By Chris Parsons / Staff Writer
Both the Williamsburg Yellow Jackets and North Laurel Jaguars came as advertised last week, putting up 43 and 48 points, respectively in their season-opening wins, but that’s not where the similarities end.
Those same two teams will collide Saturday in Cumberland Valley Bowl XIII at South Laurel High School at 5:30 p.m.
Both teams' head coaches said they were happy with the win to open the 2013 campaign, but they were both adamant in the fact that there’s plenty work to do as far as improving as a football team.
“We played well, but we didn’t execute like we should have,” Larkey said. “There are some areas that we need to work on, but that’s our job as coaches to help the kids improve.”
“I was happy with the win, but there’s always going to be something that you can improve on in this game,” Herron said. “We’ll get back to work and focus on North Laurel as we try to fix some of our mistakes.”
After jumping out to a 34-7 lead at halftime, Larkey said his team got lazy and just didn’t execute down the stretch, although the game’s outcome was never in doubt. Larkey said when it comes to this week’s opponent (Williamsburg), his team will have to play all four quarters if they want to come away with a win.
“Williamsburg is a good team that will make you play all four quarters of football,” Larkey said. “They have some kids that can really play good football, so we’re going to have to fix some of the mistakes we made against Claiborne County.”
As for Herron, he said he knows his defense will have to be on top of its game to stop North Laurel’s thunder and lightning attack of Michael Nelson and Gabe Blair. The good news is that the Yellow Jackets beat a team very similar to North Laurel last week.
“We felt like the past two seasons having lost in the region final to the same team that they were a little bigger and a little faster than us,” he added. “We wanted to play a tough schedule so maybe we can be tougher when postseason comes around, so we scheduled teams like North Laurel.
“They’ve got a pair of really dangerous football players that can break free and score at any time,” he added. “Hopefully we can do a good job of limiting what we allow them to do on offense.”
Williamsburg used a 415-yard passing effort from Dalton Sizemore, while he also ran for 70 yards on the ground. Corey Shelton added 230 yards receiving while Skyler Griffith tallied 128 receiving yards and one touchdown.
Blair led North Laurel’s offensive output with 103 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries.
With both teams clicking on offense in their season openers, the two opposing coaches agreed that this week’s game should be one of the better matchups of the season.
“If I were a football fan and not coaching, I would go to this game to watch,” Herron said. “It’s really going to be a matter of which team can take the most advantage of what the other teams gives them.”
“We have to have a better showing for our fans,” Larkey said after Friday’s win. “I don’t think they got what they deserved.
“Hopefully we can come out and play better football overall this week,” he added.