Saturday, November 06, 1999

Lou. Fern Creek 12, Boone Co. 0

Rebels can't overcome penalties, errors

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        LOUISVILLE — It's good to be the king. It's better to beat him.

        Louisville Fern Creek held Timmy King in check and in turn gained revenge for its most painful football defeat, bouncing Boone County from the Class AAAA playoffs 12-0 Friday night at Fern Creek.

        King had averaged 212 yards rushing and nearly three touchdowns per game the past three weeks, but the junior tailback gained just 117 yards on 23 carries Friday, losing two fumbles.

        A litany of first-half miscues put the Rebels in a 12-0 halftime hole, and the Tigers were content to chew up the clock while Boone continued to fizzle.

        “We hurt ourselves,” Boone coach Rick Thompson said. “Turnovers, ill-timed penalties — you can't do that in the playoffs and expect to win.”

        Fern Creek (8-3) advances to meet No.2 Lexington Bryan Station (10-1) next week at Bryan Station. Boone County finishes 5-6.

        The Tigers' 1994 season, their finest, ended in a state semifinal defeat at Boone. Hav ing waited five years to return the favor, the Tigers won by keeping calm, while on the other sideline the Rebels unraveled.

        As successive penalties fueled the Tigers' second scoring drive, a Boone assistant spotted a reporter taking notes and said, “Write in there somewhere, "Self-destruct.'”

        Boone junior quarterback Robbie Flick had the toughest night, going 1-of-10 for 20 yards and three interceptions. Fern Creek's first score came with Flick on defense: He fell when bumped by Tiger halfback LaRay Price, and QB Wayne Embry hit Price for an easy 39-yard touchdown.

        On the ensuing possession, Flick overthrew a wide-open Brian Gregory. On the next drive, on third-and-5 from the Tigers' 7, Flick was intercepted in the end zone.

        “We had a lot of long downs, second or third and long,” Flick said. “Then the pass situation comes, and I or the team can't convert.”

        Still trailing 6-0 midway through the second quarter, Boone appeared ready to strike when Jason Parkey returned a punt 50 yards to the Tigers' 10. But a clipping penalty negated it, and King fumbled the ball on the ensuing play. Three plays later, Price scored on a 9-yard run to make it 12-0.

        To ad to the frustration: Boone, driving for a potential score, had a first down called back by penalty because a Rebel didn't have his mouthpiece in.

        Defending King was key. After missing most of the first three games with a shoulder injury, King totaled 1,486 yards and 20 TDs the next seven games. Boone went 5-2 in that span, losing only to Bryan Station and No.4 Lexington Henry Clay.

        “We did what we had to do: stop King and not get burned by the pass,” Fern Creek coach Russ Gibson said. “We changed our defense to put our star linebacker, Charles Ricketts, in position to hit (King) every time.”

        King finished with 1,697 yards and 21 TDs in nine games.

        Boone is bound to be better in 2000. It loses starters in just three of the 22 starting spots. Much of the junior class started last year and will be third-year starters.

        “It was important for us to get back in the playoffs this year,” Thompson said. “These kids have a lot of good football in front of them.”

        Said junior running back Brian Gregory: “We want to go undefeated. This can be a championship team next year.”

        Boone County ....... 0  0  0  0— 0

        Lou. Fern Creek ....... 6  6  0  0—12

        FC—Price 39 pass from Embry (kick blocked)

        FC—Price 9 run (pass failed)

        Records: Fern Creek 8-3, Boone County 5-6.


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Bellbrook 30, Purcell Marian 15
Centerville 35, Mason 31
Cincinnati Country Day 33, Mechanicsburg 7
Edgewood 63, McNicholas 28
Elder 14, Oak Hills 0
Huber Heights Wayne 18, Fairfield 14
Indian Hill 26, Madeira 14
Ironton 28, Wyoming 14
Kings 32, Vandalia Butler 23
Lebanon 17, Springboro 0
New Richmond 42, London 32
St. Xavier 49, Moeller 32
Twin Valley South 25, Batavia 20
Wheelersburg 30, Badin 7
Beechwood 44, Raceland 12
Bellevue 55, Paris 20
Garrard County 28, Newport 27
Highlands 68, Anderson County 14
Holmes 41, Franklin Co. 25
- Lou. Fern Creek 12, Boone Co. 0
Ludlow 37, Nicholas County 24
Newport Central Catholic 35, Berea 13