Boyle County dismantles Garrard County for first district win

Published 12:12 am Saturday, October 7, 2017

LANCASTER — Boyle County is off on the right foot in district play.

The Rebels visited Garrard County and were comprehensive in their 48-7 victory over the Golden Lions, allowing just 108 total yards while putting up 415 of their own.

Boyle head coach Chuck Smith said before the game that winning at the line of scrimmage would be one key to victory, and his team did just that. Tanner Crawford and Landen Bartleson combined for 19 carries, 184 yards and three touchdowns, while Garrard backs were stifled to 108 yards on 42 carries.

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“It’s always good to get the first district win,” Smith said. “I’m really proud of the guys, they were locked in, they focused and they treated it like business. It was a business-like attitude and that’s the way they approached it. They came out, stuck to our gameplan and put the win away.”

Boyle’s first drive was quick off the mark, getting to the red zone in just three plays. But a penalty stalled the drive, giving Harrison Mesplay the opportunity to hit a 27-yard field goal to put Boyle ahead 3-0.

Landen Bartleson scored his first touchdown of the night on Boyle’s next drive to put Boyle ahead 10-0.

The Rebels didn’t punt all night.

“They have a very good team, they played very well and they’re very deserving of their ranking,” Garrard County head coach Jerry Perry said.

Garrard suffered a major blow in the first half when playmaker Anthony Justus went out with an injury. Perry said it’s a broken clavicle and season-ending for the talented senior.

“We wanted to throw the football,” Perry said. “We tried to mix in the outside run but we couldn’t do it. When he goes out, we had a lot of kids turn around and say, ‘uh oh. What are we supposed to do?’ I’m sitting there going, ‘good question.’

“He’s a big play guy. A lot of our inside run is only good because of his threat. And when he’s not on the field, we don’t have that threat. We just have to go back to work and see what pieces we have and do what we can do.”

The Rebels’ defense did its job, limiting the Garrard rushing attack. Without Justus’ threat deep, the Golden Lions’ offense struggled to move the ball.

But the Rebels won the war of the trenches, Smith said.

“I feel like they won a couple battles, but we won most of them and won the war,” Smith said. “I was proud of them, it was a physical game, that’s the way Garrard plays. We played physical as well.”

Boyle quarterback Reed Lanter continued to take care of the ball and make plays: He finished 8-for-10 with 191 yards and a touchdown.

Smith credited his offensive line as well for a dominant performance.

“Reed is doing a good job of getting the ball to the guys that can do something with it,” Smith said. “He’s done an excellent job of managing the game, no turnovers, and our offensive line is doing an excellent job. They’re doing great in protection, they’re doing great run-blocking. They’re really excelling and it’s showing. He’s got plenty of time to throw and we’ve got holes to run. We can run and pass and that sets each other up.”

Two big plays in the second quarter put the game away for the Rebels.

Bartleson sprinted through the Garrard defense for a 68-yard score midway through the second quarter. And just before the half, Lanter hit Reese Smith in stride on the sideline for an 82-yard touchdown to give Boyle a 31-0 halftime lead.

Garrard suffered another injury when leading rusher Josh Warren suffered a concussion, something that has been a problem for the Golden Lions this season.

“We’re down two guys. For whatever reason, it’s an epidemic. We’ve had one concussion in three years and now we’ve got six in six weeks,” Perry said. “I don’t know how that happens. I don’t know if it’s malnutrition or what, but it has to be something with our kids. You just don’t get concussions like that. We checked our helmets, they’re all certified. I will say this, every time they get a headache they think they’re concussed. Sometimes you can get a headache with a head cold. That doesn’t mean you’re concussed. We’re just going to have to do the best we can from here on out and see what happens.”

Boyle’s Reiley Colwick would score on an end-around to put the running clock into effect in the third quarter.

Mesplay hit another field goal, this time from 32 yards away, to put Boyle ahead 41-0.

On the next kickoff, it was Mesplay who made the tackle for Boyle. He’s had a strong year and coach Smith admitted he’s done better than expected.

“Harrison has worked extremely hard this year,” coach Smith said. “When we first asked him to do it back in the spring, I’m not going to lie, I had a few doubts when I watched him kick a few times. I wasn’t for sure that he would come through. But nobody has worked like he has worked. He’s made himself a valuable part of our football team. He’s a threat to score. We get around the 20 yard line and he can score. I’m really proud of him, he’s done a great job.”

David Pennington put the Golden Lions on the board with one minute left in the game. Boyle speedster Marquise Kinley took the kickoff back for a touchdown to make the score 48-7 at the final whistle.

Perry said he’ll be focused on finding ways to move the ball in practice this week before a district tilt with Western Hills.

“We weren’t able to do any of it when Anthony got hurt,” Perry said. “Right now all I’m trying to do is see what kind of offense we can do without our guy that spreads the field for us.”

The Rebels will face Lexington Catholic next week in a battle of two 1-0 district teams. Boyle hasn’t beaten the Knights since coach Smith returned in 2014.

“It’s always a huge game, that’s the game that we’ve had trouble getting over the hump on,” coach Smith said. “We can throw all the records out the book, we’ve got to get this thing done. We’re not going to get it done unless we perform on the field. In my opinion, they’ve always wanted the game more than us. Seems like every time we play, they’re hungrier than we are. Just can’t allow that to be this time.”