If you went into last Friday’s game between Corbin and South Laurel expecting an offensive showdown from the start, by the time halftime rolled around, you may have been a little disappointed.
Neither team was able to find the end zone in the first 24 minutes, with the Redhounds’ Michael Campbell accounting for the only points of the half thanks to a 25-yard field goal with 5:49 to play in the second quarter.
Even after the less than impressive start by both teams offensively, Jewell said he was pleased with the way his kids performed on the defensive side of the ball in the first half.
“We did what we needed to do defensively the first half, but we didn’t do too well on offense,” Jewell said. “Our line didn’t block well and we didn’t pick specific holes to run through and things like that.
“We came out the second half and controlled the line of scrimmage a little more, but to South Laurel’s credit, their defense played extremely well,” Jewell said. “They were a totally different team than I saw on video and watched live against Southwest Pulaski.”
The Corbin offense came to life in the third quarter when Ryan Fritts scampered 52 yards to the endzone to push the Redhounds’ lead to 10-0 with 10:44 to play in the period.
South Laurel was able to answer the bell though, when Ricky Bowling orchestrated an 11-play, 91 yard drive that ended with a five-yard strike to Steven Quillen for a touchdown, cutting the deficit to 10-7 with 7:11 to play in the third quarter.
Fritts and Quillen would each find the end zone one more time in the third quarter, Fritts on an 11-yard run and Quillen on a one-yard run, making the score 17-14 heading into the fourth period.
The fourth quarter scoring got underway when Caleb Watkins scored on an 18-yard run with 7:17 to play in the game to push Corbin’s lead to 24-14, but the Cardinals refused to go away again.
Bowling found J.D. Wright for his second touchdown pass of the game as South Laurel trimmed the gap to three points at 24-21 with less than seven minutes to play in the game.
The nail in the coffin for South Laurel came on a fourth down and four yards to go on the Cardinals’ nine-yard line, in which Corbin quarterback Lance Freeman was able to draw the defense off sides, leading to a four-yard touchdown run by Fritts to cap the scoring on the night, giving his team a 31-21 lead.
After the game, Jewell could have probably used a rest, but gave credit where he felt credit was due.
“Offensively, I feel like I’ve been through a stress test at the hospital or something,” he said. “That Ricky Bowling is a class kid though. I will say this, he is fun to prepare for, but I’m sure glad I don’t have to prepare for in anymore.
“As a defensive guy, you always like those type of challenges and I am sure there will be someone that will come along and pose another one, but that kid is tough to deal with,” he said. “We got the win and now we have to look to next week and see what we can do against Knott County.”
Fritts tallied 85 yards and three touchdowns on the ground on 15 carries, while Watkins carried the ball 10 times for 65-yards and one touchdown.
Freeman finished the game completing four of nine pass attempts for 67 and no interceptions, while defensively, Michael Campbell paced the Redhounds with 12 tackles, seven of which were solo. Campbell also tallied seven points in the game, including a field goal and four extra points.
Corbin 31, South Laurel 21__
S. Laurel 0 0 14 7 21__
Corbin 0 3 14 14 31__
CO – Campbell 25 field goal 5:49__
CO – Fritts 52 run (Campbell kick) 10:44__
SL – Bowling five pass to Quillen (Lewis kick) 7:11__
CO – Fritts 11 run (Campbell kick) 6:31__
SL – Quillen one run (Lewis kick) :56__
Fourth Quarter__CO – Watkins 18 run (Campbell kick) 7:17__
SL – Bowling 32 pass to Wright (Lewis kick) 6:39__CO –
Fritts four run (Campbell kick) 1:32