LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
With the exception of penalties, South Laurel did everything right in a 55-6 thrashing of Lynn Camp in the 12th annual Cumberland Valley Bowl Saturday at North Laurel.
South Laurel (1-1) was flagged 16 times for 180 yards, and coach Larry Welch was quick to point out a need to rectify that.
“We’ve got to cut back on penalties,” Welch said. “In a big game that can cost you.”
Otherwise than that, the Cardinals played a nearly flawless game against the Wildcats.
In last week’s loss to Knox Central, South Laurel turned the ball over five times, all interceptions. The Cards had only one turnover against Lynn Camp, a fumble, while the defense forced three Wildcat miscues, one fumble and two interceptions.
“Our kids did a good job on both sides of the ball,” Welch said.
Especially Jason Mitchell.
The South Laurel senior caught three passes for 84 yards and a touchdown, and also rushed the ball once for a 54 yard score. For his efforts, he was named the South Laurel Offensive Most Valuable Player. On defense, he had one interception.
South Laurel set the tone early, scoring 20 first quarter points, then added 14 to lead at the half, 34-0. South scored on its first possession when Tyler Detherage found Jeremy Prichard for a 32 yard score with 10:24 left for a 7-0 lead. Prichard caught four passes for 106 yards and a touchdown.
The Cards showed they could also run, racking up 362 yards rushing, led by Landon Bray, who rushed for 108 yards. Detherage added 77 yards on the ground.
“A big part of our offense is to run,” Welch said. “You have to be able to run to open up the passing game.”
Lynn Camp, with the help of two South Laurel penalties, drove to the Cardinal 45 thanks to a pass interference call, but on the next play, the Wildcats fumbled and Austin Rickett recovered for South Laurel.
The Cards took advantage of that turnover, but the drive was marred by penalties, three on South that nullified three big gains. But the Cards moved the ball to the 21, where Detherage carried it in to make it 14-0 after the Matt Slavey kick with 5:17 left.
South’s defense turned up the pressure on Lynn Camp quarterback Aaron Mills on the Wildcats next possession, sacking him twice for huge losses. Josh Phelps and John Michael Wynn got to him on second down, then it was Austin Schaser’s turn on third down. Schaser made several big plays and was named South Laurel’s Defensive Most Valuable Player.
The Wildcats were forced to punt from deep in their own territory. Mitchell fielded the punt and returned it to Lynn Camp’s 17 yard line. But the Cards were flagged not once, but twice on the play, for a block in the back and unsportsmanlike conduct, moving the ball back to the South Laurel 46.
It took just one play for the Cards to score, as Mitchell took the hand-off, cut left, and raced 54 yards for the score. Slavey’s point after failed, leaving South leading, 20-0, with 2:35 left in the quarter.
Things didn’t get much better for Lynn Camp. Schaser again sacked Mills, then Mills threw a pass that was picked off by Austin Rader, giving South the ball at its own 43 with 1:25 left. But the Cards couldn’t take advantage of the turnover.
After a false start pushed them back to the 38, Detherage found Prichard over the middle to the Lynn Camp 40. Landon Bray then carried the ball to the three before Devin Pennington fumbled, giving the ball to the Wildcats on the five yard line.
Once again the defense would hold, forcing a punt on fourth-and-one. Punter Ryan Donley took off to try for the first down, but he came up about one inch short. With only 15 yards to go, the Cards scored in three plays when Detherage hit Rader, who switched fields and ran it in from six yards out for a 27-0 lead.
“Our defensive line did a good job,” Welch said. “As did our linebackers and secondary. They lined up and played like they were supposed to. We also had good tackling tonight.”
South would add one more score before the half when Jacob Hale caught a one yard pass with .43 seconds left, and when Slavey’s kick was good, the score was now 34-0.
The second half was much of the same story. Following a Mitchell interception, Jonathan Jenkins, who had taken over at quarterback, drove the Cards 68 yards for a score, capped off by a two yard run by Jenkins to make it 41-0. The Cards scored again when Jenkins hit Mitchell for a 28-yard score with 1:04 left to up the lead to 48-0.
Lynn Camp avoided the shutout when Mills found Jesse Keith for a 29-yard touchdown. The Cards defense had held forcing another punt, but South was flagged for roughing the kicker, giving Lynn Camp the ball and eventual touchdown.
South’s final score came with 1:22 left in the game when Austin Baker rambled in from 43 yards out to make the final 55-6.
Welch said this win was an important one for his team after opening the season with a loss to Knox Central.
“This week put us where we want to be,” Welch said.
The Cardinals will travel to take on Russell County Friday.
South Laurel 55, Lynn Camp 6
Lynn Camp 0 0 0 6—6
South Laurel 20 14 14 7—55
SL—Jeremy Prichard, 32 pass from Tyler Detherage (Matt Slavey kick) ; SL—Detherage, 21 run (Slavey kick); SL—Jason Mitchell, 54 run (kick failed); SL—Austin Rader, 6 pass from Detherage (Slavey kick); SL—Jacob Hale, 1 pass from Jonathan Jenkins (Slavey kick); Jenkins, 2 run (Slavey kick); Mitchell, 28 pass from Jenkins (Slavey kick); LC—Jesse Keith, 29 pass from Aaron Mills (run failed); SL—Austin Baker, 43 run (Slavey kick).