By Denis House / The Endzone Staff
LONDON— Sometimes the scoreboard doesn’t tell the entire story.
Sure Madison Southern rolled over South Laurel, 47-7. Sure star running back Damien Harris rushed for 122 yards and four touchdowns.
What the scoreboard didn’t tell was the fact that the Cardinals were with nine regular starters. It also didn’t measure the heart Coach Matt Rhymer’s team showed in the face of adversity.
“I’m very proud of my team,” Rhymer said. “I’m proud of the fans that stayed and are clapping for our team. We could have folded but we didn’t. We fought to the end.”
It would have been easy for South Laurel (2-3) to fold at the half when the Cards were already down 41-0. But they didn’t and even put together a nice scoring drive late in the game to avoid being shutout for the second consecutive week.
Harris, who has committed to Michigan, proved to be the real deal on his team’s first possession. In fact, it started with the kickoff, where he fielded the short kick at midfield and returned it to the Cardinal 30. On the first play from scrimmage, he raced 30 yards untouched to make it 7-0.
It could have been a lot worse for South Laurel in the first half as the Eagles (5-0) had two touchdowns called back on penalties, an 83-yarder by Harris and a 53-yarder by Casey Dionne, both holding penalties.
Harris did score from 13 yards out after a short punt gave the No. 10 ranked team in Class 5A the ball at the 13. His score with 11:06 left in the first half made it 13-0. Southern would score again with 7:25 left in the half as Aaron Sipple broke free and scampered 39 yards for the score and a 20-0 lead.
On South’s next possession, the Cards fumbled the ball and Jonathan Lamb scooped it up and ran it in from 13 yards out to make it 27-0.
South got a little offense going on its next possession thanks to the hard running of freshman Jared Grubb, who garnered praise from his coach afterwards.
“He absolutely played his heart out,” Rhymer said. “He did things, along with (freshman quarterback) Matt Harp that shows good things for the future of this program.”
Unfortunately for the Cards, the drive ended and they were forced to punt. On the first play from scrimmage on Southern’s next possession, quarterback Aaron Sloan hooked up with Austin Beetlestone for a 67-yard touchdown reception to up the lead to 34-0.
The Eagles made it 41-0 after an interception led to a 46-yard score by Harris with 2:22 left in the first half.
Southern’s first possession of the second half resulted in their final score of the game when Harris carried it in from four-yards out, but the big play was a 56 yard run from Logan Coomer to set up the short touchdown run by Harris.
South finally got on the scoreboard with 6:39 left in the fourth quarter on a one-yard sneak by Harp to make the final 47-7. The Cards were helped along by three Southern penalties and a pass play from Harp to Grubb that covered 29-yards.
“To finish the way we did shows that these kids believe in what they are doing,” Rhymer said, “Our days are coming. We aren’t out of it. Hopefully we can get healthy and win some games.”
South Laurel will be on the road at Lincoln County Friday.
South Laurel has no answer for Madison Southern’s Damien Harris
By Denis House / The Endzone Staff
- 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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