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LEITCHFIELD – The North Bullitt Eagles will open the 2013 Class 5-A play-offs on the road on Friday as they travel to Grayson County to take on the Cougars.
This will be the second meeting in three years between the two schools in the post-season. In 2011, Grayson County made the trip to North Bullitt for a game won by the Eagles 27-7.
While North Bullitt head coach Brett Newton would certainly prefer opening the post-season at home, he realizes that this could very well be a season in which a number-three seed makes some noise. Grayson County has only a 4-6 record as a number-two seed. In addition, North Bullitt is as far away from John Hardin in the bracket as is possible.
“We feel like after what we accomplished this year that we couldn’t have asked to be in a better draw,” Newton said on Monday. “You want to draw away from John Hardin. Then Jeffersontown is playing better of late and Shelby County gets them. Other than being a number one seed, we couldn’t have asked for much better.”
A year ago, as a number three seed, a Grayson County team with an 8-2 record traveled to Shepherdsville and beat Bullitt Central 21-12. That team lost a lot to graduation.
This season, coach Jerome Smart’s squad is 4-6. The Cougars are 3-1 at home. The Cougars two most impressive wins, over North Hardin (34-16) and Jeffersontown (17-14), came at home. In five of the six losses, Grayson County scored a touchdown or less.
The only common opponent for the two squads is Jeffersontown, a team that North Bullitt defeated 22-20 earlier in the season.
One thing the two squads do have in common is that they run out of a myriad of offensive formations. Still, at the core of its offense, Grayson County is a veer type attack. North Bullitt competed against that type of offense in games this season against both Henry County and Bullitt East.
“They run a little bit of everything,” Newton said. “Their base is single wing, double-wide veer. But we’ve seen them in the ‘I’ or wishbone or even some shotgun. Most of the time, except when in the shotgun, the veer is the base play.”
Newton pointed out that the Cougars will run the ball 60 to 70 percent of the time.
Grayson County did change quarterbacks midway through the season. Over the second half of the season, junior Trey Waltermire moved to quarterback. In a late season game against John Hardin, Waltermire completed just three of 13 passes for 37 yards.
On the ground, the top running threat is junior Talon Gary, but the Cougars spread the ball around. Other running options include Dylan Woodcock and Jacob Harris as well as Waltermire keeping the ball.
Newton thought that the Cougars looked bigger up front on defense than on offense.
“When they have played spread teams they have been in a 5-2,” Newton said of Grayson County’s defense. “They give you a lot of different looks. They are effective inside on defense.”
High school coaches talk about momentum going into the play-offs but that is something the Eagles don’t have as they are riding a three-game losing streak since beating Shelby County on Oct. 11.
“We ran into a really good team with Meade County on Friday but Calloway County was no (momentum) boost, but that was our own fault. We feel if we can take care of the turnovers that we have a good chance to make it into the second round.”
North Bullitt sophomore Daniel Hook, who has been starting on both side of the interior lines in recent weeks, suffered a mild concussion against Meade County. He is ‘day-to-day’ according to Newton. Dalton Casey is still working to get back to 100 percent from a groin injury. Other than that, the Eagles should be good to go on Friday.
Game time in Leitchfield on Friday is set for 7:30 p.m. for North Bullitt fans. Grayson County is in the central time zone so the game will start at 6:30 p.m. in Leitchfield.