Graves County eyes 3-0 start in district play

JAMIE PRINCE/Special to The Messenger

Junior quarterback John Ben Brown receives excellent line protection as he drops back to pass the ball to Race Richards in the Eagles' win over Ohio County last week.

The Graves County Eagles will have a chance to poke their heads above .500 for the first time since week one on Friday night when they travel to Grayson County for a battle with the Cougars.

The Eagles are coming off back-to-back wins at home over Breckinridge County and Ohio County, giving themselves a 2-0 record in first district play.

With a win this week, the Eagles can secure home field advantage in week one of the playoffs.

Head coach Nick Kemp says his team knows what's at stake and is focused on the prize ahead.

"We've talked about how a district championship was our goal at the beginning of the season and right now we control our own destiny, if we can win these next two we've got it. Our focus right now is to get this win against Grayson County and move to 3-0 in the district."

The Cougars sport a 6-0 record on the season but there's more than meets the eye when it comes to their perfect record.

Grayson County has yet to beat a team with a record above .500 while posting wins over 0-7 Fort Campbell and 2-5 Muhlenberg County by a mere 8 points each.

Looking ahead to Grayson County's gameplan, the Cougars make their living on the ground.

Running back Hunter Gibson has provided the offensive spark to the Cougars this season, rushing for 614 yards on 105 carries with 10 touchdowns.

At quarterback, Grayson County is led by Logan Kopp, a senior who has only thrown for 114 yards on 9-20 passing with zero touchdowns.

To combat the Cougars running game, Kemp plans to load the box and overwhelm the Grayson County receivers at the line.

"We think we can man up their receivers and load the box and put seven, eight and even nine in people in the box at a time and see if they can run on us. If they can't, hopefully we force the pass."

While their offense may not strike as a serious threat, the Cougar defense has been a problem for opposing teams.

The Cougars have four different defenders with 20+ tackles on the season and a team combined 14 sacks and 36 tackles for a loss.

Heading into the matchup, Kemp says he will not be taking Grayson County lightly in any way.

"Grayson has a really good defense, they rank in the top-five of 5A, giving up a total of 160 yards. Now they may not have played the high power offenses we have but they're still a really good defense. They run the ball a lot so they want to control the ball, so our plan will be to get up on them early and get them out of their comfort zone by making them throw the ball."

The Eagles will look to extend their win streak tonight as they hit the road to face the Grayson County Cougars at 7 p.m.