After a heartbreaking loss to Pineville last week, Middlesboro (0-3) remains in search of their first victory of the year. On Friday, they host South Laurel (0-3) in the Veterans Bowl. The Cardinals are also looking for their first victory after falling to Rockcastle County, 40-6.
The last time Middlesboro played South Laurel was in 2010 when the Yellow Jackets walked away with a 51-45 victory.
The passing game
On paper, the Cardinals appear to be a balanced team on the offensive side of the ball. Against Rockcastle County, Adrian Fultz finished the game completing only three passes on 14 attempts. He had 69 yards and one interception.
On the year, Fultz has completed 16 passes for 258 yards and two touchdowns. He has tallied four interceptions.
Jared Grubb is the main target on the receiving end. He has eight receptions for 170 yards and one touchdown. Ace Allen and Jerred Lovins are two more weapons for Fultz. Allen has 47 yards on five receptions, while Lovins has 37 yards on three receptions for the year.
Middlesboro’s Chase Elliott has completed 10 passes on 35 attempts thus far this season. He has one touchdown pass and 159 yards throwing the ball.
Anthony Jackson is the leading receiver for the Jackets with 116 yards and a touchdown on four receptions. Dylan Pratt has been the second most targeted receiver for Middlesboro with three receptions and 30 yards.
Running the ball
The running attack for Middlesboro has improved greatly since their Week 0 game against Bell County. Leading the way is Elliott with 326 yards and six touchdowns on 37 attempts.
Over the past two games, the quarterback had 174 yards rushing and three touchdowns against Whitley County and 61 yards and two touchdowns against Pineville. He has proven to be a threat when he finds his way outside the pocket.
Freshman Isiah Williams is another weapon Middlesboro has coming out of the backfield. He is the team’s second leading rusher after his first career start against Pineville. On the year, he has 151 yards and one touchdown on 14 carries.
Logan Capps and Parker Evans are two running backs the Jackets use regularly as well. Evans has 94 yards and one touchdown on 13 attempts. Capps, who only played defense against the Mountain Lions, has run for 138 yards and one touchdown on the year.
No player for South Laurel has eclipsed the 100-yard mark on the ground. Matt Harp has rushed for 99 yards and one touchdown. The second leading rusher for the Cardinals is Jared Grub, who has 22 yards on seven carries.
Capps and Pratt currently hold the most tackles for the Yellow Jackets with 29 apiece. Cody Hurst is the third leading tackler with 22. Several players including Ben Bowling, Jackson, Taylor McClelland, Evans and Owen McWilliams have reached double digits in the stat line.
Alex Mason has one fumble recovery on the year.
The Middlesboro defense has given up 1,029 yards on the ground this year and 307 yards passing.
South Laurel is led on defense by Jordan Patterson. The linebacker has 48 total tackles on the year, 38 which were solo tackles. Zach Payne has recorded 34 tackles of his own.
According to KHSAA, the Cardinals have allowed 296 yards on the ground and 65 yards through the air.
Reach Anthony Cloud at 606-302-9090 or on Twitter @AnthonyCloudMDN