Following a disappointing loss in a ESPNU televised game the previous weekend, Lexington Catholic welcomed Lafayette to Joseph K. Ford Stadium on Friday night. Ranked 4th in the most recent Class 4A poll, Lexington Catholic came into the contest hoping to make a statement against a Class 6A Lafayette squad.
The host Knights, led by senior quarterback Kyle Bolin, appeared to be set to make such a statement from the beginning, driving 70 yards on the game's opening possession. Bolin, a Scout.com 4-star prospect who has verbally pledged to play at Louisville, gave his team the early advantage, capping the drive off with a 4-yard touchdown run.
Then the defense of both teams took over. The only scoring for the remainder of the first half came on a 48-yard fumble return by Lafayette junior defensive back Toryam Whiting.
Bolin struggled throwing during the first half, completing just 5 of 16 attempts, with two interceptions. Despite finding it difficult through the air, Bolin was effective on the ground, compiling over 50 yards and a score in the first half.
"My jaw locked up during the first drive and it was aching all game," Bolin said. "I had that on my mind and I didn't make the best decisions. Sometimes, when you aren't completing the balls you should, you need to go at it a different way and that's what I did tonight."
The second half of play filled the evening highlights for the Knights. The defense held Lafayette without a score, while the offense added another 35 points to the scoreboard.
Bolin rushed for an additional two touchdowns, while also connecting on a 4-yard pass to Anthony Kersey for another score.
"We came back with a fire in us in the second half and made a statement for Lexington Catholic," said Bolin following the 42-7 victory. "It's great to get another win tonight. This game helped us gain a lot of confidence on both sides of the ball."
The second half numbers for the future Cardinal are more what observers would expect. During the second half, the 6-foot-3, 195-pound quarterback completed 5 of 8 for 77 yards and a touchdown, while also running for an additional 26 yards and two touchdowns.
"I'm not the kind of quarterback that will run the ball down your throat, but if you give me a seam, I'm going to take it," he said of his running ability. "I'm elusive and quick, so I'm able to get by and make some people miss. I may not win the 40-yard dash, but I can get the yards that I need."
Bolin will be among the many high school prospects visiting Louisville on Sunday for the 25th-ranked Cardinals season opener against rival Kentucky.
"I think the atmosphere is going to be crazy," said Bolin. "The fans and the university are really excited for this year's football team because of the capabilities that they have. I can't wait to see and feel the atmosphere."
The Lexington product was the first to give Louisville head coach Charlie Strong a verbal commitment for this year's class of seniors. Since making his decision in September of last year, Bolin has been active in recruiting other top prospects to follow his lead to Derby City.
"I feel like I'm a quarterback and was the first commitment, so it's my responsibility to help get the people we need to play there."
Through three games, Bolin has thrown for 626 yards, 5 touchdowns and 4 interceptions, while completing 57% of his pass attempts. He is also his team's leading rusher, having gained 108 yards and 4 touchdowns on 24 carries.
While he has discussed his goals of winning a national championship and being a Heisman Trophy candidate while in college, he is now focusing on one specific goal.
"I don't set dreams and I think that anything that I want to accomplish is a possibility," he said. "I have to make the right decisions and work hard to get there. Right now the only thing on my mind is winning a state championship."