TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

Sports Editorials

September 4, 2012

Knox, W’burg off to red-hot starts on the gridiron

CORBIN — Week Two 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 —  We’ve been waiting to see Knox Central tailback Jeffrey Canady break lose and he did just that by rushing for 203 yards on 17 carries while also recording 12 tackles during the Panthers’ 39-29 win over Johnson Central in the Appalachian Bowl.

I still want to give a shout out to Williamsburg receiver Corey Shelton, who had another fantastic game for the Yellow Jackets.

He led Williamsburg with 117 receiving yards on six receptions and also had two receiving touchdowns and an interception for a score during the Yellow Jackets’ 70-22 win over Pineville. Another shout out goes to Skyler Griffith, who had seven receptions for 83 yards and two touchdowns. He also had an interception that resulted in a touchdown while taking a kick-off return for a 75-yard touchdown.

Biggest surprise — North Laurel’s 27-7 loss to Wayne County wasn’t as surprising as the Jaguars’ lack of offense against the Cardinals. North Laurel has one of the best players in the Tri-County in Michael Nelson and to see Wayne County bottle North Laurel’s offense up and limit the Jaguars to only seven points was very surprising.

Making a statement — Last week the Williamsburg Yellow Jackets made a big statement, but this past Friday Scottie Russell’s Knox Central Panthers made some noise by defeating a very good Johnson Central squad. The Panthers are for real this season and I can’t wait for their district match-up with Russell County to take place.

Tough loss — Steve Jewell’s Corbin Redhounds outplayed Tates Creek for most of the second half, but turnovers and missed opportunities in the first half led to Corbin’s second straight loss of the season.

Bowling over teams — No team in the Tri-County has more bowl wins this season Knox Central. The Panthers recorded a 40-21 win over South Laurel in the Pioneer Bowl; a 14-7 victory against Karns, Tenn. in the Cumberland Falls Pigskin Classic and a 39-29 win against Johnson Central in the Appalachian Bowl. Man, that’s a lot of hardware and we’re only three games into the high school football season.

Big win — Go no further than the Knox Central Panthers. Many people believed the Panthers would come up short against Johnson Central, including myself, but Knox Central proved me wrong by winning by 10 points.

Setback — The South Laurel Cardinals were picked by many to make a run at their district’s championship this season, but the Cardinals just haven’t lived up to the billing during the first three weeks of the season.

South Laurel rebounded from its first game of the season loss to Knox Central by defeating Lynn Camp, but Russell County unloaded a 62-13 loss to the Cardinals this past Friday that could leave some lingering effects for a while.

Big game this week —  We’ve got two big games this week — Bell County at Whitley County and Corbin at Danville — The Bobcats will be a very good test for the Colonels, who are coming off a big 28-0 win over Rockcastle County while Corbin is looking to put an end to its two-game losing skid, but it won’t be easy against a Danville team that beat Boyle County this past week.

Tri-County Rankings for Sept. 4 — Sept. 7

For the third straight week, we’ve got a new No. 1 team. The Knox Central Panthers move back into the top spot after a big win against Johnson Central. Williamsburg, unbeaten at 3-0, moves into the No. 2 spot while Whitley County moves up to No. 3. Corbin is at the No. 4 position while North Laurel (No. 5), South Laurel (No. 6) and Lynn Camp (No. 7) round out the rankings.

They said it — “We have more weapons than we had last year and with the ability to throw the ball, they have to honor that. That loosens things up a bit and allows us the freedom to run the ball.” — Whitley County coach Jim Black after seeing his team rush for 324 yards against Rockcastle County.

 “The kids battled tonight. Not only did we have to stop them from rallying, but we had some sick, but managed to overcome some adversity and win. I am really happy with the kids. I’m really pleased with the way they came back and played in the second half.” — Williamsburg coach Jerry Herron after his team defeated Pineville, 70-22.

“Wayne County’s defense stopped us good. It’s a tough loss for us. Our offense let us down tonight. It was an unbelievable time of possession for Wayne County tonight. Their defense just kept our offense off the field.” — North Laurel coach Chris Larkey after his team’s 27-7 loss to Wayne County.

“We’re going to have to make some changes this week. I told the kids it’s a marathon, not a sprint. I’m still excited with the way things are going. We’ve played an SEC-type schedule so far, so next week we can rebound against Pineville. I’ve told the guys to not live by the scoreboard. We’re going to continue to get better.” — Lynn Camp coach Phil Russell after his team’s 47-0 loss to Madison Southern.

“We’ve worked really hard with our conditioning. I really believe if we could get to the fourth quarter and the game was close, we could win. It was really humid out there and our guys were able to pull through. I’m really impressed with my kids. They fought really hard to get this win — they wanted it.” — Knox Central coach Scottie Russell after his team’s 39-29 win against Johnson Central.

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