Oldham County and Male squared off in 5th Annual Oldham County Kickoff Classic on Saturday and ITV was on hand to view the action and watch a number of prospects from both squads.
<B>EXTRA:</B> <a href="http://louisville.theinsiders.com/2/171210.html"><B>ITV Gallery: Oldham County v. Male</b></a><img src="http://media.theinsiders.com/media/site_logo/premium.gif">
The Fifth Annual Oldham County Kickoff Classic was held on Saturday evening at South Oldham County High School. The tripleheader was capped by two teams ranked in the top ten in their respective classes.
North Oldham v. Christian Academy (ITV)
The opening contest had South Oldham facing North Bullitt, which South Oldham won 38-7. North Oldham, playing the school's first ever football game, faced Christian Academy in the second contest, with Christian Academy winning 39-14.
The nightcap had Louisville Male, ranked #2 in the Coaches Preseason Class 4A Poll, squaring off against Oldham County, which is ranked #8 in the Coaches Preseason Class 3A Poll. The game featured a number of prospects, including Oldham County's Brandon Gathof, Ryan Phillips and Kevin Bramblett and Male's Lamont Samuels, Steve McKinney, Steve Garr, Travis Watters, Doug Beaumont and Brian Anderson.
The game was one highlighted by offense, as both teams seemingly traded scores throughout the night, with two turnovers by Oldham County making the difference in the outcome.
Steve McKinney (ITV)
Leading 15-13, Oldham County fumbled on a possession near midfield, but Male was unable to capitalize on a 4th and long situation and turned the ball over on downs. Still leading 15-13, Male senior Steve McKinney intercepted a pass intended for Oldham County's Brandon Gathof. This time Male took advantage of the takeaway and took it's first lead of the game. Male added one additional touchdown and led 27-15 at the half.
Despite a few defensive stops by both teams early in the third quarter, the offense remained high in the second half. Male stretched its lead to 34-15 in the third quarter and then held off Oldham County in the fourth quarter for a 48-36 victory.
Brandon Gathof (ITV)
Oldham County Head Coach Mike Jackson frequently turned to Brandon Gathof
(6'3, 190) for an answer on offense. The talented athlete played multiple positions, lining up at receiver, running back, quarterback, defensive back and linebacker. The senior accounted for 221 total yards, as well as three touchdowns, two receiving and one passing. He was named Oldham County's Offensive Player of the Game for his efforts in the team's season opener.
(ITV spoke with Gathof following the game and will have more from him, including the latest on his recruiting in the coming days.)
Oldham County also has a pair of juniors in Kevin Bramblett and Ryan Phillips that will attract attention with continued performances like they turned in on Saturday night.
Ryan Phillips (ITV)
Bramblett (5'10, 180) plays both running back and linebacker for Oldham County, but could also project as a defensive back on the college level. He is an elusive runner with deception quickness and is a heavy hitter, who has a nose for the ball on defense. Against Male he rushed for 100 yards on 18 carries, scoring one touchdown. He also had two receptions, including one for a 36-yard touchdown.
Phillips (6'1, 180), who left the game during the third quarter with a minor injury, lines up at defensive back and receiver for the Colonels. On Saturday, Phillips was very impressive in the secondary, as he found a way to take part in what seemed the majority of defensive plays.
#5 Travis Watters (ITV)
Male was led by senior running back Travis Watters
. Watters (5'8, 150) was unstoppable out the backfield, amassing 140 yards in the first half alone. He showed the ability to hit the smallest of openings with great speed and has great field vision. He finished the evening with 226 rushing yards on 24 carries and three touchdowns and was named Male's Offensive Player of the Game. State school's such as Western Kentucky and Eastern Kentucky have expressed an interest in Watters.
Steve McKinney (6'3, 180) and Lamont Samuels (6'1, 245) are two additional Male seniors that are attracting area attention, both of whom have received letters from Louisville. McKinney, who plays both receiver and defensive back, was most impressive at cornerback, making multiple tackles and making one interception. Offensive lineman Lamont Samuels will play a key role for the Male running game all season long and proved his worth in the opener.
Male also has plenty of talented underclassmen, including junior receiver Steve Garr (6'2, 175), who shows some resemblance of former Male product and current Cardinal Montrell Jones. With great hands, speed and an impressive vertical, Garr is sure to be one of the top prospects in the Bluegrass State in 2004.
Brian Anderson (ITV)
Known for having great quarterbacks, Male debuted a new signal-caller against Oldham County in sophomore Brian Anderson
. Anderson (6'1, 175), was impressive in his first game behind center, completing 16 of 21 pass attempts for 178 yards, with one touchdown and one interception. He has a strong arm and size for a sophomore and with continued work in the weight room could develop into yet another highly recruited Male quarterback.
Male Head Coach Bob Redman could also have the city's best freshman in Doug Beaumont, who had four receptions for 71 yards and a touchdown on Saturday. Also a talented guard on the hardwood, Beaumont (5'8, 155) has excellent speed and appears to have a great knowledge of the game. As he continues to grow, he will be one to keep an eye on over the next few years.
Oldham County will travel to face Bowling Green on August 30th and Male will host a doubleheader next weekend playing against Hopkinsville, who is ranked 4th in the Coaches Preseason 3A Coaches Poll. Louisville St.X and Cincinnati Moeller will play in the opener at Male on the 29th.