Oh, the ups and downs of high school football. One moment your team is winning and you’re on top of the world and in a blink of an eye, things change.
Week Six wasn’t kind to some of our local high school football teams, but then again, it was.
• Without a doubt, Jim Black’s Whitley County Colonels have played the toughest schedule in the Tri-County and they have come out a better team heading into district play this week against district foe Perry Central.
Many didn’t know what to expect out of the 2012 version of the Colonels after their season-opening loss to Russell County.
Yes, the Lakers handed the Colonels a 49-20 loss, but Russell County is now 7-0 on the season and Whitley County is a better team after playing a team the caliber of Bill Sharp’s squad.
The Colonels stayed above water after the 29-point loss and Black never hit the panic button and it has resulted in Whitley County becoming one of the better teams in Class 5A.
Since the loss to Russell County, Whitley County’s lone loss was to Class 3A power Bell County and it was almost a win for Black’s squad up on Log Mountain. The Bobcats pulled out a 21-14 win and the Colonels haven’t lost since.
Whitley County has responded with wins over Clay County (35-21), Lynn Camp (49-0) and of course Friday’s 14-7 win over No. 2 ranked Somerset, who has beaten teams such as defending Class A state champion Hazard (17-9), Class 5A’s Southwestern Pulaski (48-2) and Glasgow (20-0).
Black is working his magic again at Whitley County and this team is going to make some noise once post-season play begins.
• No team suffered a bigger loss this past week than the North Laurel Jaguars. Many might be scratching their heads and thinking Corbin’s loss to Wayne County might be a bit bigger, but let me explain.
North Laurel needed this win over Pulaski County — not just for this season, but for the football program. The Jaguars haven’t had a lot of success on gridiron since the 1992 season. North Laurel only has one district championship and hasn’t reached the playoffs since 2004 and a win over the Maroons last week would have put them atop the district standings with Madison Southern and one step closer to a playoff berth.
Instead the Jaguars are going to have to erase last week’s loss to Pulaski County at home this week against Southwestern Pulaski, who rallied to beat South Laurel in overtime last week.
• If South Laurel hasn’t hit the panic button yet, it should. The Cardinals are 1-6 overall and 0-2 in district play and is basically in must-win mode this week against Lincoln County — a loss to the Patriots Friday will basically seal the deal for any hopes of a Cardinal playoff berth. Not many people expected South Laurel to only have one win after seven games. South Laurel was picked by many to win a district championship this season, but injuries have really hurt this team.
• So now it’s on to the Corbin Redhounds. Yes, Corbin’s loss to Wayne County is a huge, but Steve Jewell’s squad can really throw a wrench into both Bell County’s and Wayne County’s plans if the Redhounds can beat the Bobcats at Campbell Field in two weeks. Yes, Corbin is 2-4, but three of its losses have been by seven points apiece and last week’s loss to Wayne County was only by three points.
This is a good Corbin team, they just need to cut down on mistakes — penalties and turnovers.
The key for the Redhounds is to take advantage of Red Zone situations, too. Hosting a home playoff game isn’t out of the question yet for the Redhounds, but if they don’t beat Bell County on Oct. 12, it will be.