TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY
By Les Dixon
For the Times-Tribune
WAYNE COUNTY — In the first meeting between Corbin and Wayne County the game's outcome wasn't decided until the final minutes, but it was a different story Friday.
Wayne County took control early thanks to an opportunistic offense and stingy defensive effort, building a 21-0 lead in the first half, before blitzing the Redhounds while advancing in the Class 3A playoffs with a 36-0 win.
Wayne County held Steve Jewell's squad in check running the ball. The Redhounds were outgained on the ground 261-4.
The Cardinals remain unbeaten at 12-0 and will advance to the Class 3A Region title game while Corbin finishes the season with a 9-3 record.
Wayne County's defense set the tone early by limiting Corbin to -3 yards on its first offensive drive. The Redhounds tried to run the ball on their first two offensive series, but could get nothing going.
It didn't take long for the Cardinals to answer. Tyler Guffy hit Logan Gardner with a screen pass and Gardner did the rest, racing 53 yards to give his team a 7-0 edge with 10:17 left in the first quarter.
Corbin continued to struggle on its second drive of the game, and went three and out again, but the Redhound defense held its own and kept Wayne County from reaching paydirt.
After seeing its offense struggle during their third series, the Redhounds made a big play by recovering a fumble on a punt, but once again the Corbin offense stalled at the Wayne County 27-yard line and couldn't take advantage of the Cardinal miscue.
But the same couldn't be said about Wayne County. The Cardinals forced a fumble on the Redhounds' ensuing possession, and scored a few plays later, as Guffey reached the endzone from one-yard out to give his team a 14-0 advantage with :20 left in the first quarter.
Wayne County continued to roll in the second quarter, marching down into Corbin territory, as Guffey hit Jason Perkins for a 30-yard touchdown strike on a fourth and 11 situation, increasing his team's lead to a comfortable 21-0 lead with 6:10 remaining in the first half.
The Redhound offense started to move the ball late in the first half, but saw their drive come to a halt inside the Cardinal 20-yard line, as Wayne County entered the locker room holding a 21-0 edge.
Just how dominant was the Cardinal defense in the first half?
The Redhounds had -28 yards rushing in the first half while Wayne County outgained Corbin 175 to -6 yards in the first half.
Jewell's squad continued to be its own worst enemy in the second half. After recovering the kick-off to begin the third quarter, the Redhounds moved the ball down to the Wayne County 20-yard line, but once again couldn't get on the scoreboard.
Corbin's 34-yard field goal attempt was misplayed, and the Cardinals took over on downs.
Wayne County continued to take advantage of another Redhound miscue. Guffey moved his team down the field and hit Perkins for another touchdown with 6:04 left in the third quarter, extending the Cardinals' lead to 28-0.
Wayne County put the game away late in the third quarter with Perkins connecting with a jump pass to Alan Brown that covered 99 yards, as the Cardinals' lead grew to 34-0. Wayne County added the two-point conversion, increasing its lead to 36-0, as a running clock kicked in.