1. Corbin (2-1 overall, 1-0 vs. 13th Region opponents)

The Redhounds remain at the No. 1 spot, but barely. Their 23-22 loss to Pulaski County is one of those that will leave a stinging effect for a while.

Not only did they lose at home, but they lost to a team that lost to Lexington Catholic which is in the same class as Corbin.

With RPI Rankings taking center stage in three more weeks for seeding purposes after the first two rounds of the playoffs, the loss to the Maroons could potentially play a big role in the end.

Notice, I said, “potentially.”

We are currently in Week 4, and I expect the Redhounds to get better and better as the season progresses. What is interesting to see is which team will come out on top Friday when Corbin travels to play Beechwood.

The Redhounds haven’t dropped consecutive games in almost four years while the Tigers are trying to avoid losing three games in a row for the first time in more than 20 years. In all honesty, it could be even longer than that, but KHSAA stats only date back to 1998.

2. Bell County (3-0, 2-0)

The Bobcats had one heck of a game against South Laurel by scoring 80 points while totaling 434 rushing yards and 619 yards of total offense.

Running back Brandon Baker turned in a solid effort, carrying the ball 10 times for 241 yards and four touchdowns while London Stephens completed 6-of-9 pass attempts for 185 yards and two touchdowns along with 76 rushing yards and one score.

Receiver Jason Jones hauled in six receptions for 185 yards and two touchdowns during the win.

With that said, the Bobcats’ defensive effort is a concern, especially when you surrender 40 points and 340 total yards.

Bell County has three impressive wins so far, but there is room for improvement which is a scary thing for Dudley Hilton’s squad.

3. Williamsburg (3-0, 1-0)

The Yellow Jackets continue to dominate behind one of the best offenses in the state.

Williamsburg cruised to an easy 44-13 win over Leslie County and moved up to the No. 2 spot in Class A during the latest Associated Press Poll.

The Eagles had no answer for Dalton Ponder and company.

Ponder finished with 19 completions, 256 passing yards, and one touchdown. He also ran for 136 yards and four touchdowns.

Anthony Snell carried the ball five times for 105 yards and a touchdown while Gavon Thomas finished with five catches, 73 receiving yards, and one score. Caleb Rose caught five passes for 91 yards as Herron’s squad totaled over 500 yards of offense for the second straight week.

The Yellow Jackets should cruise to another easy win this week but have two big challenges ahead with games against both Somerset and Lexington Christian Academy.

4. Harlan County (3-0, 1-0)

The Black Bears continue to stay under the radar while remaining perfect on the season.

Harlan County used a balanced attack (171 passing yards and 208 rushing yards) on offense to cruise past Martin County this past Friday, 46-21.

Eddie Creech’s squad has a big game on Friday at home against a Knox Central. When these two teams do battle, you can always expect a competitive game.

5. Knox Central (1-2, 0-2)

The Panthers received a much-needed win and a lot of the credit needs to go to the defensive play of Michael Bays, Trace Floyd, and Michael Elliott.

Bays finished with a team-best 15 tackles while Floyd delivered 14 tackles and finished with 11.

The rushing duo of Ethan Mills (137 rushing yards) and Seth Huff (94 rushing yards) combined for three touchdowns.

Knox Central will need to continue this type of production if it wants to have a chance to beat Harlan County on Friday.

6. Whitley County (2-1, 0-1)

The Colonels continue to improve each week for Coach Jep Irwin.

They have now scored 33 points during each of their last two games while allowing only 10 points per contest during their last two contests.

Quarterback Seth Mills turned in a solid effort from behind center, completing 17-of-21 pass attempts for 144 yards and one touchdown while Woody Lawson led the way with 68 rushing yards.

Whitley County will enjoy this week off before hitting the grid again next week against Bell County.

7. North Laurel (1-2, 0-0)

The Jaguars were their own worst enemy during last week’s 22-21 loss to Walton-Verona.

North Laurel controlled the entire game but still ended up losing by one point.

Jacob Bowman led the Jaguars with 102 rushing yards while Dalton Sizemore ran for 72 yards and two scores. He also threw a touchdown in the loss.

So how did North Laurel end up losing?

The Jaguars just couldn’t make the play on both sides of the ball during crucial parts of the game. Missed tackles played a big part along with some missed blocks.

North Laurel will have to play better if it wants to get past a much-improved Lincoln County team.

8. Middlesboro (2-1, 1-1)

The Yellow Jackets trailed throughout their game against Lynn Camp last week, but never gave up and eventually pulled out a 28-27 win in overtime.

Coach Larry French is quietly turning the Yellow Jackets program around.

A big reason for Middlesboro’s early success can be attributed to the play of tailback Jabari Kyle, who rushed for 158 yards and three touchdowns against the Wildcats.

He now has 496 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns on the season along with nine receptions for 191 yards and two touchdowns.

9. Pineville (3-0, 0-0)

Randy Frazier has the Mountain Lions off to their best start since 2010 when they started with a 5-0 mark.

Pineville has gotten progressively better each week and is coming off an impressive 47-14 win over Paris. The Mountain Lions have been getting things done on both sides of the ball, scoring 38 points per game while allowing only 14 points per game.

Pineville’s rushing attack of Colby Frazier and Devon Morris has dominated so far. Frazier leads the team with 357 rushing yards and four touchdowns while Morris has 234 rushing yards and three scores.

10. (tie) South Laurel (1-2, 0-1)

The Cardinals are barely hanging on to a top 10 spot after allowing Bell County to score 80 points while totaling more than 600 yards on offense.

I didn’t expect South Laurel to win, but I also didn’t expect the Cardinal defense to surrender 80 points.

With that said, some positives came out of the game.

Jordan Ramey continues to impress in the backfield by finishing with 157 rushing yards and three touchdowns. Logan Gentry was able to complete 13-of-21 pass attempts for 109 yards and a touchdown.

Ramey now has 563 rushing yards and looks to be a lock to eclipse the 1,500-yard rushing plateau.

Putting individual numbers aside, the key for South Laurel is to get a win Friday against West Jessamine and build some momentum before district play begins.

10. (tie) Clay County (1-1, 1-0)

Chandler Hubbard continues to shine and rushed for 262 yards last week against Mason County.

He now has 550 rushing yards on the season.

With that said, the Tigers suffered a disappointing 28-21 setback that kept them from starting the season 2-0 for the first time since 2006.

Clay County has the talent to be a pretty OK team, but its margin of error is pretty darn slim.

A win over Lynn Camp Friday would be huge for the Tigers.

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