LOG MOUNTAIN — Bell County enters tonight’s first round playoff game as a heavy favorite over Elizabethtown and coach Wayne Mills says his team hasn’t had any trouble putting last week’s loss at Harlan County behind them.
“Our kids understand that it’s all about the playoffs. We were able to put that game behind us on Sunday and move on,” he said.
While the loss at Harlan County snapped an eight game winning streak for the Bobcats (8-2), they showed plenty of resolve in battling back to trim a 20-point deficit to just six.
“That’s Bell County kids. They could have easily folded up their tents but they kept fighting and never gave up. Harlan County is bigger than us (up front) and they kind of exploited what might be our Achilles’ heel,” Mills said. “Sometimes in football you just run up against somebody that’s a tough match-up like that, but we are who we are and I like our team going forward.”
Elizabethtown (1-9) has struggled a bit this season and is the four seed from District 3. The Panthers are led by quarterback Josh Williams who has run for 795 yards and eight touchdowns.
Last season E-town brought a spread passing attack Log Mountain for a first round playoff game. Mills said that won’t be the case tonight.
“They’ve actually changed to more of a running team. They do a lot of zone blocking and run the quarterback quite a bit,” he said. “They’ve got a lot of speed and athleticism, they can be dangerous if we let them hang around.”
The Bobcats go into tonight’s game relatively healthy with the only exception being senior defensive end Joe Jackson. Jackson is dealing with some muscle stiffness around his neck and may be held out as a precaution.
Bell County will likely stick to their familiar game plan of running the ball with seniors Jonathan Polly and Ryan Collett behind their strong offensive line.
“I just want to see our team put a complete game together,” said Mills. “We’ve played pretty well down the stretch but I want to see us look sharp, respect the game and play it like it needs to be played. We need to do what a good team does and take control of it early.”
Tonight’s game kicks off at 7:30 p.m.