Following a year off from this City/County rivalry, Daviess County and Owensboro Catholic are set to go toe-to-toe in front of a rowdy crowd.
The Panthers are coming off a big season-opening win on the road in which they defeated Meade County 30-0.
The win marked their first shutout in seven years, with Parker Crews leading the defense with two interceptions.
While they played well offensively, turnovers kept them converting on more scoring chances, something Daviess County will hope to rectify in this week’s game.
In front of their home crowd for the first time in over a year, Head Coach Matt Brannon expects a huge crowd for an intense game.
“We expect it to be an electric atmosphere,” Brannon said. “It’ll be something we haven’t experienced in a couple of years. City/County games are always great games, and we expect this to be the same. Catholic is coming off a tough loss, and we know they will give us their best effort. Rivalries are always hard fought, and with the game getting cancelled last year, our guys can’t wait to mix it up with the Aces again.”
Daviess County will be looking to limit Braden Mundy offensively, knowing that he can single handedly change a game no matter where he is on the field.
“We know that Braden Mundy is a player that needs to be identified every snap,” Brannon said. “He is a dynamic player that can score from anywhere on the field when he touches the ball.”
Brannon also knows that it will be a physical game with the young scrappy defense the Aces have, so they’ve focused on conditioning this week given the heat they will play in as well.
“We have really harped on conditioning, hydration, and nutrition this week,” Brannon said. “Adrenaline and emotions will be high, and with extreme temperatures we want our players to be at their peak on Friday.”
Brannon said that it won’t be easy, but if their defense can carry its momentum from last week into this matchup and limit their turnovers, they can start the season 2-0.
“We also want to continue our aggressive play on defense,” Brannon said. “They are a little more dynamic than Meade County and we have to tackle well. We must also eliminate turnovers on the offensive side of the ball. We need to capitalize on turnovers and put points on the board when the defense or special teams get us the ball back.”
Meanwhile, Owensboro Catholic is coming off of a tough loss to Apollo. The Aces fell to the Eagles 44-27, as their defense couldn’t string together stops.
However, there were some bright spots in the game, including Mundy offensively. He ran a kickoff back for a touchdown in the game while also catching three passes for 83 yards and a touchdown. He’ll look to keep that momentum going despite the Eagles focusing on him.
They will look to find more success through the air as that was a weak point with only six completions on the night, but with 102 rushing yards from Hunter Monroe.
Despite opposing quarterback Joe Humphries only having 90 yards passing in their season opener, Morris knows that they will be facing a talented team with him under center leading the way.
“Daviess County has a very big offense and defense line,” Morris said. “They are underrated on both sides of the ball up front. They have good athletes on offense and defense as well. They also have a Division I quarterback in Joe Humphries who makes things happen for them.”
With a game under their belt, Morris expect younger players to step up when needed and said the team needs to stand their ground defensively.
“I am hoping that we see a lot of improvement on third downs defensively this week,” Morris said. “We need for our young players to grow up fast and do their jobs to get off the field on defense without giving up points.”
All in all, after taking some bumps and bruises that hindered them last week, Owensboro Catholic is ready to go work Friday night.
“Injuries and terrible luck struck our team in week one,” Morris said. “We’ve had a great week of practice and I look forward to seeing our team perform this Friday.”
The two are set to go to battle at 8 p.m. on Friday night, as the game was moved back an hour because of the forecasted heat.