TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

November 1, 2013

Grand Finale

Hounds, Panthers hope to close regular season strong


TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

CORBIN — By Chris Parsons / Sports Editor

The Corbin Redhounds and Knox Central Panthers haven’t faced each other in regular season play since the 2005 season, when Steve Jewell’s Redhounds came away with a 35-14 win at home.

Fast-forward to this week’s showdown as both teams try to close the regular season with a win and hopefully avoid heading into the postseason on a bad note.

The good news for both teams is that no matter what happens in today’s game, both will have a chance at a playoff run.

The Panthers, who are coming off a 33-0 loss to Russell, have a home playoff game to look forward to as they host Mercer County next week. Corbin, fresh off a 49-13 win over Casey County, hits the road to face Henry County in the opening round of the playoffs.

Jewell said while both teams are hoping for the win, what’s important is that the Redhounds focus on their play as they try to come away from the contest with a positive mindset as the playoffs approach.

“We can’t really listen to stuff on the outside and we’re constantly telling our kids that,” Jewell said. “I know they’ve got some injuries here and there, but they could show up here with everybody ready to go, so we have to prepare in that manner.

“You want to play your game, no matter who you’re playing, and hopefully the rest will take care of itself,” he added. “The big thing is we want to come out and play good football and do things the right way and hopefully we can carry that into the playoffs.”

Knox Central head coach Scott Russell said his team is bringing a similar mindset into the football game when it comes to gaining momentum for a playoff push. With that in mind, Russell was quick to point out that despite a host of fresh faces on the field, he expects the same effort he has gotten all season from his team.

“I really feel like our kids are going to show up and play hard every time we take the football field,” Russell said. “When you have injuries and stuff like we’ve had, it’s really just a case of who wants to step up next and take the job.

“We have a really good group of kids that have put in a lot of hard work and I expect them to continue to do so this week,” he added. “While we may have some people in some different spots due to those injuries, we still have to play our style of football when we take the field.”