CORBIN — By Les Dixon / Sports Editor
Week 10 of high school football is in the books and now it’s time to take a seat and look at what we learned this past week.
Player of the Week — Man, this is a tough one. Williamsburg quarterback Dalton Sizemore and teammate and wide receiver Corey Shelton had huge games during the Yellow Jackets’ 21-0 win over Oliver Springs, Tenn., last week. Sizemore carried the ball 21 times for 77 yards while connecting on 16-of-26 pass attempts for 188 yards and three touchdowns. Shelton finished the game with nine catches for 135 yards and three touchdowns. And you can’t leave out Knox Central’s Jeffrey Canady, who had 212 yards rushing and three touchdowns during the Panthers’ 44-36 win over Madison Central. So, who do you go with? Sizemore, Shelton and Canady.
Unbelievable comeback — The Knox Central Panthers entered the fourth quarter against Madison Central trailing 36-14 and what had once looked like a promising season for Scottie Russell’s squad looked to be going south. A loss to the Indians would have given the Panthers their second straight loss heading into the playoffs, but in fine fashion, Knox Central rallied and scored 30 unanswered points to finish with a school-record nine wins in the regular season.
Peaking at the right time — The Corbin Redhounds are beginning to catch fire at the right time of the year. Steve Jewell’s squad has won three of its last four games and will enter the playoffs with a 5-5 record. A Corbin win against LaRue County Friday in the Class 3A playoffs will assure the Redhounds another winning season — the last time they were under .500 at season’s end was under former coach Mike Whitaker in 1995, as Corbin finished with a 4-7 mark.
Injury bug — Whitley County was coming off a big win against Letcher Central heading into its match-up against Boyle County, but the injury bug crept up at the wrong time, as the Rebels cruised past the Colonels with ease, 38-7. After totaling 617 yards on offense the week before against the Cougars, Whitley County managed only 167 against Boyle County.
Struggling going going into the playoffs — After losing to Middlesboro, 50-12, Lynn Camp won’t head into the playoffs with a lot of momentum. Phil Russell’s squad is riding a three-game losing skid and has lost five of its last six games. The main part of the Wildcats’ struggles is the ability to score points. Lynn Camp is 3-0 this season when scoring 20 or more points, but 0-7 if the Wildcats score 19 or less. They have been shut out twice this season and have scored in single digits six out of their 10 games.
Playoff picture — The playoff picture is set and six teams from the Tri-County will make a run for their respective class’ state championship beginning Friday. Corbin, Knox Central, Lynn Camp, North Laurel, Whitley County and Williamsburg will be playing this Friday in a post-season game. South Laurel is the lone team from the Tri-County that didn’t make the playoffs.
What are the seeds? — Williamsburg is the lone No. 1 seed while Knox Central and Whitley County are both two seeds. Corbin, Lynn Camp and North Laurel are each three seeds.
Searching for win No. 1 — North Laurel will be making its first trip to the playoffs since 2004 and only seventh overall when the Jaguars travel to play Whitley County Friday. They are also looking to get the football program’s first-ever playoff win in the process.
Red-hot entering the playoffs — Jerry Herron’s Williamsburg Yellow Jackets is the hottest Tri-County team entering the playoffs. The Yellow Jackets are riding a five-game win streak while outscoring their opponents 219-24 during the process.
Biggest win this past week — It goes to two teams. First off, you’ve got to give it to Knox Central for coming back from a 22-point deficit in the fourth quarter to beat Madison Central, 44-36 and you’ve also got to give it to Williamsburg. The Yellow Jackets were without four starters on both sides of the ball and still managed to go on the road and beat Oliver Springs, Tenn. 21-0.
Biggest game this week — North Laurel at Whitley County — The Jaguars are searching for their first-ever playoff win while the Colonels are trying to get back on track. This should be a very good game.
Tri-County Rankings for Oct. 29 – Nov. 2 —
Knox Central finished the regular season rankings on top at No. 1 while Williamsburg is No. 2. Corbin remains at the three-spot while Whitley County, North Laurel, South Laurel and Lynn Camp follow.
They said it — “This was one of our goals, to get back to the .500 mark and we were able to do that. Now, we want to spend next week getting prepared for a playoff game and try to win that.” — Corbin coach Steve Jewell after seeing his Redhounds beat Harlan, 42-13.
We had eight total starters out, but we still managed to win. First of all, Oliver Springs is a good team. I felt like we were stopping them good and once we settled down we did a good job.” — Williamsburg coach Jerry Herron on his team’s 21-0 win against Oliver Springs, Tenn.
“We got on them pretty good at halftime and they responded. I think the biggest thing was that we needed to get a couple of stops and then the offense started clicking.” — Knox Central coach Scottie Russell on his team’s 44-36 comeback win against Madison Central.
“We made some mistakes there and didn’t line up properly. They made some big plays and we had them in good situations, but we didn’t capitalize. They are a good football team.” — Jim Black after his Whitley County Colonels dropped a 38-7 decision to Boyle County.
“I told the kids that we just have to look past this game and get ready for next week. The good news is that we live to play another day and we’ve got a shot to move on in the playoffs against a team that I think we have a shot at beating.” — Lynn Camp coach Phil Russell after his team’s 50-12 loss to Middlesboro.