By Denis House
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
South Laurel coach Matt Rhymer knows that if his team is to win their second game in a row tonight at Clay County, one of the keys will be stopping running back Sam Carr.
“Sam Carr is a great player and could play on anyone’s team,” Rhymer said. In three games, Carr has rushed for 182 yards on 43 carries. As a team, the winless Tigers (0-3) have rushed for 184 yards. “We will have to do a great job keeping him contained. We have to win the line of scrimmage and get penetration this will help us keeping him contained, and also be aware of when he releases for pass routes.” Carr has caught eight passes for 94 yards and Clay County’s only touchdown of the season to date.
The Tigers come into the game having scored just six points in three games. But Rhymer knows their offense is much more dangerous than it has shown so far.
“I think Clay County can be good on offense if things go their way a little more, and they limit penalties and turnovers,” Rhymer said. “I was impressed with their ability to move the football at times against North Laurel (a 33-6 loss). “They will run multiple formations and try and spread you out, but I still think they like to run the ball.”
Ryan Holland is Clay’s quarterback, and he is 17-of-25 for 199 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions this season. His favorite target is Wes Wolfe, who has caught 11 passes for 109 yards in three games.
One blow that South Laurel suffered in its win over Rockcastle County last week is the loss of Aaron Quinn for the season. That will be a big loss for the defensive secondary.
On defense Rhymer said he has seen their front seven be solid at times on film.
“They run a 4-3 and a 4-4 from what I’ve seen on tape,” Rhymer said. “We will have to block efficiently for four quarters to sustain drives and score points.”
South Laurel scored its first two touchdowns through the air last week, and that surprised the Rockets. South was also strong on the ground, with Jon Jenkins, Taylor Morris and Landon Bray all having a good rushing night. Bray finished with 89 yards on 17 carries, and Morris broke off a 55-yard touchdown run.
With Clay County winless and Corbin looming next week, Rhymer said his team has to focus everyday and get better everyday, and that they know they can’t overlook anyone.
“We both are trying to establish ourselves and win some games,” Rhymer said. “Our guys know that Clay will fight hard for four quarters.”
Rhymer said he liked the way his team competed for four quarters against Rockcastle County and finished the deal.
“It’s not easy to win a football game ever, and I tell my team all the time that people will give you losses every Friday nights, but they will never give you a win,” Rhymer said. “You have to earn wins, and I think our kids earned that win. The kids also played with passion and energy. I think that transpired from the support we had from the student body, faculty and the community.”
He said to sustain the momentum his team gained from last week’s win into tonight’s game they will have to stay humble and carry the positives over in practices.
“You also have to realize we made a lot of mistakes and those need to be fixed,” Rhymer said. “Our coaches have to work really hard on coaching the fundamentals and stressing the importance of the little things that make teams successful. Right now our kids are being coachable and that really helps and the attitudes are great.”
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. tonight at Clay County High School.