By Chris Parsons / Sports Editor
Sometimes you have to be careful what you ask for.
After dropping a 35-28 decision to Wayne County in the two teams’ regular season meeting, Corbin head coach Steve Jewell said his team set a goal of getting back to Wayne County in week two of the KHSAA playoffs.
Jewell and company will get a second chance tonight against a still unbeaten Cardinals team (11-0), only this time with a spot in the region finals on the line.
If you took a poll of Corbin players, the result is almost certain to be a lopsided one in regards to the revenge factor. Jewell was adamant in the fact that revenge is not the focus this week, saying he’s more concerned about his team’s confidence and focus regarding the first matchup.
“I don’t think it’s so much revenge being a factor as it is the kids knowing where they were at during that ballgame,” Jewell said. “We’ll have the same result again if we don’t fix the things we did wrong in that game.
“We’ve watched the film from that game closely and we had a great effort because the kids played really hard,” he added. “We had about four or five mental breakdowns and to Wayne County’s credit, they took advantage of them.”
Just like last time, Corbin will have to pay a lot of attention to Wayne County quarterback Tyler Guffey. The Cardinals’ senior quarterback passed for 286 yards and two touchdowns, completing 14-of-24 pass attempts during the Week Eight showdown.
Guffey’s main target has been Jason Perkins, who has racked up 1,142 yards and 12 touchdowns receiving this season (105 yards and a touchdown against Corbin). Logan Gardner (615 yards and five touchdowns) and Alan Brown (569 yards and seven touchdowns) have done their part in the receiving game as well, and are sure to give the Redhounds fits as they try to limit the Cardinals’ chances at big plays.
“The big thing is you don’t want to give them the big, long hitters,” Jewell. “You want to make them take the whole field, so we’ll try to utilize our kicking game and try to make them go 70 or 80 yards on their drives.
“There’s no doubt about it, he’s (Guffey) one of the better passers I’ve seen in a long time,” he added. “He plays like a fullback and he’s just a warrior. His competitive nature is just as tough to beat as his throwing ability.”
The good news for the Redhounds is that after a few injuries here and there to various players, Jewell has his team as healthy as could be expected after playing a full season. The lone question remains to be Taylor Waddle, who Jewell said was day-to-day as far as whether he’ll play or not.
No matter which players are on the field, Jewell said the best way to ensure his team comes out on top is to try and keep the Redhound offense on the field as much as possible.
“That’s the best way to stop them, is just keep their offense on the sidelines,” Jewell said. “We’ll try a few different things here and there to try and slow them down, but if we can stay on the field offensively, that would be the best scenario.”
Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Wayne County High School.