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September 10, 2012

Knox Central and Williamsburg are two lone undefeated teams remaining in the Tri-County

CORBIN — By Les Dixon / Sports Writer

Week Three 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 —  For the second straight week, it looks as if a Knox Central player will capture Player of the Week honors. In Week Two, Jeffrey Canady turned in a big effort, but this past week, it was teammate Jonathan Gist, who stole the headlines by running for 148 yards and two touchdowns during Knox Central’s 34-6 win over Gatlinburg-Pittman. This marks the third time this season a Panther player has been named Player of the Week.

Still perfect — Both Knox Central and Williamsburg remain unbeaten at 4-0 after they each won this past Friday against Gatlinburg, Tenn., and Leslie County, respectively.

Biggest surprise — In years past, if Lynn Camp would have faced a 14-point deficit, it would be hard to see them pull off a win. Well, they did just that this past Friday against Pineville. Lynn Camp was down 14-0 in the second half against the Mountain Lions and still managed to pull out a 23-14 victory. What a job Phil Russell and his coaching staff have done.

Making a statement — Williamsburg beat a pretty good Leslie County team at home this past week, winning 42-13. The Yellow Jackets continue to amaze me on how just solid they are on both offense and defense.

Tough loss — Steve Jewell’s Corbin Redhounds lost their third straight game by seven points, but really outplayed Danville. The Redhounds are better than their record shows and for the third straight week, had chances to win this game.

Turning heads — North Laurel’s Keaton Kennedy tied a school record by connecting with a 47-yard field goal against McCreary Central this past Friday.

Keep on keeping on — The Knox Central Panthers keep rolling and remain undefeated at 4-0 after defeating Gatlinburg-Pittman at home, 34-6. The win allowed the Panthers to improve to 4-0 for the first time in school history, according to Knox Central coach Scottie Russell.

Big win — Lynn Camp needed a win and the Wildcats got it on the road against Pineville. North Laurel also needed to rebound and get a win and the Jaguars did by beating McCreary Central, 45-8.

Setback — The South Laurel Cardinals continue their downward spiral after losing to Clay County, 38-20. The Cardinals have lots of talent, but just can’t get things going on offense. Last season the Cardinal offense failed to score under 30 points on only three occasions and that number has already been met this season and South Laurel still has six games to go.

Big game this week — South Laurel at Corbin — Why is this game big? Because both teams need a win. If the Cardinals lose, they’ll face rival North Laurel riding a three-game losing skid and if the Redhounds lose, they’ll face Wayne County in two weeks while bringing in a four-game losing streak.

Tri-County Rankings for Sept. 10 — Sept. 14

The Knox Central Panthers remain at the top spot for the second consecutive week after defeating Gatlinburg-Pittman this past Friday. Williamsburg  remains unbeaten and also stays put at No. 2 while Whitley County comes in at the No. 3 position. Corbin remains at the No. 4 spot while North Laurel (No. 5), South Laurel (No. 6) and Lynn Camp (No. 7) round out the rankings.

They said it — “I thought we did a fantastic job running the ball. They came out loading the box up, so we passed it some, but we just couldn’t block all of the players they had coming at us, so we ran the ball and did a good job doing it.” — Knox Central coach Scottie Russell on his team running for more than 300 yards against Gatlinburg-Pittman

“This is a program on the rise. We’ve had a lot of exciting things happen and we just came out of the Lions’ Den and won. That was big to get a win on the road and us trailing by 14 points. I was never worried when we were behind because I knew all we needed was three plays to win.” — Lynn Camp coach Phil Russell on his team’s comeback win over Pineville

“We’re a really good football team when we start playing, but we can’t decide when we want to play. We’ve got to push through the pain, we’ve got to push through the heat and push through a bunch of stuff.” — Whitley County coach Jim Black after his team’s 21-14 loss to Whitley County

“We won and that’s good. Our kids played hard, but we could have played better. We have to get better. I told the guys, as a coach, you’re always going to find something that you need to work on. But we got some momentum going and feel better after our loss last week.” — North Laurel coach Chris Larkey after his team’s 45-8 win against McCreary Central.

“It took us a while to get adjusted defensively. We just had too many penalties and turnovers. Our offense wasn’t in sync either. We need to start playing better before district play begins and we’ve got another tough game in front of us against Corbin.” — South Laurel coach Larry Welch after seeing his team drop a 38-20 decision to Clay County.

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