CORBIN — By Chris Parsons / Staff Writer
If it’s high power football you’re looking for this Friday, the match-up between South Laurel and Knox Central in the Pioneer Bowl is the game for you.
The Cardinals feature one of the Tri-County’s best quarterbacks in Tyler Dethridge and a player many believe is the front-runner for Player of the Year in Knox Central’s Jeffrey Canady.
According to the opposing coaches, stopping each of the two will be key in winning the game.
“The biggest thing is that they can throw the football very well and they have some kids that can also catch the ball,” Knox Central head coach Scottie Russell said. “We will definitely have our hands full when it comes to defensive assignments. Overall, they are a very good offensive team that will give us trouble if we let them.”
South Laurel coach Larry Welch said the two teams are very similar in several ways, echoing Russell’s sentiments about the overall offensive abilities of his opponent.
“This Knox Central team will do a lot of things on offense,” Welch said. “They have a couple of good running backs and a solid quarterback who has a really strong arm. We have to limit what we allow them to do and try to keep them off the field.”
Both teams lost several players to graduation last season and are still looking for leaders to step up and assume that role. After Friday, both coaches may have an answer as to who will.
“The key for us is to come out and play smart football and limit our mistakes,” Welch said. “We have to have a leader or two step up and help us stay calm and do that.”
“We’ve had to really get back to basics on the offensive line and try to find some guys who want to step up,” Russell said. “I told our kids that we have to come out and perform every time we are on the football field and this week is no different.
“We just have to take things one game at a time and this is the first of those games,” he added.