Collins is more than ‘pretty good’

Collins quarterback Kenyon Goodin looks for a receiver against Jeffersontown as Athyin Higgins (left) and Jackson Dattilo (55) block. Goodin threw for 155 yards and four touchdowns. He also ran for a score and returned an interception for another score in the Titans’ 50-0 win.

Titan coach Jerry Lucas prepares his players for life with ‘Titan Five’ and ‘Core Four’

By John Herndon, 110forChrist.com

SHELBYVILLE – It was early in the second quarter and Collins already had its game with Jeffersontown in hand when Titans’ football coach Jerry Lucas spotted me taking pictures near his team’s bench.

He reached out to shake my hand then leaned over to say, “No. 8 is pretty good.”

It was a monumental understatement. I had seen that No. 8, Collins quarterback Kenyon Goodin several times throughout his career, first as a freshman wide receiver, then as a multi-threat quarterback leading one of Kentucky’s most explosive offenses.

Collins High School football coach Jerry Lucas. He is the only coach the program has ever had. (All photos by John Herndon.)

Hitting the running clock less than two minutes into the second quarter, Collins overpowered the visitors for a 50-0 win. Goodin only ran the ball once. It went for a 23-yard touchdown. He completed 14-of-19 passes for 155 yards and four scores. And for good measure, Goodin intercepted a pass and returned it 23 yards for six.

Pretty good indeed. 

And despite the fact that J-town had only won once in the last 15 games, you could say the entire Collins team, now 3-0, is pretty good as it heads into its first major test Friday at Spencer County, also 3-0.

No one expected J-town to pull off a monumental upset but Collins quickly made sure there would be no funny business Friday.

The Titans needed less than three minutes to go 65 yards for the first score. By the end of the first quarter, it was 21-0. Then on successive plays from scrimmage, Collins scored on a 51-yard punt return from Darius Evans and Goodin’s interception return. When Goodin connected with Evans for the two-point conversion, the running clock was in effect only 13:30 into the game.

Collins’ Darius Evans returns a punt 51 yards for a touchdown against Jeffersontown.

Rest assured the Collins Titans are pretty good too.

“I thought we did a really good job tonight of controlling the line of scrimmage and not allowing them to get started,” Lucas said. “We had a good week of practice, probably the best week we’ve had since we got started. Our kids were focused. We talk to our kids all the time. Our first stage is about us, not the opponent. We can get better every week and I thought we were better tonight.”

It’s the expectation at Collins: Excellent effort every time out and integrity in all things.

“We have our Titan Five,” Lucas explained. “No. 1 is ‘Do the Right Thing.’ No. 2 is ‘Work  Hard. ’No. 3 is overcome adversity. No. 4 is ‘Find a Way.’ And No. 5 is ‘Finish Strong.’ We go over that and our kids say it every single day when we start practice and when we finish practice.”

Collins’ defensive back Quinten Wooten (10) prepares to defend against Jeffersontown. The Collins defense held J-town to 0 net yards.

For Lucas, it’s about more than football. The Titan Five is designed as guidelines whether the student-athlete is on the field, in the classroom or visiting a Shelbyville store or restaurant. The Titan Five is about life itself.

“We want to have relationships with our kids,” Lucas continued. “We want to have fun with them and we hope we can be a positive impact.”

Those relationships are a natural extension of Jerry Lucas’ deep faith in Jesus Christ. He’s a Christian above everything else and football is well down on his list of priorities.It’s been a constant in how he’s led the program since the school opened in the fall of 2010.

“We talk about our Core Four,” he says. “Faith, Family, Future and then Football, in that order. That’s a big deal for us.

“We’ve got a guy, Dave Hamlin (the lead pastor at Shelby Christian Church) who has been our FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) since we started. He has been with us 13 years and does a great job. We love it when our kids come back and we hope we have made a difference in their lives.”

Lucas has won a lot of games and has a state championship and a state runner-up finish on his resume. What he tells his team about the Core Four applies to his own life and football is not his top priority. “I want the kids to know that my faith is number one in my life. It’s the same thing for our coaching staff. We talk to them all the time that we just want them to be successful in life.”

With the Titan Five and the Core Four, the foundation for success has been set.

**For more photos from the Collins-Jeffersontown game, go to the 110forChrist Facebook page.

Some of the Collins coaching staff reacts to a big play. From center left are assistant coaches Brian Wigglesworth (with beard) and Brock Roberts. In front is head coach Jerry Lucas.

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