Pioneers, Patriots open district play

September 29, 2004|JILL ERWIN

Last week Harrodsburg was the only undefeated team in the area. Now the Pioneers will try to rebound from last week's loss and start off the Class A district schedule right against a speedy Frankfort team Friday.

"It is probably, up to this point, the biggest game since I got here," Harrodsburg coach Terry Yeast said. "Coming off a loss, it's extremely, extremely important to get a win and I think going into district play, it's much more important to be 1-0 than 0-1. "

Harrodsburg (4-1) lost a 13-3 lead and lost 19-13 to Grant County last week. Yeast said his team might have gotten a little too full of itself.

"I think it's kind of brought them down to earth," Yeast said going into this week's home game. "We were undefeated, the only team around that was undefeated, and they're walking around feeling pretty good. Now, I think the focus is back higher than where it was."


That focus is now solely on Frankfort, a team based on speed and athleticism. The Panthers have rushed for 1,718 yards and more than one-third of that has come from Alonzo Tillman. In five games, Tillman has rushed 89 times for 689 yards and 11 touchdowns. He has also intercepted five passes and returned one for a score.

"They have great, great speed, maybe better team speed than we have right now," Yeast said. "They are going to do a lot of misdirection things and they are very disciplined on defense. We have to stay on our blocks until the game ends."

Yeast will be without injured linemen Dustin Newby and Wesley Bugg for Friday's game.

The Harrodsburg coach said the key to the game for his team is improving from the way it played against Grant last week.

"We've got to execute and cut way down on the mistakes," he said. "They're talking like they know that this is extremely, extremely important. I think part of the problem is, even though you never want to lose, last week's game wasn't of utmost importance. It was more like, 'Oh, it's Grant County,' instead of an area team kind of mentality. I think they seemed to want it more than we did. That can't happen this week."

Lincoln County (1-4) at Marion County (1-4)

Lincoln County won its first game two weeks ago against Casey County, then had an off week to build off that positive momentum. Coach Larry French thinks his team did just that, too.

"It's just an ongoing process," French said. "We just have to keep getting better each week, and I think we're doing that. We are not blessed with outstanding athletes here, but the ones we do have are young and gaining experience every day. That's a positive for us."

Lincoln stands a good chance of improving its record against Marion. The Knights have been shut out three times and earned their first win of the season last week against McCreary Central 34-7. The only other time they have scored this season was in a 25-19 overtime loss to Washington County.

"They've got some athletes, they've got some big kids, and they seemed pretty excited about the win," French said. "They ran the offense real well and scored some points, something we haven't been able to do."

French hopes a more balanced attack will help get his offense on track. He said the Pats used the off week to work on their running game.

"The only way we've moved the ball is by throwing," French said. "We've tried to instill in our kids that you have to run the ball to be successful."

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