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PREP FOOTBALL: Bruins need a fast start vs. Meade (9/19)

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By Chuck Jones

By CHUCK JONES cjones@thenewsenterprise.com CECILIA — Central Hardin coach Mike Lawson is at a loss for words trying to explain the Bruins’ slow start, and for good reason. Lawson has never had a team go through this. The Bruins fell behind 14-0 to Elizabethtown before coming back to take a lead, but still lost, 29-28. Last week at Nelson County, it was more of the same as Central Hardin found itself in a 21-3 hole near the end of the first half and ended up falling, 27-17. “At Owensboro Catholic and Marshall County, my teams were just the opposite,” Lawson said. “They were fast starters and would go through that lull some time in the third or fourth quarter. This is a reversal for me. What we need is some confidence.” The one way to get that confidence would be to win tonight against the Meade County Green Wave in a Class 6-A, District 2 game. Game time is set for 7:30 at Bruin Field. “Our expectations were high going into the year and they haven’t changed,” Lawson said. “We need to make our own breaks. We’ve got to make some plays and we have to make some early. “We haven’t played well the first half,” he added. “We need to learn from that experience and apply it to Friday night. Nothing fixes confidence problems more than a win.” Central Hardin (1-2) and Meade County (0-3) are in similar positions. Both dropped its district openers last week and neither can afford to slip to 0-2. “We’ve definitely put ourselves behind the 8-ball with last week’s loss,” Lawson said. “Both teams need to win. You don’t want to go into your last two games knowing you need to win those last two games. This game is extremely important as far as the district race goes.” Although the Green Wave have had their share of struggles early, Lawson has cautioned his team about getting caught up in records. He points to last season when Meade County started 0-3 before winning 10 straight and reaching the Class 6-A state semifinals. “You look at them on film and they have a lot of the characteristics of the past Meade County teams,” Lawson said. “They lost Chris Roe, (Nick) Stinnett, (J.L.) Cannady. You don’t lose people like that and just replace them. Those kids are going to grow and get better.” One area the Bruins need to be better in is the running game. After rushing for more than 400 yards in its first two games, Central Hardin was held to 49 yards on the ground by Nelson County. Lawson said a big factor in the lack of a running game is the Bruins have struggled to make plays in the passing game. Although they have passed for 666 yards, Lawson said the Bruins need to do a better job in that department. “We need to make plays through the air,” Lawson said. “Last week, we fell behind and we couldn’t run the ball; we became one-dimensional. We need to establish the pass to be able to run the ball. We need players to step up and make plays. Everyone looks to Jeremy (Barr), but we need other guys to take on that responsibility.”  Barr is shouldering much of the load. He leads the team in rushing with 219 yards and receiving with 18 catches for 317 yards. Barr also leads the team in scoring with six touchdowns. Lawson’s top concern is stopping the Meade County offense. Last week, Nelson County controlled the ball – and the clock – with its ground game. The Green Wave have had problems offensively, scoring only two touchdowns. “I’m sure they looked at the (Nelson County) tape, so I imagine they’ll try to do the same,” Lawson said. “They’ll try to keep the ball away from us by running it. What we need is a better effort; that’s the most important thing.” Chuck Jones can be reached at 505-1759