CORBIN — By Les Dixon / Sports Editor
Week Eight of high school football is in the books and now it’s time to take a seat and look at what we learned this past week.
Player of the Week — The past two weeks I’ve gone with teams for the top honors, but this week, it goes back to one player and this was a hard choice. Williamsburg torched Berea for 507 offensive yards and I easily could have went with Yellow Jacket quarterback Dalton Sizemore, who completed 17-of-34 pass attempts for 405 yards and five touchdowns during the win or I could have went with Corey Shelton, who caught six passes for two touchdowns and 142 yards.
But I’m going to go with receiver and defensive back Skyler Griffith. Griffith did it all this past Friday against the Pirates. He carried the ball one time for a six-yard touchdown and also returned an interception 52 yards for a score. He also finished the game with seven receptions for 181 yards and two touchdowns, so congrats goes out to Griffith.
Tough district loss — For 10 years, no school dominated its respective district play like the Corbin Redhounds. Steve Jewell’s squad ran off 47 straight wins in district play until rival Bell County ended the streak last season. The Bobcats handed the Redhounds another district loss this past Friday, which in turn is Corbin’s third district loss in two years. The 34-0 loss also had significant meaning because the Redhounds will now open Class 3A playoff action on the road.
Streak ended — Bell County’s shutout of Corbin this past Friday snapped a 72-game non-shutout streak for the Redhounds. The last time they had been held to no points came back on Aug. 24, 2007, when they dropped a 21-0 decision to Belfry. Knox Central now holds the longest non-shutout streak in the Tri-County at 32 games with South Laurel (25), Whitley County (18), North Laurel (11), Williamsburg (8) and Lynn Camp (2) following.
Still unbeaten — The Knox Central Panthers continue to dominate the opposition and it wasn’t any different in Mount Vernon, as the Panthers cruised to an easy 47-14 win over Rockcastle County. Knox Central is now 8-0 on the season, which is a school-first for the football program.
Slow start dooms Colonels — Whitley County entered its game against Harlan County with hopes of capturing a district championship, but those hopes were quickly dashed after the Colonels fell behind 19-0 in the first half. Jim Black’s squad couldn’t get much going against the Black Bears and it resulted in a 40-13 loss.
Playoff picture — These are the teams that are guaranteed a playoff spot with two weeks remaining in regular season play — Corbin, Lynn Camp, Knox Central, Lynn Camp, North Laurel, Whitley County and Williamsburg. It looks as if Corbin, Lynn Camp and North Laurel will be going on the road during first round action while Knox Central, Whitley County and Williamsburg will be hosting first round playoff games. The playoff appearance for the Jaguars would be their first since the 2004 season.
Eliminated — Larry Welch’s South Laurel Cardinals will play their final game of the 2012 season Friday at home against the Madison Southern Eagles. The Cardinals, who entered the season as one of the teams to beat in District 7, was eliminated Friday after losing to Pulaski County, 34-9. After going winless at 0-10 in 2010, South Laurel rebounded with a 5-6 mark in 2011 along with a playoff appearance, but the Cardinals just couldn’t get anything going this season as their record stands at 1-8.
Taking a break — For the second consecutive week, no teams will be off this week. Yep, it’s going to be another busy Friday in the Tri-County.
Going for a three-peat — When rivals Lynn Camp and Williamsburg meet up Friday at Williamsburg, the Yellow Jackets will try to accomplish a feat they haven’t done — winning a district championship three years in a row. Williamsburg has dominated its district, winning four of the last five district titles. This has been a special season for the Yellow Jackets and they hope to continue their successful ways with a win over the Wildcats.
Biggest win this past week — This is an easy one — Knox Central’s 47-14 road win at Rockcastle County County. This match-up had a "trap-game" feel to it all along with the Panthers being off two weeks while maybe, just maybe looking past the Rockets because of their upcoming game against Russell County. The Panthers spotted the Rockets a 7-0 lead before dominating them while picking up an easy 47-14 win.
Biggest game this week — This is an easy one — Russell County at Knox Central. Both teams enter with identical 8-0 records and both teams are ranked in the top five of the Class 4A Associated Press Poll. In other words, this is going to be a dandy of a game. The Panthers have the two-headed rushing attack of Jeffrey Canady and Jonathan Gist while the Lakers are led by tailback Nick Britt. The winner of this game wins the District 6 championship.
Tri-County Rankings for Oct. 15 - Oct. 19 —
Both Knox Central and Williamsburg have some breathing room after winning this past week. Knox Central comes in again at the top spot while the Yellow Jackets remain at No. 2. Whitley County stays put at No. 3 while Corbin, North Laurel, South Laurel and Lynn Camp round out the rankings.
They said it — “We came out a little slow and I believe it was a combination of maybe looking to next week’s game while being off two weeks. I told our guys that Rockcastle County was 7-0 last year when we played them and we shocked them and if we didn’t come ready to play, they could do that to us. After they scored that first touchdown, I thought we settled down and played well,” he added. “I just kept reminding them the entire week and the kids listened.” — Knox Central coach Scottie Russell after seeing his team beat Rockcastle County, 47-14.
“We’ve never won three district championships in a row and we can do that if we beat Lynn Camp. We can also wrap-up the small division SEKC championship and that’s another one of our goals.” — Williamsburg coach Jerry Herron on his team’s upcoming game against Lynn Camp.
“We just came out in the first half and didn't execute early. We were in good position to score, but we threw a couple of picks and didn’t do what we needed to do.” — Lynn Camp coach Phil Russell after his team’s 48-6 loss to Campbellsville.
“We made it easy on them in the first quarter. They are a good team and I knew they were going to be able to run the ball like that, but we didn’t do anything to help ourselves in the first quarter." — Whitley County coach Jim Black after his team’s 40-13 loss to Harlan County.