Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

Sports

August 19, 2012

Trojans sharp in win over Metcalfe Co.

GLASGOW — There was preseason talk among the Barren County football faithful about just how well Josh Durham would perform this year as starting quarterback for the Trojans. The senior signal-caller was finally going to get his opportunity since last year’s starter, Luke Matthews, graduated. Durham’s debut performance for the Trojans came Saturday when he led the Barren County Trojans against the Metcalfe County Hornets in the second game of the T.J. Samson Healthcare Career Bowl.

Well, Durham got pretty good reviews, needless to say, as he performed solidly and guided the Trojans to a 28-0 victory. Matthews ran for two touchdowns and threw for two more to lead the Trojans to victory. For his first outing in varsity action, Durham made the most of the opportunity with 11 rushes for 72 yards and two touchdowns, and 74 yards through the air,  on only four completions. It was a good day for Durham.

“We’re wearing our quarterback out.  He plays both ways and I think he sometimes gets back there and starts to think too much. He thinks he’s got to make a play when he actually doesn’t have to,” said BCHS coach Jason Esters. “I thought he did a great job tonight. At times, he looked like the quarterback we thought he could be.”

Durham started to show his skills on the Trojans’ second drive of the game. He hit Chad Eaton for a 24-yard pass play to open the surge. He then picked up six yards on a scramble around the right end and followed that with two carries of 10 yards each to put the Trojans on the Metcalfe 36-yard line.

After a run by Derek Gossett, Durham scampered around the right end for a 28-yard touchdown run. Connor Bryant, who Esters brought over from the BCHS soccer team, missed the extra point and the Trojans led 6-0 with 5:31 to go in the first quarter.

But the Hornets, under first-year coach Larry Harbison, came right back on their next possession and drove deep into Barren County territory. Quarterback Ty McMurtrey successfully marched the Hornets down the field behind the running of Kyle Bryant, Cole Shive and Brandon Glass.

On a fourth-and-eight, the Hornets went for a fake punt, but McMurtrey comes up short on the effort, giving the ball back to the Trojans.

After the teams exchanged possessions, Barren County came up with a big play deep in the Hornets’ territory when they blocked a McMurtrey punt and took the ball over on the Metcalfe County 23–yard line with 9:48 to go in the second quarter.

And the Trojans quickly capitalized on the opportunity, taking only five plays to reach the endzone, this time on a 14-yard pass play from Durham to Aaron Hopkins.  Durham found Dalton Bush for the two-point conversion and Barren County took a 14-0 lead into halftime.

“I was really impressed with the way coach Harbison had his team ready tonight,” Esters said. “I thought they were much better offensively than they have been in the past.  And defensively, they’re real tough. They changed some things we expected them to do and it kind of got us out of our gameplan. We had to change some things up ourselves.”

“The line of scrimmage, they just had so much size on us that it was hard to overcome,” Harbison said. “But we kept playing, we kept clicking along. There is no doubt we’re going to get better.”

The Trojans took advantage of their size once again in the third quarter. After holding the Hornets to three-and-out, the Barren County defensive line broke through the MCHS front wall and pressured McMurtrey who was back to punt. McMurtrey adjusted to his left and tried to punt the ball on the run, but missed it and the Trojans took over on the Metcalfe County 15-yard line.

Four plays later, Durham took the ball over from the 4-yard line for a touchdown. Bryant’s kick was no good and the Trojans led 20-0 with 1:39 left in the period.

“After a game like this you have to pick out the small things you have as a team and build off them. And we had some,” Harbison said. “As we get older and more mature, we will do a better job of picking up linebackers and hitting things a little quicker, like the short passes. We had a chance to do that a couple of times tonight and just didn’t.

“What we keep preaching is we’re a sophomore-junior dominated team and, I think, at this time next year, we’re going to be a pretty good team. All we have to do is keeping working hard and buy into what we’re doing. If we do that, we’re eventually going to be a pretty good football team.”

The Trojans tacked on the final score of the game early in the fourth quarter when Durham found Chris Furlong for a 24-yard touchdown pass. Durham ran it over for the two-point conversion, making it 28-0.

“We’ve got a lot of things to work on.  Last week in our scrimmage against Edmonson County, we’ve improved on both sides of the football since that game,” Esters said. “And the only thing we can ask the kids to do is get better each day.  We made some steps forward tonight, but then we would take a couple of steps back. It all boils down to consistency. We’ve got to do a better job of being consistent.”

The Trojans will be at home again on Friday when they host the Warren East Raiders. The Hornets will host the Monroe County Falcons on Friday. Kickoff for both games is 7 p.m.

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