Where: Rocket Stadium
Date: Friday, Oct. 12, 7:30 p.m.
Team Records: K. Central 7-0, Rock 2-5
The inside scoop: The Knox Central Panthers have had the best season in the school’s history, totaling a 7-0 record and ranking 5th in the state in Class 4A. Despite their success this season, the Panthers know they cannot overlook this week’s opponent in the Rockcastle Rockets.
The Rockets have a rich tradition of being one of the most physical teams in the mountains and Knox Central Coach Scott Russell knows his team must play tough, if they want to continue their win streak.
“Rockcastle is one of those teams that is always good and can always beat you. We’ve had some wars with them in the past,” said Russell. “They are a much better team than their record shows, they’ve just hurt themselves here and there in some of their games.
“They are going to be physical and can sneak up on you. Our kids know we can’t overlook them,” he added.
With Rockcastle’s poor record this season (2-5) it would be easy for the Panthers to overlook this game, especially with district favorite Russell County awaiting them on October 19th. To ensure his players are focused, Russell said they must take a look at themselves on film and see in what areas they can improve.
“We have to show a lot of film on ourselves, and see how we make mistakes,” Russell said. “We have let them know that they aren’t as good as everyone tells them.
“Our biggest thing right now is playing a full four quarters,” he added. “We feel like we still have put a complete football game together, and that is what we are looking for.”
In last year’s district showdown between Knox Central and Rockcastle, the Panthers entered the game as somewhat of the underdog, but prevailed 40-14. Despite the big win, Knox Central finished tied in the district and ended up with the third seed, which still leaves a bad taste in the mouths of these players and coaches.
“Going back to last year, our goal for this season is to win the district championship,” Russell said. “It’s what we talk about, and it’s what our players have on their minds.
“We don’t want to look ahead to Russell County or anyone else,” he added. “We are looking at Rockcastle as the next step to the district championship. We’re looking at them like they are in our way, and we want to take care of business.”Oct. 18
W'burg at Berea Oct. 18