By Les Dixon / Sports Editor
LINCOLN COUNTY — North Laurel coach Chris Larkey knew heading into his team’s district showdown with Lincoln County they needed something positive to happen early — and it did.
The Jaguars were facing a third-and-20 situation early in the first quarter when quarterback Michael Nelson hit Cole Lewis with a 95-yard touchdown strike, as North Laurel went on to win, 35-14, to clinch its first winning record since 2004 and the district’s no. 3 seed.
“This was huge,” Larkey said. “We were facing a third-and-20 situation and needed something positive to happen and it did. Michael found Cole in a one-on-one situation and he managed to score.
“This win will go a long way for us,” he added. “I thought that touchdown gave us some momentum and it allowed us to pull away from them. I was really pleased with the way we played. I thought we really played good tonight.”
North Laurel received three touchdowns from Nelson, while Gabe Blair rushed for 130 yards and a score in the win.
“We now have two players with over 1,000 yards rushing in Michael and Gabe,” Larkey said. “We played a tough, physical game and were able to run the ball.
“This win was so big in so many ways. It’s our first winning season since 2004 and our first time to make the playoffs since 2004.
“We have played a lot of close games and could easily be 1-9, but it didn’t work out that way,” he added. “Now we get to see what the playoffs are about and this will help us for the future.”
North Laurel will be off next week before hitting the road to play Whitley County in the Class 5A playoffs in two weeks.
By Les Dixon / Sports Editor
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