By Chris Parsons / Staff Writer
This much is certain — the North Laurel Jaguars are headed to the playoffs for the first time since 2004. What Chris Larkey and company don’t know is who they’ll be facing in the first round.
This week the Jaguars will travel to Lincoln County to face the Patriots as they try to recover from last week’s 26-10 loss to Madison Southern.
The Jaguar defense gave up 229 yards on the ground, but only 192 of those came from the Eagles star back, Damien Harris. Larkey said he was pleased with the effort of his defense and said they would have to continue to play well as the season winds down.
“I thought our kids did a good job defensively, slowing down the Harris kid,” Larkey said. “He had a good game, but it could have been a whole lot worse.”
Harris had been averaging 234 yards on the ground heading into the game against the Jaguars.
This week, the Jaguars won’t have to worry about any D1 prospects, but Larkey said the challenge will still be there for his defense to try and have an impact on the game.
“We always want to try and control the game on defense,” Larkey said. “If you play well on one side of the football, it usually bleeds over to the other side as far as momentum goes.”
Despite the loss, the Jaguars didn’t exactly lay down against Madison Southern. North Laurel tallied 250 yards of offense on the ground, with Michael Nelson accounting for 141 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries. For the season, Nelson has totaled 1,040 yards and 18 touchdowns on 124 carries. He’s averaging 116 yards per game this season.
As a team, North Laurel is averaging 246 yards per game on the ground and just 53 through the air.
With that in mind, Larkey said it’s too late in the season to try and change the way they play and at this point of the season, most teams know what to expect from their opponent.
“Like I said a few weeks ago, we aren’t going to become a passing team over night and I don’t expect any other team to do so,” Larkey said.
By Chris Parsons / Staff Writer
- Local Sports
The Williamsburg Yellow Jackets are partying like it's 1987! That was the last time the Jackets won a game in the 13th Region Tournament, and they ended the 27-year drought with a 47-44 win over the heavily-favored Knox Central Panthers on Thursday night.
Les Dixon's Daily Region Pick'Em
When it comes to picking region tournament games, it’s not an easy task to say the least. This is the most parity that I’ve ever seen in the 13th Region Boys and Girls Tournaments.
If Clay County’s play during the first game of the 13th Region Tournament is any indication of things to come, Robert Marcum’s squad could be well on its way of capturing their second straight 13th Region championship.
The Way it is
Since I’m picking Corbin to pull off the upset against Jackson County today, I figured I’d give my top five upsets dating back to 2005-06 when the 13th realigned and welcomed both North and South Laurel high schools to the mix.
Tony Pietrowski’s Corbin Redhounds have been favored during the past two first round 13th Region match-ups, and have been upset both times. Corbin is hoping things might change a bit this time around.
Barbourville will have hands full against Bell County today
Dinky Phipps’ Barbourville Tigers are looking for their first 13th Region Tournament win dating back to 2006’s tournament when they defeated Clay County in the regional semifinals.
Like It or Not
There’s an elephant in the room at this year’s 13th Region Tournament, and really in basketball in general, and I guess I’ll be the first one to point it out (publicly with my name attached to it).
Chris' Daily Region Pick'Em
With the first three days of opening round games in the books, I can honestly say I'm not surprised that I'm 4-2 overall when it comes to my pick'ems record.
You can never count out the Clay County Lady Tigers when it comes to the 13th Region Tournament.
Les Dixon's Daily Region Pick'em
After going just .500 during the girls games, things are going to get even tougher when it comes to picking the 13th Region Boys Tournament games.
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