Rivalry Night

September 05, 2003|LARRY VAUGHT

This is rivalry night for area high school football with three marquee matchups for local fans.

Obviously, the main attraction is Boyle County at Danville, a game that has become one of the state's highlight games. But don't forget that Harrodsburg is also hosting Mercer County and Lincoln County is hosting Garrard County.

So here are 10 things to watch for in these highlight games tonight:

1. Will Kelvin Turner and Charles Penix, Danville's dynamic one-two punch at running back, be able to find openings in the Boyle defense? Boyle coach Chuck Smith is a master at taking away the run. If Turner and Penix combine for 200 yards, Danville likely will win. If they are held to 125 or less, Boyle likely will win.

2. Will Brandon Smith be able to find openings in Danville's secondary? A year ago Smith was a sophomore quarterback and probably considered the weak link in Boyle's offense. Now he's the man for the Rebels and stopping him has to be Danville's priority. If he throws for 200 yards or more, Boyle likely will win. If he's under 125, look for the Ads to likely win.


3. New Harrodsburg coach Terry Yeast likes to talk about his diversified offense. However, for the Pioneers to beat Mercer, they are going to need a monster game from running back Mark Dunn.

4. Lincoln coach Robbie Lucas and first-year offensive coordinator Clark Teague will have a few surprises for Garrard. However, there's no more innovative local coach than Steve Stonebraker of Garrard and look for him to spread the field and pull out a few tricks of his own.

5. There will be more media at the Danville-Boyle game than any other place in the state tonight. Three TV stations were at the team's practices Tuesday and at least that many stations will be at tonight's game. There will also be two radio stations along with the print media, which obviously are the most knowledgeable.

6. Former Harrodsburg coach Alvis Johnson will be as nervous tonight watching the Pioneers play as he will be Sunday when his son, Dennis, starts his second season with the Arizona Cardinals.

7. Turnovers could play key roles in all three games and in the Danville-Boyle matchup, that could be an edge for Boyle. The Rebels are superb at blocking kicks - Brad Cloud already has one this year - and two years ago it was a late interception that set up a win over the Admirals.

8. Can any of the teams play on a cool, dry night with no lightning? Boyle's opening game was delayed by lightning and rain. Same for Mercer and Lincoln. Garrard had a three-hour lightning delay last week. However, tonight's forecast is for nearly perfect weather and that should negate any freaky plays because of poor field conditions.

9. The teams with the most to gain tonight are Lincoln and Harrodsburg. The Pioneers are 2-0, but a win tonight gives them instant respect. Lincoln is winless and needs a win to keep morale from slipping.

10. Coaches Sam Harp of Danville and Chuck Smith of Boyle both won't be smiling after the game like they were when they posed for a picture recently with country music singer Eddie Montgomery.

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