Both Frankfort and Western Hills football teams are trying to rebound from losses in last Friday’s contests.
FHS (3-1) absorbed a tough loss from Franklin County 62-30, while Western Hills (0-4) fell 49-20 in a close first-half battle to Owen County.
Head coach Craig Foley said the Panthers put last week “completely behind them,” and instead of looking ahead, they’re focusing on fixing themselves first.
“We’re just trying to take care of some of things we’re doing,” Foley said. “Take care of ourselves first. We’ll talk with our kids about how Western Hills will come out later, how they have nothing to lose and everything to gain.”
Foley said the conversations about improvement will be nothing new for his team, but will be emphasized a little bit more, including ball security.
Senior quarterback Chris Hawkins was 7-for-26 passing for 136 yards, two touchdowns and four interceptions against FCHS. Backup Anthony Robinson closed out the game completing 7-for-11 with one touchdown and 146 yards.
“Chris took last week hard,” Foley said. “He’s stepped up and accepted a lot of the responsibility off of it. I’m anxious to see how this week goes practice wise. I know yesterday in practice, he was pretty determined, pretty focused. It may have lit a fire underneath him again.
“I think the team realized it wasn’t their best football and they’ll come out this week ready to play.”
Holding onto the ball is also something WHHS has struggled with since the beginning on the season. In the last two weeks, the Wolverines have fumbled the ball four times and thrown two interceptions leaving WHHS winless this season.
Foley said he expects the Wolverines to come out hungry for that first win on Friday.
“We’ll have to step up and meet the challenge,” he said. “They have a good little squad and they’ve had some injuries here and there that has kind of derailed them a little bit. It is one of those city rivalry games where they are going to come out full speed ahead and we’ll have to come out and match the intensity they’ll bring.”
Wolverine head coach Don Miller said that’s exactly right — they are ready for a win.
“We’re 0-4 right now,” he said. “The kids are working really hard right now. We’re doing everything we can. We just have a bunch of freshmen and sophomores playing right now because of injuries.”
Sophomore Nick Lockett, last year’s leading rusher and scorer, tore his posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) in the first game of the season. Miller said he isn’t sure when Lockett will return, but he’ll get reevaluated next week.
Sophomore Hunter Clark is out for the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). Center Trey Drury has been practicing, but Miller said he’s still not 100 percent. It’s a laundry list of key injuries that goes on and on.
“I think we’re coming along,” Miller said. “I keep telling the guys the biggest thing is we just want to get better each week and hopefully we’ll be tough to beat by the time the district gets here.”
For those who remain healthy like leading tackler Zach Hart and running back Casey McLean, Miller is asking them to step up and match the speed that FHS has.
“Offensively, we’re trying to keep with what we’ve been doing overall scheme wise,” Miller said. “We’re pushing to improve it. Defensively, we’re trying to eliminate big plays, work on cut backs and try to mimic the speed that Franklin County and Frankfort have.
“The biggest thing for us is to control the clock and on defense, we’ve got to take really good angles.”
And it’s speed that Foley hopes will give FHS a win at home on Friday night at 7:30 p.m.
“I don’t think it’ll be different from any other week,” he said. “We’re just going to try to get into the open space and let our speed take over at that point.”