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SHEPHERDSVILLE – Footballs will be flying all over Bullitt County on Friday night as all three of the local high school teams will be playing at home.
This will be the first game of the season for Bullitt Central and they will be taking on Fairdale. Bullitt East will try to make it two in a row as they play host to long-time rival Nelson County while North Bullitt will look to bounce back from a poor performance as they will take on Southern.
All three games are set to start at 7:30 p.m., but expected high heat indexes this week could push back some start times.
BC vs. Fairdale
For two teams that are so close to each other, this will be the first regular season meeting between the Cougars and Bulldogs in at least 15 years. The teams have scrimmaged a number of times though in recent years. Fairdale played both North Bullitt and Bullitt East last season and will close this season with a game against the Chargers.
While many teams in the area started this season last week, this will be the first game of the season for both squads. Fairdale has had some tough seasons recently going just 5-16 over the past two seasons. The Bulldogs made a coaching change in the off-season, putting Matthew Wright in charge, replacing Chris Engstrand.
The roster for Fairdale shows only 35 players in the program for the top three classes. The team has only three seniors.
From the film of Fairdale’s scrimmages, Leasor is expecting the Bulldogs to spread the field and throw the ball as they will try to take advantage of some speed and athleticism.
The quarterback for Fairdale will be junior George Wilson and the top rushing threat is sophomore running back Max Cole. When he does throw, Wilson will be looking to get the ball into the hands of sophomore wide receiver Josh Rutter.
On defense, the Bulldogs do return their top tackler from last season in junior linebacker Austin Weird.
East vs. Nelson Co.
The Chargers and Cardinals will renew their battle for the Bourbon Barrel on Friday when the teams meet in Mount Washington.
A year ago, Nelson County pulled out a 35-28 win. That Nelson County squad was built to score points and they also gave up a lot of points. In seven of 12 games last year, the Cardinals scored at least 34 points as they posted a 6-6 record.
The offense first mentality hasn’t changed in Bardstown as Nelson County opened the season with a 41-12 victory over Woodford County.
The top threat for coach Jamie Egli’s team is running back Ben Jones who rushed for just under 1,000 yards last season.
“They are doing the same stuff they had been doing,” Bullitt East head coach Darrell Vincent said on Monday. “They look like they are more committed to defense. Still, they want to run plays as quick as possible.
“I think they will run more, but he (Egli) wants to throw it,” the coach added. “It might be like 60-40 this year weighted to throwing it. But number five (Jones) will run it and the quarterback this year is a better runner.”
North vs. Southern
Last Friday was not a good night for the Eagles in their loss to Franklin County and head coach Brett Newton said that it looked as bad on the film over the weekend as it did in person on Friday.
The Eagles will try to make things right this week as they take on Southern in what has become an annual contest for the two programs. Southern opened this season with a 32-18 win over Moore, but that is not a big deal. Last year, coach Corey Crume’s team opened with a win over Moore, but then didn’t win another game including a 36-13 loss to the Eagles.
“They are doing what they have been doing the past several years,” Newton said. “They are an athletic team and they spread the ball. They are about 50-50 between the pro-I and the shot gun.”
Newton believes the Trojans will run the ball about 70 percent of the time. The quarterback is John Marshall while the top running back is Desmond Hill. Both of those players are seniors.