Owensboro looks to grab first win on the road over Apollo

August 26, 2021 | 12:05 am

Updated August 26, 2021 | 12:24 pm

Owensboro football will be looking to avenge its season-opening loss on the road when they visit Apollo on Friday, while the Eagles will look to move to 2-0 overall in front of its home crowd.

The Red Devils are coming off a hard-fought game in which Saint Xavier came away with a 51-38 victory.

Wimsatt was sharp against the Tigers, converting 23-37 passing attempts for 282 yards and two passing touchdowns, while rushing for 58 yards and a touchdown.

Jeremiah Goodwin and Tramel Barksdale also had big games offensively, as Goodwin had 125 receiving yards and a touchdown on six receptions, while Barksdale ran for 107 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries.

Coming into their matchup with the Eagles Friday, Owensboro Head Coach Jay Fallin knows they will be taking on a disciplined squad.

“Coach Edge is in his second year there and he’s got himself established in the system he wants to run offensively and defensively,” Fallin said. “His guys are well-coached. “They don’t make mistakes. They do what they’re supposed to do.”

Fallin said that the team feels like they did a solid job against Saint X physically last week, but the mental side of the game has to be stronger this week.

“We felt we had a great physical effort against Saint X and we did a lot of good things physically, but we have to clean up the mental aspect of our game,” Fallin said. “We have to cut out some penalties and cut out giving up third down conversions on defense through great focus.”

Fallin said following the game with the Tigers last week that they would need to get their conditioning back in order and they’ve tried to do that this week, focusing on getting reps in rather than just sprints and things of that nature in order to put players in the best shape possible come Friday night.

“It’s been a tough week to try to do it because of the heat,” Fallin said. “But we have delayed practice Tuesday and Wednesday like most everybody… “We delayed practice until about 7 p.m. so we could get a good two-hour practice in outside and it’s just gonna be a process. But we’ve really tried to push the tempo in practice this week.”

For them to come away victorious, Fallin said they have to try to limit Apollo’s strong game in the backfield and be prepared for a number of schemes defensively.

All in all, Fallin expects his team to pay close attention to detail under the Friday night lights this week and stay calm under pressure.

“We just have to control what we can control,” Fallin said. “We have to stay ahead of the chains on offense and clean up some of the holding penalties that we had last week. We have to protect the ball. We didn’t have any turnovers last week and we need to continue that this week. We need to finish drives when we get in the redzone and score points. Then defensively we just have to do a better job of playing our assignments.”

Meanwhile,  Apollo is coming off a big season-opening win on the road Owensboro Catholic. They topped the Aces 44-27, with Christian Combs leading the charge with four touchdowns on 290 yards passing while tallying 68 yards on the ground.

Noah Rhinerson also had a big game, turning six receptions into 128 receiving yards, catching three touchdown passes and also earning a rushing touchdown.

While they have the momentum of coming into the game off of a win, Head Coach John Edge said that Owensboro will be just as gassed up for the game.

“Owensboro is a great team who’s coming off a loss against St. X,” Edge said. “I think they will be ready to play. “

Stopping the Red Devils offense will be the Eagles biggest challenge, something the team has emphasized while studying fila and in practice.

“They are a very fast football team that can get the ball out to their playmakers out in space,” Edge said. “Of course it starts with Gavin Wimsatt. Great arm and can really throw it well. Then Carbon and Barksdale in the backfield make a challenge to stop the run.”

Edge said that their three points of emphasis that they will have to key on to come away victorious is forcing turnovers and scoring off of them, while also limiting any unforced errors. If they can do that, it’ll be an entertaining first home game of the season for Apollo.

“We will have a great atmosphere at the new stadium and a great game,” Edge said.

The Eagles and Owensboro are set to take the field at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, as it was delayed due to forecasted heat.

August 26, 2021 | 12:05 am

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