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The Shelby County football team has its final tune-up for district play tonight.
The Rockets, who are coming off their second open date, play at Frankfort at 7:30.
“You hope to go into your district on a positive,” said Shelby County Coach Todd Shipley, whose team begins Class 5A, District 4 play at North Bullitt next week.
In addition to trying to build momentum for district play the Rockets (3-1) will try to carry over the momentum from their rain-soaked, 19-13 comeback victory over Ryle on Sept. 20.
Class A Frankfort (3-2), which graduated several of its key skill position players from last year’s 11-2 squad, lost its season-opener to Shelby County’s district rival Bullitt East, 21-7, in the Death Valley Bowl before beating Green County, 25-8. Rival Franklin County then peppered the Panthers, 51-36, before they rebounded by beating Western Hills, 31-14, and Lexington Christian, 21-2.
Franklin County (6-0) and Bullitt East (5-1), both in 5A, have a combined 11-1 record.
“Against Bullitt East, a ball-control team, they played right with them, and against Franklin County, a high-flying team, they scored right with them,” Shipley said. “They’re a very solid club.…They’re very athletic.”
Frankfort’s offense is led by junior running back Jalen Washington and sophomore quarterback Anthony Robinson.
Washington is the team’s top rusher (47 carries for 165 yards and two touchdowns) and top receiver (19 catches for 223 yards and one TD).
“Number seven, Jalen Washington, is a heck of an athlete,” Shipley said. “They find a variety of ways to get him the ball, and he’s very effective when he gets it.”
Robinson, meanwhile, has completed 57 of 118 passes for 720 yards and seven touchdowns with four interceptions. He threw for 270 yards and four TDs in the loss to Franklin County.
The Panthers’ defense, which is allowing 19.2 points per game, is led by senior defensive back J.J. Jones (34 tackles) and junior linebacker Isaiah Jackson (33 tackles).
“Number one, we can’t kick it to number seven [Washington],” Shipley said. “We’ve also got to quit putting the ball on the ground. Offensively, we’ve just got to move the chains. Defensively, we’re going to have to get pressure on the quarterback.…We’ve also got to do a good job tackling.
“In a game like this special teams are going to be crucial. They’ve got athletes, and they’re going to be well-coached. So we’ve got to be ready for anything.”