TIMES TRIBUNE (CORBIN, Ky.)
By John Stepp For The Times Tribune
The Corbin Redhounds have been one of the most impressive teams in the mountains this football season, getting off to a 5-1 start on their way to a top 10 ranking in Class 3A.
The Redhounds’ only loss came last week to one of the state’s top teams in Wayne County. Corbin fell to the Cardinals 35-28 in a hard-fought game, but will have a chance to bounce back this week when they take on the McCreary Central Raiders.
The Raiders have had one of the worst seasons in recent memory, scoring just 12 points on the season while giving up 293. Their luck shouldn’t change this week when they travel to Corbin, as the Redhounds are the best team the Raiders have seen this year.
It’ll be an easy game to overlook for Steve Jewell’s squad, with perhaps their biggest game of the year coming up the following week when they take on Bell County. Jewell will have to make sure his players stay focused on the Raiders, but knows Bell County will be in the minds of everyone within the Redhounds’ football program.
“The staff and I will do the standard things to prepare for McCreary. We had a tough game last week so we hope it will be easier on Thursday,” said Jewell. “I’m sure that as we prepare for McCreary, the staff and I will also be doing some things to get ready for Bell County.”
With what could be an easy win this Thursday, the Redhounds will use this week to heal up. Jewel said he doesn’t have the full injury report, yet, but knows there are some of his players with some bumps and bruises.
“I won’t know if there is anyone who can’t play until this week, but I know there were some players getting on the bus last Friday who were hurting and a little sore,” said Jewell. “That was a very physical game so that is expected. I think Wayne County had some players who were sore, too.”
Two players who will need to be full strength this week are the Redhounds’ leading rushers in Jake Coppack and Taylor Waddell. The duo has led the way to Corbin’s impressive start, and don’t look to be slowing down any time soon.
Corbin has also relied on the strength of their defense this season, led by junior middle linebacker Tanner Powers. The Redhounds’ defense is allowing just over nine points per game this season with possibly another shutout looming this Thursday.
In the middle of their district schedule, a good ground game and stiff defense is important for this Corbin squad, who plays in possibly the most competitive region in Class 3A. With teams like Wayne and Bell, along with perennial power Louisville Central, the Redhounds have to be at the top of their game each week, and that will be no different when taking on McCreary Central.
“You can never overlook anyone. I know our boys will be thinking about Bell County and our staff will work on them a little this week, but we have to make sure we show up and play well each week,” said Jewell. “You have to take it one game at a time and that is what we try to do.”
Most coaches will tell you that to have a successful program, you always take it one game at a time, but with McCreary Central this Thursday and Bell County just a week after that, it will be difficult for the Redhounds not to think about their showdown with the Bobcats. Fortunately for Jewell and his squad, that shouldn’t be a problem.