TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY
By Chris Parsons / Sports Editor
While a lot of people may be looking ahead to a potential week-two rematch between Corbin (8-2) and Wayne County in the Class 3A playoffs, Redhounds head coach Steve Jewell isn’t one of them.
Jewell said he knows what kind of test is in front of his Redhounds as they hit the road to face Henry County (6-4) today and focusing on the Wildcats has been his top priority this week.
“We’ve really tried to focus on this week because we’ve got a very good Henry County team that is at home to deal with,” Jewell said. “I think being at home will give them a little extra advantage after we have a three-hour bus ride, so we have to be focused.
“As a coach, you hope your kids are focused on the team in front of you, even though we made getting back to Wayne County a goal of ours after the loss to them,” he added. “We know we have an obstacle in front of us in Henry County, so we have to take care of that first.”
If you go by the numbers, it’s no secret what the Wildcats will try to do offensively.
Of the 2,017 total yards gained this season, 1,764 of them have come on the ground. Mason Fish leads the charge with 827 yards and eight touchdowns on 92 carries (103 yards per game), followed by quarterback Austin Hartsell’s 484 yards and 11 touchdowns on 135 carries.
“Henry County is a big, strong, physical ball club,” Jewell said. “They’ve got some big strong running backs and they’ve got some lineman that block really well.
“I’m really impressed with how the whole team blocks and they have some really good tight ends as well,” he added. “Their backs run hard and they really try to take it right to you, so we’re going to be in for a very physical football game.”
The good news for Corbin is that they are back at 100 percent in practice this week, which means the return of Taylor Waddle in the backfield. Waddle’s return will help take some pressure of leading rusher Jake Coppock, who tallied 748 yards and 12 touchdowns through the team’s first nine games.
Jewell said the fact that everyone practiced this week is a big plus for his team and he expects all his players to be at the ready when the game gets underway tonight. Even with a full roster at his disposal though, he said the Redhounds will have to play their style of football when all is said and done.
“We’ve practiced everybody all week long and I feel like we’ve looked stronger as the week progressed,” Jewell said. “I feel like we’re the best that we have been in two or three weeks.
“We have to play our football though,” he added. “I feel like in both of our losses this year, we’ve let the other team dictate some things we’ve done, but we can’t do that if we want to win the game.”