Bears flat against Cougars

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By John Shindlebower

The Spencer County Bears will kickoff the 2008 season this Friday night when they play host to Bullitt Central at 7:30. It will be an opportunity to not only avenge a loss from last season, but to make up for a lackluster performance in their final preseason scrimmage last week.

If the Bears are to get their season off on the right track, they’ll need to hit the field fired up against the Cougars, something that was not evident when they hosted Montgomery county for a scrimmage last Friday.

“I felt we were a little flat going into the Montgomery scrimmage,” said head coach Matt Powenski. “Our players are still learning that there isn’t a switch you can turn on and off. They need to be prepared for every game.”

During the first quarter of the scrimmage, the teams battled in a defensive stalemate, but in the second frame, Montgomery County was able to march down the field and score on a run from two-yards out.

Spencer County then threatened to answer quickly when they drove the ball inside the ten-yard line of the Indians, only to cough up the football and lose possession on a fumble. However, the defensive stand of the Bears over the next four plays may have been one of the most impressive series of the game, as Spencer County narrowly missed tackling the Indian quarterback for a safety twice, and finally forced the visitors to punt from deep in their own end zone.

In the second half, the Bears offense finally struck when Cameron Smith found a hole and then exploded into the open for a 47-yard touchdown run. Tyler Calvert’s extra point was straight down the middle and the Bears had evened the score at 7-7.

However, the Indians caught the Bears off guard on the very first play of their next possession, hitting on a 79-yard pass play for a touchdown to put the visitors back on top.

Then the varsity gave way to the JV who played out the remainder of the game.

Powenski said it’s not just preparation that his players need to improve on, but learning to trust each other as well.

“There’s a lack of confidence in each other. We need to learn to believe in the man next to you and trust that he is going to do his job.”

On a positive note, Powenski said the Bears’ young offensive line showed improvement over the previous week.

With a week to prepare, he’s hoping the lessons from last Friday will take hold and the Bears will take the field with the right attitude.

“Our kids have learned from their mistakes and are ready for Friday night.”

Bullitt Central spoiled Spencer County’s opener last year, taking a 20-7 victory, but then struggling to finish the year at 3-7. Spencer County bounced back from that loss to post a 6-4 regular season win.

Powenski said the Cougars are young but do have some experience returning. “They are big up front and have a talented backfield.”

Fans will be looking for the Bears to pay the Cougars back for last year’s opener, and to set the stage for a successful season.