By Denis House / The Endzone Staff
SOMERSET—For almost three quarters, the first game of the Ray Correll Bowl between Corbin and Southwestern was very forgettable.
That is until there was 1:44 left in the third quarter when Corbin’s Taylor Waddle finished off a five-play, 70-yard drive with an 11-yard touchdown run.
Then on the Redhounds’ next possession, Jake Coppock broke free on second down and scampered 79 yards for another score to make it 14-0 with 8:35 left in the game.
From there, it was the Corbin defense that stood strong, and the Redhounds emerged with the win.
“It was a win, but an ugly win,” Corbin coach Steve Jewell said. “But as a coach you'll take a win any way you can get it.”
The first half was a battle of futility between the two teams. Corbin (1-0) had six possessions, the first three ending with a punt, the next two with interceptions, and the final one on downs. Southwestern (0-1) didn't fare much better. Of their six possessions, four ended with punts, one with a lost fumble, and the last with the half.
While Jewell wasn’t thrilled with his team's two first half turnovers (they would also lose a fumble in the second half), he was proud with the way they continued to battle.
“I’m proud of the kids,” Jewell said. “We had a lot of adversity with the turnovers and that could have killed us, but we didn’t let it.”
The two interceptions came on consecutive downs for the Redhounds. The first one saw quarterback Corey Taylor try to go over the middle to William Reedy, but Morgan Wright stepped in front of Reedy and picked off the pass. On the next series, Taylor again tried to go over the middle to Reedy and this time was picked off by Kurtlin Wells. Luckily for Corbin, neither turnover came back to haunt them.
Southwestern had the best scoring opportunity in the first half, driving the ball from the Corbin 37 to the two-yard line, but a fumbled snap saw Jesse Liford recover for the Redhounds, ending the Warriors’ threat.
Corbin’s first score came when the Redhounds took over following a Southwestern punt on their own 30 with 3:52 left in the third quarter. Facing a fourth and four from the 23, Jewell elected to have kicker Tulio Canineu try a 40-yard field goal. The kick was short, but Southwestern was whistled for roughing the kicker, moving the ball to the 11 and giving Corbin a fresh set of downs.
On the first play, Waddle took the handoff and raced around the left side for the score. Canineu added the point after, and with 1:44 left, Corbin led 7-0.
Southwestern drove the ball to the Corbin 21 on its next series and were looking to tie the score, but facing a fourth-and-11, quarterback Jesse Meece rumbled to the 21, but it wasn't enough, and the Redhounds took over on downs.
Two plays later, Coppock raced 79-yards for the score with 8:35 left. The point after was good, and the lead was 14-0. Coppock finished with 128 yards on 11 carries and one touchdown. He also lost a fumble fighting for extra yardage. For his efforts, he was named the Offensive Player of the Game.
“We really started to get in sync by the middle of the second half,” Jewell said. “I could also tell late in the third and then the fourth quarter that we were in better shape. Our defense worked hard and kept our offense in the game. When you work hard it leads to good things.”
The Redhounds will now host Perry County Central Aug. 30 in the Cumberland Falls Pigskin Classic. Knox Central will open the Cumberland Falls Pigskin Classic against Southwestern. Game time is scheduled for 6 p.m.