The Metcalfe County Hornets and the Caverna Colonels open play in the first round of the Kentucky High School Athletic Association Football Playoffs this Friday on the road. The Hornets will travel to Louisville DeSales, while Caverna will visit Mayfield.
Metcalfe Co. (5-5) at DeSales (9-1)
Louisville, Ky. / 7 p.m.
“We’re going to have to play an almost perfect game,” said Metcalfe County coach Freddie Harbison. “We’re going to have to stop the run, that’s what it comes down to for us. If we can stop them from running off tackle, then we have a chance to stay in the game. If we can’t stop them, then we won’t be able to stay in the game.”
The Colts have had a solid season from the very first week of play. DeSales has solid wins over Holy Cross, John Hardin, Warren Central, Washington County, Shawnee, Bardstown, Fort Knox, Thomas Nelson and Southern. The Colts’ only loss was a 27-24 decision to Christian Academy of Louisville.
Dylan Byrd is the main cog in a DeSales’ offensive scheme that averages almost 50 points per game. Byrd has rushed for almost 1,400 yards and 22 touchdowns. Nathan Rousch, the quarterback, has rushed for 700 yards and 10 touchdowns. He has also thrown for 729 yards and nine scores.
“DeSales is a very good team. They’re as good as the numbers say they are,” said Harbison. “They’ve got a couple of running backs with good size, and they’re quarterback runs the ball well, too.”
Harbison said the Colts’ defense is solid, too. DeSales plays a 44 defense with four down linemen, four linebackers and three deep. The Colts give up an average of only 10 points per game.
Caverna (2-8) at Mayfield (9-1)
Mayfield, Ky. / 7 p.m.
“Mayfield is not the team they were in the past. I don’t think they cover the pass very well, and that’s predominantly what we do,” said Caverna coach Rodney Middleton. “They’re not what they used to be, but they’re still Mayfield. They’re very disciplined and they adjust well on defense. Mayfield doesn’t make the same mistake twice.”
Mayfield’s offensive juggernaut has been in full motion all year. The Cardinals are averaging 45 points per game and have earned victories over Fort Campbell, McCracken County, Paducah Tilghman, Murray, Graves County, Marshall County, Fulton City, Fulton County and Russellville.
Mayfield’s only loss came last week in the regular-season finale in a 48-41 decision to Caldwell County.
“We know this is going to be a tough task for us, but we’ve kept our focus on football this week,” Middleton said. “We’re going to go out there and do our best. We’re certainly not going to lay down for them.
“Mayfield is going to try and run the ball, but they can throw it. So we’re going to try and put two safeties back to keep up with their speed. I believe we can score on them, our problem is stopping people. We’re going to have to play perfect in all aspects of the game Friday.”
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