Bullitt East relied on its pressure defense and a running game that was just good enough to defeat rival Bullitt Central 22-8 Friday night.
The Chargers improved to 2-5 on the season while the Cougars fell to 4-3.
Bullitt Central entered the game with the state’s leading passer in Cameron Dukes and leading receiver in Chase Craddock. Bullitt East dared them to pass in the rough weather conditions, and it paid off for them to the tune of eight sacks and three fumble recoveries, one of which resulted in a touchdown.
“That’s the way we play, whether it’s dry and 75 degrees or what we had out there tonight,” said Bullitt East head coach Darrell Vincent. “We try to create havoc and the kids get fired up, they love to play that way.”
It almost cost them early when Dukes hit on a 45-yard pass play from midfield. But Zach Jones was able to make the touchdown saving tackle, which turned out to be huge as the Chargers were unable to score.
With 1:27 left in the first quarter, Dukes fumbled the ball in his own end zone. The Bullitt East defense recovered and led 7-0. Dukes also fumbled a punt attempt in the first half.
Bullitt East’s offense finally joined the fray with a drive in the second quarter that culminated with a Justin Defler three-yard run to make it 14-0. The home underdog was suddenly the more confident, competent team.
Bullitt Central responded with their lone scoring drive of the night. Dukes went back to pass, then ran it in from the 15-yard line for a touchdown. He then hit Craddock for a two-point conversion that made it 14-8.
The two teams traded possessions throughout the third quarter and half of the fourth before Bullitt East took a commanding lead. Allen Miles’ 20-yard touchdown run made it 20-8 with 5:11 and the Charger defense, fittingly ended the scoring with a safety two minutes later when Dukes was called for intentional grounding in his own end zone.
The Chargers tried to pass the ball one time the entire game. They played conservative football on offense and gambled on defense and it paid off for them as they upset their US44 rivals.