, Corbin, KY

September 3, 2013

Tuesday Morning Quarterback

North Laurel is the new No. 1


CORBIN — Thanks to Mother Nature, Week One was a bit delayed, pushing back Cumberland Valley Bowl XIII to Monday, but when it was all said and done, all of the scheduled games in the Tri-County were completed.

Player of the Week

North Laurel’s Michael Nelson ran for 173 yards and three touchdowns to capture this week’s Player of the Week honors. Not too far behind were these players, though —  Knox Central freshman Jacob Tate knocked down the game-winning field goal along with four PATs to give the Panthers a 31-28 win over Southwestern in overtime of the Cumberland Falls Pigskin Classic. Teammates Jonathan Gist and Matthew Barger also had a good week. Gist finished the game with 213 yards on 29 carries and scored two touchdowns, while Barger had an overall outstanding performance with an 89-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, an 11-yard touchdown reception, an interception and fumble recovery.

Biggest surprise

Yes, Whitley County is without the services of tailback Zack Mills, but I’m really surprised to see the Colonels get beaten the way they have during their first two games to open the season. Whitley County fell behind 56-0 to Madison Southern Friday before scoring two touchdowns late in the game. The Colonels have been outscored this season, 98-27.

Making a statement

North Laurel showed its critics it can beat some of the best teams in the mountains by knocking off Williamsburg Monday, 31-14. The Jaguars are for real folks. This is their best team since the district championship squad of 1994.

Still Searching

Lynn Camp, Whitley County and South Laurel are the three lone teams in the Tri-County without a win. The Wildcats (0-2) have struggled in both of their losses and the same goes for the 0-2 Colonels. South Laurel is currently 0-1 after losing to Wayne County Monday in Cumberland Valley Bowl XIII.

So which of these three teams will be the first to get a win?

I’d say Whitley County. I’m not sure if the Colonels can beat Bell County, but they should be able to beat Clay County here in a few weeks. It looks to be another long season for Lynn Camp, and the Cardinals will continue to get better as the season progresses.

Big Win

Go no further than North Laurel’s 17-point win over Williamsburg. Both teams turned in hard-fought efforts, but in the end, the Jaguars’ ground game wore down Williamsburg.

Toughest loss

Phil Russell’s Lynn Camp Wildcats took one on the chin Friday against Campbell County, Tenn., losing 50-0. It could have been a lot worse with Campbell County leading 36-0 late in the first quarter. The Wildcats have been outscored 98-16 during their first two games, but Russell believes his team can rebound.

“We’re getting there. We just need a lot of reps. We’re going to have the best week of practice we’ve had thus far starting Monday. We’re going to give them the weekend to think about everything and we’re going to get better,” he said. “Watch us in three weeks and see what you see. I really feel that.”

Solid ‘D’

The Corbin Redhound defense was oh, so close in recording its second straight shut out before seeing Perry Central score late during Steve Jewell’s squad’s 36-8 win over the Commodores during the Cumberland Falls Pigskin Classic.

This Redhound team might just turn out to be one of the best defensive units Jewell has had in a long time.

Big Game This Week

Knox Central (2-0) vs. Prestonsburg (1-1) at Clay County, Saturday, 8 p.m.

The Panthers are 2-0, but their slim 31-28 overtime win against Southwestern this past week left people wondering just how good Scott Russell’s team is. They’ll find out quickly against Prestonsburg, which enters Saturday’s Appalachian Bowl with a 1-1 record. Knox Central is going to be tested early and often against a very good Blackcat team.

Tri-County Rankings for Sept. 3-6

North Laurel is the new No. 1 ranked team, while Williamsburg drops a spot to No. 2. Despite being undefeated at 2-0 on the season, Knox Central is now ranked No. 3. Corbin is now at the No. 4 position, while Whitley County drops a spot to No. 5, South Laurel comes in at No. 6 and Lynn Camp rounds out the Tri-County rankings.

They Said It

“I apologize to the fans that came up here and watched us because that wasn’t football. We didn’t execute, we didn’t follow the game-plan that we laid out for the game and there was really no excuse for the way they played. “It was the worst football I’ve ever seen since I've coached at Whitley County. I’ll give credit to the underclassmen because they came in and showed more fire and determination than our older kids. I can lose 56-14 with a jayvee team, so I’ll play the kids that want to play.” — Whitley County coach Jim Black said after seeing his team drop a 56-14 decision to Madison Southern.

“We had a lot more offensive production tonight. I just would like to see us keep our intensity up for four quarters. We protected the ball better tonight, won the turnover battle. I am extremely pleased with that.” — Corbin coach Steve Jewell commenting on his team’s 36-8 win over Perry Central.

“It’s good for our character to come out here and show that we can come back from being down a touchdown and pull it out in overtime. Don’t be fooled by that score last week, though. Southwestern has a very good football team.” — Knox Central coach Scott Russell after seeing his team slip past Southwestern in overtime, 31-28.

“We embraced it. Now we are getting ready to get in our 1A stretch and there are no more of these teams on our schedule. Don’t get me wrong, Williamsburg and Middlesboro will be tough. They all will be. We just take it week to week. I love my guys. I love this football team and as you could see we didn’t quit.” — Lynn Camp coach Phil Russell on his Wildcats’ upcoming schedule and the way his players continued to play hard despite falling behind early during their 50-0 loss to Campbell County, Tenn.

“They just literally ran power and beat us running those power backs right at us. We couldn’t stop it.” — Williamsburg coach Jerry Herron after his team fell to North Laurel Monday, 31-14.

“Our whole game plan was to go in and establish our running game to keep the clock running because of their high-powered offense. It was a hot day today and I think it played to our advantage because we do have more depth than Williamsburg.” — North Laurel coach Chris Larkey after his Jaguars’ 31-14 win over Williamsburg Monday.

“We’ll make a lot of corrections and we’ll go at it again Friday. We’re going to run the same plays. I’ve won championships running these plays. It is what it is — great teams win running the football. We’re going to work on our play-action some, but we’ve got to learn how to run the football and that’s all I’m worried about. I’m worried about how to run block and things like that. We just got to fix ourselves.” — South Laurel coach Matt Rhymer after his Cardinals’ 36-8 loss to Wayne County during Monday’s Cumberland Valley Bowl XIII.