October 4, 2013

Cards look to come away from Death Valley alive

By Denis House
Sports Editor

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — When South Laurel visits Lincoln County tonight it will be a battle of two teams looking to pick up their first district win of the season.

The Cards lost to Madison Southern last week, 47-7, while the Patriots fell to Pulaski County, 61-35. South Laurel coach Matt Rhymer said the Patriots are a dangerous team that his team will have to be prepared for.

“Lincoln looks good on tape,” Rhymer said. “They are big, strong and have good skill players. They like to run the ball and mix in some play action pass.”

The Cards will face yet another tough running back in Marvin Robinson, who gained 122 yards in the loss to the Maroons last week.

“He is big and strong with good speed,” Rhymer said. “I think he has been a solid player for them the last couple of years.” In last year’s 63-20 win over the Cardinals he rushed for 119 yards and three touchdowns.

Another player that has impressed Rhymer is Deonte Coulter, who rushed for 77 yards and two touchdowns last year against South. “He is a solid back with a little more burst,” Rhymer said. “He can stretch out plays. They also have a fullback (Connor Patterson) who is a great blocker and he gets the ball a lot. He moves the chains a lot for their offense.”

Those aren’t the only players that concerns Rhymer.

“They have three good wide receivers (Trevor Gaines, Casey Roberts, Tanner Johnson) that can block and stretch the field with the pass,” Rhymer said. “The quarterback (Dalton Godbey) is a great player who seems to really operate the offense well and manage the game,” Rhymer said. “He too can hurt you running and throwing. Overall they are very well balanced.” Godbey threw for 173 yards and two touchdowns in last week’s loss to Pulaski County.

The Cards are still hurting with injuries with the only player scheduled to return tonight is quarterback John Jenkins. “He seems to be close to normal,” Rhymer said. “The other players are still questionable.”

Even though his team lost to Madison Southern last week, Rhymer was pleased with the way they fought for the entire game. He knows he will need another all-out effort again tonight if the Cardinals are to come away from Death Valley with a win.

“I like how our team finished with pride, class and character,” Rhymer said “We got behind early and could have quit but we kept competing and I felt like we had a lot better second half. Our young kids really played hard and never really quit. That’s promising for our future.”

One of those young players that provided of glimpse of things to come was Jared Grubb, who was a danger not only running the ball but also on kickoff and punt returns.

Rhymer said his team still needs to work on the fundamentals and execution in all aspect of the game.

“Our run blocking will only get better and better with time, and our backs will learn how to be running backs,” Rhymer said. “It just takes time. Defensively it comes down to alignment, and assignment, then taking great angles and making sure tackles.” He also feels like his team matches up well with the Patriots.

“We just have to play with confidence and play sound, physical football for four quarters and see what happens,” Rhymer said. “A win for us over there would be big.”

Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. tonight in Stanford.