TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

Local Sports

October 28, 2013

North pulls away

Gabe Blair racks up 301 yards, breaks Jaguars' career rushing record

CORBIN — By Mitch Howard / The Endzone Staff

NORTH LAUREL — Led by a record-setting performance from Gabe Blair, North Laurel claimed a 42-21 win over South Laurel. Blair rushed for 301 yards and along the way broke the school’s career rushing record of 4,272 yards held by Brian Durham.

“He’s a leader during the games. He just runs so hard. He’s got good vision and good feet. I just wish he was faster and he would probably have the state record,” North Laurel coach Chris Larkey said. “He’s just tough and hard-nosed. He loves to hit and he loves to run the football.”

South Laurel coach Matt Rhymer got his first look at Blair and is probably glad it was his last.

“He runs extremely hard. You pack the box up in there and they break a tackle and there is nobody else back there,” Rhymer said. “I know coach (Larkey) hates to lose him, but he is a senior and they will be losing a great player. Gabe Blairs don’t come around all the time.”

North Laurel has won two straight meetings with their crosstown rival and four of the last five. It didn’t look like much of a game early when North Laurel powered their way to a 28-0 lead. By halftime the Cardinals were within 28-14 and had two chances early in the second half to cut the lead further.

“We stressed all week about the kids having relentless passion and I think they played with passion. They never quit and they never gave up. It meant a lot to them,” Rhymer said.

The first play of the game was a 56-yard run by Blair with Justin Moore making a touchdown -saving tackle. The second play was a five-yard touchdown run by Blair.

After a South Laurel punt, a 60-yard North Laurel drive was capped by an 18-yard run by Blair.

“Our kids came out fired up. They love to read the newspaper and heard we were beatable. They thrive on that,” Larkey said.

North Laurel’s third possession lasted just one play. Michael Nelson bolted 51 yards with a 360-degree spin breaking the final tackle attempt. The Jaguars led 21-0, but on the final play of the first quarter would suffer a setback. Nelson appeared to be 100 percent for the first time since an ankle injury kept him out of two games and limited him last week. He would sprain the same ankle on a short run.

North Laurel would turn the ball over on downs and the Cardinals were driving for the first time before losing a fumble. Jake McFadden broke a 61-yard run for a 28-0 lead, but the Jaguars didn’t seem the same after Nelson’s injury. Larkey thought it may have taken his team’s momentum.

“It certainly appears it did. We were ahead 28-0 then all of the sudden it’s 28-14. I don’t know if our kids got up and then thought it was over. They have to learn it’s never over,” Larkey said.

The Cardinals found some success behind the passing of Jonathan Jenkins. A 26-yard completion to Jacob Hale would set up a four-yard touchdown run by Jenkins.

“We knew they had a really good quarterback that could throw the football. He’s got a heck of an arm,” Larkey said. “We knew they were going to throw it, we just didn’t make the plays.”

On the next drive it was a 37-yard completion to Jared Grubb that led to a 16-yard touchdown by Jenkins. But for Rhymer the passing was a product of needing to make up a lot of points.

“We have to learn how to run block. If you learn how to run block, you can do anything,” Rhymer said. “Tonight we didn’t have anything to lose. We had to make some plays.”

The Cardinals had a chance to cut the lead further before turning the ball over on downs at the North Laurel 10-yard line. They got the ball back on an interception, but stalled at midfield. Logan Medlock blocked the South Laurel punt to give the Jaguars great field position. Six straight runs by Blair included a 2-yard touchdown run for a 35-14 lead.

The Cardinals again went to the air with Jenkins hooking up with Taylor Morris on a 25-yard touchdown with 8:47 to play.

“We knew it was going to be a tough game. It doesn’t matter what the records are, it’s always going to be tough,” Larkey said.

With 5:35 to play, Blair scored his fourth touchdown on a two-yard run. The game ended with South Laurel at the Jaguars three-yard line threatening to score again.

“We were the worst team in the state of Kentucky last year in 5A. I don’t think we are anymore. We are getting better every single day. I see it in practice in their character, their discipline, their structure,” Rhymer said.

1
Text Only
Local Sports
  • 0422 nlhs Olivia Miller.jpg North No-No

    Mikayla Vires continues to mow down opponents as she recorded a no-hitter during North Laurel’s 10-0 rout of Somerset Tuesday.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Colonels pick up first district win of season

    The Whitley County Colonels picked up their first district win of the season with a 9-2 victory over the visiting Williamsburg Yellow Jackets on Monday.

    April 22, 2014

  • Winning Streak

    North Laurel senior Austin Thompson clubbed a home run while driving in two runs during a 2-for-4 effort to lead his Jaguars to their fourth straight win on Monday, defeating McCreary Central, 12-0.

    April 22, 2014

  • Corbin rolls past B'ville

    Chris Hart’s Corbin Lady Redhounds didn’t waste any time taking control of their game against Barbourville.

    April 22, 2014

  • 0421 nlhs Natasha Caudill.jpg Recovery Effort

    After posting a 1-1 mark during their stay in Richmond Friday, Kyle Mink’s North Laurel Jaguars recovered Saturday by knocking off New York’s Dunkirk High School in six innings, 11-1.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Corbin knocks off Wayne County, falls to Mercer

    The Corbin Redhounds had a tall order in front of them Saturday, playing host to two of the 12th Region’s top teams at House Field.

    April 21, 2014

  • Lady Cardinals improve to 13th Region-best, 19-2

    The South Laurel Lady Cardinals improved to a 13th Region-best 19-2 on the season after upending both Dunkirk, N.Y., 10-0 and Rockcastle County, 5-2.

    April 21, 2014

  • Almost There

    Coming in to the 2014 Lady Redhound Softball Classic Corbin head coach Chris Hart said just like he’s said all season, he wanted his team to continue to improve each time it stepped on the field.

    April 21, 2014

  • 0326 whs tennis.jpg Smashing Win

    March 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Whitley County knocks off B'ville, 7-0

    March 28, 2014

Front page
Featured Ads
AP Video
Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly Pipeline Opponents Protest on National Mall Hagel Gets Preview of New High-tech Projects S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter New Yorkers Celebrate Cherry Blossom Blooms SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Justice Dept. Broadening Criteria for Clemency Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers 'Miss Meadows' Takes Holmes Back to Her Roots Biden: Russia Must Stop Talking, Start Acting David Moyes Out As Manchester United Manager Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet Stowaway Teen Forces Review of Airport Security
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Facebook
SEC Times-Tribune