HALL OF FAME
FOOTBALL: Tigers topple No.6 Colts
November 28, 2012Bardstown High School
FOOTBALL: Tigers topple No.6 Colts
Earn home playoff game with win
Saturday, October 20, 2012 at 11:34 am
A 41-6 road loss two weeks ago to Christian Academy-Louisville left some bruises on the Tiger Pride.
“It set us back,” senior Marcus Cosby said. “But we wanted to work harder than we had the whole season, to make a statement to people who had seen that game to prove that we’re not pushovers.”
The Tigers made it loud and clear Friday, toppling Class 2A No. 6 DeSales, 27-16.
Cosby caught eight passes for 119 yards — including three critical first-down receptions in the fourth quarter to keep the clock moving. He said Bardstown got big contributions from all over the team at a time when they needed it most, in a key district matchup with a home playoff game the prize for the winner.
“Big-time players make big-time plays in big-time games, and this is a big-time game,” Cosby said. “We needed it. We wanted it.”
DeSales (5-4, 3-2 dist.) opened the scoring on a 30-yard Dylan Byrd touchdown on its first possession, but Bardstown (8-1, 4-1 dist.) replied right away with a 57-yard scamper by sophomore quarterback Keanu Young to tie it at 6-6 with 1:45 left in the first quarter.
After a stop on defense, the Tigers made it happen again on offense, piecing together a drive capped by Young’s second scoring run of the night, giving Bardstown a 13-6 lead on an emotional Senior Night.
“We love each other as a team,” said senior Chris Cecil. “We’ve played together for so long. We don’t want to stop.”
From there Cecil and the Tiger defense clamped down, holding the Colts to 253 yards — 150 fewer than their per-game average — forcing a string of punts and locking things up into a field position battle, one of Bardstown coach David Clark’s goals.
“The defense played outstanding,” he said. “This is two weeks in a row the defense played lights-out.”
The Tigers had an opportunity to extend their lead late in the first half, advancing the ball to the Colts’ 20 but turning it over on downs. While that drive wasn’t successful, Clark said his team was able to control the clock and make enough things happen on offense to keep DeSales on its heels.
“Offensively, we were able to make some plays,” Clark said. “We didn’t have any turnovers, and they had several. That first half was field position football.”
The Colts tied it up in the third quarter, taking advantage of a short punt to gain possession on the Tiger 40. The Bardstown defense held, but DeSales was able to convert a fake punt to get a first down at the 24. Two first down runs later, Byrd scored his second touchdown to make it 13-13 with five minutes left in the third quarter.
Bardstown dug deep after that, and owned the rest of the game. On the ensuing possession, the Tigers got an acrobatic 30-yard reception from Cosby, which led to senior Dee Yocum’s 37-yard touchdown run on a draw play and a 20-13 lead.
After giving up the early rushing touchdowns to Young, Clark said the Colts changed things up and started loading up against the run. The Tigers were able to adjust to DeSales’ adjustments and spread the Colts out, which opened things up for Cosby, who was just getting started.
“They were playing eight in the box, and that puts him one-on-one with a defender, and we like that matchup,” Clark said.
The Tiger defense held the Colts to a field goal on the next drive with 9:04 to play, then the Bardstown offense took control, burning big chunks of clock in the fourth quarter as Cosby extended the drive with three big first-down catches. That set up a game-clinching 16-yard touchdown run by senior Donshais Calbert, making it 27-16 with 5:08 remaining, a major obstacle for a passing-challenged DeSales club.
“When we were able to get up two scores, then they had to play a different style, which isn’t their strength,” Clark said.
Cosby closed the door on the Colts’ final drive with the defense’s second interception of the night, with the other coming from Yocum. Junior Tyrone Mudd played a monster game, picking up 18 tackles.
With the win, the Tigers wrap up the No. 2 seed in the playoffs — they’ll host Metcalfe County (2-7) Nov. 2 after wrapping up the regular season at North Oldham (6-3) this week — and regain a bit of the swagger they lost against CAL.
“I think we have a good chance to make a good run if we keep it up, if we keep the momentum up, the emotion (and) keep practicing as hard as we’ve been,” Cecil said. “And if God blesses us to get that far.”