Rebels close out district schedule on senior night

Published 7:25 pm Thursday, October 24, 2019


Boyle County looks to continue its perfect season on Friday night when it welcomes district opponent Bourbon County to Rebel Stadium for senior night.

The Colonels enter the game with a 4-4 record and having split its two previous district matchups.

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Last week, Lexington Catholic bested Bourbon 48-15, but the week before, the Colonels won a close one over Anderson County 35-34.

Despite the even record, the Colonels have had a tough year, surrendering 45 more points than they have scored, and having allowed almost 1,000 more rushing yards than they have gained.

Early in the year, Bourbon was a pass heavy offense, but had to change the system around with starting QB Jake Broughton missing two games with injury. The solution was to bring freshman defensive back Clay Estes and senior receiver Justin Blakenship under center to create a two QB system.

“They bring (Blakenship) in, he likes to run the ball but can also throw. Then they’ll bring (Estes) in at quarterback too. He’s more of a passer but can also run. They mix it up,” coach Chuck Smith said. “Run a lot of zone stuff. Typical zone passing routes. They don’t really change the offense that much except that one quarterback is more of a runner and he’s a good runner, too. It will be a challenge for our defense.”

The Boyle defense presents just as much a challenge to opponents as any offense poses to them. On the defensive side of the ball, the Rebels have only allowed 77 points, 412 rushing yards and 858 yards through the air. That averages out to 9.6 points, 51.5 rushing yards and 107.25 passing yards per game en route to an 8-0 start.

And in the rare event that Boyle does allow a team to score, the kick return team has come alive this year to produce three touchdown returns, all of them by senior Gray Rahbany.

Gray Rahbany celebrating his second return TD. He now has three on the year. (Photo Derek Brightwell)

“He’s just got a knack for running and I think the whole kickoff return team is starting to get a swagger about them,” Smith said. “They’re starting to get some confidence and they’re really starting to think they can return it on anybody. That’s what you’re looking for as a coach. Travis Burns is our special teams coach and he’s done a wonderful job with those guys.

“Gray believes those guys are going to get a block and he’s not going to let anybody slow him down and stop him,” he added. “Any kind of specialty score is big in a game because it really takes the wind out of an opponent.”

That was no more evident than last week when Anderson County jumped on Boyle early with a 70-yard Zach Labhart touchdown run to take a 7-3 lead. Rahbany took the ensuing kickoff to the house to start 49 unanswered points to get the win.

Smith is hoping that last week’s slow start will be motivation to his team this week, and says he’s already seen that in practice this week.

“We started slow. And that’s because we practiced slow last week. We didn’t do a good job of working on our game,” he said. “We’ve got to do a much better job in practice and this week they’ve done a good job with staying focused and practicing with a purpose. They’re getting better at specific things and I think that’s the mentality we have to have.”

Offensively, there hasn’t been much to complain about for Boyle. Entering this week, the Rebels are the state’s top offense, averaging 51.4 points per game and 425.5 yards per game. They’ve kept the attack fairly balanced as well, rushing for 1,450 yards and passing for 1,954 this year. Still Smith wants to see his team be able to run the ball in obvious run situations when the defense is stacking the box against them.

The Rebels will honor their 19 seniors before the game, and kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday night.