Boyle County cruises past Comets

Published 1:03 am Saturday, November 4, 2017

Boyle County’s defense pulled no punches early on against West Carter in the first round of the state 3A playoffs.

The Rebels scored on a punt block and safety in the first three minutes and had a running clock after one quarter, finishing with a 47-14 first round win.

“I thought the guys had a good week of practice and it carried over to the game,” Boyle County head coach Chuck Smith said. “We came out and took care of business. It’s hard to say how well you played, but I felt like we played pretty well till we got the score out of hand. I think the JV guys picked their game up a little bit and I thought the varsity played pretty good.”

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Boyle’s rushing attack did a majority of the damage in Friday’s win: Landen Bartleson finished the game with nine carries for 100 yards and two scores, all in the first half. Teammate Tanner Crawford had a relatively quiet night, running five times for 58 yards. Blake Biggs had five carries for 80 yards in relief.

After Boyle’s 9-0 start, Bartleson scored his first touchdown from 12 yards away to give the Rebels a 16-0 lead.

Reed Lanter would hit Nick Walker on a wide receiver screen, and Walker took the pass 54 yards for a score. Walker finished with two catches for a team-high 89 yards.

Walker would score again just moments later, intercepting a screen pass for a touchdown to put Boyle ahead 30-0 in the first quarter.

Bartleson scored a 25-yard touchdown run as time expired in the first quarter to start the running clock.

“The defense did a really nice job to start the game,” coach Smith said. They were really aggressive and attacked up the field, just swarming the ball like we practiced, like we teach and like they know how to play.”

The Rebels were without two key cogs: Reese Smith and Kaden Gervacio were each out.

But their replacements did more than enough: Grant Hotchkiss caught a 28-yard pass from Lanter to put Boyle ahead 44-0. Andrew Sacco replaced Gervacio at linebacker.

“(Sacco and Hotchkiss) played good, they’re really good players,” coach Smith said. “They’re good enough to play. We’ve got to get our starters back, but the two that came in are like starters too.”

At halftime, Boyle led 44-0.

The Rebels’ starters didn’t play the second half,  and Harrison Mesplay’s 23-yard field goal gave Boyle a 47-0 lead with 6:55 left in the third quarter.

West Carter would score two touchdowns in the fourth quarter against Boyle’s reserves: Peyton Brown had a 12-yard run with 6:07 remaining and Leetavious Cline scored on a 25-yard reception with 1:08 remaining in the game.

Coach Smith praised his senior leaders for stepping up, both in preparing for the game and in their play on the field.

“I think the seniors have really bought in to what we’re trying to get accomplished here,” coach Smith said. “Their leadership has been really good. Not just good, really good. I’m really proud of them. We’ve got to keep those sophomores and juniors keeping pace with them.”