By Chris Parsons / Staff Writer
The North Laurel Jaguars are in familiar territory this week against Madison Southern, but just how the Eagles’ running game compares to what they’ve seen so far remains to be seen.
The Eagles bring in one of the state’s top college recruits in Damien Harris. Harris has torched teams this season at a rate of 235 yards per game, while tallying 1,412 yards and 28 touchdowns on just 97 attempts. If you’re counting, that’s an average of 14.5 yards per carry.
Larkey admitted there probably is no easy way to stop Harris, so the only option is to try and keep him off the field as much as possible.
“This kid is an exceptional athlete and if he wasn’t, he wouldn’t have scholarship offers from all over the country,” Larkey said. “He’s going to get his yards just like he’s done all season, so the best option is to try and keep the football as much as possible and keep him off the field.
“We had a similar situation against Russell County with Nick Britt,” he added. “You just have to try and limit the number of times you allow them to touch the football and try and slow them down when they do get it.”
North Laurel hasn’t exactly struggled when it comes to running the football. Between the Jaguars’ two leading rushers, Michael Nelson (899 yards) and Gabe Blair (798 yards), North Laurel has gained close to 1,700 yards on the ground. The two are averaging over 100 yards apiece on the ground.
Larkey said just like he has all season, he will look to those two this week against Madison Southern.
“You can’t just turn into a passing team over night, so we’ll try to run the football and score some points,” Larkey said. “We’ve looked to those guys all season and Michael and Gabe have done a great job for us.
“If we’re going to be in this game, we have to be able to run the football,” he added. “We’ll try to throw a few passes and stretch them out on occasion, but at this point of the season, we have to stay with what we’ve done all season and hope that it works.”
Defensively, Madison Southern is only allowing 160 yards per game on the ground and just 271 yards of total offense per game, while forcing 10 turnovers in seven games.
North Laurel is a shade better in the turnover column with 17, and in total yards allowed defensively with 251 per game. If the Jaguars have their way, that trend will continue, but Larkey knows it won’t be easy.
“They beat a pretty good Pulaski County team last week, so we know they are coming in on a high note,” he said. “We just have to get the kids to focus and execute.
“We’ve got a few kids that are dinged up with injuries, but like I’ve told them all year, you have to fight through the pain,” he added. “Hopefully we can do that Friday.”
By Chris Parsons / Staff Writer
- Local Sports
End of the Line
Recil Jones’ North Laurel 11-12 year-old All-Stars finished their stay in the Central Region Tournament with an 0-3 record after dropping a 9-4 decision to Wisconsin state champion Franklin Little League.
Knox County's state title run comes to an end
The Knox County 11-year-old All Stars came in to Monday’s contest with Owensboro Southern knowing that the winner would move on to the semifinals of the state tournament.
Tripped Up: Tough loss follows Saturday's walk-off win
By Chris Parsons
BOWLING GREEN — The Corbin Little League All Stars began the 2014 State Tournament with as exciting a finish as any baseball fan could hope for, but struggled on day two, falling to 1-1 after the first two days.
Comeback Effort: Knox County recovers from 24-0 loss, grabs 4-2 win in pool play
By Chris Parsons
BOWLING GREEN — After what could have turned in to a demoralizing 24-0 loss to Eastern to start State Tournament pool play Saturday, the Knox County 11-year-old All Stars recovered nicely Sunday, picking up a 4-2 win over Paintsville.
Ready To Roll
After a 6-0 run through the loser’s bracket of the District 4 Tournament, the only thing left for the Corbin Little League All Stars to do is pack their bags and get to Bowling Green.
For many years, Chris Larkey’s North Laurel Jaguar football program has been known for its running attack, but with the way things went during the Union College 7-on-7 Passing Tournament, the Jaguars may be shedding the “ground game” label.
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With the 85th edition of Major League Baseball’s All-Star game in the books, I have to say I feel like the whole thing was a complete bust.
Eyes On The Prize
The Knox County 11-year-old All-Stars have a tall task ahead of them, but head coach Jason Hembree said he feels like the team will be ready to go when the state tournament starts Saturday in Bowling Green.
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