'Not very good' Boyle still beats Nelson 32-13

September 15, 2003|JILL ERWIN

It was exactly what Boyle County coach Chuck Smith had feared.

The Rebels had a matchup with Class AAAA Nelson County between a rivalry game with Danville last week and a high-profile clash with Highlands next week. Smith was afraid his team would suffer a letdown.

Boyle did just that, but still made enough plays to defeat Nelson 32-13 Friday at Rebel Stadium.

"It was not very good," Smith said. "There was absolutely no emotion, but we played exactly the way we practiced. We were inconsistent in practice and we were certainly inconsistent tonight."

There were positives and negatives for the Rebels (4-0) in the game. Among the positives, Boyle limited Nelson to fewer than 100 rushing yards while both Danny Commarford and Brandon Smith crossed the century mark in rushing yards themselves for Boyle.


However, Boyle also lost two of three fumbles, gave up a 97-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and missed two extra point kicks.

"We have to do a lot of work," said junior lineman Brandon Record, who led Boyle with 12 tackles and recovered a fumble. "We didn't play our best game today."

A rough start for Boyle

The game started off rough for Boyle. After forcing Nelson to punt on its first possession, the Rebels fumbled the ball on their first series. Taking over at his own 25 yard line, Boyle's Brandon Smith watched the first snap sail over his head, where it was recovered by Nelson's Troy Burton at the 15. Two plays later, Nelson held a 6-0 advantage when Jamie Keene scored from seven yards out.

"Nelson County has a nice football team," Chuck Smith said. "I've been trying to tell everybody that. They're very young, so they'll still be good next year. They took it to us."

Boyle took it right back at Nelson when transfer Greg Peck took the ensuing kickoff at the 12-yard line and returned it 88 yards for a score. However, an illegal block in the back erased the touchdown and brought the ball back to the 36-yard line. Brandon Smith found Brad Cloud for a five-yard scoring pass just six plays later. Adam Dickinson's kick gave Boyle a 7-6 lead, and the Rebels would never trail again.

The Rebels pulled out to a 20-6 lead after a 5-yard run by Smith and a 1-yard run by junior Quinn Givhan. However, Greg Brussell broke a 97-yard return for a score after Givhan's touchdown to draw Nelson within 20-13 at the halftime break.

Boyle stretched it back out to start the second half,. The Rebels' first three runs were for first downs, including a 35-yard run by Commarford on the first play after the half. Cloud scored the touchdown from 10 yards out to complete the 75-yard drive less than three minutes into the third quarter.

"I was pleased with the way the guys came back in the second half and did what they had to do to win the game," Chuck Smith said.

Too many big plays by Nelson

Nelson picked up just 96 yards rushing on 41 attempts and threw for only 35 yards, but Smith was disappointed in some of the big plays his defense gave up. Nelson twice broke runs of more than 20 yards, and also completed a pass for 19.

"There were some individual plays and guys made individual plays, but overall as a unit, our defensive team is not playing good,"Smith said. "We're allowing teams to take the ball and ram it down our throats and put the ball in the end zone. We're not going to survive that.

"We're also giving up big plays. Once they get to the secondary, we're letting them score and have big runs. There's no excuse for that."

The game was one played on the ground, as Smith threw for only 55 yards and Mouser for 35. Record said the key for the Rebels' defense was in trying to keep Nelson's ground game in check up front.

"We just had to close the holes whenever they tried to move us out," Record said.

Givhan's second touchdown, another 1-yard run, closed the scoring with 7:31 to play.

Brandon Smith and Commarford each ran the ball 14 times for 107 yards. Three of Smith's five completions went to Tyler Morris, who finished with 29 yards receiving.

Smith said his young team needs to come to grips with the fact that there won't be many easy games the rest of the way.

"They need to learn that everybody's going to play their best game against us," Smith said. "You might as well just mark it down and not listen to everybody about how they're going to beat a team by a bunch of points because it's not going to happen."

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