By Chris Parsons / Staff Writer
WHITLEY COUNTY — It wasn’t an all-time record for the Whitley County Colonels, but it was a playoff-high 495 yards rushing as the Colonels used a second-half surge to get past North Laurel 41-20.
It wasn’t easy though.
The Colonels led 7-0 early, but had to battle back from a 14-7 deficit at halftime after the Jaguars jumped ahead with a pair of touchdown runs (one yard and 43 yards) by Michael Nelson.
North Laurel fumbled to start the second half and that seemed to kill their momentum, while opening the door for the Colonels to tie the game.
They did just that, using a five-play drive, capped off by a one-yard run by Boston Bryant to tie the game at 14 apiece while eventually running away with a 21-point win.
After the game, Whitley County coach Jim Black said he felt like the Jaguar fumble was the turning point of the game.
“We took advantage of that fumble to start the second half and after that, it was a tale of two halves,” Black said. “We were able to take advantage of some of their mistakes the rest of the second half and it allowed us to get things going.
“Once we got in our rhythm, we got going pretty good on offense and kept the pace more to our style,” he added. “When we’re able to get plays off quick and get to the line, we do a lot better than waiting until the play clock is close to running out.”
North Laurel head coach Chris Larkey said he thought the turnover was a big turning point as well, but he gave the Colonels credit for the second-half effort.
“We knew Whitley County was going to get chewed out over there in the locker room and I knew coach Black was going to have them fired up,” Larkey said. “They do play good in the second half and they proved it tonight.
“That fumble was huge and, you never know what goes through kids’ minds, but that could have been a huge momentum builder for us,” Larkey said. “But we’ll never know and you have to take your hats off to Whitley County for playing a good football game.”
Black said he was pleased with his team’s comeback win.
“I’m happy with the effort and we were able to get that seventh win, which was our goal,” Black said. “The kids settled in and played good football considering we had some kids in positions they hadn’t played in a whole lot. I’m proud of them and we’ll get back at it Monday.”
By Chris Parsons / Staff Writer
- Local Sports
The Williamsburg Yellow Jackets are partying like it's 1987! That was the last time the Jackets won a game in the 13th Region Tournament, and they ended the 27-year drought with a 47-44 win over the heavily-favored Knox Central Panthers on Thursday night.
Les Dixon's Daily Region Pick'Em
When it comes to picking region tournament games, it’s not an easy task to say the least. This is the most parity that I’ve ever seen in the 13th Region Boys and Girls Tournaments.
If Clay County’s play during the first game of the 13th Region Tournament is any indication of things to come, Robert Marcum’s squad could be well on its way of capturing their second straight 13th Region championship.
The Way it is
Since I’m picking Corbin to pull off the upset against Jackson County today, I figured I’d give my top five upsets dating back to 2005-06 when the 13th realigned and welcomed both North and South Laurel high schools to the mix.
Tony Pietrowski’s Corbin Redhounds have been favored during the past two first round 13th Region match-ups, and have been upset both times. Corbin is hoping things might change a bit this time around.
Barbourville will have hands full against Bell County today
Dinky Phipps’ Barbourville Tigers are looking for their first 13th Region Tournament win dating back to 2006’s tournament when they defeated Clay County in the regional semifinals.
Like It or Not
There’s an elephant in the room at this year’s 13th Region Tournament, and really in basketball in general, and I guess I’ll be the first one to point it out (publicly with my name attached to it).
Chris' Daily Region Pick'Em
With the first three days of opening round games in the books, I can honestly say I'm not surprised that I'm 4-2 overall when it comes to my pick'ems record.
You can never count out the Clay County Lady Tigers when it comes to the 13th Region Tournament.
Les Dixon's Daily Region Pick'em
After going just .500 during the girls games, things are going to get even tougher when it comes to picking the 13th Region Boys Tournament games.
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