By GREG MENGELT
FLOYDS KNOBS —
The season didn’t start so well for Floyd Central or Providence.
A week ago, both teams struggled to do anything against top-notch opponents. On Friday, the Highlanders and Pioneers are looking forward at a second shot to get their first win.
“If we could have a re-do, that would be great,” Providence coach Larry Denison said about his team’s 28-0 loss at New Albany last Friday. “We know that’s not possible. We just didn’t play as well as we’d hoped. Obviously, a lot of it had to do with New Albany. They’re a good team, but I think nerves got to us a little bit and things compounded on themselves. Hopefully, we got things straightened out and we’ll give Floyd a much better game.”
“You want to get out there as soon as you can and correct the errors that you made,” Floyd Central coach Brian Glesing said. “And we’re playing a rival that beat us last year. If you can’t get up for this game, there’s something wrong with you.”
Both teams believe that they’re better than they showed a week ago when they were beaten by a combined 74 points. And both coaches believe Friday’s opponent in the News and Tribune Game of the Week is stronger than it showed on opening Friday.
“They know they didn’t have their best game, either,” Glesing of the Pioneers’ road loss to rival New Albany. “It’s going to be a couple of 0-1 teams hungry for their first win.”
“You have to consider who they played,” Denison said of Floyd’s 62-16 loss to Louisville Male — one of the top programs in Kentucky. “They’re a good ballclub and they’re well-coached. You can’t base it on the score. They’re a very strong team. We’ll have to play very, very well to beat those guys.”
Both teams did play better second halves last Friday. After falling behind 21-0 at the half, the Pioneers were only beaten by seven points in the second half to New Albany.
After Male opened with 42 unanswered points against the Highlanders, Floyd was only outscored 20-16 by the Bulldogs in the second half.
“The second half, they only beat us three touchdowns to two,” Glesing said. “So we were kind of excited about the way we came out in the second half. We made some things happen. Yes, we were out-manned, but I thought our kids played hard to the end.”
Both programs are known for their great running games throughout the years. Both teams expect to be known for running the football in 2013. However, both struggled to do so in week one.
The two coaches agree that the team that can establish the run on Friday will most likely be the side that comes out with their first win.
“Hopefully, we can keep the chains moving and get the running game going,” Denison said. “Last week, our passing game wasn’t very good, either, and it allowed New Albany to pin their ears back and come after our runners. We need to keep possession of the clock. I thought our defense played well [against New Albany]. But we kept giving them chance after chance, and eventually a team that good is going to get to you.”
“We won’t be any good if we don’t have a good running game,” Glesing said. “We’ve got to be able to establish the run. It was tough against a good Male team, and it’s going to be hard against a good Providence team.”
Glesing expects Providence to try to come out and run the ball.
A year ago in the Pioneers’ 27-19 victory, Floyd’s Garry Posey rushed for 203 yards, but Providence carried the ball for more than 350 yards, including three TD runs by Owen Mattingly.
Glesing knows his Highlanders will have to do a better job slowing the Pioneers on Friday.
“They’re going to try to run the ball like they have against us the past couple of years,” Glesing said. “They didn’t show it very well against New Albany. But against Floyd Central, they’re going to line up and run the football. That’s what they can do and that’s what we have to stop.”