TIMES TRIBUNE (CORBIN, Ky.)
CORBIN — Sports Editorial
Both Corbin and North Laurel are putting their respective unbeaten records on the line Friday with both hitting the road in district battles.
Steve Jewell’s Redhounds will put their 5-0 record on the line against unbeaten Wayne County (6-0), who ended Bell County’s 31-game district dominance last week by cruising to an easy 41-6 win.
Corbin was on a bye during Week Five action, and managed to rest up before Friday’s battle with the Cardinals, which could be a plus.
The Redhounds are going to have to turn in their best effort of the season if they hope to get past Wayne County, who has outscored its opponents 245-74 so far this season.
The Cardinals flexed their muscles against Bell County last week, and limited the Bobcats to season lows in total and rushing yardage.
Shawn Thompson’s squad allowed only 69 rushing yards on the ground, and 47 passing yards while forcing the Bobcats to turn the ball over two times in the game.
If Corbin is going to pull off the upset against Wayne County, the Redhounds must play mistake-free football, and have big games from players such as Jake Coppock, Corey Taylor, Taylor Waddle and Cai Jackson.
The Corbin defense has turned in solid efforts in each of its five wins, allowing only four points per game. It will be tested Friday, though, with the likes of Wayne County quarterback Tyler Guffey, and his receiving quartet of Jason Perkins, Logan Gardner, Alan Brown and Austin Garner.
Many are picking the Cardinals to win by two touchdowns, but if Corbin can stay away from turnovers and control the clock, it has a solid chance of winning.
Whoever does pull off the win will be in the district’s driver’s seat.
On the flip side, Chris Larkey’s North Laurel Jaguars (5-0) are facing the same task that Corbin will be Friday — trying to pull off a district upset on the road.
North Laurel will also be underdogs entering the game against a Maroon squad that is the highest scoring team in Class 5A by scoring 50 points a game — that’s right, 50 points.
Pulaski County’s lowest point total came during a Week One win over Montgomery County with the Maroons winning 38-7.
Yep, 38 points is the lowest amount Pulaski has been held to in a game this season. The Maroons have scored 41, 57, 49, 54 and 61 points during their other games this season, while outscoring their opponents 300-125 during their six wins this season.
The keys to winning for North Laurel are just the same as they are with Corbin’s chances against Wayne County — the Jaguars must play mistake-free football and control the clock.
Larkey’s squad has a good shot at doing that with Michael Nelson, Gabe Blair and Jake McFadden carrying the load in the backfield.
But the Jaguars also need to keep Pulaski County’s defense honest by throwing the ball.
The bottom line is this — if Corbin’s defense can bottle up Wayne County’s Guffey and company, and North Laurel’s defense can do the same against Pulaski County’s Riley Hall, both teams have a solid chance of winning.
If they can’t, it might be a long night for both Redhound and Jaguar fans.