Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

November 8, 2013

CLASS 3A PLAYOFF PREVIEW: Russell's home-field advantage

For 12th straight season, Red Devils open playoffs at home

RUSSELL — For the 12th straight season, postseason play will open at Henry R. Evans Stadium.

Russell (6-4) will host Estill County (5-5) at Russell High School in the opening round of the Class 3A playoffs on Friday.

The last time Russell played Estill County was in 2006 in a 47-8 Red Devils’ win.

Russell coach Ivan McGlone, who has a 43-27 playoff record with two state championships, is planning for it as if it was just another game.

“It’s nice to get a home playoff game to start off with,” McGlone said. “But it’s not any easier. We’re going to work on it like it’s just the next game for the most part. We’re going to prepare for what they do.”

And what Estill County does is follow the lead of junior quarterback Trevor Jones and the Engineers’ spread offenses.

Jones has over 1,000 yards passing and rushing and has accounted for over 20 of the team’s touchdowns this season.

After getting to watch Jones and the Estill County offense on tape, McGlone said he came away impressed.

“He just takes what he sees,” McGlone said. “A lot of the offense runs through the quarterback. He’s extremely good and can go for a lot of yardage. You have to take him away as much as you can.”

Last week, Russell fell at home to Pikeville, 56-28. McGlone said Estill County’s offense reminds him a lot of the offense they saw last week.

And while McGlone isn’t exactly happy about last week’s 28-point loss, it was good to get a glimpse of an offense similiar to what they will see tonight.

“It didn’t do a whole lot for our confidence,” McGlone said. “But the more you play against those types of offenses, you should get better with your defense against it.”

On the offensive side of the ball, Russell has depended a lot on freshman running back Nick Conley.

Conley has ran for 900 yards this season, and had over 100 yards rushing in six different games.

But McGlone said while Conley has been impressive, he admits he gave the ball to the freshman a little too much too early. So the Red Devils will need big games from other backs.

“We probably ran (Conley) too many times,” McGlone said. “Bronson Korzep has done a good job the past few weeks in the running game. Jacob McKee has done a good job coming along and running. We’re going to have to spread out our offense a little bit.”

Korzep has 591 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns on the ground while Jacob McKee has 348 yards rushing.

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