By Chris Parsons / Staff Writer
As the 2012 high school football season gets set to kick off, Friday’s match up between North Laurel and Pineville looks, on paper anyway, to be one of the no-doubters for this week.
According the the most recent roster on the KHSAA website, Pineville has just 16 players on the team this season.
Chris Larkey’s squad breezed past the Mountain Lions last season 45-6, en route to winning three of the first four games of the season before losing the final six to finish 3-7 on the year.
If you think Larkey is looking past Pineville, don’t bet on it.
“Pineville has a really good team this year,” Larkey said. “They have all of their skill players back from last season and that has us worried to death as a coaching staff.
“They can throw the ball really well and they have kids that can catch the ball,” he added. “They’re going to have 11 kids on the field that are going to play you hard until the end and when you have kids that are willing to do that, it can really go either way.”
Offensively, the two teams weren’t too far apart in 2011 with Pineville averaging 18 points per game, while the Jaguars scored at a rate of 23.3 ppg. On defense, North Laurel allowed 25.7 ppg and the Mountain Lions gave up 34.6 ppg.
Despite the fact it looks like a David vs. Goliath contest in the sense of a 5A school playing a 1A school, Larkey said things have a way of evening out when the game starts.
“I don’t care if they are a 1A school, they put the same amount of kids on the field during a game as we do,” he said. “You have to go out there and compete against their best 11 with your best 11 and see who the better team is, no matter how many kids you bring with you.
“Like I said, they’ve probably got more skill players on the field than we do, and they have a slot receiver who is bigger than any kid that we’ve got,” he added.
In the end, Larkey said the keys to victory will be obvious ones to him. Whether his team will manage to achieve them is another story.
“The best way to stop them is to keep the offense off the field,” Larkey said. “If we can keep the ball and not turn it over, we should be alright.
“We have to play well on offense and on defense, we have to get to the ball quickly and make tackles,” he added. “It’s going to be a battle, that’s for sure, and we aren’t about to look past them.”
By Chris Parsons / Staff Writer
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