For second-year Fort Knox coach Wes Arnold, these next two weeks are about his Eagles.
“We have to just not worry about records or rankings and just play,” he said. “I just want to see great effort on every play and not worry about what the name is on the other team.”
Fresh off a 42-18 loss at Seneca, Fort Knox welcomes Louisville Holy Cross (5-2) to McAdams Field at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
That is followed with a visit to Bethlehem (5-1) the following week.
Bethlehem, No. 10 in the latest Class 1-A rankings, defeated No. 14 Holy Cross last week.
The Cougars make their hay running the ball, led by Luke Davis’ 879 yards and 10 touchdowns on 120 carries. Lex Thomas has 47 attempts for 459 yards and five scores and Chaz Geraghty, the quarterback, has 434 yards and five touchdowns on 57 chances.
They account for 20 of the 21 rushing touchdowns and 91.6 percent of the rushing total.
“They are huge and physical up front and very well coached,” Arnold said. “Coach (Bob) Bronger is one of the best out there. Also, they have big backs who run hard. They are in the ‘I’ formation a lot you don’t see that much anymore, but they do it well.”
Geraghty is 45-for-100 for 724 yards, five touchdowns and nine interceptions. Graham Carnes had 18 catches for 319 yards and a touchdown. Thomas has 10 receptions for 182 yards and two scores.
The Cougars average 380 yards of offense per game.
Fort Knox has struggled offensively at times.
“We have to stay on the field and not get behind the sticks,” Arnold said. “We have to find ourselves in manageable third down situations and we have to get a push up front which has been a struggle all year.”
Quarterback Trey Rowsey is 50-for-93 for 779 yards six touchdowns and four interceptions.
His top receiver is Sidney Gradney, who has hauled in 18 passes for 378 yards and five of the six touchdowns.
Kyle Wiesman has eight catches for 126 yards, Chase Bellamy dive for 100 and Julian Slocum six for 71 yards.
Zai Salter-Zanders leads the ground game with 44 carries for 261 yards and a touchdown. Deondre Sparrow has 33 attempts for 209 yards and Chase Bellamy 37 for 113 and four scores.
Tanner Bellamy leads the defense with 50 tackles, 10 for loss, including seven sacks. Gradney has 45 tackles, Chase Bellamy 38 and Vernon Waterhouse and Sparrow 23 each.
“Our defense has played well all year,” Arnold said. “Coach Rogers has come in and done a fantastic job. We just need to do what we are coached to do. We have some guys trying to do to much they have to trust each other that they are each going to their job.”
Fort Knox closes the season Nov. 1 at home against Caverna.