Rebels dominate Frederick Douglass

Published 11:58 am Monday, October 30, 2023

By Mike Marsee

Contributing Writer

LEXINGTON – Boyle County’s defense dominated Frederick Douglass for three quarters. In the fourth quarter, the offense did all the dominating.

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That double dose of domination gave the Rebels a decisive victory Friday night in a battle between two of the most highly ranked teams in Kentucky.

Boyle closed its regular season with a 28-7 victory at Frederick Douglass that gave the Rebels both revenge for a lopsided loss last season and momentum for the coming postseason.

“It gives us a lot of confidence going into the playoffs,” Boyle running back Avery Bodner said. “It gives us a good boost, but we’ve got to keep stacking good days on good days.”

This was a better day for Boyle than the same Friday a year ago, when Douglass dealt the Rebels a 37-6 defeat that was on their minds all last week.

“We came into this with a little chip on our shoulder,” said Bodner, who rushed for 140 yards and two touchdowns to help Boyle take a 2-1 lead in the short but interesting season-ending series designed to prepare both teams for the playoffs.

Boyle (10-0) completed its 14th undefeated regular season, its 13th since 1997 and its fourth in the past six years and now will turn its full attention to its pursuit of a third consecutive Class 4A championship. The Rebels will open the playoffs Thursday when they host Whitley County in a first-round game.

Boyle, ranked No. 1 in Class 4A throughout the season in the current statewide media poll, pushed around a Douglass team ranked No. 3 in Class 6A in the kind of physical game the Rebels wanted.

“We knew if we get in a dogfight with anybody, we’re winning that,” Boyle tackle Paul McClure said.

The Rebels turned in their best defensive performance of the season, holding Douglass (5-4) to 45 offensive yards and only one play of consequence.

The Broncos scored on a 32-yard pass play, but no other play went for more than 4 yards and they had only 10 yards on 18 rushing attempts. They went three-and-out on their first three series and seven of 10 possessions in all with only two first downs, one on a penalty and one on their touchdown.

“Our defense played tough all night,” Boyle coach Justin Haddix said. “We had to stop the run, and when they did throw it our skill guys made plays, and that’s what we wanted to see.”

The offense got physical as well, particularly during a backbreaking 18-play, 97-yard drive in the fourth quarter that ate up 10:55.

Haddix noted that Boyle hadn’t shown that level of physicality all season, but he said the Rebels made strides in that area in the month since its bye week.

“Everybody talks about speed, but you’ve got to be able to run the football to win games,” he said.

Bodner and the Boyle offensive line did most of the work during the final drive. Bodner carried the ball on the first six plays and had 14 carries in all – mostly on direct snaps – for 72 yards, and he put an exclamation point on it with a 1-yard touchdown plunge with 42 seconds to play.

“It’s really good for the team. Everybody’s working together, everybody’s hitting on all cylinders,” Bodner said. “I rely on the offensive line. When the offensive line does their job I get to do my job, and they open up holes and I hit ‘em.”

McClure said Bodner makes their job easier as well.

“It’s fun to block for him,” McClure said. “Any time anything’s there he’ll find it; if it’s not there he’ll find it.”

Bodner, who averaged 4.5 yards on his 31 carries, also scored on a 2-yard run in the second quarter to give Boyle a 14-0 lead.

Montavin Quisenberry had a touchdown catch in the first quarter and a TD run in the third, and he finished with 102 rushing yards on 11 attempts and 59 receiving yards on seven catches.

Sage Dawson completed 15 of 20 passes for 147 yards, including three each to Bodner and Geordon Brown.

Brock Driver and Bryce Bullock had sacks and Jayce Crowe and Gage Feltner shared a sack for the Boyle defense, which had seven tackles for loss.

The Rebels now face Whitley (5-5), which has lost its last three games and allowed 127 points in those defeats.

Boyle is one of five undefeated teams in Class 4A and is fourth in the RPI standings that will determine home-field advantage in the third and fourth rounds. The Rebels are assured of playing their first three games at home if they continue to win, including a possible third-round clash with No. 2 Corbin that would be a rematch of last year’s championship game.

Scoring summary

BC 7 7 7 7 – 28

FD 0 7 0 7 – 7

First Quarter

BC – Montavin Quisenberry 9 pass from Sage Dawson (Andrew Carr kick), 5:47.

Second Quarter

BC – Avery Bodner 2 run (Carr kick), 9:53.

FD – Cooper Ranvier 32 pass from Jaxon Strautman (Ranvier kick), 4:38.

Third Quarter

BC – Quisenberry 44 run (Carr kick), 7:17.

Fourth Quarter

BC – Bodner 1 run (Carr kick), :42.