By Les Dixon / Sports Editor
LINCOLN COUNTY — North Laurel coach Chris Larkey knew heading into his team’s district showdown with Lincoln County they needed something positive to happen early — and it did.
The Jaguars were facing a third-and-20 situation early in the first quarter when quarterback Michael Nelson hit Cole Lewis with a 95-yard touchdown strike, as North Laurel went on to win, 35-14, to clinch its first winning record since 2004 and the district’s no. 3 seed.
“This was huge,” Larkey said. “We were facing a third-and-20 situation and needed something positive to happen and it did. Michael found Cole in a one-on-one situation and he managed to score.
“This win will go a long way for us,” he added. “I thought that touchdown gave us some momentum and it allowed us to pull away from them. I was really pleased with the way we played. I thought we really played good tonight.”
North Laurel received three touchdowns from Nelson, while Gabe Blair rushed for 130 yards and a score in the win.
“We now have two players with over 1,000 yards rushing in Michael and Gabe,” Larkey said. “We played a tough, physical game and were able to run the ball.
“This win was so big in so many ways. It’s our first winning season since 2004 and our first time to make the playoffs since 2004.
“We have played a lot of close games and could easily be 1-9, but it didn’t work out that way,” he added. “Now we get to see what the playoffs are about and this will help us for the future.”
North Laurel will be off next week before hitting the road to play Whitley County in the Class 5A playoffs in two weeks.
By Les Dixon / Sports Editor
- 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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