For Christian County, it’s all about taking more positive steps.
Head coach Steve Lovelace doesn’t want to go backward in their matchup against Hopkinsville, he wants to build on last week’s victory and keep improving as a team in all facets.
“We need to do a whole lot of improving on blocking and tackling and doing our assignments, but we played hard and got after it,” Lovelace said. “I want to keep playing hard but I also want to keep improving.”
The Colonels, for the first time since 2015 season, are coming into the annual rivalry matchup after losing the previous year.
While the rivalry is always a big deal in the city, Lovelace said he has played this contest up like he would any other matchup.
“The kids and the fans do that all on their own,” he said. “Just for us, it’s about just trying to get better and just try to improve. … We’ve got to catch the ball. Donta has to make his reads and throw it. We have to do all the things that we didn’t do last Friday and get better this Friday.”
In order for the Colonels to come in a beat the Tigers, Lovelace believes they cannot allow Hoptown to put easy points on the board.
“We can’t give Hoptown easy scores,” he said. “Coach (Craig) Clayton’s offense is too good, Dustin’s (Lopez) defense is going to be ready to play.
“For us, we got to keep improving. We can’t go backward, we have to go forward.”
But while not giving up easy points is one thing, they also have to find a way to stop star wideout Reece Jesse.
Jesse only caught two passes last week, but those two catches went for 112 yards and two scores.
Lovelace said there is no stopping Jesse and he hopes they can neutralize him on Friday.
“He’s a really, really good player,” Lovelace said of Jesse. “Great kid, he’s got a great future ahead of him. It’s a challenge for us. … We can’t let Reece have a field day on us. You can’t stop him, you just try to do something to contain him and just keep it close.”
The Colonels will look back to L’Ray Coleman to make the plays. Coleman ran for over 200 yards in the win over Madisonville-North Hopkins.
County will go to him once again on Friday in hopes to come away with the win.
Lovelace said Coleman is still working to get into football shape, as he put on some weight due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The head coach thinks he’ll be just fine.
“We’re just trying to get him in shape,” Lovelace said. “But he’s just working and trying to get better.”
County and Hoptown will kick off at 7 p.m. on Friday at the Stadium of Champions.