SHEPHERDSVILLE - Footballs will fill the Bullitt County air on Friday night as all three of the local teams will be playing at home on the third week of the regular season.
The teams are still fine-tuning their games as they continue to play out of district contests. The games that count the most don’t begin until North Bullitt and Bullitt Central clash on Sept. 28 in the first game in Class 5-A, District 4.
All three games are set to start at 7:30 p.m.
Southern at BC
After falling against two tough opponents to open the season and competing deep into both contests, Bullitt Central head coach Danny Leasor is looking to gain some much needed confidence on Friday when the Cougars welcome Southern to Shepherdsville.
Like Bullitt Central, the Trojans are coming into the game after an almost identical start during last season. Southern defeated Moore and lost to North Bullitt in 2011 and the same thing has happened in this campaign as the Trojans beat Moore 38-20 and lost to the Eagles 36-13, although, they only trailed 8-7 at halftime.
Last year, the game went into overtime before Bullitt Central pulled out a 33-26 victory.
This will be the tenth meeting all-time between the two schools. Bullitt Central has pulled ahead in the series 5-4 after winning the last four games over four straight seasons.
“Southern is not as wild and crazy as last year. They are more controlled,” Leasor said on Monday. “We’ll see more of what we saw against Glasgow. They run out of the ‘I’ formation and they want to get the corner.”
The main threat in the backfield for the Trojans is tailback Desmond Hill, a junior. The quarterback is John Marshall and the lead running back is junior Eric Mason.
When Southern looks for the big play in the passing game, Marshall will throw to senior Deon Yelder.
“The quarterback has an average arm,” Leasor said. “They have good size up front. They will run sweep and isolation and then go traps and use the shotgun. It’s not the pistol, but normal stuff like bubble screens and speed option.
“They are back to the original offense they had when he got to Southern,” the coach said of Trojan counterpart Corey Crume who is in his fourth season at the helm. “They do have athletes.”
Bullitt Central has made some changes to its defense. Senior Jeremy Flener has been moved inside to tackle and sophomore Zach Smith will be the nose guard. The move will give the Cougars more size along the line.
Leasor feels his team is prepared for Southern after two tough opponents.
“I think we’re a better football team for having played Glasgow and South Oldham,” the coach said. “It has to be a plus.
“We have to do a better job in the fourth quarter,” the coach added. “Our practices will be built around emphasizing the fourth quarter.”
Friday night’s home game will be Business Appreciation Night.
Fairdale at Bullitt East
After dropping a frustrating 28-27 decision to Jeffersontown last week, Bullitt East will return home this Friday for a meeting with longtime rival Fairdale.
The two teams have played ten times since 2001 and they have split those meetings right down the middle. Unfortunately, Bullitt East’s five wins came between 2001 and 2006 while Fairdale has won the last five meetings including a play-off game in 2009. Last year, the Bulldogs won 27-21 at home.
Fairdale comes into this game with a 0-1 mark. They opened the season with a 57-7 loss to a powerful Pleasure Ridge Park squad and then were idle last week.
The offense for the Bulldogs revolves around senior quarterback ‘Boo’ Crabtree who is very familiar to all local sports fans. He has been a starter for the Fairdale football, basketball and baseball teams since he was a sophomore.
“No question he is the leader,” Bullitt East head coach Darrell Vincent said on Monday. “Their pass to run is about 50-50. We saw film of the PRP game and their scrimmage with Bullitt Central. They threw it about 60 percent of the team against Bullitt Central.
“I’m sure after they saw us give up some big pass plays to Jeffersontown that they will throw more,” the Charger coach added. “But they will do both.”
Vincent said that he thought that Fairdale senior Clark Darrius was the team’s best defensive player. The top running back is also the team’s nose tackle, senior Anthony Jennings.
When Crabtree does put the ball in the air, his top targets are seniors Demontrel Smith and Jimmie Harris.
Fairdale finished 2-8 last season under then first-year head coach Chris Engstrand and did not reach the Class 4-A play-offs.
On Monday, the report from Vincent on the two key injuries suffered against Jeffersontown was good and bad. Senior kicker/defensive back Devyn Noe suffered a bruise to his back. The coach said that Noe would rest early this week but should be available on Friday.
The news was not as good for running back Jesse Porter. The senior suffered a high ankle sprain and will probably miss a couple of weeks of action.
Friday will be Youth Football Night at Bullitt East. All coaches, players and cheerleaders in uniform will be admitted free to the game.
South Oldham at NB
Who will be playing quarterback for the Dragons?
That is the biggest question heading into Friday’s showdown at North Bullitt with South Oldham. Before the season began, senior Jack Sherry was expected to be the starting quarterback after leading the team to a 6-5 mark last year as she passed for 1,772 yards and 24 touchdowns. Through two games this season, Sherry has done nothing more than carry a clipboard.
North Bullitt head coach Brett Newton certainly thinks there is a possibility that Sherry will be back in pads this week. The move seems likely after the Dragons struggled on offense last Saturday in a 27-0 loss to Meade County in a bowl game at North Hardin High School.
Through the first two games, including a 41-35 victory over Bullitt Central, and a scrimmage, the South Oldham quarterback has been junior Chase Lightfoot.
With Lightfoot at the helm, the Dragons’ offense looks much like North Buliltt’s. They will line up with either a single back and two wings or shift to the wishbone when they get closer to the endzone.
“We are used to seeing it in practice,” Newton said. “They do want to throw it a little more than the first two teams we faced.”
North Bullitt was 2-0 last season when they traveled to Crestwood only to have South Oldham pull out a 38-28 victory. That was the only game that North Bullitt lost in the regular season. In fact, South Oldham has beaten the Eagles each of the past two seasons to take a 9-4 advantage in the series that dates back to 1989.
Newton doesn’t like to play up any ‘revenge’ factor, but he knows his players are aware of two straight losses to the Dragons.
“They really got after us last year,” Newton said. “I think our kids are anxious to play them.
“They will be as good as Green County,” the coach added. “They could be the best team we have faced so far.”