Wes King tries to get away from a Corbin tackler. South Laurel hosts Pulaski Co. tonight.

Two high-octane offenses will take to the field tonight when South Laurel hosts Pulaski County in a key district showdown.

“They have some really big time offensive weapons,” Coach Jason Chappell said of the Maroons.

Pulaski (3-0, 1-0) comes in averaging 45 points a game. Twice this season they have scored over 50 points (50-28 over Russell Co. and 62-49 over Somerset). And last week, they picked up a huge district win over defending state champions Mercer Co., 23-22.

“We have a young team that is maturing at a rapid rate,” Coach John Hines said. “And some skill players who have been incredible so far.”

One of those is sophomore quarterback Chris Muse. Against Somerset, he rushed for 248 yards and six touchdowns. Against Mercer Co., he threw for 268 yards and three TDs.

“He can do it all,” Hines said.

“Muse is a good athlete who makes good decisions,” Chappell said. “He’s an elusive, open-field runner, and we’ll have our hands full.”

But the Cards (2-2, 0-1) can’t only key on Muse. Winston Hines and Ronnie Claiborne are also having an outstanding season for Pulaski Co.

Hines, a junior, has rushed for 414 yards in three games, and also has over 200 yards receiving. He’s also a danger when it comes to returning kickoffs, averaging 45 yards a kick return.

“He has great speed,” Hines said. “He can take an average play and go the distance at any time.”

Wide receiver Claiborne is also a speed demon and a true deep threat. He had five catches for 138 yards and a touchdown against Mercer Co., and has over 300 yards in three games. He also returns punts for the Maroons. “He has the ability to break any punt return all the way, also,” Hines said.

“We’ve got to have our eyes on all three and contain them,” Chappell said.

Hines said his team has a balanced attack that runs out of the shotgun formation 95 percent of the time. They use three, four and sometimes five.

“If we need to throw it 50 times a game to win, we will,” Hines said. “If we need to run it 50 times we will do that.”

One thing Chappell will be looking for from his team this week is consistency.

“We’ve been consistently inconsistent,” Chappell said. “We’ve got to find a way to be consistent. We’re not in this for moral victories.”

Hines said his game plan to stop the Cardinals will be stopping the pass.

“We must play great pass defense,” Hines said. “And get after their quarterback. (Ricky) Bowling is outstanding. Also, Wes King is a tremendous receiver. We must cover him well. We can’t let them score big touchdowns on us.”

“This week is really big for us,” Chappell said. “We are 2-2. It’s not like it’s the end of the world. We have four big games on our schedule. We lost to Southwestern. That makes this game the biggest this week.”

“We’ve got to stop the run and protect the football,” Chappell added. “And win the kicking game. When we’ve done that, we’ve been pretty good.”

Hines said that his team can’t let South Laurel build a big lead, that they have to stay close on the scoreboard.

“We must win field position with the kicking game,” Hines said. “We need to start them out with long fields and make them drive a long, sustained drive. On the other hand, we need to get a short field now and then. We must tackle well in the open field.”

Kick-off is set for 7:30 p.m. tonight at South Laurel.

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