Coach Van Isaac and the Adair County High School Indians have already overcome one of their fiercest opponents of the season, and the victory wasn’t even on the football field.
The Indians were scheduled to visit Glasgow High School Friday for a big Class 3A match up. However, due to the coronavirus, that game had to be canceled. Adair County, Isaac said, will now visit Berea High School.
“I wanted to play and Glasgow wanted to play,” Isaac said. “However, Barren County is in the red zone (for COVID-19). Our school has a rule that if another county is in the red zone, we can’t play. We’re following recommendations.”
The game in Berea Friday is slated for 6:30 p.m. CST.
“We got very lucky,” Isaac said. “Berea was scheduled to play Caverna, but Caverna is also in Barren County. So, we just decided to pick each other up.”
Adair County heads into the contest with a 1-2 slate. The Indians opened the year with losses to Metcalfe County and Rockcastle County before picking up their first win last Friday with a 26-16 victory over Hart County. Berea, on the other hand, is winless on the year. The Pirates lost to Sayre, Harlan and Clinton County.
“I have seen film on a couple of Berea’s games and I think I know enough to be able to tell what we’ve got coming,” Isaac said. “They’re going to be a four-wide team and they’re going to try and spread you out to run the ball.”
Isaac said his defense will match athlete on athlete with Berea. The Indians will go wide when the Pirates spread things out, but the key he said will be reading the flow of talented BHS quarterback Jayson Coburn.
“The quarterback can only do three things,” the coach said. “The ball can go down and he can hand it off. The ball can go up and he can pass it. The third thing is he can go down with the ball, fake it and then come up and pass it. Our eyes have to be in the backfield.”
The Adair County offense struggled early this season, but seemed to kick things into gear last Friday with an impressive win over Hart County.
“Offensively, we’re going to just be us. We’re not going to change anything,” said Isaac. “We’re a Wing T team. With that being said, ever since I have been coaching we’ve had a spread package in. (On Friday) I would like to see us take a step forward and really work on throwing the ball a little.”
Isaac also praised his offensive line – Bert Soto, Joshua Smallwood, Jake Smith, Elliott Biggs and Brayden Burton – for the development it has shown this year and the impact it had in Friday night’s win.
“Our offensive line is getting better and better and that is where you win or lose a game,” Isaac said. “I would like to give credit to line coach Josh Smith. They’re getting better each week, we just have to keep it going.”
Now, the Indians focus their sights on the Pirates and competing for their second straight victory. Something they haven’t done since 2016.
“A win on Friday night would be huge for us,” Isaac said. “I don’t know the last time we’ve won two in a row. Unfortunately, these guys haven’t won a lot in their careers, but this group needs to understand how to win and they need to believe they can win. Getting two in a row and getting on a roll would be huge for the mental part of our team. The kids have to believe they can win every time they step on the field.”
By Scott Wilson
Photos take Friday, Sept. 25 at Indians vs. Hart County game.
Photos by Diana Withers