Defense helps boost Boyle past Lincoln

Published 9:56 am Tuesday, October 17, 2023

By Mike Marsee

Contributing Writer

Boyle County’s big numbers aren’t all solely the work of the offense.

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The Rebels are No. 1 in Kentucky in scoring average and scoring margin, and their defense has had a great deal to do with one of those statistics and a little to do with the other.

They scored twice on defense Friday night as they posted their highest point total of the season in a 58-14 victory over Lincoln County at Rebel Stadium.

Boyle forced three turnovers and had two scoop-and-score plays to triple its season total of defensive touchdowns as it clinched the District 4A-7 championship.

“We were all locked in,” said defensive lineman Bryce Bullock, one of two Boyle players who forced fumbles. “We were ready for this fight and we came good.”

Boyle (8-0, 3-0 district) averages 50.5 points per game and has an average winning margin of 36.8 points, and Haddix was happy to see the defense help raise those averages.

“We forced some turnovers there, so it was good to see that. That’s what you want,” Haddix said.

Haddix wanted to see the Rebels’ play better in the first quarter, but they settled in after Lincoln (4-4, 2-1) got 63 of its 124 offensive yards, four first downs and one touchdown on its first two series.

“I think at the beginning of the game we struggled, but that’s just due to us not focusing. But at the end I think we were focused and we were able to make the tackles that we needed to,” Boyle linebacker Brock Driver said.

Driver forced a fumble that led to a second-quarter score when he ripped the ball from the hand of Lincoln quarterback Sawyer Horton and flung it 10 to 15 yards toward the Lincoln goal line. Boyle’s Sage Dawson chased the ball down at the 7-yard line and ran for the touchdown.

“I went to go tackle (Horton), but then I just saw an opportunity to rip it so I did it as hard as I could,” Driver said.

The Rebels’ first defensive TD came on the second play from scrimmage, when Avery Bodner recovered a fumble in the end zone to put Boyle on the board 48 seconds into the game.

Boyle turned the ball over on its first possession when Lincoln’s Khalil White recovered a fumble, and the Patriots tied the game when Sawyer Horton threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to his brother Seth that capped a 65-yard drive.

The Rebels regained the lead 17 seconds later as Bubby McPherson returned the kickoff 33 yards to the Lincoln 26 and Montavin Quisenberry scored the first of his three touchdowns from there.

It was the first of five TDs in a span of 8:56 for the Rebels, who took a 42-7 lead despite having run only seven offensive plays.

Boyle had 155 yards at halftime and finished with a season-low 296 yards but still averaged 9.3 yards per play.

Lincoln ran 20 more plays than Boyle – 52 to 32 – but averaged only 2.4 yards per play and 1.7 yards per rushing attempt.

“We take pride in being able to stop the run game and then having faith in our secondary to make plays,” Driver said.

Boyle rolled to a 49-7 halftime lead to secure its seventh district title in eight seasons and ensure there would be no repeat of the previous week, when the Rebels ran windsprints at halftime after Haddix was unhappy with their play in the second quarter.

“Coach Haddix really got us right after that game, I think. We’ll just go from here,” Bullock said.

That’s exactly what Haddix wants as the Rebels prepare for their final district game this Friday against Wayne County.

“We had a good week of practice this week. We’ve got to stack another week on top of that,” he said.

Lincoln coach Josh Jaggers said his halftime speech wasn’t typical of what he might say to a team that was so far behind.

“They battled, and that’s what we were telling them at halftime,” Jaggers said. “When the game’s like this it’s often times the play-for-pride speech, but it was different tonight. For seven or eight minutes there in the first quarter, I said if that stretch didn’t prove to you that you belong, I don’t know what’s going to.”

Quisenberry returned a punt 60 yards for a touchdown in addition to rushing for two TDs for Boyle. Avery Bodner and Austin Bodner caught TD passes from Dawson and Baylor Murphy – who threw for a career-high 110 yards – Demauriah Brown ran for a TD and Andrew Carr kicked a 23-yard field goal and went 7 for 7 on extra-point attempts.

Johnny Adkins caught a touchdown pass from Tucker Foster in the fourth quarter for Lincoln.

The Patriots host Taylor County this Friday for second place in the district and the right to host a first-round playoff game, and Jaggers said the way they approached this game will serve them well in that one.

“Their attitude, their positivity was probably as good tonight as it was in some of (our) big wins, particularly the two district wins, and that’s what we’re going to be shooting for next week,” he said.

Scoring summary

LC 7-0-0-7 — 14

BC 21-28-6-3 — 58

First Quarter

BC – Avery Bodner fumble recovery in end zone (Andrew Carr kick), 11:12.

LC – Seth Horton 14 pass from Sawyer Horton (Colby Townes kick), 4:12.

BC – Montavin Quisenberry 26 run (Carr kick), 3:55.

BC – Quisenberry 60 punt return (Carr kick), 2:02.

Second Quarter

BC – Av. Bodner 6 pass from Sage Dawson (Carr kick), 11:17.

BC – Dawson 7 fumble recovery (Carr kick), 9:12.

BC – Demauriah Brown 4 run (Carr kick), 6:59.

BC – Quisenberry 13 run (Carr kick), :28.

Third Quarter

BC – Austin Bodner 21 pass from Baylor Murphy (pass failed), 4:59.

Fourth Quarter

LC – Johnny Adkins 14 pass from Tucker Foster (Townes kick), 10:59.