By Les Dixon / Sports Editor
LARUE COUNTY — Corbin’s playoff drought on the road continued Friday, as LaRue County put an end to the Redhounds’ season by picking up a 36-16 come from behind win during first round action of the Class 3A playoffs.
The Hawks (6-5) were trailing 10-9 at halftime, but their ground game took over during the final 24 minutes as they outscored Corbin 27-6 during the second half.
The loss turned out to be the Redhounds’ seventh straight on the road during the playoffs with Corbin’s last post-season road win coming against Green County (48-19) on Nov. 10, 2000.
Jewell’s squad finished the 2012 campaign with a 5-6 record, which marks Corbin’s first losing season since 1995 when the Redhounds went 4-7 under former coach Mike Whitaker.
Things looked good for Corbin early on, as the Redhounds got on the scoreboard first thanks to its defense.
After opening the game with a drive that saw Matt Jewell string together runs of 18 and 11 yards, the Redhounds’ drive stalled at the LaRue County 44-yard line.
But after a punt by Corbin that reached the Hawks’ three-yard-line, Corbin forced a fumble on LaRue County’s first offensive possession and recovered it in the endzone to take an early 7-0 edge with 8:44 remaining in the first quarter.
But it didn’t take long for the Hawks to answer.
LaRue County drove down to Corbin’s 10-yard line, but couldn’t advance any further, as Hawk kicker Curtis Milby connected with a 28-yard field goal to cut his team’s deficit to 7-3 at the 4:40 mark.
Both teams struggled moving the ball on their next couple of possessions and actually traded fumbles away before LaRue County took its first lead of the game with quarterback Gabe Shirley finding a hole and racing nine yards to give the Hawks a 9-7 lead with 9:18 remaining in the first half.
Corbin responded with a scoring drive of its own during its ensuing possession, as Jewell’s 63-yard run set up Redhound kicker Corey Taylor’s 22-yard field goal at the 6:59 mark, allowing his team to reclaim a 10-9 edge.
Corbin managed to outgain the Hawks in total offensive output in the first half, 170-160, as Jewell led the way on the ground with 23 carries and 121 yards.
LaRue County came out in the second half and moved the ball quickly to take its second lead of the game. Shirley ran a quarterback sneak untouched and scored from 15-yards out, as the Hawks’ lead grew to 15-10 with 6:07 remaining in the third quarter.
The Redhounds looked as if they were going to find paydirt on their ensuing drive and drove deep into Hawk territory, but a penalty and a fumble halted Corbin from putting any points on the scoreboard and LaRue County took advantage of the situation.
The Hawks connected on a third and 10 situation to keep their drive going and two plays later took the game’s biggest lead, as Matt Hornback broke loose and scored on a 57-yard touchdown run to give his team a 22-10 lead with 1:09 remaining in the third quarter.
But Corbin came storming back and scored three minutes later with Taylor Waddle snuck in from one-yard yard to make the score 22-16 with 10:36 left in regulation.
But just when it looked as if the Redhounds got back into the contest, LaRue County’s Hornback took advantage of a big hole and ran 63 yards to go over 200 yards rushing. The Hawks’ Shirley scored from two-yards out two plays later to increase his team’s advantage to 29-16 with 8:05 left in the game.
Corbin managed to have the ball in LaRue County territory twice after Shirley’s third touchdown, but three turnovers allowed the Hawks to wrap-up the 20-point win.
By Les Dixon / Sports Editor
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