.....Advertisement.....
.....Advertisement.....

PREP FOOTBALL: Bruins turn attention to Nelson and district (9/11)

-A A +A
By Chuck Jones

By CHUCK JONES cjones@thenewsenterprise.com CECILIA — The sign of a good team is how it bounces back after a loss. The Central Hardin Bruins will put that theory to the test Friday night when they travel to take on the Nelson County Cardinals in a Class 6-A, District 2 game. “This is an extremely important week,” Central Hardin coach Mike Lawson said. “Last week was a tough loss. That’s a big game to us, just as it is a big game for E’town. But we felt like we didn’t make plays down the stretch. We have to put that behind us. I feel good about the way we’ve approached Nelson County.” After opening the season with a 24-0 rout of Erlanger Lloyd Memorial, Central Hardin lost a heartbreaker to Elizabethtown, 29-28 in the final minutes of the game. The positives are Central Hardin continues to churn out yards and its defense has been improved from last season. “You look at the glass half full,” Lawson said. “We have five turnovers and make a bunch of mental mistakes, but we still have a chance (to win) in the fourth quarter. I never questioned their effort. I thought we played as hard as we could play. We just can’t make those types of mistakes against a good team.” Junior running back Jeremy Barr has been instrumental in the team’s offensive success in the first two weeks. He has rushed for 188 yards and four touchdowns on 39 carries. Barr is also the team’s leading receiver with 12 catches for 218 yards and two more scores. To better utilize Barr near the goal line, Lawson went to an I-formation with Barr playing the tailback and put William Battle, a 6-foot, 235-pound senior, at fullback to lead the way. “Jeremy’s a big, strong kid and we want to get him going downhill,” Lawson said. “We’ll continue to do that in short-yardage situations. I feel pretty good about it.” The big key for the Bruins is getting more production around Barr. The Bruins are breaking in a new running back in junior Darius Revels as well as two new receivers after losing A.J. Hughes and Vato Sorilla to graduation. “We can’t ride him (Barr) the whole year,” Lawson said. “We’re young at the wideout position. We have to continue to improve and improve quickly. Darius has done well. We moved him the week before the season began from receiver, so he’s still learning.” One area that has surprised Lawson is the offensive line, which had to replace the entire group. Center Parker Hendricks, guards Chris Monroe and Isaac Kennedy and tackles Thomas Smith and Alex Walters have been the backbone for an offense averaging more than 400 yards a game. “I’ve been real pleased,” Lawson said. “Our protection has been good and our running game has been good. That’s all you can ask. We have five brand new starters. That was a big question mark. They’ve come a long, long way. They’ve done a much better job than I expected.” Like the Bruins, Nelson County opened the season with a win, but lost in Week 2. The Cardinals boast a strong ground game, which is averaging 262 yards a game. It is led by sophomore fullback Quentin Brooks, who has rushed for 229 yards. Junior running back Alex Downs and senior quarterback Jordan Keene each have gained 138 or more yards. The Cardinals present a huge challenge to Central Hardin’s defense because they like to use the option, a rarity these days in high school football. “You have to be very disciplined,” Lawson said. “You have to play assignment football. And that’s very hard to do on the high school level. You can’t simulate what they do in practice. It takes a series or two, so the key is not to give up a big play early in the game.” Chuck Jones can be reached at 505-1759