A good guess gone bad

OK, so I had that one wrong.

I expended a great deal of hot air in conversations last week and a tiny little bit of the World Wide Web in this blog making what I thought was a pretty good case for why Lexington Catholic would beat Boyle County. Now it’s time to eat those words.

The flaw in my well-thought-out but misguided insight was that I hadn’t seen Boyle play yet. I didn’t know how much better they were — especially on defense — until I saw it for myself Friday night in Lexington, where Boyle beat the defending Class 4A champion Knights 14-11.

The Rebels were as tough against the run as many of Chuck Smith’s best defenses during the late ’90s and early ’00s — and the unit as a whole might well be faster than any of those teams. They gave no openings to a Lexington Catholic offense that has talent but lacks timing and experience.

The fact that Catholic will get better with experience means that the anticipated rematch in the third round of the postseason — if it occurs — will be just as much up for grabs as Friday’s game was. Boyle will have the edge of playing at home, which is the only tangible benefit it gets from this win.

But this win does at least one other thing: It proves that the Rebels can play with anyone in Class 4A, and that makes them a legitimate contender for the 4A championship. There are other formidable challengers besides Catholic — run-based Bell County leads the list — but Boyle deserves its place among them, and maybe even ahead of them.

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