PAINTSVILLE — Corbin’s run for a state championship came to an end Friday in rainy conditions, losing to defending Class 4A state champion Johnson Central, 28-14.
The Redhounds (8-2) entered the contest averaging 34 points per game but struggled for three quarters offensively before finally finding paydirt with 10:29 left in the game.
Jim Matney’s Golden Eagles did what they do best — run the ball.
Johnson Central totaled 400 yards on the ground with Dylan Preston’s 187 yards leading the way. He also scored three touchdowns.
The Golden Eagles outgained Corbin in total offense 411-135 while limiting the Redhounds to 15 yards rushing on 14 carries.
Johnson Central controlled the clock in the first half, possessing the ball close to 19 minutes, building a two-touchdown advantage while never looking back.
Matney’s squad (10-0) set the tone of the game on its first offensive drive, moving the ball 80 yards in 17 plays while milking the clock for almost nine minutes.
The Golden Eagles converted four third down situations during the drive while Preston’s two-yard touchdown run gave his team a 7-0 lead with 3:36 remaining.
After stopping Corbin on a fourth and two situation, Johnson Central continued to be successful with its run attack on its second possession.
The Golden Eagles drove 60 yards with Preston’s nine-yard run resulting in a touchdown to give his team a 14-0 edge with 9:33 left in the second quarter.
It looked as if Johnson Central was going to score again but Corbin’s Franklin West managed to recover a fumble at the Golden Eagle two-yard line with less than five minutes remaining in the first half.
The Redhound offense stalled but despite their struggles moving the ball, they only trailed 14-0 at halftime.
Corbin took a hit late in the third quarter as Carter Sevier exited the game with an injury while Preston’s third touchdown of the game, a 20-yarder, gave his team a 21-0 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
The Redhounds finally got on the scoreboard with 10:29 remaining in regulation as Cameron Combs’ 54-yard touchdown pass to Seth Mills capped off a five-play, 60-yard drove that cut Corbin’s deficit to 21-7.
Johnson Central was able to answer thanks to a five-yard touchdown run by Mason Lawson with seven minutes left to make the score 28-7.
Despite falling behind three scores, Corbin never quit.
The Redhounds scored in less than two minutes, as Combs hooked up with Brady Wells from 11-yards out and cut their team’s deficit to 28-14, but Corbin could t get any closer.