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Knights prepare for Bullitt East rematch

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By Jesse Osbourne

Impressive as their season has been, the Knights have not found Bullitt County to be friendly terrain.

The Knights' first loss of the season came in Mount Washington at the hands of a Bullitt East Chargers team that was 1-3 going into the game. Their second loss came to North Bullitt a few weeks later.

The 13-10 loss to the Chargers was within the Knights' reach, as they turned the ball over three times in the red zone in four trips. A questionable fourth down call didn't help the Knights' cause either.

Over the course of the season Knights Head Coach Jeff Robbins has said he would like to avenge the Bullitt East loss in the playoffs. Robbins and the Knights have their chance on Friday as they head to Mount Washington again to face the Chargers.

The last time around, senior Curtis Logsdon scorched the Knights for nearly 120 yards rushing on 26 carries. Fullback Kyle Lingar added 54 yards on 12 carries for the Chargers.

In return, the Knights brought all of the horses out of the stable by throwing seven different runners at the Charger defense. Dylan Peterson was the only Knight to rush for over 20 yards, accumulating 91 yards and a touchdown on eight carries.

Peterson was limited to defense during the last two regular season games but carried the ball over 10 times last week against Fairdale.

"We've been worried about the cast, he didn't seem to have any problems," Robbins said of Peterson, who's been in a cast ever since injuring his hand against North Bullitt.

Robbins said he expected more of the same from Peterson against Bullitt East this week.

Though the Chargers had a good ground attack against the Knights, the "Maroon Curtain" defense was ranked as the 15th ranked team in the state at stopping the rush, allowing 100 yards per game through the regular season. They gave up 119 yards on the ground against Fairdale, bringing their per game average up to 102 yards.

Robbins said Logsdon (No. 22) has been the Chargers go-to guy on offense since their win over the Knights.

According to The Pioneer News, Logsdon returns against the Knights after a two game hiatus. A reason for his absence was not stated.

Robbins expects Lingar (No. 32) and Zach McCarthy (No. 13) to get some touches against the Knights as well. McCarthy is an all-around athlete, having landed a baseball scholarship to Florida State, according to Robbins.

In their first match up, quarterback Eric Miles was 4-7 passing but only eked out 30 yards. Robbins expects that number to go up this week in the sequel.

"Our passing game can be efficient, Eric did a good job against Fairdale. Bryson Bell is really starting to come on and he's going to continue to get better," Robbins said.

Robbins said he expects Bullitt East to play deep zone coverage, leaving  Miles room to throw short.

"We'll do a better job on pass protection. If we give (Miles) time, he's a pretty good quarterback," Robbins said.

He cited poor pass protection as a problem for the Knights in the last go 'round.

Robbins said Bullitt East is a big physical team. He said he likes his chances if the Knights can match their physicality and stop the run.

He said he expects to see a lot of wishbone and I-formation from the Chargers.

"They're a very, very good football team," Robbins said. "A lot of people are picking them to go to the 4-A title game. It could be a huge win for us. We need support like last week in Fairdale."

Fans were the Knights' 12th man as they severely outnumbered Fairdale fans. Knights supporters filled the bleachers provided and spilled out down the sidelines. Even Fairdale's chain crew commented on the support Marion County brought with them.

Louisville Courier-Journal high school sports reporter picked Bullitt East to emerge from the Region Two bracket to advance to the semifinals.

In Dave Cantrall's ratings from the Lexington Herald-Leader, Marion County is ranked fourth in 4-A with a 65.7 rating. Bullitt East is close by, ranked sixth with a 63.1 rating.

A caravan organized by Gail King will be meeting at Kroger parking lot again this week starting at 5 p.m. The caravan will roll out at 5:30 p.m. Fans will tailgate before the game.

Bullitt East (6-5) has won four of its last five games. They beat Atherton (2-10) 63-6 in the first round.

One more win puts Marion County (9-2) in the double-digit win category.

Marion County boasts the fourth best overall record in 4-A. Bullitt East has the 16th best overall record.

Besides having already squared off, the Chargers and Knights share a mutual opponent: Fairdale. Bullitt East fell to the Bulldogs in week six, 40-35 at Fairdale.

The winner of Friday night's game plays either North Bullitt (7-4) or Valley (7-2).

TEAM COMPARISON

(Some stats courtesy of www.khsaa.org. Bullitt East offense and defense stats through seven games. Marion County offense and defense stats through regular season.)

Total points scored - Marion County 326, Bullitt East 313

Points per game - Marion County 29.6, Bullitt East 28.4

Total points allowed - Marion County 202, Bullitt East 234

Points allowed per game - Marion County 18.3, Bullitt East 21.2

Rushing yards per game - Marion County 262.3, Bullitt East 213

Passing yards per game - Marion County 71.3, Bullitt East 110.1

Rushing yards allowed per game - Marion County 100.4, Bullitt East 180.1

Passing yards allowed per game - Marion County 125.3, Bullitt East 86.1