By Les Dixon / Sports Editor
CORBIN — The Corbin Redhounds’ district title hopes were dealt a serious blow Friday, as upstart Wayne County forced two interceptions during the game’s final four minutes to pick up a 26-23 win.
The three-point victory marked only the second time during 26 meetings with Corbin that the Cardinals have defeated the Redhounds.
The win improved Wayne County to 6-1 overall, but more importantly 1-1 in District 4 play, while Corbin falls to 2-4 and 0-1 against District 4 opponents.
Wayne County got on the scoreboard first after the Cardinal defense held Corbin’s offense to two straight three-and-outs to begin the game.
Cardinal quarterback Tyler Guffey’s 28-yard scramble highlighted the six-play, 55-yard scoring drive. Guffey capped it off with a one-yard run to paydirt to give Wayne County a 7-0 lead with 3:22 remaining in the first quarter.
The Redhounds’ offensive struggles showed early with three drives in the game’s first 12 minutes resulting in only six rushing yards and 27 total yards.
But it didn’t take long for Corbin to get things going in the second quarter. Taylor Waddle faked a hand-off in the backfield and raced 53 yards to tie the game up at seven apiece with 10:56 left in the first half, but Wayne County answered with a big-play score of its own.
The Cardinals started at their own five-yard line and was pushed back to their three yard-line, but drove 97 yards thanks to a 78-yard touchdown strike from Guffey to Jason Perkins to give them a 13-7 edge at the 8:19 mark of the second quarter.
Corbin caught a break late in the first half after recovering a punt that touched a Wayne County player. The Redhounds took over on Wayne County’s 26-yard line and used some trickery to get into the endzone.
Corbin used the hook-and-ladder play, as Waddle hit Josh Jewell with a pass and Jewell tossed the ball to Matt Jewell who reached the endzone to tie the game at 13 apiece at the 5:38 mark. Corbin failed to take the lead, as the Cardinals blocked the PAT.
The game continued to offer big plays in the first half, as Wayne County’s John Guffey picked off Waddle and took it back to the endzone, as the Cardinals’ lead grew to 20-13.
Another big play happened on Corbin’s ensuing possession, as Wayne County recovered a fumble in Redhound territory with less than two minutes remaining in the second quarter. The Cardinals drove down to Corbin’s one-yard line, but the Redhound defense stood firm and forced a fumble and recovered the ball with :15 left in the first half.
Corbin failed to take advantage of Wayne County’s third turnover of the game, as the Redhounds came up short on a fourth-and-one situation at the Cardinal 11-yard line with 9:17 left in the third quarter.
But it didn’t take long for Steve Jewell’s squad to make amends.
Wayne County turned into its own worst enemy during its third consecutive possession, as Corbin managed to record a safety to cut its deficit to 20-15 with less than eight minutes left in the third quarter.
The Redhounds missed an opportunity to take their first lead of the game on their next possession after driving down to Wayne County’s 10-yard line before turning the ball over on downs and it turned out to be a huge stop for the Cardinals.
Wayne County made Corbin pay, as Tyler Guffey and Perkins hooked up for a 72-yard touchdown connection, capping off an 89-yard drive to give the Cardinals a 26-15 lead with 8:29 remaining in the game.
The momentum continued to shift to the Cardinals’ side, as Wayne County recovered the ensuing kick-off, but couldn’t take advantage of the situation.
Corbin made the Cardinals pay by scoring with 5:35 remaining in the game, as Waddle and Josh Jewell hooked up for a 36-yard touchdown. The Redhounds added the two-point conversion when Waddle found Hunter Grubb open to cut its deficit to 26-23.
Corbin had two opportunities during the game’s final four minutes to tie or take the lead, but Waddle was picked off twice by the Wayne County secondary which sealed the win for the Cardinals.
By Les Dixon / Sports Editor
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