Alice Lloyd College Mountain Top 10 – High School Football Playoffs – Round One Review – Round Two Preview

(Courtesy of Brandon Hensley)
Published: Nov. 12, 2021 at 4:53 PM EST
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We are off and running in the postseason. Let’s take a look in the rear view as we recap last week’s action while we look ahead to the action this week.

1. Corbin (11-0)

Last Week: defeated Wayne County 40-8

This Week: vs. Lincoln County

The Redhounds’ playoff run got off to a strong start against the Cardinals. Tom Greer’s squad did whatever it wanted on offense as they amassed 386 total yards. Junior Cameron Combs recorded 146 yards and three scores through the air. Seth Huff paced Corbin in rushing as the senior tallied 103 yards and two touchdowns on just 12 touches. Highly touted prospect Treyveon Longmire delivered the team’s other rushing score. Senior Seth Mills was the team’s leading receiver with 64 yards and two touchdowns on three receptions. Sophomore Zander Curry also had a receiving touchdown. Evan Poore had Corbin’s lone takeaway against Wayne County as the senior generated an interception.

Corbin welcomes Lincoln County to town on Friday. The Redhounds have won four in a row against the Patriots including a 42-21 victory against Spencer Crutchfield’s squad back on October 15th.

2. Southwestern (10-1)

Last Week: defeated Whitley County 41-6

This Week: vs. No. 7 Pulaski County

The Warriors made quick work of the Colonels as they pushed their win streak to seven. Jason Foley’s crew produced its seventh game of scoring 40 points or more as the offense was potent with 433 total yards. Colin Burton was efficient in the passing game as the sophomore recorded 184 yards and three scores on just nine of 11 through the air. Freshman Ryan Anderson also had a passing touchdown. Junior Tanner Wright was Southwestern’s leading rusher with 64 yards but seniors Giddeon Brainard and Dylan Bland had the Warriors’ two rushing scores. Bland also showed off his receiving skills with three catches for 83 yards and two TDs. Junior Mason Hibbard and sophomore Christian Walden also had one touchdown reception apiece. The Warriors forced one turnover against Whitley County.

Southwestern clashes with archnemesis Pulaski County on Friday. The Warriors will be looking to win their third consecutive matchup against the Maroons as they came out on top against John Hines squad with a 42-14 win back on October 22nd.

3. Pikeville (8-2)

Last Week: defeated Phelps 49-0

This Week: vs. Hazard

Chris McNamee’s team has been on a roll as they have won four straight including three shutouts. Just as they did in the first meeting, the Panthers dominated the Hornets from start to finish. The offensive attack was a balanced one by and large as senior Isaac McNamee threw for 176 yards and three scores while the Panthers ran for 206 yards as a group. Junior Blake Birchfield did not see the end zone but the Running Back still had a tremendous outing nonetheless, piling up 154 yards on just eight rushes. Three different Panthers had one rushing score each. Senior Zac Lockhart led the way in the receiving department with six receptions for 97 yards and a touchdown. Juniors Wade Hensley and Grant Scott also had a touchdown reception. Pikeville turned Phelps over three times.

The Panthers look to defend their home turf once again as they play host to Hazard on Friday. Pikeville won the last time these two teams faced off at Daniel Field with a 17-0 victory back on October 22nd. However, the Panthers will be seeking playoff revenge as the Bulldogs pulled off the upset in this round last season at Hillard Howard Field, 21-12.

4. Johnson Central (8-1)

Last Week: defeated Clay County 56-7

This Week: vs. No. 9 Letcher Central

The Golden Eagles extended their win streak to six games and remain one of only five teams that has an undefeated record in class play. Johnson Central trounced the Tigers in the trenches as they generated 361 yards on the ground. Freshman Zack McCoart led the Golden Eagles in rushing with 106 yards and a touchdown on just six rushes. Senior Matt Crum tallied 74 rushing yards and a score on six carries while junior Carter Conley recorded 48 yards and two touchdowns on three carries. Junior Chase Price produced 55 yards and a score on four touches. Freshman Landon Clark scored his first rushing touchdown of the season. Johnson Central had four takeaways including a scoop and score by senior Mason Lemaster and a pick-six by senior Grant Rice.

The Golden Eagles return to action on Friday as they square off with Letcher Central. Johnson Central had its way the last they went head-to-head against the Cougars with a 48-18 triumph back on October 22nd.

5. Bell County (9-2)

Last Week: defeated Estill County 45-13

This Week: vs. Rockcastle County

After leaving Irvine with a narrow victory during the regular season, Dudley Hilton’s squad put away the Engineers with less drama on Log Mountain. The Bobcats have now won five in a row against Estill County in the series. Bell County has been one of the best teams in 3A when it comes to running the football as that point was reiterated against the Engineers with 312 yards on the ground. Dawson Woolum spearheaded that attack as the junior just missed out on a 100-yard performance with 99 yards and three touchdowns on 13 carries. Junior Ethan Raby tallied 59 yards and a score on six rushes while senior Cameron Burnett produced 39 yards and two TDs on seven carries. Bell County had five sacks

against Engineers including three from freshman Hayden Dameron. The Bobcats forced a couple of turnovers against Estill County.

Bell County’s season continues with a date against rival Rockcastle County on Friday. The Bobcats dominated the Rockets back on October 1st with a 24-0 victory.

6. Middlesboro (8-0)

Last Week: defeated Leslie County 46-0

This Week: vs. Breathitt County

The Yellow Jackets kept their perfect season intact after last Friday’s victory and have now taken five straight against Leslie County in the process. Larry French’s squad has surpassed the 40-point mark five times this season as they continue to be one of the best scoring teams in 2A. Middlesboro had everything working against the Eagles as evident by their 439 yards on offense. Sophomore Caden Grigsby had 123 yards and three touchdowns through the air to go along with 137 yards and one score on the ground. Caleb Bogonko led the way in rushing as the senior tallied 153 yards and three touchdowns on 14 touches. Jay West accrued 76 receiving yards and all three of the senior’s receptions went for touchdowns. The Yellow Jackets had five takeaways against the Eagles.

Middlesboro’s playoff run continues with a tilt against Breathitt County on Friday. The Yellow Jackets snapped a three-game losing streak against the Bobcats back on September 24th with a 52-30 win.

7. Pulaski County (7-4)

Last Week: defeated No. 8 North Laurel 40-14

This Week: at No. 2 Southwestern

John Hines’ crew completed a season sweep of North Laurel and have now won ten in a row against the Jaguars. Pulaski County had 519 yards on offense but the majority of those yards came from the arm of Drew Polston. The senior was outstanding against North Laurel with 422 yards and five touchdowns while completing 31 passes on 38 attempts. Chandler Godby was equally as impressive catching the ball as the junior piled 221 yards and four scores on 11 receptions. The Maroons forced two turnovers against North Laurel.

The Maroons look to keep their postseason push going as they take on rival Southwestern on Friday (see Southwestern for more on the two team’s last meeting).

8. North Laurel (8-3)

Last Week: lost to No. 7 Pulaski County 40-14

This Week: N/A

The season came to a screeching halt for the Jaguars last Friday. Sophomore Tucker Warren threw for 197 yards and two touchdowns. Warren was also the leading rusher with 61 yards on four rushes. Sophomore Christian Larkey paced the team in receiving yards with three catches for 76 yards and a touchdown. Senior Gavin Hurst caught four passes for 63 yards and a score. The Jaguars did have one takeaway against the Maroons.

It was not the ending that North Laurel had hoped for but the future looks bright for the Jaguars as Warren, Larkey and Austin Johnson (who was fifth in 5A in tackles per game with 11 TPG and led the class in sacks with 21 sacks this season) will most likely be back next season.

9. Letcher Central (7-3)

Last Week: defeated No. 10 Perry Central 47-13

This Week: at No. 4 Johnson Central

After back-to-back losses to end the regular season, the Cougars got back in the win column against the Commodores. Junior Matthews’ squad has now taken six straight against Perry Central. Carson Adams did not have the strong performance he usually does when he rushes the football but the junior still had four carries for 23 yards and a touchdown. However, the Quarterback was outstanding throwing the ball as he generated 204 yards and three scores through the air. Sophomore Isaac Matthews led the way in rushing with 59 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries. Junior Jonah Little was the team’s leading receiver with seven catches for 77 yards and two scores. Senior Wyatt Ison tallied four receptions for 46 yards and a touchdown. The Cougars had one takeaway against Perry Central.

Letcher Central’s playoff run continues on Friday as they travel to Paintsville to face Johnson Central (see Johnson Central for more on the two team’s last meeting).

10. Perry Central (7-4)

Last Week: lost to No. 9 Letcher Central 47-13

This Week: N/A

The Commodores season came to a close against the Cougars last Friday. Senior Chanse McKenzie threw for 176 yards and a touchdown while also rushing for 30 yards and another touchdown on 14 rushes. Senior Cade Miller led Perry Central in receiving with five catches for 92 yards and a score. Senior Josh Perkins had a team-high 14 total tackles.

The Commodores continue to show improvement with Mark Dixon at the helm. Two seasons ago, Perry Central finished with a 1-9 record. That record was followed up with a 3–6 mark last season. This season, the Commodores started to come into their own toward the end of the year as they carried a three-game win streak into last Friday’s contest. If this pattern continues then the future looks promising for the Commodores.

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