.....Advertisement.....
.....Advertisement.....

Win or lose, it's just one game for both teams

-A A +A
By Josh Claywell

 

Jason Foley kept looking over his shoulder, trying to catch a glance of the scoreboard behind him.

Time must have been ticking by a little too fast for Taylor County’s football coach.

7:04 … 7:03 … 7:02 … 7:01 … 7:00. A look of concern came across Foley’s face. He knew the Cardinals were short on time.

One more glance behind him, this time at the score. It read Campbellsville 40, Taylor County 14.

The Eagles eventually walked away with a 40-20 victory in the Bobby Brockman Memorial Big Dawg Bowl on Dave Fryrear Field, their first in the crosstown rivalry game in three years.

The Cardinals showed some signs of life with 5:59 remaining, scoring their final touchdown of the night, but there would be no coming back from that 26-point deficit.

But Foley and his coaching staff tried to remain as upbeat as possible for their kids.

Sure, this game meant the winner would have bragging rights for an entire year — and who doesn’t love a little bragging rights? That’s what sports rivalries are all about, especially when it involves two teams that are close like the Eagles and Cardinals.

Foley knew it was important for his players to hold their heads high, no matter what transpired on the field.

And when it came time for the postgame handshake line, there were a few Cardinals walking around with their heads down and wondering what went wrong, but those things are going to happen after games like these.

The game didn’t go the way Taylor County hoped, with Campbellsville building a two-touchdown lead by halftime and then pulling away in the second half, but it’s one game in what both teams hope will be a very long season.

“It starts with practice,” Foley said after the game. “We really had a poor week of practice this week, and I’m not sure what happened. Give credit to Campbellsville; they’ve got a tremendous football team. I thought they played with tremendous heart, and we just didn’t have that fight that we needed and we didn’t have the preparation that we needed this week.”

In the grand scheme of things, this game mattered very little to either team. Since they compete in different classes, with Campbellsville in Class 1-A and Taylor County in 4-A, winning or losing this game should not have an impact on how the rest of the season unfolds.

Losing isn’t fun — especially to your chief rival — but the Cardinals need to put this game behind them. The Eagles can’t dwell on this win for too long, either.

Taylor County might have licked its wounds for a few days — after all, it is a rivalry game — but the Cardinals don’t need to let this loss put their season into a tailspin. It is one loss, and one loss does not define a season.

Foley will get his team regrouped. The important games are coming up, the ones the team needs to win to set itself up for a good postseason run.

Likewise, Campbellsville players need to put this game in the rearview mirror.

Hopefully you celebrated the win for a few days, because you definitely deserved to, and then moved on quickly.

“It’s huge,” Campbellsville coach Dale Estes said. “There’s been so much talk about this and that, they’ve got 60 kids and we’ve only got 25, and all this. But our kids played hard. It’s a huge win for us, and I’m just so proud of them.”

Don’t let one win trip you up. Remember what happened last year? The Eagles started 1-4, including a loss to Taylor County, but then reached the 1-A state semifinals.

Campbellsville didn’t let one loss get in its way last season. It can’t let one victory have the opposite effect this season.

Both teams can still have a great season, and both teams still hope to have a great year. Anything is possible after only three games. There is a lot of season left to be played and a lot can happen for both the Eagles and Cardinals.

Win or lose, don’t let one game change that.