The only football game in the Bluegrass tonight is at Steele Stadium, as the Owensboro Catholic Aces host the Hopkins County Central Storm at 7 p.m.
The Aces are coming off of a 21-13 win over Ohio County, while the Storm fell to Todd County Central — a district foe of Catholic.
Catholic head coach Jason Morris and his team have been through a lot this year but he said the players are feeling good going into Week Two.
“It’s been upbeat,” he said. “Our kids are really excited to get back to work this week. It’s like all the hard work and dedication they put in to making this season happen made it feel almost worth it to pull out that win. All the stuff we’ve preached about, trying to win through our conditioning, really came out in the fourth quarter and felt like we wore the opponent down.”
Without scrimmages or 7-on-7, the Aces — like every other team in the state — knew there could be some rust early in the season.
Morris said effort is something that can win games, and it did for them Friday.
“We weren’t very sharp and that was to be expected,” he said. “I think in the end it was our conditioning that won the game so that was really exciting to see for our players.”
For the Aces to still push through and win despite not playing their best football, Morris said that’s something they can have in their back pocket.
“It let me know what I already knew about my kids and how resilient they are,” he said. “They’ve overcome so much adversity and they’re just tough, hard-nosed kids. The main thing they’ve done is stuck together. They’re playing for each other and it’s not about themselves … If they’ll continue to build on that attitude and go to work every day, we have a chance to have a very successful season.”
Lincoln Clancy was 10-of-18 for 98 yards and a pick in the passing game in Friday’s win, but Morris said Clancy is going to play a big part in the offense this season.
“Last year’s offense was we threw the ball around to our playmakers,” he said. “(Former quarterback Drew Hartz’s) job was to get it our playmakers as quickly as possible. This year, Lincoln is one of our playmakers so the offense changes in the fact it’s going to be a lot more quarterback-based runs and those kinds of things developed into the offense. As far as our passing game, we’re still expecting Lincoln to get the ball out accurately to our athletes in space.”
A Hopkins County Central standout performer stands tall in senior quarterback Adrian Stringer.
In last week’s loss to the Rebels, Stringer threw for nearly 400 years and had four touchdowns through the air.
Morris said he sees some similarities to their squad last season.
“We faced a kid like that for the last three years in Drew Hartz in practice,” he said. “Very similar type of passing style … We also understand because we had a quarterback like Drew Hartz that sometimes the quarterback just wins and we just got to make sure we limit the big plays and make them snap the ball over and over.”
Although he had the hot hand last week, Stringer now will throw into a defense that had two interceptions last week, as John Roberts III and Braden Mundy had one each in the opener for the Aces.
Mundy also added two touchdowns on the ground. Clancy added 61 yards and a score running the ball.
On defense, the Aces had players with double-digit tackles in Christopher Boarman (11) and Welsey Bowlds (10).