By Les Dixon / Sports Editor
The Lynn Camp Wildcats are looking to go 2-0 under second-year coach Phil Russell during season-openers.
They’ve got a good chance to do just that with Powell County paying a visit to Knox Central High School to face-off against the Wildcats today in the Pioneer Bowl.
But Russell was quick to caution, his team will have its hands full against the Pirates.
“They are an improved football team,” Russell said. “I got to watch them last Friday and they like to run the ball. They’re an option-type team that can run the ball good.
“They beat South Floyd pretty good last week, so we’ve got to be ready,” he added. “They have 12 seniors returning so they’re going to be experienced, too.”
Powell County is coming off a 2-9 campaign under coach Tony Burchett while Lynn Camp posted a 3-8 record last season.
Russell said he hopes to open things up offensively against the Pirates today.
“That’s what we’re hoping to do,” he said. “But the big thing first is that we’ve got to make sure we stop their run game. We’ve had to move some things around on defense to prepare for them.
“On offense, we’re hoping to get our passing game going and our running game going,” he added. “We didn’t show a whole lot last week against Harlan and we’ve got Tommy Hatfield back in the backfield, too. Having Tommy back is huge. I expect him to have a big game.”
Russell said he expects to start Austin Maier behind center, but pointed out that senior quarterback Aaron Mills will see a lot of action at the quarterback position, too.
“We’ve got to have the ball in Aaron’s hands,” he said. “He’s our playmaker and we’ve got to get the ball in his hands. He’ll see some time at the quarterback position, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Austin Maier to catch a touchdown pass, too.
“I’m really excited for the game (today) and I know the kids are, too,” Russell added. “We need to get off to a good start because we play 5A Campbell County, Tenn. next week and it’s going to be a tough game. The big thing for us against Powell County is to be able to stop their run game, stay away from turnovers and play some fast football. If we do that, I think things will turn out fine.”