Boyle catches fire in second half to torch LexCath 56-21
Published 4:44 pm Monday, September 25, 2023
By MIKE MARSEE
It could have been a long two weeks at Boyle County.
Email newsletter signup
If the second half of the Rebels’ game against longtime rival Lexington Catholic had gone differently Friday night, the practices in the two weeks before their next game surely would have taken on a different tone.
Instead, they rose to the challenge in the second half, taking control of the game by scoring three times in just over three minutes to begin a barrage of 42 unanswered points that propelled them to a 56-21 victory.
It was a strong finish for a Boyle team that was at risk of a rough two weeks of practice after a sluggish second quarter.
“It probably would’ve been, but I think we would have been able to come out and get the next one,” Boyle linebacker Gage Feltner said.
Boyle (6-0) got this one after quarterback Sage Dawson threw for 340 yards and four touchdowns, Montavin Quisenberry scored four TDs and Avery Bodner and Geordon Brown scored two each for the Rebels, who had a season-best 565 offensive yards.
The Rebels led 14-0 after their first two possessions, but LexCath (2-4) scored twice in the second quarter to tie the game just before halftime.
That led to the kind of halftime speech coach Justin Haddix hasn’t had to deliver very often in his four seasons at Boyle, but not the kind of speech you might think.
“I just told them, ‘We’re not playing to our standard of what we’re expecting of you,’ and really we challenged them to come out and do it,” Haddix said. “It wasn’t a peeling-the-paint-off-the-wall-type talk, it was, ‘Hey, this is the expectation.’”
Boyle players corroborated Haddix’s account, saying their coach wasn’t screaming arbitrarily but was loud enough to get his point across.
“It’s not too pleasant, but it’s effective,” Feltner said. “We came out and did what we needed to do after halftime.”
“He wasn’t too happy, but he was being honest with us,” Brown added. “He was just letting us know that we’ve got to step up … and we just showed up in the third quarter and put the game away.”
That began only after LexCath opened the second half with a 66-yard scoring drive to take a 21-14 lead. It marked only the second game in which Boyle had been behind this season; it trailed Lexington Christian twice for a total of 12:40.
This time the Rebels trailed for only 17 seconds, which was the time it took for Quisenberry to return a kickoff 96 yards to the end zone.
The Boyle defense forced a three-and-out, and three plays later Dawson threw a long pass to Brown for a 64-yard touchdown that gave the Rebels a 28-21 lead.
“It just fired us up, kept our momentum going, got us hype and kept the guys going, and that’s what big plays do,” Brown said.
Brown had dropped a pass in the end zone in the first half, and Haddix was pleased with the way he bounced back to score on both of his touches in the second half.
“We jumped on him (after the drop) and he could’ve went in the tank and went over there and laid down – maybe five weeks ago he lays down and doesn’t come back – and what a show he put on there in the second half,” Haddix said. “Those are guys that we need to have.”
Bryce Bullock recovered a fumble two plays later to give the Rebels the ball back at the LexCath 39-yard line, and Bodner caught a 36-yard pass from Dawson to give them 21 points in 3:23.
Boyle added three more touchdowns in the fourth quarter to cap its 11th win in the past 12 meetings in a series the Rebels lead 23-14.
The Rebels’ defense gave up 197 yards in the second half and a season-high 377 in all, but Feltner said some halftime adjustments helped them in the second half.
“We changed our base defense, took a lineman off the front and put him at linebacker, and that really helped us stop the run and focus on the pass … and let our DBs do what they needed to do,” he said.
Bodner was moved forward into a pass rushing position, and he had eight total tackles and five tackles for loss, while Feltner had six total tackles and Josh Bixler, a Danville transfer who became eligible only hours before the game, had five.
LexCath quarterback Jackson Wasik was 21 for 34 for 307 yards and two touchdowns, and he ran for the Knights’ other score.
Dawson was 12 for 18 for 340 yards, finishing just short of his career-best totals of 346 yards and five touchdowns in a win over Anderson County last season. He also rushed for 58 yards.
Quisenberry raised his team-leading touchdown total to 16, scoring on two runs, one reception and a kickoff return, and he finished with 88 rushing yards and 84 receiving yards. Bodner had one rushing TD and one receiving TD and a total of 113 yards, including 61 yards on a team-high four catches.
Boyle scored on its first two series before LexCath rallied in the second quarter.
“To be honest, we came out and put up a few quick points and then thought the game was over,” Feltner said.
Haddix said he wasn’t happy about that but was happy the Rebels overcame adversity in the second half. He said the letdown is something coaches will address in practice before the Rebels’ Oct. 6 game at Russell County.
“Our staff will push them,” he said. “As the season goes it’s like a fire getting bigger and bigger and bigger, and you want to be at the hottest stage late in the year, and we can’t let it go down any.”
LC 0 14 7 0 – 21
BC 14 0 21 21 – 56
BC – Montavin Quisenberry 70 pass from Sage Dawson (Andrew Carr kick), 10:41.
BC – Avery Bodner 3 run (Carr kick), 1:04.
LC – Jackson Kreutzer 12 pass from Jackson Wasik (Finnegan Wedding kick), 6:00.
LC – Joaquin Pereira 15 pass from Wasik (Wedding kick), :23.
LC – Wasik 1 run (Wedding kick), 9:15.
BC – Quisenberry 96 kickoff return (Carr kick), 8:58.
BC – Geordon Brown 64 pass from Dawson (Carr kick), 6:41.
BC – Bodner 36 pass from Dawson (Carr kick), 5:35.
BC – Quisenberry 35 run (Carr kick), 11:02.
BC – Quisenberry 25 run (Carr kick), 5:45.
BC – Brown 77 pass from Dawson (Carr kick), 1:31.