By Chris Parsons / Staff Writer
Corbin head coach Steve Jewell said this week’s showdown with rival South Laurel has all the classic makings of a trap game given the Cardinals are coming off two straight wins.
The Redhounds are 4-0 for the first time since they opened the 2009 season with five straight wins and as he gets his team set for the short trip north, Jewell said he and his staff are being very cautious with his young group in preparing for the Cardinals, who are 2-2 after back-to-back wins.
“We’ve talked a lot to our kids about the potential of this being a trap game all week and we’ve actually watched more film on South Laurel than we have the win over Danville,” Jewell said. “They have a lot of confidence right now, probably the most that they have had in a few years up there, so they’re a dangerous team right now.
“You’ve got a team that is really improving and these kids are feeling really good about themselves,” he added. “I saw them in their game against Wayne County and they’re night and day as far how they were playing compared to right now.”
South Laurel head coach Matt Rhymer said he’s pleased with the effort his team has made over the past two weeks, but admitted he felt like the Corbin Redhounds are an entirely different test than what his squad has faced so far.
“They’re solid across the board and they have a great scheme offensively,” Rhymer said. “Every time I have watched them, they have done some different things, so their offensive coordinator really forces you to stay on your toes defensively.
“They’ll run a lot of formations and they’ve done a good job of throwing in some trick plays along the way,” he added. “What it comes down to is the fact that they get the ball into the hands of their playmakers and that is always something you have to be aware of.”
That playmaker so far for the Redhounds has been running back Jake Coppock, who through four games has rushed for 396 yards (99 yards per game) and seven touchdowns without playing in the final quarter for most of the season.
Corbin’s defense has also been solid, as the team has only given up 21 points on the season.
The bad news for Rhymer and company is that his team is without three starters, thanks to injuries. The good news is that it’s a chance for some young players to step in and make an impact.
“We’re down three starters, so we’re hurting in that aspect,” Rhymer said. “We’ve got to find some guys to step in and make up the difference with those guys out, so we’ll have to wait and see.”
As for the Cardinals offense, Jewell said he knows what to expect from Rhymer’s squad, but being able to defend against it is another story altogether.
“They’re averaging about 80/20 as far as their run-to-pass ratio, so we have an idea of what they’ll try to do,” Jewell said. “The big thing is we have to make plays and be able to stop them from making big plays.
“If we can do that and maintain our intensity the entire game, we’ll put ourselves in a good position to win the game,” he added.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at South Laurel’s Gilliam Field.
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