Holy Cross has a familiar playoff look for Harrodsburg

November 03, 2004|MARTY WARREN

HARRODSBURG - Louisville Holy Cross may have changed its head coach since last season, but Harrodsburg assistant coach Keith Brown said said it still looks like the same team as the Pioneers prepare to meet the Cougars Friday night in Louisville in the Class A playoffs.

Ray Riedinger resigned after the KHSAA placed the Cougars on probation for illegal recruiting and was replaced by Dave Weston. The Cougars (9-1) lost only to Class AAA Doss 13-12 during the season, and Brown said they are running the same offense as the ran last year when they lost to eventual state champion Danville in the regional title game.

Seniors Eric Titus and Marell Booker share time at tailback and have rushed for 1,093 and 705 yards, respectively.

"They may have changed their offense some, but we will still see double tight ends with a wishbone set," Brown said. "They run the option every time they get a chance. Their quarterback (Aaron Troutman) does an outstanding job reading defenses on the option. He hasn't had to throw the ball that much because they have had so much success running the ball. They can throw the ball if they need to.


"They graduated very few kids and are a senior dominated team. Eight of their 11 starters on the offensive side of the ball are seniors."

The Cougars' defensive front averages 256 pounds per player and is anchored by tackles Jake Nail (6-3, 270) and David Skaggs (6-4, 285).

"They will use a five-man front for the most part, but occasionally will go to a four-man front and move Skaggs to a defensive end," Brown said. "They are as big as they were last year and hard to move off the line of scrimmage."

A shellacking last year

Harrodsburg has opened the playoffs with Holy Cross three of the last four years. Last year the Pioneers managed to keep the game close for a half before finally losing 53-13.

The Pioneers offensive attack continues to be led by a trio of sophomores. Brandon Ford has rushed for 1,749 yards, third best in the area, while Cory Jackson has gained 729 yards on 128 attempts. Freeman Edwards has completed 39 of 114 attempts for nine touchdowns and 10 interceptions.

"Last year was Mark Dunn's first game back and it took them a while to adjust to him being at quarterback," Brown said. "This year we may have to spread the field out to use our speed more."

Brown said there will be some changes on the defensive side of the ball, too.

"We will try to keep them guessing while mixing it up more," the Harrodsburg assistant said. "We may use anything from a four- to five- or six-man front to try to confuse them."

Pioneers are banged up

Brown admitted that the Pioneers are beaten and bruised up, but he expects everyone to play Friday.

"Carroll County beat us up some and Danville finished us up," he added. "We are about as healthy as we are going to be at this time of the year. Shane Webb didn't play against them last year and took a helmet to his hip early against Danville, but will play. Travis White re-injured his shoulder and played hurt the rest of the game. That is the type of kid he is. Dustin Newby's knee is fine and he will play."

Brown said the Pioneers, who lost four of their last six games, are going to Louisville with the attitude of continuing their season.

"We're going up there thinking we are going to win the game," Brown said. "We think we have a shot. Strange things happen when the playoffs start."

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