Boyle will focus on different parts of offense during next three games

October 16, 2003|LARRY VAUGHT

Facing a winless team would not seem to be an important game for undefeated Boyle County, which has won four straight state championships.

However, Boyle coach Chuck Smith says Friday's Class AAA district game here with Marion County is important for his team.

"We've had a lot of injuries and have had to play a lot of people in different positions," said Smith. "We've got to settle on who we are going to make our (state title) run with on offense and defense. We've got to get people in the position we think will make us the best.

"The next three weeks are very important to us. I am not worried about the opponents. I'm worried about us and what we have to do to be the best team we can when the playoffs begin."

Boyle's offense has scored 250 points, an average of 35.5 per game, and amassed 2,521 total yards, an average of 360 per game.


Smith wants to focus on different parts of the offense the next three games.

"We'll focus one week on the pass, one week on the run and one week on a mixture of both," the Boyle coach said.

He likes the way his receivers have improved in recent weeks. Senior Brad Cloud came into the season as Boyle's only experienced receiver and has had the banner year Smith expected. He has 20 catches for 462 yards and five scores.

"We needed others to step up and make it where teams could not just focus on Brad," Smith said. "We started the year a little rough running routes and catching the ball. The last few games we've done considerably better. We are catching everything close to us and all the receivers have really been producing."

Evan Teague has 12 catches for 260 yards and three scores, Tyler Morris has 16 receptions for 177 yards and three scores, and Greg Peck has seven catches for 105 yards.

Smith also hopes sophomore Seth Tamme can become a factor in the rotation again. He was out four weeks with an ankle injury, but is now back ready to play.

"He could give us another weapon," Smith said.

Loughry could be back

The Rebels also could have senior tight end-safety Ian Loughry back. He hurt his knee in August and was not expected to play again this year. However, he was able to resume practice Monday.

"He worked hard on his rehabilitation. He's not close to being ready to play, but we hope he'll be back soon and he'll really help our depth on both offense and defense," Smith said.

Smith has alternated running backs Danny Commarford and Quinn Givhan. The rotation has worked well as Givhan has rushed for 408 yards and seven scores and Commaford 294 yards and two touchdowns.

"Danny is more a powerful, physical runner and Quinn relies more on speed and quickness," Smith said. "We use them both to make sure we have a fresh back in there. They are not big, but they are strong and they run hard."

Junior quarterback Brandon Smith continues to lead an efficient offense. He's completed 75 of 137 passes for 1,193 yards and 14 touchdowns. He's also rushed for 384 yards and 10 scores.

"He's stepped up big for us," Chuck Smith said. "The bigger the game, the better he has performed. He's been a good leader, which we really needed.

"He's also become a better runner this year. He's learned to follow his blocks and set up his blockers better."

Losing senior starter Patrick Wilson out of the offensive line was a major loss for the Rebels. Smith took converted tight end Jed Roth and moved him into the interior line when Wilson's back injury ended his year, but a sprained ankle kept Roth from playing in last week's win over Pulaski County. Smith started Jacob Arnold in Roth's place.

"That's just the way the season has been. But now we have to quit moving people around and settle on who we are going to use to make our playoff run," Smith said.

Marion has been outscored 302-55, including 78-0 by Pulaski Southwestern and 62-7 by Bell County. However, Smith doesn't want to see any lack of intensity from his team Friday.

"We've got to understand that we are getting ready for the playoffs now," Smith said. "If we are not getting better, then future opponents are either closing the gap on us or pulling away. We cannot afford to take one day off because Class AAA is loaded with quality teams.

"Our goal is not just to win the next three games, but to get in position to make a run for another state title. That's why every game, including this one, is so important."

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