TIMES TRIBUNE (CORBIN, Ky.)
By Mitch Howard / The Endzone Staff
LYNN CAMP — What started as a promising game for Lynn Camp didn’t end well. The Wildcats’ hopes of a three-game winning streak were stopped with a 30-6 loss to Pineville.
“We’ve got to become better people before we’re going to become a better football team and a better football program,” Lynn Camp coach Phil Russell said. “We’ve got some kids that think just because they are good football players they are going to show up and we’re going to win.”
The Mountain Lions led 8-0 at halftime and iced the game with 15 fourth quarter points. As the game got more volatile toward the end, Russell chose to run out the final minutes of the clock after a fourth quarter marked by penalties and one ejection.
“I didn’t like some of the action in the game that took place, but it’s an emotional game,” Russell said.
It was not the way the game looked in the first half. Lynn Camp pushed the ball into Pineville territory on all three first half possessions, but they came away with no points. Maybe if one of those drives had reached the end zone the rest of the game would have played out differently.
“There is always a momentum thing early in a game,” Russell said.
It was Pineville driving on the game’s opening possession before a fumble gave the Wildcats the ball at their own 22-yard line. Lynn Camp would cross midfield quickly on a perfect 52-yard strike from Aaron Mills to Tyler Reynolds. They would get as close as the 36-yard line.
Pineville’s second possession was a seven-play, 61 yard drive capped by Brad Fuson’s 4-yard touchdown run. Fuson also ran for the conversion and an 8-0 lead.
Lynn Camp’s next two possessions would end on fourth and goal as close as they six and eight-yard line. Most of the damage was done through the air with Mills throwing for 120 yards in the first half. The Wildcats managed just 67 yards rushing on 15 carries in the half.
“They came in and he basically schemed us very well. I think we had them schemed too,” Russell said. “Their scheme was to completely take away our inside running game and they did. That meant we had to open it up to the outside.”
Lynn Camp was driving again to start the second half when Pineville’s Conner Ford picked off a pass by Mills on the 18-yard line. The next play was a handoff to Ford for a 77-yard gain. Add that to an earlier 66-yard run and Ford had a big night with 153 yards on his first four carries. He entered the night averaging 100 yards per game. Russell didn’t expect his team to give up that kind of yardage.
“Especially after you stop (Corey) Corak from Harlan (last week) you should at least be able to have a better chance,” Russell said.
With 7:04 in the third quarter, Tuck Woolum scored on a 3-yard run for a 15-0 lead. That’s the way the third quarter would end.
After a Lynn Camp punt, Pineville drove to the 3-yard line before losing a fumble. What looked like a big break for the Wildcats wasn’t. Two plays later, Mills was sacked in the end zone for a safety. On the ensuing possession, the Mountain Lions needed just two plays to score. Ford’s 31-yard run made it 23-0.
“We pride ourselves on three things — block, tackle, and execute. If you think about it, in a football game if you do those things then you’re always going to give yourself a chance to win. We did that last week against Harlan,” Russell said.
Lynn Camp’s touchdown came with 5:47 to play on a 37-yard pass from Mills to Keanu Nolan. Pineville tacked on a late touchdown on a 23-yard run by Fuson.
Lynn Camp has an open date this week before traveling to Clinton County the following week.
“I have faith in my football team that we will bounce back,” Russell said.