Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

Sports

August 16, 2012

Battle of Traditions

Monroe County to open season at Franklin

TOMPKINSVILLE — When the Monroe County Falcons travel to Franklin on Friday to open the 2012 football season against the Franklin-Simpson Wildcats, the game has the potential to be one of the best prep football games in southcentral Kentucky.

The Falcons have won two regional championships in the last four years and the Wildcats are 37-14 over the last four seasons, including a trip to the Class 4A State Championship in 2011.

Friday’s contest has all the makings of a playoff-caliber football game.

“Franklin-Simpson football is tradition rich. They always have athletes,” said Falcon coach John Petett. “They’re always very well-coached and they will be the same way this year. (New head coach) Doug Preston is a very well-known coach out of Bullitt East. They have a lot of athletes and they know how to play football at a very high level.

“We’ve never beaten them. I think we’re 0-7 against them in my career year at Monroe County High School. The bottom line is we will be the underdogs down there.”

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

“The first thing I think about when I think about Franklin-Simpson is their speed. They have speed all over the field,” said Petett. “It will be tough for us to match that and that’s something to worry about. We have to match their speed or contain it.”

The Wildcats generated a lot of offense last season, scoring 560 points in 15 games for an average of 37 points an outing. Those numbers aren’t lost on Petett.

“They run the wing-T, so they’re going to pull their guards. The key for us is staying at home,” Petett said. “They’ve got two or three guys that can run the football very well. They run a lot of misdirection and it will be hard for us to make sure we don’t leave our spots.

“We have to stay at home and play very disciplined on the defensive side of the ball. We don’t want to let their speed get out. It will be hard for us to catch them if the do.”

And on the other side of the ball, Franklin-Simpson has a pretty stingy defense. Monroe County quarterback Chad Wilson, who has been given a green light from Petett to make a lot of the decisions on the field, will be tested as he looks to move the ball against the Wildcats.

“They’re going to be in a five front most of the night. Last week, we played Wayne County and they had a five front,” Petett explained. “We’re going to have to find four or five plays we feel comfortable in.

“We’re still in a, I don’t want to say learning phase, but we’re still in the phase where we have to find something, stay true to it and get some confidence. We’re lacking confidence right now up front along the offensive line. So if I can find a few sets we’re confident in, get a few plays, we’re going to try and establish the run early and if we’re able to do that, that may free up Chad Wilson and get him on the edge.”

Though the Falcons’ ultimate goal is to win the district and make it back to the playoffs, Petett said Friday’s game is important to him and his players.

“This week, we’ve put a lot of emphasis on this game because we played so poorly last week against Wayne County. Our scrimmage expectations going in were very high and we basically didn’t fare very well,” Petett said. “We’ve put a little more emphasis on this game Friday.

“We play for the district title, try to get better every day, but we feel like we need to go to Franklin and compete at the very highest level so that we can build confidence.  We don’t need to build confidence weekly, we need to build confidence every quarter.

“We need the kids to believe that every plays means positive yardage or a touchdown. If we can get that mindset, and get a couple of scores on the board, that could be a key for us.”

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