By Chris Parsons / The Endzone Staff
WHITLEY COUNTY — Whitley County’s 28-9 loss to Rockcastle County could be summed up in two words when all was said done — missed opportunities.
The Colonels gave up 21 of Rockcastle County’s 28 points in the first half and didn’t give up the final touchdown until late in the fourth quarter, but Jim Black’s team couldn’t mount any kind of offense in the second half.
“This was an extremely tough loss for us as a team because we had opportunity after opportunity and we just couldn’t capitalize,” Black said. “The big thing was that we spotted them 21 points in the first half and then we have to try and fight to come back.
“They got the first touchdown basically on blown coverage and it just went downhill from there,” he added. “It’s frustrating right now and it all comes back to me because we weren’t mentally prepared at the beginning of the game. It takes mental preparation to succeed and we weren’t mentally prepared for this game.”
After the two teams traded punts, Rockcastle County got on the scoreboard with 3:38 to play in the first quarter when Chance Ansardi scored on a nine-yard touchdown run to put the Rockets on top, 7-0.
The Rockets extended their lead after Kyle Denny intercepted a pass by Whitley County’s Luke Woods, leading to a 14-yard touchdown strike from Cory McPhetridge to Kyle Harper, which made the score 13-0 after a failed conversion by Rockcastle County.
It looked like Whitley County would claw back into the game when Austin Ysidro broke free for a 45-yard touchdown run, trimming the deficit to 21-7 with 7:35 to play in the second quarter.
Black’s squad had a chance to cut into the lead again after an interception by Ysidro gave the ball back to the Colonels on their own eight-yard line.
Whitley County used seven plays to drive to Rockcastle County’s eight-yard line before they turned the ball over after a fumble by Woods, ending the scoring threat.
The Colonels forced a fumble as time wound down in the second half, taking advantage of the extra possession in the form of a 39-yard field goal by Alex Conlin as time expired in the first half, cutting the Rockets’ lead to 21-9.
Neither team managed to do much offensively until Rockcastle County scored on a 26-yard reception from McPhetridge with 6:05 to play in the game, pushing their lead to 28-9.
The Colonels turned the ball over on downs on their next possession as Rockcastle chewed up over four minutes of clock as time wound down in the final period. Whitley County got the ball back with six seconds to play and almost symbolic of the way things went in the game, Woods threw an interception on the last play of night to end things.
The Colonels will be back in action next week as they host Clay County and Black said the preparation for that game can’t start soon enough for his Colonels.
“We had some guys in some different positions than they’re used to and then you put them out here at game speed, which makes it tougher,” Black said. “The kids did what we coached them to do on the football field, but it just wasn’t good enough.
“Our scout team did a good job of getting ready, but we just have to do a little bit better job of getting ready during the week,” he added. “We’ll start now and try to get ready for next week and hopefully we can do a little bit better.”
Whitley County rushed the ball 34 times for 111 yards, while passing for 81 yards, giving them a total of 192 yards of offense. The Rockets ran the football 29 times for 109 yards, but were 12-for-17 through the air for 196 yards.
Whitley County’s record goes to 0-4 After 28-9 loss at home to Rockcastle Co.
By Chris Parsons / 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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