All photos are © ITV, 2003.
One of the early surprises of the 2003 Kentucky High School football season has occurred on Crum's Lane in Louisville, as the Butler Bears have jumped out to a 3-0 start. With Trinity, Male and St. X falling to defeat last weekend, Butler promptly claimed the #1 ranking the latest AP Poll. Due to the impressive play by Butler, ITV chose the Eastern at Butler contest as this weeks Scouting Stop.
Our thought going into the game is that it would mirror the other games we have attended…a close, late in the fourth quarter victory. To our surprise, Butler quickly proved that they are worthy of a high ranking by dominating nearly the entire contest and cruised to a 42-14 victory over the visiting Eastern Eagles.
The game was orchestrated, by both teams, almost solely on the ground, as there were only a total of 17 pass attempts during the contest. Neither team punted during the first half, but two fumbles by Eastern proved costly.
Butler made their statement early by taking their opening drive the length of the field for a touchdown. The only pass during the drive was a 18 yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Chuck Rhudy to senior wideout Kenny Coleman, which gave the home team a quick 6-0 lead.
Following Eastern's first lost fumble of the game and less than two minutes following their first score, Butler once again scored, this time on a 16 yard touchdown run by tailback Antonio Drane.
Myron Pryor (ITV)
Butler once again utilized their effective rushing attack and scored on their next possession when Rhudy connected with tailback Chris Mills to up their lead to 21-7.
Eastern hurt themselves again by turning the ball over on a fumble late in the second quarter, which once again Butler converted into a touchdown. Their fourth scoring drive of the first half was highlighted by Drane's running, which culminated with a 4 yard touchdown run.
The second half turned into a defensive contest until midway through the fourth quarter when Eastern scored on a 13 yard touchdown run by reserve quarterback Michael Taylor.
#44 Antonio Drane scores (ITV)
With Pleasure Ridge Park, Manual, Male and St. X remaining on the schedule, Butler's toughest challenges lay ahead of them, but with their solid line play and strong ground attack the Bears could prove to be the team to beat down the stretch.
DL/OL Myron Pryor (6'1, 295) is a legit prospect and is deserving of the high interest that he is receiving from Louisville, Cincinnati, Kentucky, Indiana and others. The senior, who has offers from both IU and UK, displayed his athletic ability by playing both sides of the ball, including multiple carries at tailback.
(ITV spoke with Pryor following the contest and will have more on the Louisville prospect in the coming days)
OL Trey Murphy (6'3, 300) towers over the opposing defensive linemen.
Trey Murphy (ITV)
RB Antonio Drane (5'10, 200) is one of the best kept secrets in the City of Louisville. He has the ability to hit the holes hard, as well as bounce outside and elude defenders. The senior has good speed and keeps his legs moving upon contact, gaining additional yardage. Against Eastern he rushed for 192 yards on 32 carries, for an impressive per rush average of 6.0.
DL/OL Theondre Turner (6'1, 305) is a presence that you can't miss on either side of the ball. The most impressive trait of Turner, a senior, is his ability to play defensive end with his size. He has surprising speed and recorded multiple tackles for a loss.
One to keep an eye on:
Butler's Brian Terry (6'0, 200) is just a sophomore, but he already has great size. The defensive end is still learning proper techniques, but has great speed and could develop into a solid linebacker or defensive end.