Breaking down the Alice Lloyd College Mountain Top 10 after Week 3, heading into Week 4

Published: Sep. 9, 2021 at 10:01 PM EDT
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HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT) - The High School Football season is now three weeks old. Let’s take a look at how things fared for our top ten teams on the first Friday night of September while we fast forward to this weekend’s matchups.

1. Corbin (3-0)

Last Week: defeated Franklin County 27-7

This Week: at No. 5 Pulaski County

Tom Greer’s crew continues to turn heads as they soundly defeated the Flyers to move to 3-0. The last time Corbin started a season winning their first three games was back in 2018. That season, the Redhounds made it all the way to the 3A State Title game. Corbin got it done on offense with their run game as they amassed 230 yards on the ground in the 20-point victory against the defending 4A Runners-Up. Seth Mills went on a rushing rampage once again as last week’s WYMT Player of the Week tallied 163 yards and two scores. Mills even threw for a touchdown as junior Brodie Wells was the recipient of Mills’ touchdown pass. The Redhound defense was stifling as they held Franklin County to just 202 yards of total offense and kept the Flyers in single digits in a game for the first time since 2019.

Corbin will now make the 45-mile trip to Somerset to take on the Pulaski County Maroons on Friday in this week’s Appalachian Wireless Game of the Week. The Maroons barely eked out the win against the Redhounds the last time these two squared off two seasons ago, 23-22.

2. Johnson Central (1-0)

Last Game: defeated Henry Clay 60-21

Next Game: vs. Cahokia (IL)

After the controversy surrounding Bishop Sycamore last week, the Golden Eagles decided to cancel their contest with the Centurions. This made the second week in a row that Johnson Central was unable to take the field as their game against Lexington Catholic the week prior was canceled due to COVID concerns. In the early stages of this season, the Golden Eagles have already had a lot of adversity come their way with the illness of Head Coach Jim Matney being the latest tribulation.

Johnson Central’s next tilt is slated for this Saturday as they welcome an out-of-state opponent to Paintsville, the Cahokia Comanches out of Illinois.

3. Pikeville (2-0)

Last Week: defeated No. 7 Letcher Central 48-7

This Week: at Wheelersburg (OH)

For a team that had not played in two weeks, the Panthers came out sharp and crisp against the Cougars. Going back to last season, this is the fifth time that Pikeville has scored 40 points or more in their last seven contests. Quarterback Isaac McNamee had a sensational game with 271 yards to go along with five touchdowns through the air. Junior Blake Birchfield ran at will against Letcher Central as the Running Back produced 201 yards and two scores including a 65-yard house call on the first play from scrimmage. Junior Zac Lockhart was tremendous as well as the Wideout caught eight passes for 176 yards and three TDs. The Panthers had three interceptions in the victory.

Pikeville was able to strike up some more magic on the scheduling front as they will cross the border to take on the Wheelersburg Pirates out of Ohio on Friday.

4. Southwestern (3-0)

Last Week: defeated Simon Kenton 62-33

Next Game: at Mercer County

Jason Foley’s crew ran roughshod on another set of opponents as the Pioneers were the most recent victim of the Warriors ground attack. Although Southwestern failed to rush for more than 400 yards for the first time this season against Simon Kenton, they still had their way with the opposition early and often. The Warriors produced 392 yards on the ground as a unit including 165 yards and two scores from leading rusher Tanner Wright. Dylan Bland had a fantastic outing as well as the senior generated 80 yards and three scores on just six carries. The Warriors even threw the ball a few times as freshman Ryan Anderson connected with junior Mason Hibbard on a 56-yard pitch and catch score. The Warriors turned Simon Kenton over twice in the 29-point victory.

Southwestern now enjoys a bye week before they head to Mercer County to take on the Titans on Friday, September 17th.

5. Pulaski County (1-2)

Last Week: lost to Boyle County 60-29

This Week: vs. No. 1 Corbin

After dropping a close battle against Lexington Catholic in week two, the Maroons were hoping to get back on track in Danville. However, things did not go to plan against the Rebels as Pulaski County surrendered 60 points in a game for the first time since 2017. Quarterback Drew Polston threw for 78 yards before leaving the game with an injury. Brysen Dugger came in to replace Polson as the junior tallied 106 yards and a touchdown. Sophomore Jaylen Wooldridge

also saw some action under center, generating 76 yards and a score through the air. Junior Chandler Godby and freshman Harris Denmyer each had a touchdown reception in the loss.

The Maroons are back home on Friday as they will host the top-ranked Corbin Redhounds in this week’s Appalachian Wireless Game of the Week (see Corbin for the result of their last meeting).

6. North Laurel (2-0)

Last Game: defeated Breathitt County 34-12

This Week: at Shelby Valley

The Jaguars enjoyed a bye week last week. Through their first two games of the season, North Laurel has allowed the 11th fewest points per game in 5A at 17 PPG. The Jaguars are averaging 32 points per game so far, good enough for 13th in the class. The Jaguars have won their first two matchups by an average of 15 points per game, checking in at 11th in that category. The Jaguars are averaging 172 rushing yards per game, making them the 14th best rushing team so far through two games in 5A. North Laurel’s six sacks are tied for second-most in class. Sophomore Austin Johnson is tied with Western’s Kilieon Jones for the most tackles per game in class with 13.5 TPG. Sophomore Tucker Warren is averaging 170 passing yards per game, good enough for tenth in class.

The Jaguars will head to Pike County for their second consecutive road matchup as they go head-to-head with Shelby Valley on Friday.

7. Letcher Central (2-1)

Last Week: lost to No. 3 Pikeville 48-7

This Week: vs. Hazard

The Cougars were looking to start off 3-0 for the second season in a row but Junior Matthews’ squad had no answers for Pikeville. Letcher Central was held to a season-low in total yards on the offensive side of the ball with 213. Quarterback Carson Adams threw for 115 yards and a score. Senior Nicholas Haning had seven receptions for 99 yards and a touchdown.

Letcher Central is back on home turf for the third straight week as they take on the Hazard Bulldogs on Friday.

8. Middlesboro (2-0)

Last Game: defeated No. 9 Williamsburg 60-28

This Week: vs. Lynn Camp

Middlesboro ended up taking the week off last week after their game with Garrard County was canceled due to COVID concerns. The Yellow Jackets are averaging 41 points per game thus far, slotting them into second in 2A behind only Beechwood as the Tigers are averaging 44.3 PPG. Middlesboro is beating their opponents by an average of 17 PPG, good enough for sixth best in the class. A big part of the Yellow Jackets’ ability to score a lot of points has been due to the running game. Larry French’s squad is averaging 348 yards per game on the ground, making them the third best team in 2A in that category. The Yellow Jackets are tied for the fourth most interceptions in 2A with three. Senior Caleb Bogonko leads the class and is third in the state in rushing at 216 yards per game.

Middlesboro’s next contest is set for Friday as they welcome Lynn Camp to town.

9. Williamsburg (2-1)

Last Week: defeated Leslie County 62-14

Next Week: vs. Somerset

After being upset by Middlesboro two weeks ago, the Yellow Jackets rebounded with a resounding victory against the Eagles. Sydney Bowen had another terrific game as the junior Quarterback tossed five touchdown passes as well as rushing for two more. Junior Martin Shannon was the recipient of three of Bowen’s touchdown passes in the win. Junior Cade Hatcher also returned an interception for a touchdown.

Williamsburg now has two weeks off before their next clash against Somerset on Friday, September 24th.

10. Belfry (0-2)

Last Game: lost to Covington Catholic 42-13

This Week: at Central

The Pirates ended up not playing last week after their tilt with Lexington Christian was canceled due to COVID concerns. Belfry is averaging 210 yards per game on the ground, good enough for 14th in 3A. Senior Isaac Dixon’s 90 rushing yards per game lands him 17th in the class.

Belfry’s next contest is scheduled for Friday as they head to Louisville to take on the Central Yellow Jackets. Philip Haywood’s squad is hoping to avoid an 0-3 start for the first time since 1988. The last time these two teams met was in the 2017 3A Region Final as Central got the upper hand on Belfry, 60-21.

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