By Les Dixon / Sports Editor
Football is a hard sport to figure out sometimes.
Just when it seems a team is on top of the world, a loss can take away confidence and momentum that had been building up the entire season. Try adding two losses in a row after starting 8-0 while heading into the Class 4A playoffs — that’s what Knox Central is trying to avoid Friday on the road against Madison Central.
“We need to go into the playoffs on a high note, not with a two-game losing streak,” Panther coach Scottie Russell said. “Last week was a tough loss for us, but the kids are in good spirits and they know our mistakes cost us last week’s game. Hopefully we can get back on track and who knows, we might see Russell County again down the road.”
But first things first, Russell knows his team has a hard job ahead of them in playing Madison Central.
The Indians are 6-3 on the season with wins over Boone County, Mercer County, Dunbar, Henry Clay, Tates Creek and George Rogers Clark.
“Hey, we know we’ve got our hands full in this game,” Russell said. “I tell you what, they are very good.”
Madison Central is led by tailback Dominique Hawkins, who has close to 1,000 yards rushing on the season and quarterback Hunter Stocker, who can hurt a team with his running and throwing abilities. The Indians also possess talented wide out Ken Jah Bosley, who had 39 receptions for 759 yards and nine touchdowns after seven games of action.
“Their quarterback, tailback and wide receiver is very good,” Russell said. “They’ve got good team speed and we’ve got to find a way to slow them down.”
Russell said his team also needed to get off to a good start. He credited last week’s lost to getting off to a slow start and turnovers.
“We struggled doing that last week and we don’t need that to happen again this week,” he said. “I think we’re ready, but we also know we’ve got to slow them down to win this game.”