gchs_uk9's Avatar
Redhounds' Estep Filling in Nicely for Departed Sizemore

The biggest concern heading into 2018 for the Corbin Redhounds was the quarterback position. Gone was three year starter Cameron Sizemore who had posted 6,760 passing yards, 1,501 rushing yards, and accounted for 112 total touchdowns in his career. Replacing him would be Chase Estep. Estep, an outstanding baseball pitcher, previously started at running back and had amassed 710 rushing yards and eight touchdowns in leading Corbin to the Class 3A state championship game in 2017. But how would he handle playing quarterback? If two weeks mean anything, then he's clearly doing really well.

Fourth-ranked Corbin gave Danville their first loss in sixteen outings on Saturday night, beating the Admirals, 28-10, in the Cumberland Falls Pigskin Classic. Corbin (2-0) started the scoring with a Noah Taylor 2-yard run in the first quarter, then took a 14-7 lead to halftime on a 67-yard touchdown run from Chase Estep. Estep would throw two second half touchdown passes to finish off Danville. On the night, Estep passed for 238 yards and two scores and ran for 143 yards and another touchdown.

Now the question arises, where does Corbin fit into the Class 3A rankings? The Redhounds were preseason number four and have been included in the handful of teams seemingly capable of dethroning Boyle County. While it is way too early to make any predictions on the postseason, Corbin is showing that they could well be capable of getting back to the state championship game.

Paducah Tilghman Might - Might - Be on to Something

One of the most difficult teams to reckon with over the last several years has been the Paducah Tilghman Blue Tornado. Since being placed into the modern Class 3A in 2007 the Tornado have had a state semifinal season, missed the playoffs, won the state championship after compiling a losing record in the regular season, and seemingly breaking your heart with an awful loss after you'd felt so good about them getting a huge win. Bottom line - nobody has really known what to expect from Paducah in years.

Things could, however, be different this year. Assistant coach Jonathan Smith replaced Steve Duncan, who had to resign due to health issues, and has led Tilghman to two consecutive impressive victories to open the season. After beating rival McCracken County in the opener, the Blue Tornado went to Jackson, Tennessee and beat Liberty Tech, 35-0 on Friday night.

Now comes the true test of how far Smith's team has come in 2018. Tilghman travels to undefeated and 2A top-ranked Mayfield for the annual renewal of one of Kentucky's best rivalries. Mayfield has won twelve straight in the series and leads overall, 48-46-10. If the Blue Tornado can win at War Memorial Stadium on Friday night there could be reason to think it will be a special season in the Jackson Purchase.

Belfry Beaten but Optimistic

For the second consecutive season Belfry fell in its home opener to Huntington (WV) in the Pike County Bowl, losing 17-9. Belfry played the game with an almost entirely new backfield and started a backup at quarterback to counteract against some injuries. The new backfield struggled, turning it over four times, but the defense managed to keep the Pirates in the game the entire evening.

Huntington, a state semifinalist last year in West Virginia's largest class, took a 14-0 lead into halftime before Belfry's Isaac Dixon scored the Pirates' only touchdown on the evening with a long touchdown run. Both teams would exchange field goals to set the final score.

While questions abound, the feeling around Pond Creek has to be measured excitement after competing well without several key players against a superior opponent. With home games against Bryan Station and Newport Central Catholic over the next two weeks there's no reason to think Belfry won't be back among the top of Class 3A very quickly.

Around the Rankings

#1 Boyle County waltzed over Franklin County, 50-7. Boyle (2-0) blocked two Flyers' punts for touchdowns. Reed Lanter was 12-14 for 236 yards and one touchdown for the Rebels.

#2 Central pitched their second consecutive shutout on the young season dominating Western, 61-0. Quarterback Malik Goodall ran for 108 yards and a touchdown for the Yellowjackets.

#5 Lexington Catholic (2-0) once again cleared the 50-point mark, knocking off Ryle, 50-34. Beau Allen passed for 357 yards and seven touchdowns, giving him eleven touchdown passes in only two games.

#7 Casey County trailed at four different points in their game at 1A #6 Campbellsville but came back every time to post a 50-40 win. Preston Tucker ran for 183 yards and three touchdowns in the victory. According to coach Steve Stonebraker it was the highest ranked school Casey County (2-0) had ever beaten.

#8 Caldwell County responded from an opening week loss with a 28-17 victory over Graves County. DeEric Hollowell rushed for 128 yards and a touchdown for the Tigers.

#9 Larue County had only six possessions on the night, and a mere two in the second half, as Russell County's ball control offense helped the Lakers pull out a 16-6 upset of the Hawks (1-1).

#10 Bell County won their second straight to start the season besting Letcher County Central, 40-22.

Extra Points

Wandale Robinson touched the ball twelve times in Western Hills' 50-15 win at Estill County, scoring five touchdowns. Robinson scored on a 40-yard run, 53-yard run, 63-yard punt return, 24-yard catch, and 60-yard catch. Pretty good night as the Wolverines improved to 1-1.

Edmonson County won their second straight, beating Butler County 36-8. The undefeated Wildcats will face undefeated Grayson County for the Tobacco Stick this Friday night.

Senior running back David Pennington rushed for 201 yards and a touchdown as Garrard County (1-1) roared back from a two touchdown halftime deficit to beat Madison Southern, 30-28. The Golden Lions lead the all-time series with Southern, 15-2.

Three to See
(Each week the 3A Notebook will preview the three best games featuring Class 3A teams for the coming week)

1. Paducah Tilghman at Mayfield. One of the oldest rivalries in Kentucky will be played for the 105th time on Friday night. Mayfield is 2-0 with impressive victories over Union City (TN) and Hopkinsville while Paducah Tilghman has outscored its two opponents 70-6. Tilghman is looking to take a big step toward the top of Class 3A.

2. Casey County at Russell County. In one of south central Kentucky's fiercest rivalries, both Casey County and Russell County enter undefeated. Casey has won four straight in the series.

3. Powell County at Bath County. Two teams just on the outside of the top ten in Class 3A meet this Friday night on the new turf in Owingsville. Bath beat Powell in a 32-27 nail-biter last season.

Just One More
(Tired of the same teams every week? Want to go off the beaten path for a 3A game this Friday night? Each week we'll look at an under-the-radar matchup to watch in Class 3A)

Elizabethtown at North Hardin. E'town hasn't started 0-2 since a winless campaign in 2011 while North Hardin is looking for a second consecutive county win after beating John Hardin last week. Elizabethtown has won two of the last three in this recently renewed series.