With the NFL season opener later tonight, business is about to pick up (Thanks JR!!).
Ok, so there is no mountain connection between the two teams, and there is no UK connection, unless you want to count the fact that the Giants released the last two quarterbacks to play at UK in Jared Lorenzen and Andre' Woodson (does that mean that The G-Men will draft Mike Hartline when he graduates?, haha). Anyways, tonight's game will kick off the NFL season and finally all levels of football will officially be underway. So since this is a blog and I have more freedom to be a fan, I will start by saying, yes I am from New York and yes I am a Giants fan, so I expect to see some good things out of the Giants, even with the losses of Michael Strahan and Osi Umenyiora. It will be the offense that will need to really step up and be the leaders of this team this year.
(On an side note, I know that Peter O'Connor in is Fantasy Football Blog will say that the Giants defense is week this year, especially now that I have their defense in my fantasy league and am playing him this first week.)
Eli Manning became a man over the summer (yup, he got married). Not only could you see a difference from him on the field last year, especially in the playoffs, but now he has the chance to be a vocal leader. He is two years removed from Tiki Barber and now losses the vocal leader on defense, Strahan. So, now Manning will be forced to be more of a leader either way.
As far as high school football is concerned. There more big games in the mountains, but I will briefly discuss the games that I will be seeing Friday night. St. Thomas More vs. #3 Johnson Central
Just in case you have not heard, Golden Eagles head coach Jim Matney put out an open challenge during the off-season for all-comers. But I guarantee that Matney had no idea that he would get a reply back from the Canadian National Champs in the Knights of St. Thomas More. Actually, I know he didn't as he told be earlier this year that he wishes he could take it back, but Matney and the team is not backing down. They are confident that they can come away with a win on Friday. This is going to be a great game and I am really excited to see this one go down.
Now, I know that there are a lot of people who are skeptical about St. Thomas More, and say that football in Canada is a completely different game. I have not seen this team play before but I do know that if you are the best team in a country, you have to be somewhat good. Now I know most people will debate that the best team in China could not beat the USA basketball team and so forth and so on, but give the team a little credit before seeing them. I can talk about the numbers though.
*The Knights have won 18 games in a row.
*In their 7 regular season games last season, they shut out 4 of their opponents.
So look for a defensive battle, especially early on as you can can expect to see a chess match from the teams early on. But at the same time do not be surprised to see if either one of these teams go for the big play early to take away any kind of emotional momentum.
Either way, you know both teams will come out fired up and ready to represent their country. #6 Breathitt County vs. #5 Prestonsburg
This match-up is traditionally pretty good. You have two great coaching minds going head to head with John Derossett patrolling one sideline and Mike Holcomb patrolling the other. If last year's game is any indication of what is going to happen, then look for a low scoring game. Last year the Bobcats came away with the slight edge in the 12-7 win.
However, the Bobcats are coming off of a huge loss to Johnson Central last week, and now hold a two game losing streak counting back to last season. Even though it is a new year, I will be curious to see how Breathitt County handles this situation. In 2007 the Bobcats won 13 in a row before finally losing to Belfry. Now they begin the year 0-1. How will the kids bounce back from home loss to the Golden Eagles?
On the other sideline, the Prestonsburg Blackcats always come ready to play hard hitting and very aggressive football. They will be looking to put a beating on the Bobcats at Blackcat Stadium in front of the home fans. Coach Derossett always has an advantage as long as Allen Craynon and Seth Setzer are in the backfield causing havoc. The only problem this week, is they will be without their leading rusher in Craynon for yet again, another week. P'Burg was able to survive last week in their game with Paintsville, but how will they do this week without their stud runner taking snaps. And, oh by the way, did I mention the Blackcats had a short week with their game against Paintsville being this past Saturday.
So, that leave me with this one question. Can the Bobcats bounce back from starting the year with a loss and can the Blackcats still run their offense to near perfection even with the absence of their go to guy? The only thing I can guarantee is that a cat is going to win this game.
- Derek "Rock" Forrest