By Bob Flynn
Register Sports Writer
The Berea Community Pirates (1-3) will be looking for their second-consecutive victory when they take on Jackson County (1-3) today in the first-ever Battle of Big Hill Bowl in McKee.
Game time is set for 7:30 p.m.
The Pirates are coming off a big 47-14 win over Bracken County last week.
In the win, Berea cut down on the turnovers, something that plagued the team earlier in the year, and had a much more balance offensive attack thanks to an improved passing game.
Berea coach Adam Coleman said some minor adjustments, including spreading the formation out a little, attributed to the improved offense. But a major factor was the improvement by his receivers.
“In the past couple of years, we’ve been dependent on throwing the ball to one or two guys. The last couple of games we’ve had about seven or eight different guys catching the football,” Coleman said. “Not only are they stepping up and catching it, but now we are not just zeroing in on one guy because there are other guys out there to throw it to, so they have to pay attention to everyone now.”
In the win over Bracken County, Jason Strong rushed for three touchdowns, Kevin Reed threw three touchdowns and Cory Mowery had a rushing TD. Deondre Tate had two receiving touchdowns and C.J. Isaacs also caught a TD pass.
Jackson County is coming off a 36-0 loss to Estill County last week.
The Generals are a veteran team led by junior quarterback D.J. Stone, senior running backs Johnny Himes and Austin Hundley and senior receivers William Wilson and Travis Fox.
Jackson County is a power running team and Coleman said he expects them to line up and run right at the Pirates.
“They usually don’t throw the ball more than seven to eight times a game and then it’s usually trying to hit you when you are not expecting it,” Coleman said. “They are pretty big and strong up front, but I think we match up with them skill wise and speed wise. The most important thing for us is not giving them any running lanes and not letting them get any push up front. We’ve got to stay down low to be successful.”
This is the inaugural Battle of Big Hill Bowl. The game will be played in Berea next year and alternate sites after that.