In a few hours, I’ll start the trek up Interstate 65 to Louisville to cover Bowling Green football’s game at St. Xavier.
A first note so that I don’t forget – it’s possible the start of the game could be bumped just a little bit because of the heat. Louisville-area schools made the decision today to push back start times to 8 p.m. EDT with the heat index on the rise.
BG-St. X was already slated to start at 8 p.m. EDT, so that’s not really a big deal. But if it’s still hot enough that play is going to be halted continuously, officials could back it up just a bit. I’ll pass along an update on that as soon as I know.
Now to the good stuff. This game has statewide implications, with Bowling Green ranked first in Class 5A and St. X second in 6A.
These two teams have played eight times before, and Bowling Green has gone 0-8 so far. The last meeting came in 2006, a 15-7 loss for the Purples.
But BG coach Kevin Wallace said that won’t faze his team, nor will St. X’s 6,000-seat Brother Thomas More Stadium.
“Our guys are used to getting on a bus and going to play,” Wallace said Tuesday. “I don’t think the environment will shock them, and I don’t think the long trip will shock them. It’s going to be boil down to if we can out-execute a really good football team.”
The Tigers (1-1) started their season with a 70-0 shellacking of Fern Creek.
“In the Fern Creek game, it was 21-0 after three minutes, and they hadn’t really done anything,” Wallace said of St. X’s offense. “They’d run one offensive play, which was for a touchdown. That’s the structure of who they are.”
St. X lost to Riverdale (Tenn.), 23-9, last week. The Tigers could be without a few players tonight, as the Louisville Courier-Journal is reporting several injuries for St. X.
According to the article, the Tigers could be without strong safety Garrett Underwood, offensive lineman Joseph Tobbe and linebacker George Stone, but they should return running back Lemondray Clemons and defensive back Patrick Semersheim.
Their offense is led by quarterback Alex Mattingly, who presents a different type of threat than Wallace said he’s used to seeing from the Tigers.
“Their quarterback reminds me a lot of (former Purple and current Army QB) Trent Steelman,” Wallace said. “He’s athletic and can make plays with his feet and his arm. He’ll have to be a focal point of our defense. That’s different than what we’re used to because they’re usually tailback-oriented.”
Bowling Green is relatively healthy itself, with Nick Durkalski out and Brandon Green listed as questionable. It also returned running back Hunter Neveras last week, and the senior ran for 105 yards and four touchdowns.
The Purples (2-0) are coming off a 35-14 win over Henry Clay, a victory in which Wallace said the defense deserved a better final score. BG dominated the yardage in that contest, 570-91.
Check Saturday’s Daily News for more coverage, and check back on the blog this weekend for more postgame thoughts. Also, here’s the link to fellow BGDN reporter Micheal Compton’s preview of this game and other local tilts.
I’ll be posting some updates from the game, which you can find at http://www.twitter.com/zach_greenwell. The Daily News’ @bgpreps Twitter account will also have updates from all local games.