Timing may not be everything, but it has certainly been a thorn in Great Crossing's first-year football schedule.
After the Warhawks got through all the opening-week pageantry of their inaugural meeting with the Scott County Cardinals, the next three match-ups looked manageable.
Relatively speaking, anyway, and based on results from recent seasons.
The only wrench in that plan is that North Bullitt, Harrison County and now Woodford County all seem on the upswing at the wrong time, if you're a GCHS fan.
Woodford County (2-1) visits Great Crossing (0-3) at Birds Nest Stadium for a 7:30 p.m. Friday kickoff.
Shut out in their past two games, the Warhawks face a swarm of Yellow Jackets that won both those weeks, matching their victory total from all of last season.
Here's our weekly peek at five trends to keep in mind while you're watching the Warhawks' third home game in the first four games:
Common denominator. There's no exact science to comparing the results, since it was an exhibition game for Great Crossing, but both teams have faced Bourbon County.
GC was shut out 17-0 through three quarters of varsity action in the final game of the preseason, while Woodford County rang up a 47-20 win last week while out-gaining the Colonels by a margin of 366 yards to 143.
The Jackets also blasted Barren County, 37-7, after a 21-14 loss to Lincoln County in the season opener.
Counting the exhibition at Bourbon, GC's long touchdown pass from Kalib Perry to Bryce Hearn against Scott County was their only score in four weeks.
Measurable progress. Every game has been closer at halftime than the one before it for the Warhawks — 53-7 against Scott County, 26-0 versus North Bullitt, and 20-0 at Harrison County.
So the Warhawks can see tangible growth, especially on defense. They'll have to deal with some superb athletes from Woodford County if they are to continue that trend.
Yellow Jackets' quarterback Bryce Patterson has completed 28 of 47 attempts for 352 yards and two touchdowns. He's also the team's second-leading rusher with 161 yards and a pair of scores, although Amartae Rice (55 carries, 361 yards, six touchdowns) is the clear workhorse.
Skyelar Johnson, son of Woodford County coach Dennis Johnson, is the primary receiving threat with 14 catches for 202 yards. Brasley Gill (7 receptions, 55 yards) also bears watching in the slot.
Don't let go. When the dam has broken for Great Crossing in its past two games, it has been largely the result of turnovers setting up a short field for the opponent.
Again, turning the tables will be a tall order when you look at the nature of Woodford's opportunistic defense.
The Yellow Jackets have a whopping eight fumble recoveries and two interceptions over the first three games, and nine different players are responsible for those 10 takeaways.
The Yellow Jackets also have sacked quarterbacks 10 times, which will pose another challenge for GC's sophomore-dominated line. Jackson Geilear and J.D. Alexander have 11 combined tackles for loss.
Consider the journey. Win or lose, Great Crossing can take a world of encouragement from Woodford County's reversal of fortune this season.Two years ago, the Jackets were 0-11, including a playoff loss in their four-team district. They were never shut out, but they scored more than two touchdowns on only two occasions.
Young players received on-the-job training, the coaching staff stuck to its guns, and the combination and end result is a team moving up the ladder in 5A. There have been times in this rookie campaign for Great Crossing when the end of the tunnel seems a thousand miles away, but the rapid ascent of all these recently downtrodden teams on the Warhawks' schedule are a sign that isn't the case.
Make gains. GC has yet to put more than 100 net yards on the board in a game. That would be a nice secondary milestone this week, as would putting up some points. There are manageable games on the schedule down the road — we promise — but now is an important time for the Warhawks to establish their offense if they hope to make noise later.