Why Boyle will win

December 04, 2003|LARRY VAUGHT

Ten reasons why Boyle County could, and will, win its fifth straight state championship Saturday when it faces Highlands in the Class AAA title game at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium in Louisville.

* Familiar setting: The Rebels opened the season by beating Lafayette at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. They know their way around the stadium and now they'll end their season with a win at the same spot they started their perfect run.

n Established holiday: Boyle coach Chuck Smith proclaimed the first Saturday in December as "Boyle County Day" after winning last year's state title. Why change that this year?

* History: Boyle already has a 22-21 win over Highlands even though it was without two injured starters and had several more players hobbling in that game. Now the Rebels are healthy.


* Second time charm: Some coaches say it's hard to beat a team twice in one year. Boyle beat Pulaski County 32-27 on Oct. 10. In a rematch on Nov. 21, Boyle won 63-14 and amassed over 600 yards of total offense. Mess with Smith and his staff once, but not twice, in the same year. The Boyle coaches are just too good when they've already had a first-hand look at an opponent.

* Steve Bertram: The veteran radio play-by-play announcer has to control his emotions while calling the game and watching his son, sophomore Andrew Bertram, make tackle after tackle. It just wouldn't be right for him not to call a win.

* Fans: Whether you are a Boyle fan or not, there's no denying the fact that this team has fantastic support. Baseball coach Dave Camic turned into a tour guide for last week's game at Paducah Tilghman and put together his own chartered bus service. Highlands will have solid support at the game, but it won't match what Boyle will have.

* Brandon Smith: The Boyle quarterback is the state's most underrated player. He's accounted for 3,567 yards and 54 touchdowns this season. That's 5-4 - or almost four scores per game.

* Numbers: Boyle is 14-0 this season and 72-2 over the last five years. That means there is a 97 percent chance the Rebels will win based on what they've done the last five years. I'm not real smart - OK, stop laughing - but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure the smart pick in this game is the team Chuck Smith is coaching.

* Trick plays: Boyle seems to have one every big game. Offensive coordinator Chris Pardue says the team still has some it has not used this year. And that doesn't even count the onsides kick the Rebels have perfected.

* Title Town: Think Boyle is going to let Danville win a title on Friday and not match it on Saturday? No way, Jose.

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