Though it is still early in their respective seasons, a number of local high school teams are already making some noise, while others have reached the make-or-break point.
Coach Tom Greer’s Corbin Redhounds can look in the mirror in a lot of ways to prepare for Friday’s game against the Franklin County Flyers.
The Flyers, who also play in class 4A were the 2020 state runner ups, losing to Boyle County.
They defeated Johnson Central in the state semi-finals.
Franklin County likes to run the ball, but will throw it given the opportunity.
In the 61-0 win against Western Hills last Friday, nine different runners touched the ball at least once.
But it was running back Kaden Moorman and quarterback Jayden Mattison who did the most damage.
Sounds a lot like Cameron Combs and Seth Mills on the Redhounds’ side.
While Combs didn’t play last Friday against Whitley County, MillsRan for 180 yards and caught three passes for 75 yards, scoring four of the Redhounds’ six tourchdowns on the night.
While the Flyers ran all over Western Hills, they threw the ball all over in the opening game against Scott County.
Mattison completed 13 passes for 213 yards, including hitting receiver Zach Claudio five times for 91 yards and a touchdown.
Sounds a lot like Combs to any one of a number of receivers. In the Christ School game, Combs favorite target was Dakota Patterson, who caught seven passes for 61 yards. Zander Curry, Carter Stewart, Treyveon Longmire and Hunter Newberry also got in on the action.
While Cade Elam got the call under center last Friday again Whitley County, he followed the same formula, spreading the ball around to five different receivers.
Flyers’ kicker Easton Powell has made all 12 of his extra point attempts this season and the one field goal that he has attempted.
Does he have the distance of Corbin’s Jacob Baker? That may prove the difference maker. But extra points aren’t an adventure for either team.
In both games, everyone on the Flyers’ defense has gotten into the act, much like the Redhounds.
Franklin County has forced seven turnovers this season.
With 62 players on the roster, the Flyers will be the first team that Corbin can’t simply outman.
Corbin has 78 players on the roster, which was more than double the number either Christ School or Whitley County brought.
Greer said from the beginning of the season that his goal was to play as tough of a schedule as possible to prepare his Redhounds for December football.
Franklin County is one of those games that fits into that philosophy because the Flyers and Redhounds could potentially meet again at Kroger Field.
Whitley County will be hitting the road to face the class 4A Harlan County Black Bears. The Black Bears opened with a 59-26 win over South Laurel and then lost at Hazard.
Harlan County is another team that wants to run, led by running back Demarco Hopkins, who went off for 298 yards and five touchdowns against South Laurel.
Hazard was fed a dose of not only Hopkins, but fellow running back Adam Carr. The duo was responsible for most of the Black Bears’ 278 yards on the ground against the Bulldogs.
How will Coach Zeke Eier’s team come back from the loss at Corbin?
The road is not going to get any easier for the Colonels with Bell County and Pulaski County on the horizon.
Down in Williamsburg, the Jackets will welcome a winless Leslie County team.
Following the 60-28 loss at Middlesboro last week, Coach Jerry Herron, Jr. called out his team for being “fat and happy” following the win against Oneida, Tennessee.
The Jackets got a lesson from Middlesboro on what they can expect when they don’t execute. Look for Williamsburg to bounce back in a big way Friday night at Finley Legion Field. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
While football is the big thing, it isn’t the only thing happening.
In boys’ soccer, the Corbin Redhounds are 4-1 on the season following a 2-1 loss Saturday to Lexington Catholic.
Coach Armando Cima’s team will, no doubt, bounce back from that loss as they head into a long road stretch on the schedule.
The Corbin Lady Redhounds volleyball team remains undefeated after defeating Somerset in four sets Monday night.
Corbin will be back at home Thursday night for a district matchup against South Laurel.
The Whitley County Lady Colonels are keeping pace with a 5-1 record. Whitley County’s only loss came on August 24 against Corbin.
Could we see another Corbin v. Whitley 13th Region final?
There is a long way to go, but both teams appear on course to make that happen.