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Last season Spencer County gave the Collins football team nearly all it wanted – for three quarters, anyway.
Then the Titans tallied two touchdowns in the final 12 minutes and rode a monster effort from Michael Brooks (113 rushing yards, one touchdown, 25 tackles, one forced and one recovered fumble), to a 21-0 blanking of the Bears in Taylorsville.
Brooks is gone, now a starting linebacker at Lindsey Wilson College, but Collins Coach Jerry Lucas expects another hard-fought game tonight when the Titans (2-2) host Spencer County (3-2) at 7:30 at Titans Stadium in the Class 4A, District 3 opener for both.
“Spencer County is a good football team,” said Lucas, whose team is coming off its bye week. “They are well-coached and are solid in all three phases of the game. They do a great job of running the Wing-T.”
The Bears are third in 4A in rushing, averaging 308 yards per game, and have four players averaging more than 61 yards per game.
Junior Shawn Boykin leads with 449 rushing yards (90 per game), and freshman running back Logan Holbrook is averaging 82, senior quarterback Trent Holbrook 67 (and leads the team with eight rushing touchdowns) and senior running back Chase Smith 61.
On the flip side the Bears rank third in 4A in rushing defense, yielding just 90 yards per game. In its 32-7 walloping of 5A Woodford County last Friday night Spencer rushed for 386 yards (124 by Smith and 117 by Logan Holbrook) and gave up just 31 yards on the ground.
“We are going to have to be discipline on defense and control the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball,” Lucas said.
Last year the Bears outgained the Titans, 219-201, on the ground as they used clock-eating drives to keep the ball out of the hands of the Collins offense. It’s a good bet Spencer will try a similar strategy tonight, considering the fact that Trent Holbrook has thrown only 20 passes through five games and has completed just five of those. Two of his throws have been intercepted.
It could be a game of contrasting styles, considering Collins ranks sixth in 4A in passing (206 yards per game) and the Bears are fourth in passing D (allowing only 65.2 ypg).
Junior quarterback Lawson Page is coming off a career game against 6A Eastern. He passed for 317 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 102 yards in the Titans’ 41-29 loss on Sept. 7. There is more on the line in this match-up, though.
“It is our first district game, which makes it a critical game for both teams,” Lucas said.
The Titans did have one setback in their week off. Sophomore Browning Becherer, one of the team’s top tacklers (24 stops), fractured his foot and will be out indefinitely.