By John Stepp For The Times-Tribune
For the first time in over a decade, the Corbin Redhounds will find themselves on the road in the first round of the playoffs, after losing their second district game of the season to the Bell County Bobcats Friday.
The Bobcats used a powerful running attack featuring senior running backs Jonathon Polly and Ryan Collett. The duo totaled the majority of Bell County’s 389 rushing yards, which came on just 27 carries, while adding four rushing touchdowns.
“We physically didn’t hold up on the line very well at all tonight,” said Corbin Coach Steve Jewell. “I felt like Bell County got after us on the line of scrimmage. I know they have backs who can run and everything, but I’ve always been one of those who believes games are won on the line of scrimmage. Their line of scrimmage took it to ours tonight.”
The Bobcats wasted little time reaching the end zone when Hayden Gilbert picked up the opening kickoff and returned it 70-yards for a touchdown. Gilbert also added the extra point to give Bell County a 7-0, just 12-seconds into the ball game.
“When you still have another 47 minutes left in a ball game, you got to be able to bounce back in adverse situations,” said Jewell.
Adversity was right around the corner for Corbin after a quick three-and-out by the Redhounds gave Bell County the ball at their own 30-yard line. The Bobcats managed to score again when Polly found paydirt from just four-yards out. Gilbert’s extra point was good, giving Bell County a 14-0 lead with 7:13 still remaining in the opening quarter.
“We had some crucial things happen in the first quarter. We held them and held them, and then give up a big play and a touchdown. That’s one thing we’ve talked about is holding teams and not giving up the big play,” said Jewell. “When you get down early like that, it’s mentally tough on the kids to comeback like that.”
The Redhounds took the ball on the ensuing kickoff and marched down the field with a constant dose of running backs Matt Jewell and Jake Coppock. Corbin had the ball in redzone, looking to score, but the drive ended when a Taylor Waddle fourth-down pass to Josh Jewell was intercepted by Bell County’s Justin Warwick at the two-yard line. Warwick finished with three interceptions in the game.
Bell County found the end zone just two plays later when Polly took the ball 93-yards and outran the Redhound defense for six. The extra point was no good and gave Bell a 20-0 lead, midway through the second quarter.
After receiving the ball to start the second half, Corbin was held on three downs and forced to punt the ball away. The Bobcats once again struck quickly with a five-yard touchdown run from Collett. The extra-point gave Bell County a 27-0 lead with 9:53 left in the third quarter, all but crushing any hopes of a Corbin comeback.
By John Stepp For The Times-Tribune
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