Football: South dancing into showdown vs. Anderson

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By Brad Stephens

CRESTWOOD – South Oldham football will waltz into a Top 10 dance Friday night looking to swing with the partner it took.

“Dance with the girl we’ve brought” has been a motto for South coaches this season.

In past years the Dragons have gotten too creative in game planning for individual teams to the point that it becomes a detriment, coach Jamie Reed said.

This year South, ranked No. 7 in Class 5A by the Associated Press and coming off a win against Collins, is sticking with what it does best – running the ball.

The Dragons will need to do that well in their home opener against Class 5A No. 5 Anderson County at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

“We’re going to do what we plan on doing,” Reed said. “We’ve been working on our offense ever since we got back at the end of dead period.

“A lot of times in years past we’ve tried to over-coach ourselves and come up with the perfect play and the perfect plan for these teams… This year we just said ‘This is what we do, let’s stick with it and see what happens.’”

What happened last week was that senior running back Kevin Kuriger ran for 243 yards, the second-best total in school history. Combine his production with domination on the offensive line and a huge effort from senior linebacker Connor John (two offensive touchdowns, 13 tackles), and South beat Collins 32-17.

The Dragons are hoping for more of the same against Anderson, Kuriger said.

“They’re a tough team, bigger on the line, just a little bit more athletic,” he said. “I think it’s going to be a closer game. But if we execute perfectly I think we can easily come out a few points ahead.”

Coach Mark Peach’s Bearcats are 1-0 after a 42-6 home win over Clark County last Friday.

Quarterback Zach Carmichael ran for two touchdowns in the victory.

“Offensively they like to pound the ball,” senior lineman Drew Hobbs said. “They’re big on the line.”

Defensively, Anderson allowed Clark less than 150 yards of total offense last week.

“I think they like to bite hard on the option,” Kuriger said. “...They do have corners that can cover pretty well.

“The goal is if we can block well and if we can pass it for touchdowns I think we can be victorious.”

Anderson and South have played a one-sided rivalry in recent years, with the Dragons losing heartbreakers in 2010, 2011 and last season.

The series will continue beyond this year, as the schools have signed on to play every year for the foreseeable future.

Over the offseason the schools will develop a trophy that will be awarded each year to the winning team.

Of course for a rivalry to be a rivalry, the team that’s been on the losing end has to come up with a win or two. South will plan on doing that Friday by dancing with the girl it brought and running the ball.

“I don’t live my life and this program isn’t set up like, ‘Oh gosh, here comes Anderson County, we’re going to find a way to lose this game again,’” Reed said. “We’re excited for the challenge.”