LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
North Laurel will be going for its first 4-0 start under Chris Larkey when it travels to Leslie County this week. The last time the Jaguars won their first four games was in 2001 under Greg Duncum. North Laurel did not win another game that season.
“We just have to be prepared and not come out flat like we did last week,” Larkey said.
The Jaguars 33-6 win over Clay County last week was more of a struggle than the score indicates. North Laurel only led 10-6 at halftime and 17-6 going into the fourth quarter. Larkey said the change in game time for television and spending about an hour before the game on the field instead of the locker room hurt his team’s focus.
Leslie County is off to a good start as well. The Eagles are 2-1 with wins over Harlan and Knott County Central. Its first loss came last week at Morgan County 34-7.
“Leslie County has a really good passing attack. It’s good that that’s what we’ve faced for the last two weeks,” Larkey said.
The Eagles could throw the ball 40 to 50 times in the game. They have not been very effective running the ball, but have been able to throw it behind a good quarterback and quality receivers.
“Their quarterback is pretty good. He’s a big kid with a good arm. He runs pretty well,” Larkey said.
The Jaguars have rushed for 539 yards on the season and passed for just 185. Larkey says he wants to pass the ball more and may have to this week. So far the running game has been enough.
“We are about 50 percent (completions) throwing the ball, which is pretty good. Our guys have caught the ball. It’s just when it’s third-and-2 are you going to take a chance on throwing it or let Gabe Blair get two yards for a first down?” Larkey said.
Michael Nelson has completed 11-of-23 passes to five different receivers. Nelson has thrown one interception and has not thrown a touchdown pass.
Larkey does think his team will have an advantage on the offensive line, but still wants to spread the field to give Blair and Nelson running room.
“They’ve got some big kids up front. I think we’ll be more physical than they will be on the line. We have been all year so far,” Larkey said. “They are not great on the defensive line, but they have a lot of good skilled linebackers and defensive backs that are going to make it tough for us.”
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. tonight at Leslie County High School.