TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

Sports Editorials

September 28, 2012

Fear 'Les' Football Forecast

CORBIN — Wayne Co. at Corbin

Where: Gilliam Field

Date: Friday, Sept. 28, 7:30 p.m.

Team Records: Wayne Co. 5-1, Corbin 2-3

The inside scoop: It might be Corbin’s first district game of the season, but it’s also the most important. Upstart Wayne County pays Campbell Field a visit Friday with a lot at stake in district positioning.

The Cardinals enter Friday’s contest with a 5-1 record, but they are 0-1 in district play after falling to defending district champion Bell County last week, 21-7.

A loss for Wayne County would almost lock up the No. 3 seed for the Cardinals, signifying a road playoff game in first round action of the Class 3A playoffs.

A win for Corbin would put the Redhounds one step closer to a home district game and a district championship while a loss would put them in a must-win situation to keep home playoff hopes alive in a couple of weeks against Bell County.

“This is a huge game for us,” Corbin coach Steve Jewell said. “There is no doubt about it. It’s our first district game of the season and you want to be able to get off to a good start in district play.

“This game is all about positioning,” he added. “You want as many home playoff games as you can get and with the way the playoffs are set up this season, the more you win during the playoffs, the more chance you get to stay at home, so this is huge.”

The Redhounds are coming off a bye week that allowed the players to heal any injuries they had suffered during the season’s first five games. Corbin’s record stands at 2-3 on the season and all three of their losses have been by seven points.

“The bye was huge for everyone,” Jewell said. “The kids got to be kids a bit and they had some healing time for their injuries. Hopefully it will pay off this week.”

Jewell admitted Wayne County isn’t going to be a pushover and his Corbin squad needed to be ready for a physical game.

“They are a good team,” he said. “They played Bell County tough and gave them a heck of a ballgame. They turned the ball over four times in the first quarter, but still played them close.

“It seems like every three to four years Wayne County has a good ball team and it all started last season and they return everyone back except for two players. They have a very good team.”

The Cardinals have been successful on both sides of the ball. Wayne County is allowing opponents only 144 yards of total offense per game and only 98 rushing yards per game.

“They have an excellent defense,” Jewell said. “They play really well together and they are very physical on both sides of the ball.”

The Cardinals are led by quarterback Tyler Guffey, who has completed 35-of-74 pass attempts for 586 yards and seven touchdowns. He also leads the team with 208 yards on the ground and is followed by Junior Ruiz’s 203 rushing yards.

Dagan Shelton (10 catches for 154 yards and three touchdowns) and Loan Gardner (nine catches for 222 yards and one touchdown) are Guffey’s main receiving targets.

“Even though they spread you out, they like to run the ball,” Jewell said. “They really go 50/50 on offense. We’ve got to be ready for that.”

Jewell said the key for his team is to keep Wayne County’s offense off the field.

“We’ve got to do that,” he said. “We’ve got to minimize our mistakes and get off on the right foot. Each district game is big, but right now, this one is huge.”

Whitley Co. at Somserset

Where: Briar Jumper Field

Date: Friday, Sept. 28, 7:30 p.m.

Team Records: W.C. 2-3, Somerset 4-1

The inside scoop: It’s becoming a repetitive them for the Whitley County Colonels — a different week, a tough opponent.

It doesn’t get any easier this week as the Colonels will be paying a visit to Class 2A’s No. 2 ranked team Somerset.

The Briar Jumpers have been dominant at times on the defensive side of the ball — knocking off rival Southwestern 48-2, while disposing of defending Class A state champion Hazard with ease, 17-9.

Somerset went on the road just last week and shut out Class 2A power Glasgow, 20-0, so Whitley County coach Jim Black knows his team has their hands full.

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