Early in the season Bryan Station football coach Oliver Lucas used a quote I thought was memorable. He said “my pups have grown up”. And, boy did they ever grow up last Friday night in Ft. Thomas.
Early in the season Bryan Station football coach Oliver Lucas used a quote I thought was memorable. He said “my pups have grown up”. And, boy did they ever grow up last Friday night in Ft. Thomas. Their opponent, the Highlands Bluebirds had been crushing people regularly in football all season, and inching their way to an undefeated record against Kentucky competition. Significant wins include defeating a very good Madison Central team 46-0, Lexington Catholic 41-0, and Covington Catholic 61-0. The defending State Champion Louisville Central was their next victim and they handed them a 28-0 loss.
Enter Bryan Station with its’ 6-4 record heading into their first game in 5-A playoff action against Highlands. Bluebird Coach Dale Mueller, warned his team about their first round opponent from Lexington. Mueller said that Bryan Stations was the best first round team they had faced in a long time. His apprehension proved to be prophetic. The Defenders were focused and played with desire and an intensity that hasn’t been seen in their program for a long time. Patrick Cornett rushed for 163 yards for the offense. Stations’ big offensive line of Chase Blackburn, Mike McKinley, Darien Miller and Kalib Ball led the surge. Muhammad Saifullah was sensational with 8 catches for over 100 yards. Kickers Jose Marin and Christian King combined for the games of their lives kicking three critical field goals. The last one by Jose put Station in the lead at 22-21 with a minute thirty to play in the fourth quarter.
The Bryan Station defense was very physical and they went after Highlands the entire game. Tackles Roy Philon, and Nick Cooper repeatedly penetrated the Highlands backfield. Linebackers Dharhan Mason, Kris Bolton and Octavian Crutcher were athletically too much for Highlands to match up with. Highlands quarterback Tony Guidugli said Station was the hardest hitting team they had faced all year. Unfortunately for Bryan Station, Guidugli found Austin Collinsworth wide open in the end zone with just 18 seconds left to play resulting in a Bluebird win. Collinsworth is the talented son of NBC Sports Analyst and former NFL great Chris Collinsworth.
Even though Bryan Station didn’t pull off what could have been the upset of the season, they did send a very strong message to the rest of the state that Bryan Station Football is back. Football teams will think twice about scheduling them for their senior night thinking they can pencil in a win. Congratulations go to Coach Lucas and the Defender community past and present, and especially those “pups” who have certainly grown up.