LONDON — Chris Larkey’s North Laurel Jaguars will be tested once again today when they hit the road for the second time in three weeks to face-off against Walton-Verona.
The Bearcats (1-1) are coming off an 11-3 campaign that saw them advance to the Class 2A State Semifinals, but 14 seniors graduated off that squad, and they’ve had trouble scoring so far this season.
Walton-Verona is averaging 11.5 points per game while coming off a 17-0 win over Holy Cross (Covington).
“They were 11-3 last year and came one game from reaching the state title game,” North Laurel coach Chris Larkey said. “They’re going to be smart and they know the game of football. They run a lot of shotgun and double wings. They play sound football.
"They’re a quality team,” he added. “They’re a very quality team for us to play against. They’ll be physical and we’ve got to line up and run and be physical right back because that’s what we are going to have to do once district play begins. We’ve got to be physical to compete in the district.”
Larkey’s Jaguars are coming off a 28-6 win after dropping their season-opener to Dunbar.
North Laurel was able to get the 22-point victory, but Larkey wasn’t pleased with the way things began against Floyd Central.
“I thought that was the most horrendous first half I’ve seen from a North Laurel team,” he admitted. “I think we played down and didn’t play to our potential.
“We couldn’t do what we wanted to do when we ran the football,” he added. “We weren’t physical and that’s our type of game. Our kids have got to learn when you play a mountain school, you’ve got to be physical.”
Larkey said if his team is going to extend its win streak to two games, they’re going to have to make some improvements.
“We’ve got to be able to tackle,” he said. “We’ve got to be physical, too. Our kids should know that. We’ve got to win the turnover battle, and the biggest thing is our offensive line has got to play well. I think this is a winnable game and I think we can win, but our kids have to execute our game plan.”
The game is scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. start.