter,” Vincent said. “So, we are looking at that.”

Vincent noted that the offense doesn’t change too much depending on the quarterback, although, Christmas does keep the ball more on the option.

The coach is hoping that his team got a big emotional boost from the overtime win against Doss.

“It was a good win,” the coach said. “We struggled early, but we played good defense all night. Everything is a little different when you win. We knew there would be some growing pains with us doing so many new things. We know we have to get better each week.”

Jeffersontown went 6-5 last season before losing to John Hardin in the first-round of the Class 5-A play-offs. With the new alignment, it is possible that Jeffersontown and Bullitt East could meet early in the Class 5-A play-offs in November.

Game time on Friday in Mount Washington is set for 7:30 p.m.