Commonwealth Journal

Local Sports

November 2, 2012

Jumpers start playoff journey by hosting Shelby Valley


Somerset —

But first, they have to get through tonight’s game.
And after that, they have to survive 48 minutes each week, while they look in anticipation at the other games in the bracket to see who they will play next if they are lucky enough.
The Shelby Valley Wildcats are a four seed. The rules say they have to travel to Somerset to compete tonight. Shelby Valley is a relatively new school about 10 miles south of Pikeville in Pike County. They made it to the first round of the playoffs about 20 years ago, and haven’t done much else since.
They have lost 7 games by an average score of 41-12. But the ones that they have won have been barn burners. In each of the three games the Wildcats won, they scored more than 50 points.
The Wildcats could turn off the lights in the Briar Patch tonight.
Nobody expects that to happen.
Somerset Head Coach Robbie Lucas offers this analysis:
“Shelby Valley is a young team that plays hard and is well coached but doesn't yet have the physical maturity to finish games,” Lucas said. “They open each game offensively with a different formation than what you have seen. When they settle in, they run their base offense: a wing T.”
That means they like trick plays like we saw the Perry County guys run last week. Lacking in talent, they have to rely on trickery, and sometimes it works.
“They are effective getting on the edge and with their misdirection game,” Lucas continued. “Defensively they will bring multiple blitzes and play man coverages. They will be physical and won't be intimidated playing us.”
It bears repeating.
The Wildcats could turn off the lights in the Briar Patch tonight.
But nobody expects that to happen.
But, of course, Bardstown didn’t expect that to happen in 1999, when the Briar Jumpers swaggered into town, took the Tigers by the tail, and didn’t turn loose until they had beaten them 28-25. Somerset did everything right that night, including picking off 4 passes and kicking the daylights out of the uprights. And that little 4 seed team didn’t stop there. The Jumpers won the region and only ran out of gas when they took those fancy rented busses all the way to Hancock county and ran into Travis Atwell, who went on to be Kentucky’s Mr. Football that year.

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