Sep. 17—LONDON — Chris Larkey's North Laurel Jaguars are one win away from beginning the season 4-0 for the first time since 2017.
They took another step forward last week in reaching the feat by defeating Shelby Valley, 42-7, on the road.
"It was a very long drive but we try to go to different places every year so kids can see what it's like in other places that they may never get to," Larkey said. "Our kids were focused, we only had 30 kids dress due to injuries and quarantine, so the bus wasn't packed by any means, and our kids were very focused.
"The positives were no one got hurt," he added. "Our kids came out as flat as I've ever seen them and they messed up as bad as they could for the whole first quarter. So they realize now they had better be focused on their task. Our kids on defense played very well, we just had a little more team speed and from scouting our kids knew what they were going to do, plus we had two weeks to prepare."
North Laurel (3-0) will hit the road again for another long trip Friday to Barren County.
"I'm not so sure the road trips are a problem," Larkey said. "Barren County is a big 6A school that is very balanced."
The Trojans are winners of two straight after starting the season with an 0-2 mark. They've got two-headed monsters at both the quarterback and running back positions.
Jameson Buie has completed 26-of-39 pass attempts for 355 yards and one touchdown while Will Childress has completed 23-of-38 for 182 yards and one touchdown. Drew Fisher leads the team with 195 rushing yards and four touchdowns while Donovan Bradshaw has tallied 203 rushing yards and five touchdowns.
Aiden Miller leads Barren County with 107 receiving yards and 15 receptions while Gage Allen has 11 catches for 111 yards.
"Barren County has a lot of kids, way more than us, and have more depth," Larkey said. "Our kids are still having to be moved around to different positions due to injuries and kids being quarantined.
"Any time you play a 6A school with 90-plus kids then you are already at a disadvantage due to depth," Larkey said. "Barren is very balanced on run to pass ratio and uses a lot of different formations. It will take a total team effort and some luck to get the win.
"We just need to play hard, get out injury-free and be ready for a short week the next week because we open up district play on a Thursday," he added. "I also want to thank our community and fans for all the support they have given us."