Archive for September, 2011

Area’s final unbeaten soccer team falls

The Mercer County boys stood as the last Advocate-area soccer team that hadn’t taken a loss until Franklin County beat them 3-1 Monday.

The Titans went 8-0-2 and shut out five opponents before losing, and they climbed to No. 21 in the state coaches poll. The Franklin team that beat them was ranked 23rd.

Meanwhile, the Boyle County girls won their own invitational tournament for the first time over the weekend. No. 13 Boyle beat No. 10 Tates Creek 5-0 on Saturday to win the Little Caesars Classic for the first time in its seven-year history.

Boyle (10-2-1) beat two top-10 teams in the tourney and won all three of its games by 5-0 scores.

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Friday/Saturday football finals, week 5

Here are this week’s final scores from around the Advoplex:

Friday

  • Anderson County 28, Mercer County 6
  • Boyle County 38, Indianapolis Tech 10
  • Danville 47, Southwestern 46
  • Wayne County 21, Lincoln County 14

Saturday

  • Prestonsburg 60, Casey County 34

And here are next week’s area games (all games Friday, Sept. 23):

  • Green County at Danville, 7:30 p.m.
  • Bath County at Garrard County, 7:30 p.m.
  • Mercer County at Lexington Catholic, 7:30 p.m.
  • Pulaski County at Lincoln County, 7:30 p.m.
  • Boyle County at Taylor County, 7:30 p.m.
  • McCreary Central at Casey County, 8 p.m.
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Friday football digest, week 5

More than one local football team is trying to get well this week, and in more than one way.

We’ll start with the most literal sense of the word, because Danville has been trying to get a handful of injured and ill players ready to play its game tonight at Southwestern. Some of them will and some of them won’t, meaning the Admirals will be at less than their best against a team that, despite its 1-2 record, figures to be better than the Corbin team they beat up on last week.

Boyle County is trying to get well between the lines after being shut out last week for the first time in 95 games, and this looks like just the spot for the Rebels to do that. The Indianapolis Tech team that is headed south today sounds like a big-name opponent — and isn’t chopped liver — but upon closer investigation doesn’t appear to be as good as the John Hardin and Highlands teams that have beaten Boyle.

Lincoln County has been ailing for a bit longer, as the Patriots are without their first win as the midpoint of the season draws near. Wayne County looked like a beatable opponent at the start of the season, but now I’m not so sure. The Cardinals are 4-0 against obviously inferior competition, but they might have generated enough momentum to keep the Patriots from getting the momentum they crave tonight.

As for the rest of the local schedule, Mercer County will have its hands full in its rivalry game at Anderson County, and Casey County will be challenged in a Saturday night home game against Prestonsburg. Garrard County is off.

The predictions:

  • Anderson County over Mercer County.
  • Boyle County over Indianapolis Tech.
  • Lincoln County over Wayne County.
  • Prestonsburg over Casey County.
  • Southwestern over Danville.

Last week: 5-0; season: 18-1 (.947).

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Friday football finals, week 4

Here are tonight’s final scores from around the Advoplex:

  • Casey County 56, Clinton County 6
  • Danville 43, Corbin 16
  • Garrard County 35, Lincoln County 25
  • John Hardin 28, Boyle County 0
  • Mercer County 45, West Jessamine 27

And next week’s area games:

Friday, Sept. 16

  • Mercer County at Anderson County, 7:30 p.m.
  • Indianapolis Tech at Boyle County, 7:30 p.m.
  • Wayne County at Lincoln County, 7:30 p.m.
  • Danville at Southwestern, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 17

  • Prestonsburg at Casey County, 6 p.m.

 

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Friday football digest, week 4

The good news at Lincoln County is that Garrard County is on the schedule this week. But the bad news at Lincoln County is that Garrard County is on the schedule this week.

A Lincoln team still looking for its first win of the season will try to get that win against a Garrard team the Patriots have beaten for six straight years, including three and perhaps four years when the Golden Lions looked like an easy pick. But the Garrard team that will roll into Death Valley tonight comes in with a full head of steam to play a Lincoln squad with no momentum whatsoever.

The fact that Lincoln has owned Garrard since 2005 has made this the most inexplicable series involving Advocate-area teams in this decade. The real head-scratcher came in 2008, when an 0-6 Lincoln team beat a 3-3 Garrard team 40-20 in Lancaster for what would be the Patriots’ only win of the season. The very next year, the two neighbors met in the regular-season finale and 1-8 Lincoln beat 4-5 Garrard 14-7.

What will happen tonight at Lincoln? It’s once again easy to pick the Lions, who have turned in three good performances in their first three games. But it’s also impossible to ignore the Patriots, who came close to a win for the first time last week and who clearly get up for Garrard.

The key could well be whether the Lincoln defense can keep Garrard’s offense in check. The Lions have put up big numbers in their two wins, and if they do so again they’ll pull away from an opponent that doesn’t yet appear to be capable of putting a lot of points on the board.

Boyle County and Danville hit the road to play tough opponents coming out of their crosstown clash. Boyle plays John Hardin, a team that most fans in this area know little about but that is easily the toughest opponent not named Highlands on the Rebels’ schedule. And Danville heads south to play old rival Corbin, which has an unimpressive record but has played impressive competition.

Mercer County will have to show some improvement on offense to get its first win, but the Titans’ game at West Jessamine presents them with an opportunity to do just that. And Casey County looks likely to get back into the win column against overmatched Clinton County.

As a whole, this is the most unpredictable week so far in the 2011 schedule, with at least four of the five area games appearing to be up for grabs. So I offer this week’s picks with a little less confidence than usual:

  • Casey County over Clinton County.
  • Danville over Corbin.
  • Garrard County over Lincoln County.
  • John Hardin over Mercer County.
  • Mercer County over West Jessamine.

Last week: 5-0; season: 13-1 (.929).

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Soccer moves into crosstown rivalry spotlight

The dust still hasn’t settled from Friday night’s Boyle County-Danville football game, but we’re just hours away from the next chapter in the crosstown rivalry, the annual Constitution Cup doubleheader between the two schools’ boys and girls soccer teams.

The games will be played tonight at Rebel Stadium, beginning with the girls game at 6 p.m. and followed by the boys game at about 8 p.m.

Here are some quick notes on both matchups:

Girls

Boyle is 5-2-1 and ranked 14th in the latest statewide coaches’ poll, down from No. 9 the previous week. The Lady Rebels played six of their first seven games against top-25 teams. … Danville is 2-3-1, and the Lady Admirals have won two of their last three. … Both teams’ most recent game is against Somerset. Danville beat Somerset 6-2 on Tuesday; Boyle beat Somerset 10-0 on Thursday. … Boyle has won its last seven games against Danville, including three straight in the Constitution Cup series.

Boys

Danville is 3-1-1 and ranked 21st in the current coaches’ poll, up from No. 24 the previous week. The Admirals suffered their first loss Tuesday in their most recent game at Franklin County, 1-0. … Boyle is 2-4 following a 3-1 loss to Mercer County in its most recent game Thursday. … Danville has a two-game winning streak against Boyle; its Constitution Cup win last year was its first in three years.

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Friday football finals, week 3

Here are tonight’s final scores from around the Advoplex:

  • Boyle County 49, Danville 16
  • Garrard County 38, Lloyd Memorial 0
  • Green County 41, Casey County 21
  • Madison Central 29, Mercer County 7
  • Washington County 18, Lincoln County 9

And next week’s area games (all games Friday, Sept. 9):

  • Danville at Corbin, 7:30 p.m.
  • Boyle County at John Hardin, 7:30 p.m.
  • Garrard County at Lincoln County, 7:30 p.m.
  • Mercer County at West Jessamine, 7:30 p.m.
  • Casey County at Clinton County, 8 p.m.
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Friday football digest, week 3

We’ve established that the Boyle County-Danville rivalry is a bit more bitter this year, but is it also a bit better? The answer, it appears, is yes.

Not because of the tense relations between the two sides in this crosstown clash mind you, though that certainly doesn’t seem to be about to change any time soon. That’s something we just have to live with. No, it’s better because for the first time in four years, tonight’s game at Admiral Stadium has the potential to be an h0nest-to-goodness ballgame. Which is to say that four the first time in four years, Danville figures to be a factor.

The Admirals have been less that completely competitive in this game from 2008-10, when they were outscored 120-22 by Boyle, which has now won six of the last eight, nine of the last 12 and 11 of the last 15 games since stopping Danville’s 15-game streak in the series in the 1996 Class 2A playoffs.

I’m not going to jump up on a tree stump and say Danville will win this game. The consensus pick is Boyle by everyone on the Advocate sports staff and at last check today by a 47-13 margin in a Bluegrasspreps.com poll, and I’m right there with those picking the Rebels. But I will say that Danville can win, something that couldn’t honestly be said in the last three years.

The Admirals are better now, and it’s no stretch at all to think that they could beat Boyle for the first time since 2007. First, however, they’ll have to hold onto the ball. Nine fumbles in two games is a dangerously high number, and another four of five fumbles by Danville tonight almost certainly means a Boyle win.

On the other hand, here’s what the Rebels have to do to extend their series winning streak to four: Keep their drives alive. The Boyle offense stalled out too often last week against Allen County-Scottsville, as a result both of Allen’s defense and of its own mistakes. If they’re held to three touchdowns or less tonight, Danville will be either within striking range or perhaps in front.

What will keep this from being a great game is the fact that both of these teams still have plenty of problems to iron out following their first two games, and those problems can’t be entirely ironed out in one week. What will make it a good one is the question of which team has made more progress in the six days since they last played.

A few miles west of Danville, Lincoln County faces a crucial game at Washington County. It isn’t a must-win, but it’s at the very least a must-play-better for the Patriots, who were outscored 84-7 in their first two games. They get a chance at an opponent that isn’t quite as good as Danville or Anderson County, and they need to make the most of it.

Mercer County will also be looking for a better result in its home opener against Madison Central in a battle of rebuilding programs. Like Lincoln, the Titans find themselves in a better spot than last week, but is Madison Central a step ahead of them on the road back to respectability? Elsewhere, Garrard County faces a gut-check in a game at Lloyd Memorial coming off its near-miss at Danville, and Casey County faces a tough road test against a Green County team that will try to beat the Rebels at their own running game.

Here, then, are this week’s predictions, with a couple of changes from my preseason picks:

  • Boyle County over Danville.
  • Garrard County over Lloyd Memorial.
  • Green County over Casey County.
  • Madison Central over Mercer County.
  • Washington County over Lincoln County.

Last week: 5-0; season: 8-1 (.889).

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A little more on Boyle’s new opponent

Indianapolis Tech, which is coming to Boyle County for a Sept. 16 football game, is doing so as part of what could become a trend of being willing and able to travel far and wide for games that will better prepare the Titans for the postseason, its coach told The Indianapolis Star.

Unfortunately, Tech will apparently take on the Rebels without its starting quarterback, Robert Evans, who will miss the next four to five weeks after tearing ligaments in his ankle.

Read more details on both storylines in today’s story by the Star’s Michael Pointer.

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Live high school sports chat returns Thursday

Join us every Thursday at amnews.com for our live weekly chat devoted exclusively to high school sports.

Fellow Advocate sports writer Hal Morris and I will take questions and talk sports on the 30-minute chat at 1 p.m. Thursday. You can find the chat at this link and even sign in now if you like, in which case you’ll receive an email reminder when the chat draws near.

We’ll talk about Friday’s Boyle County-Danville game in this week’s chat, but we also welcome your questions and comments on any high school sport. Join us and bring your best stuff.

As always, we’ll keep an eye out for your boss.

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