WHITLEY COUNTY AT MADISON SOUTHERN
Where: James Williams Stadium
Date: Today, 7:30 p.m.
Team Records: W.C. 0-1, M. Southern 1-0
The inside scoop: Whitley County will try to avoid going 0-2 to start the 2013 campaign, but it’s going to be hard when they pay a visit to Madison Southern today.
The Eagles are led by University of Michigan commit Damien Harris, who ran for more than 200 yards last week and six touchdowns.
“Rockcastle did a good job against him for two quarters, but he wound up breaking loose,” Black said. “I think you know that he's going to touch the ball, but you have to try to contain him.
“The only real way to stop a player like him is to keep him from getting the football, so you want to try and have an eight-minute, 13-play drive to eat the clock and maybe keep the ball out of his hands," he added. "When he does touch the football you have to key on him and maybe try to make them beat you some other way."
FEAR 'LES' PREDICTION: Madison Southern 49, Whitley County 13
KNOX CENTRAL VS. PSW
Where: Corbin’s Campbell Field
Date: Today, 6 p.m.
Team Records: K.C. 1-0, PSW 0-1
The inside scoop: The Knox Central Panthers will try to run their record to a perfect 2-0 while participating in their second straight bowl game Friday in the Cumberland Falls Pigskin Classic.
The Panthers are coming off a 51-7 blowout win over Atherton in the Pioneer Bowl, and will go up against Southwestern at Corbin’s Campbell Field at 6 p.m.
The Warriors are coming off a 14-0 loss to Corbin, which saw the Warriors’ offense get stifled by the Redhounds while being limited to only 150 yards of total offense while turning the ball over one time.
Even though his team will enter Friday’s game as a heavy favorite, Knox Central head coach Scott Russell was quick to point out that his team can’t overlook Southwestern.
“They are a dangerous team, and better than what people think,” he admitted. “They are a team that if you let them get out on you, they’re going to be hard to stop.
“We can’t get off to a slow start like we did last week against Atherton,” Russell added. “We need to come out and be ready to play.”
Russell said he believes his team might be playing with a bit of a chip on their shoulder after turning in a subpar effort in their scrimmage game against Harlan County two weeks ago.
“I believe they are,” he said. “We are trying to create our own identity, I guess you could say, our own legacy.
“We know we can’t live on our success that happened in the past,” Russell added. “We have to create our own legacy and continue to play well.”
FEAR 'LES' PREDICTION: Knox Central 42, PSW 0
WAYNE COUNTY AT SOUTH LAUREL
Where: Gilliam Field, SLHS
Date: Saturday, 8:30 p.m.
Team Records: W.C. 1-0, S.L. 0-0
The inside scoop: Matt Rhymer's South Laurel Cardinals were the lone Tri-County football team that didn't open their season in Week Zero, but they'll be in action Saturday, hosting Class 3A power Wayne County in Cumberland Valley Bowl XIII.
The Cardinals are coming off a 1-9 season as Rhymer enters his first year coaching South Laurel. He’s installed a new offense, and he's the first to admit his team is an unknown, even to him, heading into the season.
“This team is an unknown, I really don't know what to expect until I see what they can do in game,” he said. “A lot of things are unknown to me as well — we've got to see how we execute, compete and stand up and fight when the game is on the line.
“Those are things we’ll be able to see (Saturday) against Wayne County,” he added. “I know our players are excited to play.”
Rhymer’s squad will have its hands full Saturday against what many consider Wayne County’s best team in school history.
Wayne County (1-0) is coming off a 44-14 win over Monroe County that saw the offense only rack up 258 yards, but the defense limited Monroe County to only 185 yards of total offense.
“Wayne County is a very good team,” Rhymer said. “They really have it going right now. I was able to watch them in person last week and it’s always good when you can do that.”
“The keys for us to win this game are simple,” he added. “We’ve got to go out there and believe we can win and have the right mindset. We also can’t turn the ball over and have good ball control — we’ve got to hold on to the football and we’ve got to block.”
FEAR 'LES' PREDICTION: Wayne County 35, South Laurel 7
WILLIAMSBURG VS. NORTH LAUREL
Where: Gilliam Field, SLHS
Date: Saturday, 5:30 p.m.
Team Records: W’burg 1-0, N. L. 1-0
The inside scoop: The best showdown in Tri-County will take place Saturday when both North Laurel and Williamsburg face-off in Cumberland Valley Bowl XIII.
Both teams enter the game with identical 1-0 records and both teams possess high-powered offenses.
“They’ve got a pair of really dangerous football players that can break free and score at any time,” Williamsburg coach Jerry Herron said. “Hopefully we can do a good job of limiting what we allow them to do on offense.”
North Laurel coach Chris Larkey acknowledged his team has its hands full with the Yellow Jackets.
“Williamsburg is a good team that will make you play all four quarters of football,” he said. “They have some kids that can really play good football, so we’re going to have to fix some of the mistakes we made against Claiborne County.”
FEAR 'LES' PREDICTION: North Laurel 63, Williamsburg 52
PERRY CENTRAL AT CORBIN
Where: Corbin’s Campbell Field
Date: Today, 8:45 p.m. p.m.
Team Records: P.C. 1-0, Corbin 1-0
The inside scoop: The 2013 Cumberland Falls Pigskin Classic's nightcap between the Corbin Redhounds and Perry County Central Commodores pits a pair of teams against each other that are off to similar starts to the 2013 season.
Not only are the two teams coming off season-opening wins, but they each turned in defensive shutouts after holding their opponents scoreless in Week Zero. The Commodores blanked Clay County 21-0, while Corbin earned a 14-0 win over Southwestern in the Ray Correll Bowl at Somerset High School.
The shutout was the first in 29 games for Corbin, dating back to Oct. 15, 2010 when the Redhounds beat Leslie County 49-0. Perry Central's streak goes back even further to Oct. 9, 2009, when the Commodores beat Clay County, 14-0.
After the win over Southwestern, Corbin coach Steve Jewell said he will gladly take the win, but admitted there are plenty of areas to improve upon, especially if his team wants to reach the goals it has set for the season.
“A win is a win early in the season and a lot of coaches will take it either way, whether it's by just a point,” Jewell said. “You watch film and our coaches are always looking for things to improve on and there's plenty because nobody is perfect.
“Hopefully we can get in and work on some things we really need to work on to get to the point that we want to reach at the end of the season,” he added.
FEAR 'LES' PREDICTION: Corbin 21, Perry Central 13
CAMPBELL COUNTY AT LYNN CAMP
Where: Lynn Camp’s Mitchell Field
Date: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Team Records: C.C. 1-0, LC 0-1
The inside scoop: The Lynn Camp Wildcats have spent the week licking their wounds after a 48-16 loss to Powell County in the 2013 Pioneer Bowl at Knox Central High School that put the team at 0-1.
It looked like the two teams would trade scores from the early stages on, but the Wildcat offense couldn't keep up the pace as Phil Russell's team lost steam early.
Russell said after that loss he didn't feel like his team was in the kind of physical shape it needed to be in to face a team like Powell County.
The bad news for Russell and company is that things aren't getting any easier this week as the Wildcats face Campbell County, Tenn.
In the home opener at Lynn Camp's Mitchell Field, Russell said he knows what he's up against, but is hopeful the team will be better after the game whether the Wildcats win or lose.
“We had our first full practice today and we went back to some basic things,” Russell said. “We didn't block very well so we used that to show our kids the difference in things.
“There were several plays where if our kids blocked the guy they were supposed to block, the play would have been entirely different as far as the outcome,” he added.
FEAR 'LES' PREDICTION: Campbell County 49, Lynn Camp 6