TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

Local Sports

September 9, 2013

Monday Morning Quarterback

Corbin, Knox Central and North Laurel are unbeaten at 3-0 on the season

CORBIN — By Les Dixon / Sports Editor

Week Two turned out to be a very interesting one, to say the least, with three teams remaining unbeaten (Corbin, Knox Central and North Laurel) while both Lynn Camp and South Laurel each picked up their first win of the season.

Player of the Week

For the second straight week, a kicker has been in the running for Player of the Week honors, and once again, just missed out with this week’s honor going to Knox Central tailback Jonathan Gist.

Gist just missed out on winning Week One’s Player of the Week honors after rushing for 213 yards. But this week’s 253-yard effort against Prestonsburg was good enough for him to grab Player of the Week honors. North Laurel kicker Keaton Kennedy wasn’t too far behind, though. He came through when needed and kicked two field goals during the Jaguars’ win over Clay County.

Biggest surprise

South Laurel’s 19-8 win over Rockcastle County was a surprise to many, as coach Matt Rhymer managed to get his first win as the Cardinal coach thanks to a 19-8 victory over the Rockets.

South Laurel was seven minutes away from grabbing its first shut out dating back to a 50-0 win over Hazard in 2004. If the Cardinals could have accomplished the feat, it would have snapped a 97-game non-shutout streak.

Making a statement

For the second straight week, the North Laurel Jaguars picked up a big win, this time on the road against Clay County. It’s never easy winning on the road in Manchester, and the Jaguars did just that, picking up a 33-6 win by outscoring the Tigers 23-0 during the second half.  North Laurel is 3-0 on the season for the first time since the 2009 season.

Still searching

Jim Black’s Whitley County Colonels are now 0-3 on the season after dropping a 21-14 decision at home to Bell County. It looks as if the Colonels might have also lost the services of tailback Austin Hooper, who suffered an injury during the seven-point loss to the Bobcats.

Whitley County has two winnable games coming up at home against Rockcastle County and Clay County on what many consider one of the top three hardest schedules in the state.

Big win

It would be easy for me to go with either North Laurel’s win over Clay County or Knox Central’s win over Prestonsburg, but I’m going with South Laurel’s 19-8 victory over Rockcastle County.

The two schools decided to renew their rivalry on the football field this season, and I was quite surprised to see the Cardinals pull off the win over the Rockets, especially after seeing them struggle against Wayne County in their season-opener.

Matt Rhymer is going to build a winning program at South Laurel. It’s just going to take some time.

Toughest loss

Whitley County’s 21-14 defeat to Bell County still stings I’m sure for the Colonel players, coaches and fans. It seemed as if Whitley County outplayed the Bobcats throughout the contest, but the Colonels just couldn’t get the win.

Jim Black’s squad is good, but they need a win in the worst way to get some confidence back while building some momentum heading into its district contests in three weeks.

First win

Congrats goes out to South Laurel coach Matt Rhymer, who received his first win as Cardinal coach, after his Cardinals handed Rockcastle County a 19-8 loss Friday.

Blowout win

Steve Jewell’s Corbin Redhounds took a long three-hour trip to play Trimble County and it only took about four or five minutes to see who the better team was. The Redhounds cruised to an easy win, 55-6, to improve to 3-0 on the season.

Corbin’s defense continues to shine, and has allowed only 14 points in three games this season.

Big Game This Week

Wayne County (3-0) at Williamsburg (2-1), 7:30 p.m.

I could have easily went with Knox Central at Harlan County or Danville at Corbin, but I feel like the Cardinals/Yellow Jackets match-up could be the most-entertaining for Tri-County football fans.

As I’ve said before, this could very well be Wayne County’s best football team to date with quarterback Tyler Guffey behind center, and of course, we know just how good Williamsburg can be, and is.

Will this be an offensive explosion? Could very well be, but then again, I thought the North Laurel/Williamsburg battle two weeks ago would be, too.

Tri-County Rankings for Sept. 9-13

North Laurel is the new No. 1 after defeating both Williamsburg and Clay County this past week while Williamsburg drops a spot to No. 2. Knox Central is ranked No. 3 while Corbin moves up a spot at No. 4. Whitley County drops to No. 5 while South Laurel and Lynn Camp both round out the rankings.

They Said It

“We don’t want to be known as the heartbreak kids for losing games like this. We need to learn to have that killer instinct of when to put teams away. We could ended this game in the third quarter, but we had a few mistakes and a few penalties that really shifted things. When you let a good team like Prestonsburg back in a game like this one, most of the time they're going to make you pay for it.” — Knox Central coach Scott Russell after his team’s 28-27 win over Prestonsburg.

“I thought we played uninspired today. I don’t ever know why teenagers do what they do and I just can't figure them out. It’s 2013 and I can't figure it out. We played uninspired and we played flat and it was just like we came over here and it just threw us all out of whack coming over on a Saturday. We stayed out here for an hour and not being able to go back to the locker room and this whole TV thing just threw the time off for us completely.” — North Laurel coach Chris Larkey after seeing his team improve to 3-0 on the season by defeating Clay County Saturday, 33-6.

“It feels great. I’m proud of our kids and our coaching staff. Everyone gave an awesome effort. After our loss to Wayne, we watched a little tape but then had a full speed practice on Tuesday. We saw the mistakes we made against Wayne and fixed them.” — South Laurel coach Matt Rhymer after seeing his Cardinals beat Rockcastle County, 19-8.

“People kept wanting me to blow this team up, but I wouldn’t do it. I wouldn’t do it because I don’t like counting our eggs before they hatch. But tonight, as you can see, if we’re clicking on all cylinders, we got a chance to do something special.” — Lynn Camp coach Phil Russell after seeing his Wildcats win their first game of the season, a 41-12 defeat of Jellico, Tenn.

“He’s a phenomenal player. He can break out at anytime. He’s got some good receivers and the line blocked well for him. The offense worked really well. We came out and executed tonight. The defense came out and executed too." — Williamsburg coach Jerry Herron on senior quarterback Dalton Sizemore’s 261-yard and four-touchdown effort against Pike Central Friday.

“I give all the credit to the kids in this one because they played like warriors out there tonight. I think the fans saw a well-played football game and I think our kids played inspired football the entire game. I have to take the blame for this one because I made some bonehead decisions out there in some crucial situations.” — Whitley County coach Jim Black after his team’s 21-14 loss to Bell County.

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