TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

November 19, 2012

Oh, so close


The Times-Tribune

CORBIN — Regional final 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 — This week’s award goes to the Williamsburg Yellow Jacket football team. Williamsburg players and coaches should be proud of what they accomplished in 2012. The Yellow Jackets won 11 games, captured another district title and came oh, so close in beating defending Class A state champion Hazard in the finals.

    Looking ahead — If you’re a Williamsburg fan, the sky is the limit for this team. Williamsburg will enter the 2013 campaign as the team to beat in Class A’s Region 3, and deservedly so. The Yellow Jackets will return most of its arsenal from this year, which will make things interesting to say the least.

Tough loss — No doubt about it, the loss to Hazard is tough. The Yellow Jackets had numerous opportunities to jump on Hazard, but just couldn’t reach the end zone.

Too many turnovers — Williamsburg’s defense showed a lot of grit by not allowing Hazard to take advantage of the their three turnovers. The Bulldog secondary is one of the best in the state and they showed that this past Friday.

    

Tri-County teams eliminated on Friday — Williamsburg was the lone Tri-County team in the playoffs, and they were eliminated after falling on the road to Hazard, 7-0.

Numbers game — Williamsburg entered the Class A, Region 3 title game averaging 45.7 points per game, but in the end was shut out for only the second time dating back to the 2001 season. Hazard accomplished both of the feats, and yes, both came in the region title game.

What’s next for Hazard — The defending state champions will play against Fairview with a state title game berth on the line.

Big accomplishments — Williamsburg finished the 2012 season with an 11-2 record while winning their respective district title along the way. The Yellow Jackets’ lone two losses came against Oneida, Tenn., and Hazard.

Win streak snapped — Jerry Herron’s Williamsburg Yellow Jackets entered the post-season as the hottest Tri-County team. The Yellow Jackets were riding a seven-game win streak while outscoring their opponents 313-45 during the process before their 7-0 loss to Hazard.

Biggest win of the season of the season for the Yellow Jackets — They had 11 of them, so it’s hard to choose, but I’m going with their 34-15 win over Harlan.

Toughest loss of the season — That’s an easy one. It’s gotta be their 7-0 loss to Hazard. The Yellow Jackets had numerous chances to score, but just couldn’t hit paydirt.

Final Tri-County rankings — Williamsburg (11-2) finishes the season out at the No. 1 spot while Knox Central (10-2) comes in at No. 2. Whitley County is No. 3 (7-5), while Corbin (5-6), North Laurel (6-5), South Laurel (1-9) and Lynn Camp (3-8) followed.

Looking ahead — It’s always fun to look ahead at next season’s rankings, so look for Williamsburg to be the pre-season No. 1 while Whitley County, Knox Central, North Laurel, Corbin, South Laurel and Lynn Camp will follow.

Don’t forget — The Times-Tribune 2012 Player of the Year and All Tri-County football team will be released soon. Up for the Players of the Year award are — Knox Central’s Jeffrey Canady and Jonathan Gist, North Laurel’s Michael Nelson, Whitley County’s Boston Bryant and Williamsburg’s Dalton Sizemore, Corey Shelton and Skylar Griffith.

They said it — “We really battled. Coach Hacker’s defense did a good job. They really played really hard and I’m proud of them. They just relaxed that one play and gave up that touchdown — it’s hard to believe. Man alive, the offense came together in the second half and got some drives going and we had a chance and it’s just one of those things. One play got us. I’m proud of the seniors and we’re going to miss them. We knew going into it these kids could play. These kids came out and played tonight. We just had that one play — one play.” — Williamsburg coach Jerry Herron after his team’s 7-0 loss to Hazard.

“I knew this game was going to come down to one big broken down play. That’s what happened. Both teams deserved to win this game. Williamsburg is so improved from last year and it’s dangerous to think what they have returning for next year.” — Hazard coach Mark Dixon after his team’s 7-0 win over Williamsburg.