We’ve got one week of high school football post-season play under our belts and the Tri-County now has three teams remaining.
In case you missed it — Knox Central, Whitley County and Williamsburg each advanced to their respective class’ second round of playoff action while Corbin, Lynn Camp and North Laurel each saw their seasons come to an end.
The Panthers advanced in fine fashion by getting solid rushing efforts from both Jeffrey Canady and Jonathan Gist.
The “Ground and Pound” duo combined to rush for 393 yards on the ground and six touchdowns — not too shabby, huh?
Whitley County had to use a solid second half to get past North Laurel, as Austin Ysidro rushed for 232 yards and four touchdowns while the Colonels torched the Jaguars defense for 495 rushing yards — that’s right, 495.
Williamsburg is the lone Tri-County team that had a rather easy time during its 60-6 win over an outmatched Jenkins squad.
The Yellow Jackets jumped out to a 34-0 lead in the first quarter and never looked back during their 10th win of the season. Williamsburg’s offensive attack was too much for the Cavaliers with the Yellow Jackets totaling 464 yards of offense with 357 coming through the air. Dalton Sizemore led the way for Williamsburg by completing 10-of-11 pass attempts for 328 yards and four touchdowns while Brently Patrick completed six-of-seven attempts for 29 yards.
The Yellow Jacket receivers also put up impressive numbers in the win — Skyler Griffith finished the game with four receptions, 150 yards and one score while Andrew Griffith had two catches for 92 yards and a touchdown. Logan Hamblin had a 47-yard touchdown reception while Corey Shelton finished the game with 68 yards receiving on four catches and one score.
And with that said, it’s time to take a look down the road for what our teams should expect during Friday’s second round match-ups:
Knox Central at Lexington Catholic
Many believe the Panthers are heavy underdogs, but there are Knox Central believers out there. Bluegrasspreps.com has Scottie Russell’s squad winning the region over Russell County, so we will see. To get past the Knights, Knox Central can’t turn the ball over and must have good special teams play.
Lexington Catholic is 9-2 on the season with its only losses coming to Tennessee’s Ensworth High School (62-14) and state power Bowling Green (35-21). The Knights are without the services of quarterback Kyle Bolin, who is injured. This is a winnable game for the Panthers, but they can’t afford to fall behind early or turn the ball over.
Whitley County at Pulaski County
The Colonels might not be the favorite coming into the game, but I do believe they have a solid chance of pulling off the win. The Maroons enter the game with an 8-3 record, and they’re very talented, but do they have the defensive arsenal to stop Whitley County’s running game?
Pulaski’s main weapons on offense are tailback Tyler Goins, who has 1,108 yards on the ground, including 14 touchdowns and quarterback Riley Hall, who has completed 197-of-316 pass attempts for 2,099 yards and 20 touchdowns. Hall also has a load of talented receivers to throw the ball to.
Harlan at Williamsburg
These two teams met on Aug. 24 at Williamsburg with the Yellow Jackets winning, 36-0, while passing for 239 yards and running for 186. The Yellow Jackets are the hands down favorites in this game, but don’t expect the Green Dragons to just be a pushover for Williamsburg.
J.B. Donahue is one of the best coaches around and he’ll have his Green Dragons ready.
The big question coming into the game is can Harlan slow down Williamsburg’s passing attack? Not many teams have this season.
So with that said, who’s going to win the games mentioned above? I can’t tell you right now, but check out Friday’s edition of The Fear ‘les’ Forecast in the Times-Tribune and you won’t be let down. First round action 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 — It seems like every week I’ve got a tough choice to make and it isn’t any different today. Whitley County’s Austin Ysidro led the Colonels with 232 rushing yards and four touchdowns and is very deserving while Knox Central’s Jeffrey Canady had 231 yards on the ground and five scores against Mercer County. So who gets the honors this week?
I say both.
You’re doing something special when you can rush for 200 yards and four or five touchdowns in a playoff game, so my hat’s off to both Ysidro and Canady for their first round efforts in post-season play.
Moving on — We’ve got three teams remaining in the Tri-County after Knox Central, Whitley County and Williamsburg each won their respective playoff games. Last season after the first week of playoff action, Corbin and Williamsburg were the only teams left standing.
Tough loss — 2012 turned out to be a tough season for the Corbin Redhounds. It just seemed as if Corbin could never gather much steam throughout the 2012 campaign. The Redhounds’ season came to an end with a 36-16 loss to LaRue County. It marked the second straight year Corbin has made a first round exit. The loss also turned out to be the Redhounds’ seventh straight on the road during the playoffs with Corbin’s last post-season road win coming against Green County (48-19) on Nov. 10, 2000.
Steve Jewell’s squad finished the 2012 campaign with a 5-6 record, which marks Corbin’s first losing season since 1995 when the Redhounds went 4-7 under former coach Mike Whitaker.
Still winless — Chris Larkey’s North Laurel Jaguars were trying to make history during their first round playoff game against Whitley County, but couldn’t get anything going in the second half against the Colonels. North Laurel led 14-7 at halftime, but was outscored 34-6 during the game’s final 24 minutes of play. The loss means the Jaguars remain winless in post-season play at 0-7.
Tri-County teams eliminated on Friday — Corbin jumped out to a 10-9 lead against LaRue County, but was eventually eliminated by the Hawks, as the Redhounds dropped a 36-16 decision. Lynn Camp hung tough against Harlan before losing 53-24 while North Laurel led 14-7 against Whitley County, but fell in the end, 41-20.
Playoff picture — Knox Central, Whitley County and Williamsburg remain alive and well in post-season play. The Panthers will hit the road against Lexington Catholic while the Colonels will travel to play Pulaski County. The Yellow Jackets is the lone Tri-County team to be hosting a playoff game, as Harlan will pay a visit to Rose-Stanfill stadium.
What are the opposing teams’ seeds? — Lexington Catholic and Pulaski County are both No. 1 seeds while Harlan is a no. 2 seed.
Run, Whitley, run — When it comes to running the ball, no team does it better than Whitley County. Just a couple of weeks ago, the Colonels ran for 617 yards on the ground against Letcher Central and just this past week, they ran for 495 yards in the playoffs against North Laurel.
Red-hot entering second round play — Jerry Herron’s Williamsburg Yellow Jackets is the hottest Tri-County team entering the playoffs. The Yellow Jackets are riding a six-game win streak while outscoring their opponents 279-30 during the process.
Biggest win this past week — I’m going with Whitley County’s win over North Laurel. I really believed this game would be closer than it was. The Colonels trailed 14-7 at halftime, but came out in the second half and dominated the Jaguars.
Biggest game this week — Knox Central at Lexington Catholic — A win over the Knights would be huge for Scottie Russell’s Panthers, but it’s not going to be easy. The Knights might be without their starting quarterback, but they are pretty darn good.
Tri-County Rankings for Nov. 5 – Nov. 9 —
Knox Central is at the top spot once again while Williamsburg is No. 2. Whitley County comes in at No. 3 while Corbin, North Laurel, South Laurel and Lynn Camp round out the rankings.
They said it — “We knew Whitley County was going to get chewed out over there in the locker room and I knew coach Black was going to have them fired up. They do play good in the second half and they proved it tonight. That fumble was huge and, you never know what goes through kids’ minds, but that could have been a huge momentum builder for us. But we’ll never know and you have to take your hats off to Whitley County for playing a good football game.” — North Laurel coach Chris Larkey after his team’s 41-20 loss to Whitley County.
“I’m happy with the effort and we were able to get that seventh win, which was our goal. The kids settled in and played good football considering we had some kids in positions they hadn’t played in a whole lot. I’m proud of them and we’ll get back at it Monday.” — Whitley County coach Jim Black on his Colonels’ 41-20 win over North Laurel.
“I thought we came out and did what we needed to. We felt like if we came out and executed our offense and took what they gave us, we would have a good chance of winning. I thought we threw the ball well. Our varsity kids did their job and our young kids came in and played well.” — Williamsburg coach Jerry Herron after seeing his Yellow Jackets beat Jenkins, 60-6.
“I tell you what, the offensive line did some great blocking for us tonight. That is what we’ve focused on, and that is what we have to do to win these ball games, and they came through for us tonight. Our defense played good and solid. Other than a couple mistakes here and there, and us having to play some young kids tonight, our defense came through.” — Knox Central coach Scottie Russell on his Panthers’ 41-20 win over Mercer County.