Our first week of rankings has some much-deserved movement from some teams that picked up some big wins.
There isn’t much change at the top, but with the way things panned out last week, I believe there isn’t a huge gap between the top five teams and the teams ranked 6-10.
1. Corbin (1-0, 1-0 vs. 13th Region teams)
The Redhounds were trailing Whitley County 21-14 at halftime before scoring 21 unanswered points during the final 24 minutes to defeat the Colonels, 35-21.
This team is young in some key spots but did manage to get some key performances this past Friday.
Freshman quarterback Cameron Combs was an efficient 9-of-12 throwing the ball while finishing with 113 passing yards and one touchdown. Colin Kidd led the Redhounds with 96 rushing yards and one touchdown while Nick Yaeger finished with 83 yards and two touchdowns.
Jacob Steely had five catches for 60 yards and a score while Dawson Fore led the way with 14 tackles on defense.
I know there has been some chatter Corbin might not be as strong compared to seasons past, but I say it’s way too early to tell. This team is just going to continue to get better.
2. Bell County (1-0, 0-0)
The Bobcats were quite impressive during their Week One win over Collins.
Granted, they did have some miscues early, but they responded when needed and won 36-14.
Senior quarterback London Stephens has quite a game behind center, finishing with 96 passing yards while rushing for 101 yards and two touchdowns.
Defensively, Bell County was sharp, finishing with six sacks while allowing only 21 rushing yards and 156 yards of total offense.
3. Williamsburg (1-0, 0-0)
I really couldn’t gauge much during the Yellow Jackets’ win, mostly because Williamsburg’s starters only played something like nine offensive plays during its 42-0 win over Jellico, Tennessee.
The Yellow Jackets were quite impressive, though.
Senior quarterback Dalton Ponder ran for 18 yards and two touchdowns while passing for 134 yards and a score. Devonte Thomas returned a touchdown for a score while Gavon Thomas returned a punt for a touchdown and caught one pass for 52 yards.
4. Harlan County (1-0, 1-0)
The Black Bears didn’t play last week but still received a win due to a forfeit.
Harlan County picked up a 1-0 win over Harlan and will play its first game of the season Friday on the road against Hazard.
5. Knox Central (0-1, 0-0)
The Panthers hung tough with Ashland Blazer but eventually fell, 21-13.
Knox Central is going to go through some growing pains, but in the end, it will be a tough team to beat come postseason play.
Fred Hoskins’ squad held an early lead against the Tomcats, but couldn’t hold on despite having three players record at least 10 tackles.
Trace Floyd and Michael Bays each finished with 13 tackles apiece while Nate Smith finished with 10.
Brady Worley threw for 145 yards and a touchdown while Ethan Mills ran for 104 yards and one touchdown.
6. Whitley County (0-1, 0-1)
The Colonels almost pulled off the biggest upset of the week, but couldn’t hold on against Corbin.
Whitley County dropped a 35-21 decision but earned a lot of respect last week.
Jep Irwin’s squad received solid performances on both sides of the ball, but I was impressed with the way the Colonel defense bottled up the Redhounds’ Treyveon Longmire.
Whitley County limited the talented sophomore to only 17 rushing yards on seven carries and 18 receiving yards and one reception.
7. South Laurel (1-0, 0-0)
The Cardinals turned in a good, solid effort during their season-opening 21-8 victory over Boyd County.
Quarterback Logan Gentry threw for 139 yards and two touchdowns while Daterian Brigance led the way with eight receptions, 76 receiving yards, and two touchdowns.
Jordan Ramey carried the ball 19 times for 149 yards while South Laurel outgained the Lions, 310-144, in total offense.
The Cardinal defense totaled five sacks and was led in tackles by Evan Brown (13), Jacob Turner (11) and Andrew Harney (10).
8. North Laurel (0-1, 0-0)
The Jaguars let one slip away during their 35-26 loss to Dunbar.
North Laurel looked as if it were going to cruise to an easy win after jumping out to a 14-0 lead, but the Bulldogs’ speed and athleticism finally took over.
Chris Larkey’s squad rushes for more than 300 yards but just couldn’t come up with the win.
9. Middlesboro (1-0, 0-0)
Remember this name — Jabari Kyle.
Kyle came out of nowhere last week and ran for 272 yards and five touchdowns to lead Middlesboro past Garrard County, 34-32.
It’s not going to take coach Larry French long to build the Yellow Jackets into contenders.
Middlesboro’s Atavius Flanary has an outstanding game on defense by recording 15 tackles while teammate Tyler Kelly finished with 11.
10. Lynn Camp (1-0, 0-0)
The Wildcats barely edged out Clay County for the No. 10 position thanks to an impressive road win by holding on to defeat Frankfort, 20-18.
Quarterback Tylen Smith threw for 72 yards while finishing with 76 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
Chase Brown led Lynn Camp with 96 rushing yards as the Wildcats outgained the Panthers in total offense, 292-186.