The Wayne County Cardinals, 9-1 on the season and coming off a hard-fought 56-33 opening round win over Lincoln County, return to action this Friday hosting district rival Corbin, with the district championship on the line.  The Cardinals own the #4 ranking in the final Associated Press Class 4A poll, while the Redhounds claimed the #8 spot.  Corbin enters with a 6-4 mark on the season and is coming off a 42-21 opening round win over Knox Central.  The Hounds own a 26-5 series edge, but Wayne County has won four of the last six, including an 18-16 decision just a couple weeks ago, at Campbell Field

    "We know Corbin will come in hungry and I'm sure angry after our win 
over there, so it's just another week of playing big-boy football. 
We are playing at home, which is nice, but this is the game of the 
season.  We have to work to clean-up some things penalty-wise, but we 
know it's win or go home and nobody wants that. Corbin has a great 
football team, but we know that we do some good things as well," said 
Cards head coach Shawn Thompson.
    The Redhounds average 27.1 points per game and 333 yards of offense 
per outing with 185 of that on the ground led by freshman quarterback 
Cameron Combs.  Combs has completed 86 of 137 passes for 1,306 yards 
with 10 TDs against 3 interceptions, plus has rushed 55 times for 277 
yards, with another 7 scores, thru nine games.  Senior running back 
Nick Yeager leads a talented backfield with 119 rushes for a team 
best 704 yards and 9 scores, while sophomore UK offer Trey Longmire 
has 59 rushes for 298 yards with a TD and 11 catches for 167 yards 
and another score.
    Corbin has a talented duo in the receiving corps as well. Senior 
Jacob Steely teams with freshman Dakota Patterson to pace the passing 
game.  Steely has a team best 41 catches for 632 yards with 6 TDs, 
while Patterson has 20 receptions for 341 yards with a score.  All 
stats are through nine games, as last week's numbers against Knox 
Central are unavailable at press-time.
    "Combs is a really good quarterback and just keeps getting better 
every week.  They also have good skill kids and Yeager is a very 
good running back that plays hard on both sides of the ball.  They 
have speed, and they excellent size on both sides of the line, so we 
know we have to match their intensity on the line of scrimmage. 
Steely was a very tough matchup last time and we know Longmire and 
Patterson are big-time players as well.  We have to line-up and play 
sound, smart-assignment football," said Thompson.
    The Cardinal defense, which is allowing 25.6 points per night, is 
led by the 91 total tackles, which includes 10 tackles for a loss of 
senior linebacker Cody Roysdon, while Lee Shelton is second on the 
unit with 88 total stops, plus has two interceptions.  Seniors Cody 
Vaughn and Riley Hancock are next with 67 and 63 stops each, as 
Hancock also has 3 interceptions.  As the unit will look to improve, 
after allowing 385 yards in last week's win and will be without 
senior stalwart Cody Vaughn, as Vaughn was injured just before the 
half last week.
    "We've been pretty healthy most of the year and just an extremely 
tough break for our football team and Cody.  He does so many of the 
little things that go unnoticed on both sides of the ball, so no 
question everyone will have to step up to try and help.  A great kid 
and extremely hard-worker, but sometimes in sports bad things happen, 
so we know next man up," said Thompson.
    The Wayne County offense, facing a Corbin defense that allows a very 
stingy 20.2 points per game, is tallying 47.0 points per game and 449 
yards of offense and that starts with junior running back and All-
State candidate Braedon Sloan.
    Sloan has rushed for 2,295 yards and 40 TDs on 207 carries and also 
helps the receiving corps with 19 catches for 431 yards and 6 scores, 
while senior wide receiver Tito Ruiz adds 26 touches for 379 yards 
with 4 scores.
    Thomas Spencer also is a weapon that has totaled 23 catches for 442 
yards and 5 TDs the past eight games.
    Junior quarterback Brody Weaver has completed 93 of 157 passes for 
1693 yards with 18 TDs, against just two interceptions and has rushed 
62 times for 198 yards and two scores.  Versatile offensive back 
Carson Simpson has scored touchdowns in five of the last seven games 
and now has 178 rushing yards on just 17 attempts, plus 8 catches for 
168 yards and 3 touchdowns.
    "This is for a district championship and everyone knows what this 
game means.  Hopefully everyone that can will pack the house, 
regardless of weather and make our home field advantage the very best 
it can be.  Corbin will be a huge challenge, but we're excited for 
Friday night," said Thompson.      Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. Friday 
night at Jewell Field.


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