Vaught's Views: Pulley, Mayfield won't stop Title Town sweep

November 26, 2004|LARRY VAUGHT

If Mayfield coach Joe Morris is right, no one at the Boyle County-Hopkinsville game here tonight is going to be disappointed in what they see from Curtis Pulley.

"He is one of the best quarterbacks I have ever coached against. He is such a competitor," Morris said. "He will put a team on his back and go. If the game is not going well, he will take over. He runs like a running back. He's big, strong and very smart. He does a great job checking plays at the line. He's the best I've faced."

Title Town rolls out the welcome mat for familiar foes tonight when the Rebels try to earn a sixth straight state title berth - and 29th consecutive playoff victory - against Hopkinsville and Danville plays Mayfield for the fifth straight year in the Class A semifinals.

The night will be filled with stars. Three Mr. Football finalists - Pulley, Boyle quarterback Brandon Smith and Danville running back Kelvin Turner - will be on display. Boyle has won five straight state titles, but the Admirals have three in the last four years and 10 overall and Mayfield has seven total state titles.


So who will win?

Hopkinsville (13-0) at Boyle (11-2): Pulley led Hopkinsville to a 40-3 win over Mayfield Sept. 3. He's a true dual threat, just like Smith. He's thrown for 2,480 yards and 27 scores and rushed for 1,087 yards and 18 scores.

"He's throwing the ball a lot better this year. There is no telling how many yards he would have if they had caught the ball well because if you get open, the puts the ball on the money," Morris said. "They are good, but Pulley is the guy. He can hurt you running and throwing."

That could be bad news for Boyle based on the way Central picked apart the Rebels' secondary last week. Who would have ever thought any Chuck Smith-coached team would allow over 500 yards passing in one game?

Still, Hopkinsville has to also stop Boyle and only one team - Highlands - has done that all year. This could well be one of the state's most entertaining games because both teams are better offensively than defensively.

"Hopkinsville will score three or four times unless they play terrible and don't catch the ball. They are that good offensively. But I don't know if they can stop Boyle," Morris said.

I do. Hopkinsville won't stop the Rebels.

Prediction: Boyle 35, Hopkinsville 27.

Mayfield (8-5) at Danville (9-4): Both coaches are glad to be playing. Danville coach Sam Harp still feels that his team upset Holy Cross to win 28-23 last week - and I certainly would not disagree.

Mayfield got a real "shot" of good luck in its 47-21 win over Hancock County.

"Their fullback, who is one of their best players, shot his toe in a hunting accident when he was deer hunting," Morris said. "He was in the car messing with his gun and shot his toe. Then with about two minutes left in the first half, their best back turned an ankle. We're happy to still be playing, but now we need the same kind of break with Turner because we just are not very good defensively."

Harp says not to believe him. Mayfield's early-season woes were due to a strong schedule and Harp says Mayfield dominated last week's game.

"They are expected to win every game, kind of like we are," Harp said. "I have a lot of respect for their coaches. I know the pressure they are under. I also know they will come here expecting to win."

Mayfield did win here two years ago. But not tonight.

Prediction: Danville 27, Mayfield 13.

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