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Henry Clay next test for Boyle

August 28, 2003|MARTY WARREN

Boyle County hopes to defeat its second straight Lexington school Friday night when the Rebels host Henry Clay at 7:30 p.m. in their home opener.

The Rebels led 21-0 at the half and defeated Lafayette 35-0 last week in the Ray Adams Charger Classic in Louisville. Henry Clay wasn't as fortunate while dropping a 47-26 decision to Paducah Tilghman, the team given the best chance at stopping Boyle in the Class AAA title chase this year.

Coach Sam Simpson's Blue Devils fell behind 19-6 at the half and trailed the Tornados 40-6 after three periods before scoring three times in the fourth quarter. However, Boyle coach Chuck Smith said the score could have been much closer had the Blue Devils taken care of the ball.

"They are a good football team and they have talent, but they gave Tilghman three scores in the first half on a muffed punt, fumble and a lateral behind the line of scrimmage that resulted in another score," Smith said. "If you take away those three scores, it's a much more competitive game than people realize."

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The Blue Devils lost quarterback David Buchanan due to graduation and are going with two quarterbacks this season in sophomore Salin Simpson (the coach's son) and junior Justin Farmer.

"They both did a really nice job," the Boyle coach said. "(Salin) is young and inexperienced but he has the potential to be an outstanding quarterback, while (Farmer) throws the ball well."

Matt Walker rushed 19 times for only 49 yards but scored two times and Aubrey White, who had 58 catches for 861 yards last year as a wide receiver, had a 55-yard touchdown catch from Farmer. White has been moved to a running back and wing back this year to utilize his speed.

"I was impressed with the running ability of White and Mychal Dabney," Smith said. "Those two kids really stood out against Tilghman. The key for us is to not allow them to make big plays. If they are going to score, we are going to have to make them earn it."

Boyle allowed just 54 yards rushing last week

Boyle linebackers Ian Young, Andrew Bertram and Brandon Smith helped the Rebels defense limit Lafayette to only 54 yards rushing.

"Our linebackers played well," Smith said. "Ian Young returns and is an impact player while Andrew is going to be a special player. He already has a nose for the football, but he has to develop a little more toughness."

Offensively, the Rebels received a big game from senior Brad Cloud, who rushed for 32 yards and caught three more passes for 90 yards

"He is just a great player," Smith said. "He has had to play in the shadow of some fine athletes we have had in the past, but he certainly showed what he is capable of doing Friday night."

The Boyle coach was pleasantly surprised with the running of a pair of juniors, Quinn Givhan and Danny Commarford. Givhan rushed 11 times for 67 yards while Commarford added 65 yards on just nine carries.

"They are a very good one-two punch and complement each other very well," Smith said. "There is a slight difference in their running style, but they both blocked well. That's important, too. You're not going to play that position with your running ability alone."

Disappointed in the passing game

One area that Smith was disappointed in, though, was the passing game. Brandon Smith connected on only eight of 25 attempts for 154 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

"We have to improve our passing game," the Boyle coach said. "It was below par (against Lafayette). We have to develop a better chemistry between our quarterback and receivers.

"We have to execute our routes a lot better to create more spacing in the defense, and Brandon has to be able to get the ball in there consistently. That is one area we have to focus on."

Smith has already fallen in love with this team, though.

"Their attitude and how they respond when we try to tell them what they have done wrong has been outstanding," Smith said. "That's when you know you have a chance to be a good football team. They were ready to play Friday and I was pleased with the win.

"They have to realize that while they did some things right, they also did some things wrong and that we have a long haul ahead of us if we want to reach our dream."

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