Boyle's offense dominates Pulaski

November 24, 2003|JILL ERWIN

Boyle County didn't get to show its true colors the first time it met Pulaski County this season, but it didn't take the Rebels long to do just that Friday night.

Boyle (13-0) scored on a 71-yard touchdown pass on its first play from scrimmage and rolled up 631 yards of offense and 37 first downs in beating Pulaski 63-14 in the Class AAA, Region 2 championship at Rebel Stadium.

"That's a lot of yards right there," junior quarterback Brandon Smith said. "Our coaches picked out what their weaknesses were going to be and what we needed to work on against them. We just came out more focused and more prepared the second time around."

The unbeaten Rebels will now travel to take on Paducah Tilghman (13-0), the preseason pick to end Boyle's streak of four consecutive state titles, for a berth in the Class AAA state championship game.


It was the second time this season Boyle has topped Pulaski (11-2), having also defeated the Maroons 32-27 on Oct. 10 in Somerset. But it was the first time the Rebels have gone into the game properly prepared, and it paid off.

The first time the two teams met, Boyle lost two players to injury during practice that week and also was without senior Ian Loughry, who had broken his leg earlier in the season.

This time the Rebels had their full complement of players, and that added up to an incredible performance by Boyle. The Rebels averaged 9.1 yards per play for the game. Pulaski managed just 222 yards, including only 42 rushing, against the Boyle defense.

"I thought the defense did a super job all night long of following our game plan," Boyle coach Chuck Smith said.

"We prepared all week for this," junior linebacker Danny Commarford said. "We just came out and executed well after a good week of practice. We shut them down and gave our offense the ball back and they kept putting it in."

That they did. It started early, when Brandon Smith hit junior Greg Peck on a 71-yard scoring strike with just 22 seconds off the clock in the first quarter.

"I knew as soon as we came out to warm up that we just had a fire about us," Peck said. "I knew we'd come out and give it everything we had. Brandon put it out there perfect, hit me right in stride and I just took it to the house (end zone)."

Pulaski didn't have that luxury. The Maroons went three-and-out on their first three possessions and by the time they got their first first down, Boyle was already up 21-0.

"We knew coming into the game that we had to keep the ball away from their offense," said sophomore receiver Tyler Morris, who finished with a team-high four catches for 50 yards. "We knew if we could control the ball, then we'd be OK."

Boyle did that, running 69 plays to Pulaski's 48. Boyle also used the clock to its advantage, running the ball 46 times for 359 yards, before Quinn Givhan's score with 3:23 to play put Boyle up 63-14 and started the clock running continuously.

Pulaski had a chance to make things interesting at the beginning of the third quarter. The Maroons scored just 1:10 into the second half on a 41-yard touchdown pass from Cole Draughn to Tyler Sexton to cut Boyle's lead to 35-14.

Boyle drove to the Pulaski 12, but three consecutive penalties and a big sack on fourth-and-24 gave the Maroons the ball back at their own 31.

Pulaski moved the length of the field, eventually reaching the Boyle 11. On second-and-10, Draughn fired a pass toward the end zone that Commarford picked off at the 1-yard line and returned to the 29. Givhan, who finished with a career-high 157 yards and four touchdowns on 24 carries, scored just seven plays later to put Boyle up 42-14.

"I was just in the right place at the right time," Commarford said. "He threw it right to me. I was kind of wondering who he was throwing it to, but he threw it right to me."

Brandon Smith finished the game 16-for-23 for 272 yards, four touchdowns (all to different receivers) and no interceptions. Smith also rushed for 117 yards on 12 carries.

Greg Peck, Seth Tamme, Evan Teague and Ian Loughry each had touchdown grabs. Brad Cloud scored Boyle's other touchdown on a 3-yard run in the fourth quarter.

"We knew last time we played that they were a very good team and if we didn't prepare they could easily beat us," Givhan said. "We prepared hard all week. We knew once we got all our players back that we had a chance to put up some numbers."

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