Breaking down the Alice Lloyd College Mountain Top 10 after Week 4, heading into Week 5

Published: Sep. 16, 2021 at 11:23 PM EDT
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HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT) - Another week of games are in the books. Let’s take a look back at last week’s contest as we also fast forward to this week’s tilts.

1. Corbin (4-0)

Last Week: defeated No. 10 Pulaski County 49-6

This Week: vs. Somerset

The Redhounds retain their top spot in the standings after another drubbing. After coming from behind to win their season opener, Tom Greer’s squad has won their last three games by at least 20 points and have scored at least 45 points in two of those last three contests. The offense was clicking to say the least against the Maroons, racking up 414 yards including 257 yards on the ground. Running Back Seth Mills led the charge once again in the run game as the senior recorded 118 yards and two TDs. Fellow senior Seth Huff also had a strong performance with 74 yards and two scores. Junior Cameron Combs threw for 155 yards and touchdown. Highly touted prospect Dakota Patterson caught his first touchdown pass of the season in the lopsided victory. Corbin’s defense was outstanding as they produced five takeaways.

For the second week in a row, the Redhounds will focus their attention on a Pulaski County opponent as they welcome in the Somerset Briar Jumpers on Friday. Corbin dominated Somerset last season, 48-21.

2. Pikeville (3-0)

Last Week: defeated Wheelersburg (OH) 20-7

This Week: at Belfry

Chris McNamee’s squad was able to come up big once again as the Panthers have outscored

their opponents, 111-35 through their first three games. Quarterback Isaac McNamee had a

good outing as the senior delivered 104 yards and two scores through the air in the 13-point

win against the Pirates. Junior Blake Birchfield had his way on the ground once more as the

Running Back piled up 156 yards and a touchdown. Birchfield has tallied at least 150 rushing

yards in all three games this season. Senior Zac Lockhart was a problem for Wheelersburg as

well as the two-way star caught seven passes for 66 yards and two scores along with a pick on

defense. Defensively, Pikeville was sensational as they forced four turnovers and held their

opponent to single digits for the second consecutive game.

The Panthers are back in action on Friday as they take on their annual Pike County rival, the

Belfry Pirates. Pikeville escaped with a 20-14 victory against Belfry last season.

3. Johnson Central (2-0)

Last Week: defeated Cahokia (IL) 42-36

This Week: at Rock Creek Christian Academy (MD)

The Golden Eagles were back in action last weekend as they took the field without Head Coach Jim Matney for the first time this season. Johnson Central found themselves in a deficit a few times on their own turf but ultimately found a way to pull out a thrilling six-point victory in overtime. The number three team in this week’s top ten ran at will against the Comanches as they amassed 363 yards on the ground. Junior Mason Lawson led the way for the Golden Eagles in rushing with 185 yards and a touchdown while sophomore Carter Conley generated 59 yards and three scores. Freshman Zach McCoart also found the end zone in the win.

Johnson Central plays host to their final scheduled out-of-state opponent in Rock Creek Christian Academy out of Maryland on Friday.

4. Southwestern (3-0)

Last Game: defeated Simon Kenton 62-33

This Week: at Mercer County

The Warriors were idle last week after playing the first three Friday nights of the season. Jason Foley’s squad has been relentless in all three victories, scoring 55 points or more in those games and winning by at least 29 points as well. In fact, Southwestern’s 57.3 points per game leads the state and their average margin of victory of 33.3 PPG is third-best in the bluegrass. The Warriors are the only team in the commonwealth that is averaging more than 400 yards per game rushing as they are generating 410 YPG on the ground. The Warriors’ run defense has been stifling as they are giving up only 34 yards per game, good enough for fifth-fewest statewide. Tanner Wright spearheads the ground attack for Southwestern as the junior’s 122 rushing yards per game slots him into fourth in 5A.

The Warriors have back-to-back road games ahead of them, starting with a date against the Mercer County Titans on Friday.

5. North Laurel (3-0)

Last Week: defeated Shelby Valley 42-7

This Week: at Barren County

The second 5A team in this week’s poll made quick work of the Wildcats last week as Chris Larkey’s squad is off to their third 3-0 start in the last seven seasons. The offense was solid as they recorded 356 yards of total offense including 226 yards from the arm of Quarterback Tucker Warren. The junior was extremely efficient as he completed ten passes out of 13

attempts with three scores. Senior Jayce Hacker led the Jaguars in rushing with 63 yards and a TD while Christian Larkey also scored on the ground. Hacker also caught a touchdown pass as well as seniors Eli Sizemore and Gavin Hurst. North Laurel’s defense forced three takeaways against Shelby Valley and held the Wildcats to their lowest point total of the season thus far.

The Jaguars will travel to Glasgow on Friday as they go head-to-head against the Barren County Trojans.

6. Letcher Central (3-1)

Last Week: defeated Hazard 36-0

Next Game: vs. Perry Central

After a disappointing loss to the Panthers, the Cougars responded with an impressive showing against the Bulldogs. Letcher Central’s offense was clicking on all cylinders against Hazard as they produced more than 400 yards of total offense. Carson Adams was superb last time out as the WYMT Player of the Week threw for 265 yards and three scores. The junior Quarterback also gave the Bulldogs fits with his legs with 106 yards and two touchdowns. Junior Jonah Little and seniors Nicholas Haning and Alex Blair all had one touchdown reception each in the win. For as great as the offense was, the defense was even better as they forced three turnovers and pitched its first shutout of the season.

The Cougars are taking this week off before district action begins as they welcome in Perry Central on Friday, September 24th.

7. Middlesboro (3-0)

Last Week: defeated Lynn Camp 34-0

This Week: at Harlan

The Yellow Jackets were sharp after coming back from a bye as they downed the Wildcats with ease. Sophomore Cayden Grigsby threw only five passes but completed all five including four of those for touchdowns. Senior Jay West had the team’s only rushing touchdown while also snagging a score. Seniors Eric Helton and Logan Daniels and sophomore Kameron Wilson were also recipients of TD passes by Grigsby. Defensively, Middlesboro had three sacks and took the ball away from Lynn Camp four times.

The Yellow Jackets head northeast on U.S. 119 on Friday as they pay a visit to the Harlan Green Dragons. Larry French’s squad overwhelmed Harlan in last season’s opening game, 44-0.

8. Williamsburg (2-1)

Last Game: defeated Leslie County 62-14

Next Game: vs. Somerset

Jerry Herron, Jr.’s squad took the week off last week. Williamsburg comes into this week as the ninth-highest scoring team in 1A, averaging 30.7 PPG. The Yellow Jackets are seventh best in the class in both margin of victory and points allowed as they are winning by an average of 12.7 PPG while giving up 18 PPG. Williamsburg is also just inside the top ten in sacks per game in 1A as their 1.6 SPG puts them in ninth in that category. Senior Chris Howard’s nine sacks is tied with Crittenden County’s Dylan Yates for the most in the class. Quarterback Sydney Bowen is fourth in passing yards per game at 173 YPG. The junior is also tied with Crittenden County’s Luke Crider for the fourth most touchdown passes with 19. Receiver Gavon Thomas leads the class in receiving yards per game and touchdown receptions with 120 YPG and 15 touchdowns, respectively.

The Yellow Jackets are idle again this week as they will not take the field again until Friday, September 24th against Somerset.

9. Lawrence County (3-0)

Last Week: defeated Russell 39-28

This Week: vs. Magoffin County

Alan Short’s crew is making its season debut into the rankings this week. The Bulldogs have quietly gone about their business leading up to this point as they have two victories of at least 27 points or more. Lawrence County racked up nearly 450 yards of total offense in the 11-point win against the Red Devils last Thursday. Quarterback Alex Strickland was productive throwing the ball against Russell with 107 yards and a touchdown but the senior was even more impactful in the running game as he tallied 143 yards and a score. Strickland even caused problems on defense as he had a pick-six in the contest. Not to be outdone, junior Dylan Ferguson amassed 111 yards and a team-high three touchdowns against the Red Devils. The Bulldogs were opportunistic on defense as they generated three takeaways against Russell.

Lawrence County will be playing the second of four straight home matchups on Friday as they welcome in district foe Magoffin County. The Bulldogs blasted the Hornets in Salyersville last season, 39-0.

10. Pulaski County (1-3)

Last Week: lost to No. 1 Corbin 49-6

This Week: vs. Madison Southern

After starting the season off with a bang, the Maroons are reeling in a big way as John Hines’ squad is on a three-game losing streak. Pulaski County did not have starting Quarterback Drew Polston in last Friday’s tilt against the Redhounds. Junior Brysen Dugger got the start against Corbin and threw for 182 yards while rushing for 40 more and a touchdown. Junior Chandler Godby caught 11 passes for 99 yards. Junior Layton Abbott led the team in tackles with 14.

The Maroons look to get back on track as they play host to a familiar foe in Madison Southern on Friday. Pulaski County knocked off the Eagles in Berea last season, 21-15. That game started an eight-game winning streak for the Maroons before they would lose in the district final to Southwestern.

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