Vaught's Views: Tilghman fan picks Boyle to lose

November 24, 2003|LARRY VAUGHT

No one here may have a better idea about what is in store for Title Town's two teams in Friday's state semifinal football games than Maurice Bell.

He might be the only person who has seen Boyle County, Danville, Mayfield and Paducah Tilghman all play this year.

Bell played on Paducah Tilghman teams in 1987-88-89 that lost in state championship games. He played three years of football at Centre College. He got married and has spent the last 11 years here working for UPS.

He's become somewhat of a Danville fan, but he's still got Paducah Tilghman in his blood, and he'll return home Friday to watch Boyle and Tilghman in a battle of unbeaten Class AAA teams rather than going to Mayfield to watch the Class A clash with Danville.

"I wish I could see both games, but there's no way I can miss the Tilghman-Boyle game," said Bell. "I've become a Danville fan, but I keep track of Tilghman all the time."


He watched Tilghman beat Henry Clay and Mayfield earlier this year. He's been to several Danville games and last week he watched Boyle demolish Pulaski County 63-14 in what many thought would be a close game.

Two of Bell's former Tilghman teammates, Randy Wyatt and Clint Conway, are now assistant coaches for Tilghman. He's also met Tilghman coach Perry Thomas several times and likes him for the job he's done rebuilding the program.

Naturally, he's picking Tilghman and has several reasons for that choice other than hometown allegiance.

"I don't think Boyle has played against a defense like Paducah Tilghman's," Bell said. "They had a couple of guys injured last week (against Hopkinsville), but if they get them back they really have a good defense.

"On offense, everybody talks about (running back) Joe Casey, but they have a very good quarterback (Hunter Cantwell) and two receivers that can run a 4.4 (second 40-yard dash). Casey and Cantwell have eclipsed all the school records and done it in a system that doesn't feature just one of them."

Don't tell Bell that Boyle beat Henry Clay by a bigger margin than Tilghman.

"Tilghman got out in front 25-0 and just relaxed. Plus, coach Thomas believes in taking his players out and not letting a score get out of hand," Bell said. "I'll pick Tilghman 24-14."

What about Danville and Mayfield?

"Mayfield has not had a typical season," Bell said. "They have had a lot of personnel problems. They had some people quit and they just are not as good as usual.

"I think it might be a good game for a while. The only three teams Mayfield has lost to are Tilghman, Hopkinsville and a big school out of Indiana (Evansville North).

"But I think Danville is too fast and too powerful. I know Danville had a close call at Holy Cross (last week), but I think Danville will win pretty big. I think it will be about 40-14."

Bell says both stadiums will be filled with fans, including many neutral fans who want to see Danville or Boyle play, and it will be an atmosphere to match a Danville-Boyle crowd here.

"I came here and saw all those titles these teams have won," Bell said. "But when Boyle gets to Paducah, they are going to see we've won close to 40 titles in all the sports, not just football. I tell the guys I work with not to brag about the state titles here because we've won more. Boyle is coming to the real Title Town."

Bell does know one other thing.

"I've talked Paducah up so much that if they lose, I will never hear the end of it," Bell said. "If Boyle County wins this year, I will never say anything else. But I really think this is Tilghman's year."

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