By John Stepp For The Times-Tribune
After a disappointing loss to Wayne County last week, the North Laurel Jaguars had no problem bouncing back, defeating the McCreary Central Raiders 45-8 on Friday.
The Jaguars raced to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter and never looked back, playing their junior varsity for much of the remainder of the game.
“We won and that’s good. Our kids played hard, but we could have played better,” said North Laurel Coach Chris Larkey. “We have to get better. I told the guys, as a coach, you’re always going to find something that you need to work on. But we got some momentum going and feel better after our loss last week.”
The Jaguars were led by a plethora of running backs, with sophomore Jake McFadden leading the way with 58 yards on two carries, including a 50-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. Senior Lawrence Goss added 45 yards on 11 carries.
After holding the Raiders on the first four downs of the game, North Laurel scored on just three plays, capped off by a 15-yard touchdown run by junior quarterback Michael Nelson. The Jaguars added two more touchdowns in the quarter — an eight-yard run by sophomore running back Gabe Blair and an eight-yard run by McFadden.
North Laurel didn’t let up in the second quarter, adding 24 points in the period. Freshman running back Jake McWhorter scored on a two-yard run, followed by McFadden’s 50-yard scamper on the next drive.
Jaguars’ kicker Kennedy Keaton also got in the highlight reel in the second quarter, kicking a 47-yard field goal. The kick tied a school record and put North Laurel ahead 38-0 with just over a minute left in the first half. On the ensuing drive, North Laurel’s Jansen Hacker scored on a 35-yard pick-six, to round out the scoring and give the Jaguars a 45-0 lead heading into the half.
“Keaton has a good leg, tied the school record tonight. He kicked a 55-yarder yesterday in pregame, and that’s something we work on. He’s playing for the high school soccer team and playing for us, so he deserves that,” said Larkey.
By John Stepp For The Times-Tribune
- Local Sports
The Williamsburg Yellow Jackets are partying like it's 1987! That was the last time the Jackets won a game in the 13th Region Tournament, and they ended the 27-year drought with a 47-44 win over the heavily-favored Knox Central Panthers on Thursday night.
Les Dixon's Daily Region Pick'Em
When it comes to picking region tournament games, it’s not an easy task to say the least. This is the most parity that I’ve ever seen in the 13th Region Boys and Girls Tournaments.
If Clay County’s play during the first game of the 13th Region Tournament is any indication of things to come, Robert Marcum’s squad could be well on its way of capturing their second straight 13th Region championship.
The Way it is
Since I’m picking Corbin to pull off the upset against Jackson County today, I figured I’d give my top five upsets dating back to 2005-06 when the 13th realigned and welcomed both North and South Laurel high schools to the mix.
Tony Pietrowski’s Corbin Redhounds have been favored during the past two first round 13th Region match-ups, and have been upset both times. Corbin is hoping things might change a bit this time around.
Barbourville will have hands full against Bell County today
Dinky Phipps’ Barbourville Tigers are looking for their first 13th Region Tournament win dating back to 2006’s tournament when they defeated Clay County in the regional semifinals.
Like It or Not
There’s an elephant in the room at this year’s 13th Region Tournament, and really in basketball in general, and I guess I’ll be the first one to point it out (publicly with my name attached to it).
Chris' Daily Region Pick'Em
With the first three days of opening round games in the books, I can honestly say I'm not surprised that I'm 4-2 overall when it comes to my pick'ems record.
You can never count out the Clay County Lady Tigers when it comes to the 13th Region Tournament.
Les Dixon's Daily Region Pick'em
After going just .500 during the girls games, things are going to get even tougher when it comes to picking the 13th Region Boys Tournament games.
- More Local Sports Headlines
- Knoxed Out