Rebels look to keep good times rolling against Lincoln

Published 10:01 am Thursday, September 22, 2016

Two straight wins have Boyle County eyeing a .500 record entering district play.

To do that, the Rebels will need to beat a Lincoln County team that is coming off of its first win of the season last week against a strong North Laurel team.

“They’ve got some momentum going,” Boyle coach Chuck Smith said. “North Laurel has been a good program the last few years, so that was a really big win for them. Travis (Leffew) is doing a good job with them.”

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It’s an interesting challenge for the Rebels and coach Smith, who will face one of the players he coached in his first stint with Boyle

“Travis played for me when I was here before, and (Lincoln) plays with Travis’ personality,” Smith said. “They’re a physical, smash-mouth football team. On the flip side of that, Travis knows us very well, he played in the system that we’re running. He knows a lot of the strengths and weaknesses of our system and he can use that to his advantage as a coach.”

Lincoln’s running style will be another change for the Rebels, who saw a spread style last week against Collins. The only other run-heavy team Boyle has seen this year was Anderson County, who the Rebels beat 41-13 two weeks ago.

The Patriots rely on running back Tra Carey (92 rushes, 507 yards, six touchdowns) and quarterback Tanner McAninch (70 rushes, 398 yards, seven touchdowns) to move the ball up the field. In the air, McAninch is 23-for-43 for 314 yards and three touchdowns and two interceptions.

“They’re more of a running football team,” Smith said of the Patriots. “The other teams that we’ve played up until this point have been more of a spread, throw it all over the field, passing type teams. It will be a different look and a different challenge for our team, so I’m anxious to see how we stack up against a team that says, ‘here we come. Try to stop us.’”

Smith said he hopes to see more of the same from an offense that has scored 90 points in the past two weeks, led by Sam Tiller at quarterback. He’s thrown for a combined 24-for-37 for 354 yards, five touchdowns and one interception during the Rebels’ two wins.

“Offensively, we’ve got to execute the way that we execute,” he said. “We’ve got some good people playing key positions for us and they have been performing, and we’ve got to continue to perform. At the end of the day, it’s all about making plays, and our playmakers have got to make plays.”

On the other side of the ball, Smith said he wants to limit the big play. Last week against Collins, Boyle gave up two touchdowns that stretched 60-plus yards.

“We’ve got to eliminate big plays on defense,” Smith said. “We’ve been giving up too many big plays and we just can’t continue to survive like that.”

The Rebels’ and Lincoln County will kick off at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow night at Rebel Stadium.

Follow Matt Overing on Twitter @MOvering