Boyle County won’t know who it will play in the first round of the Class AAAA playoffs until Friday night.
So coach Larry French will just concern himself with how the Rebels play Friday in their regular-season finale against Whitley County.
“We’ve just go to go and score and everything, and hopefully we can go out there and do what we need to do win,” said French, who doesn’t want any slacking off against Whitley with the Rebels’ playoff position set. “I think you’ve got to keep the momentum going in order to keep the intensity up and try to keep doing the things you do best, and hopefully we can do that come away with a win.”
Boyle (6-3) will face a team Friday that does not put the ball in the air much.
Whitley (3-6) is coming off a 40-30 loss to Letcher County Central. Going into that game, the Colonels were averaging 316 rushing yards per game and had thrown for just 225 total yards.
“They’re an option team, and they’ll run it out of the double-wing and the shotgun. And they do a great job of running the option,” French said. “They run that triple-option and they’ve got a big fullback (Boston Bryant), and he’s a tough kid to bring down.”
Going into last week’s game, Bryant had rushed for 1,107 yards and nine touchdowns. Quarterback Austin Ysidro had run for 440 yards and five scores and was 12 for 23 passing for 110 yards and three scores with one interception, and Josh Nicholas had 371 yards rushing with a touchdown.
No. 4 Boyle comes in off a 28-0 win over Mercer County and averages 31 points and 338 yards per game.
Devon Cox leads the team with 821 yards and 11 touchdowns on the ground.
Casey Whittle was 15 for 17 last week and is 82 for 159 overall for 1,171 yards and eight touchdowns with 10 interceptions. Steven Talbott has caught 22 passes for 311 yards and three scores, and Lloyd Hall has 17 catches for 347 yards and three scores to lead the receivers.
After last week’s shutout, Boyle’s third of the season, the Rebels’ defense is allowing 13.6 points and 208 yards a contest.
Zach Hester has been playing mainly with defense to rest his injured ankle and leads the team with 110 tackles. Austin Muntz has 69 tackles and Kyle Kephart has 62, while Jarrod Herrington has picked off six passes and he and Cox have each returned an interception for a score.
French said Hester continues to heal, but Trey Yeager turned his ankle in practice this week and will continue to get treatment on it, but is a game-time decision for Friday’s game.
French wants his team to finish out the season strong, but the real challenge for the Rebels this week is to get better Friday night while preparing to go for a third-straight state title.
“We’ve just got to go out there and play and try to worry about ourselves and not anybody else,” he said. “We have to run the ball and control the clock and do those types of things and make sure our defense gets us the ball back.”