"They are a real solid team," Smith said. "They are a lot like us. They play a hard-nosed, aggressive style. They have a young, enthusiastic coaching staff and their players have fun playing.
"They run a Wing-T offense and execute it well. They start a lot of sophomores and juniors, but they know what they are doing. Their Wing-T uses a lot of misdirection and they try to deceive you about where the ball is. They have a nice running back with a lot of speed and balance. We had trouble tackling Danville's running backs once they got in the secondary last week and that's a concern going into this game."
Smith says Nelson primarily focuses on stopping the run on offense.
"They are not huge up front, but they are fundamentally sound and they attack you with their defense," Smith said. "They don't make a lot of mistakes."
Boyle didn't last week, either, when it scored on six straight possessions at one time to turn what was expected to be a close game into a rout.
Junior quarterback Brandon Smith threw two touchdown passes against the Admirals and now is 36-for-67 passing for 577 yards and nine scores this season. His top target has been senior Brad Cloud, who has 13 catches for 180 yards and four scores. Sophomores Seth Tamme and Tyler Morris both have seven catches, including two for touchdowns.
"Our receivers got open and caught the ball well, but a couple of them still need to work on their routes and learning to play hard every play," Smith said. "Brandon had a good game and because he had played in a big game like that before, he provided some good leadership. It also helps him that we are more balanced and have more diversity in our receivers this year."
Smith credits line play
Smith thought he had numerous players play well against the Admirals and credited his offensive line for helping the Rebels score so many points.
"We had a good game plan thanks to (assistant coaches) Chris Pardue and Chris Mason and then our offensive line played so well that we were able to execute the plan," Smith said. "The offensive line was probably the key to the game."
The coach said tackles Ian Young and Zach Cooley along with center Jeremy Enlow all had "outstanding" games.
"We didn't expect our line, on either side, to play as well as it did," Smith said. "That was a pleasant surprise."
The defense gave up several big plays to Danville, but kept the Ads in check most of the game.
Sophomore linebacker Andrew Bertram leads the Rebels in tackles with 20, including two for losses. Young, a linebacker, has 16 stops and cornerback Greg Peck has 13 and a team-high three pass breakups.
"We're going to have to play well this week to win," Smith said. "It was not that long ago that they won a state championship and they are putting a solid program back together.
"But we have to get better to reach our goals. Class AAA is loaded with good teams this year. Bowling Green, Hopkinsville, Paducah Tilghman, Central, Highlands, Lexington Catholic, Mason County and Rockcastle County are all good. The overall class is loaded and we better keep moving forward if we want to be a contender at the end of the season."