I was in the press box last night at the Boyle County-Lexington Catholic soccer game, listening to some students who were part of Boyle’s online broadcast discussing tonight’s football game between the same two schools. I don’t recall their exact words, but their comments were pretty close to this:
“It’s a huge, huge rivalry,” one young announcer said.
“Lexington Catholic is (Boyle’s) biggest rival. It’s bigger than Danville,” his partner added.
Putting aside the average 16-year-old’s tendency toward hyperbole and lack of historical perspective, it raised an interesting question: Are they right?
Right or wrong, you didn’t have to spend long on the Boyle campus this week to realize that tonight’s game at Rebel Stadium is the talk of the school, and you don’t even need to be there to know that this is the Rebels’ most important biggest regular-season game.
LexCath and Boyle have developed a pretty intense rivalry through the course of 16 games in 14 years. Their first meeting back in 1997 went to overtime, and it’s been on ever since. And the fire has only been stoked by the fact that these two teams have met in both the regular season and the postseason in each of the last four years. Boyle has won the last six meetings over three years, and the Rebels lead the series 11-5.
Tonight’s District 4A-5 game is critically important for both teams, even though almost everyone who knows agrees that that will once again be only the first of two meetings. And tonight’s game finds the Rebels matched up against a team that has played really, really well in the first half of the season.
LexCath has acquitted itself well against a big-boy schedule with wins at Bell County and Lafayette and at home against Male, as well as a shootout loss to the same John Hardin team that gave Boyle a shutout loss. The Knights are still susceptible to giving up some points as they were last year, but Boyle will probably be better off if tonight’s game doesn’t turn into a track meet.
As I said during our online chat Thursday, I would have picked Boyle to win this game as recently as two or three weeks ago, but now I just can’t. The Rebels still have problems that need to be fixed, and an easy win over an inferior Taylor County team last week proved little. The Knights have their weaknesses, too, and their big win over Mercer County last week didn’t prove much, either. It might be a different story in mid-November, but LexCath looks a little better on the last day of September.
Not to be ignored is the District 3A-5 clash between Garrard County and Powell County in Lancaster. The Golden Lions could really build a head of steam with a home win over the undefeated Pirates, as well as move into the driver’s seat in their district.
Lincoln County has a good shot at a second straight district win in 5A-7 against Madison Southern, Casey County faces a road test like few others in a 3A-4 game at Bell County, and Mercer plays at winless Nelson County in a non-district game that could go either way.
And while you’re wondering what effect the outcome of the LexCath-Boyle game will have on the postseason, keep an eye out for the result of the Russell County-Rockcastle County game in Mount Vernon. It’s a battle of unbeaten teams who will likely finish 1-2 in District 4A-6, which is in the same region as Boyle’s district.
- Bell County over Casey County.
- Garrard County over Powell County.
- Lexington Catholic over Boyle County.
- Lincoln County over Madison Southern.
- Mercer County over Nelson County.
Last week: 5-1; season 26-4 (.867).