TIMES TRIBUNE (CORBIN, Ky.)
By Les Dixon / Sports Editor
Williamsburg coach Jerry Herron admitted his team’s bye week came at the right time. His Yellow Jacket players were able to heal some nagging injuries while some players were able to get eligible to play during the time off as well.
The Yellow Jackets will try to take advantage of the week off by welcoming Harrison County to town Friday with hopes of gaining some momentum heading into district play, which will begin next week.
“I thought we had a great off-week,” Herron said. “It really came at the right time. We’ve played some tough games and we were able to heal up some and get some kids eligible that were ineligible.
“We know what we have in front of us, and we know that Harrison County is a good team,” Herron said. “They play in a tough district with Highlands and they have already played some very good teams like Bourbon County and Mason County.”
The Thorobreds started the season with two wins, beating both Fleming County (35-7) and Gallatin County (34-24) before hitting their current three-game slide.
They dropped a 28-19 decision to Montgomery County before falling to Mason County (41-19) and Bourbon County (64-21).
“They’ve had some tough games and so have we,” Herron said.
Williamsburg is looking to gain some momentum after dropping a 40-12 decision to Class 3A power Wayne County two weeks ago.
“We’ve got to execute our offense against Harrison County,” Herron said. “We got away from that against Wayne County and we can’t do that this week. We need to attack.”
The Yellow Jackets will try to get things going against a Thorobred defense that is allowing close to 200 yards on the ground and through the air.
Offensively, Harrison County has been hurting teams running and passing the ball.
The Thorobreds are averaging 25 points per game with Zack Mastin leading the way on the ground with 389 yards rushing and five touchdowns. Justin Hunter has carried the ball 46 times for 251 rushing yards and a TD while quarterback Robbie Stroud has scrambled for 199 yards and three scores on the ground. He’s also completed 63-of-119 pass attempts for 868 yards and seven touchdowns while throwing five interceptions.
Stroud has a slew of receiving targets in Jovon Williams (16 receptions, 254 receiving yards and two touchdowns), Hunter (14, 227, two touchdowns), Zach Royce (14, 178, one touchdown) and Grant Carr (13, 158).
“They are very athletic,” Herron said. “Our kids have been focused on them, and we know they’re a very good team.”
Herron admitted his players know how important it is to come away with a win Friday.
“It’s huge,” he said. “The kids know the big picture. They know we need to get things going and it starts Friday. Our goal is to get the district’s No. 1 seed, so we can get a home playoff game and try to reach the region championship game again and win it this time.
“We did it a different way the past two years and lost in the region finals, and it didn’t work either time, so we did something different this year,” he added.