Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

Sports

August 23, 2012

Bitter taste

Caverna looking to avenge earlier loss to Adair County

GLASGOW — The bitter taste from last year’s disappointing 28-26 loss to Adair County still lingers for Caverna High School head football coach Rodney Middleton. Serving as an assistant coach last year, Middleton watched helplessly as the Adair County Indians slipped by the Colonels for the narrow victory.

So as he prepares his team to battle the Indians again on Friday, Middleton wants to do everything he can to make sure he and his troops wipe that taste right out of their mouths.

“We lost to Adair County by two points last year and it was really a game we could have won,” said Middleton.

“We rallied in the third and fourth quarters, but couldn’t successfully convert two extra points.  That was the difference in the game.

“We knew going into last year that we were going to face some obstacles. But going into the Adair County game last year, we showed up on offense and on defense. The special teams were really what hurt us, not getting those extra points. So, it left a kind of bitter taste with us.”

The game is slated for a 7 p.m. kickoff on Friday at Adair County High School in Columbia.

“This week we’ve been focusing on overcoming our inabilities on offense and turning them into positives. We had seven turnovers last week, so we’ve got to limit those, put the pressure on the opposing defense and punch it in,” said Middleton.

 The Colonels come into Friday’s contest with a 0-1 record after dropping a 22-0 decision at home against Eminence. It was an eight-point game late into the fourth quarter when Caverna made some costly miscues that Eminence took advantage of.

“I feel, just like last week, that we match up pretty well with Adair County. Both teams seem to be pretty even. We’re both coming into the game 0-1 so I am sure both teams will be ready to play Friday night,” said Middleton.

One of the big positives for the Colonels heading into Friday’s contest is the play of senior tailback Aaron Reed. The talented runner had 35 yards on 10 carries for Caverna last week. He also had one catch for 21 yards. And, quarterback Anthony Phillips completed six passes for 93 yards.

“From an offensive standpoint, we changed the entire offense this year. I am not trying to make excuses, but the way we call the plays is different and the way they’re designed is different,” Middleton explained. “Anthony did well last week, but I think he was really nervous. We’ve worked on that.

“We should be able to run and throw the ball against Adair County. Their interior line is very good. They get off the ball very well and they attack the offensive line. We have to do a better job of blocking than we did last week. They will probably plan to attack us up the middle, but we’ve made some adjustments for that.”

The Indians will be coming into Friday’s game off a 47-7 loss to LaRue County last Friday night in the Forcht Bank Bowl.

Adair County relies heavily on quarterback Alex Nickerson and the running of tailbacks Derek Grant, Rilee Denham and Jake Hixson.

“They’re going to show you multiple sets on offense,” said Middleton. “They’re going to load it up in the wishbone. They’re going to show you the power-I, the pro set. They may even show an unbalanced line. Defensively, you just have to be ready for whatever you see.

“Defensively, we will counterbalance that. My goal is to try and make someone other than those guys beat us. Based on their offense, the way they throw a lot of things at you, they definitely have the possibility of putting points on the board.”

With the likes of powerhouses Heath and Bardstown Bethlehem looming on the schedule, Middleton said a victory Friday would go a long way toward giving the Colonels a big boost of confidence.

“This is a very important game for us,” Middleton said. “The next three games are very tough. So, this game at Adair County could, possibly, make or break our season. We can play well and we have the confidence. We just have to try and put it on the field.”

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