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SHEPHERDSVILLE - During his first stint at Bullitt Central in the 1980s, one of head coach Danny Leasor’s favorite acronyms was KISS. That stands for Keep It Simple Stupid.
Starting this week, Leasor and associate head coach Mike Gossett are going to do just that with the Cougars’ offense. Bullitt Central stands at 0-2, having scored just 14 points in those two games.
Worse, the offense has had too many ‘three and outs’ which has put more pressure on the defense. That group has struggled with opposing teams throwing the ball.
So, Leasor is going to simplify the pistol offense to keep the ball more and to run more clock while keeping the ball out of the oppositions hands.
“When you run a spread offense, and the pistol is sort of a spread offense, you sometimes put your defense at a disadvantage because there are so many three and outs,” Leasor said earlier this week. “We’re going to look to try to slow it down.”
Some of the lessons that Bullitt Central will use can be traced back to the coaches watching North Bullitt run the ball right at Southern last week in a 43-7 victory. The Cougars will have a thinner playbook but they hope to run those plays better and take some of the decision making out of the quarterbacks’ hands.
“We’ll try to run it more and be more assertive,” Leasor said. “We’ll still run the offense, but we’ll slow it down. We won’t be as fast-paced.”
Mike Gossett calls the offensive plays and he will have fewer options this week.
“We have taken the offense and shrunk it to what we do well,” the associate head coach said. “We have game-planned it to what Southern will give us.”
Bullitt Central will take that new philosophy up Preston Highway on Friday as they renew their rivalry with Southern. The two teams have met eight times in the past with record split evenly, but Bullitt Central has won the last three meetings including a 40-13 victory last season, a campaign in which the Trojans won just two games. The Trojans have not had a winning season since 2-3 when they went 6-4.
Southern opened the season with a 34-14 victory over Moore, but then struggled mightily against North Bullitt.
“Southern has the athletes to beat you,” Leasor pointed out. “I’ve looked at that North Bullitt film a few times. We want to be physical with them like North was in that game.”
Southern is coached by Corey Crume who is entering his fourth season. The more notable change is that Jonathan Miller is now the offensive coordinator. Miller is a Bullitt Central graduate who was an assistant for one year at North Bullitt before taking the head coaching position at Fairdale, a post he held for five years before being pushed out at the end of last season despite an 8-4 record.
Miller has installed a much more pass-oriented offense to the Trojans.
The quarterback is senior Mike Case who threw three touchdown passes in the win over Moore. Case also ran for a touchdown. His top receiving options are speedy Deon Yelder while Davonta Blevins catches passes and also returns kicks.
Southern has eight players who start on both sides of the ball while Bullitt Central uses on two, Dean West and Jeremy Flener.
Leasor on Tuesday was still planning to use both junior Bradley Combs along with freshman Trevor Carnell at quarterback as well as having both in the secondary. Carnell took a hit on Monday in the junior-varsity game and went to the hospital, but Leasor was hoping that he could play on Friday.
Game time on Friday at Southern is set for 7:30 p.m.