Kevin Brown’s West Carter team finds itself in unfamiliar waters.

The Comets are at the top of Class 2A, Region 3, District 6 standings with a 3-0 record. They have recorded victories over Lewis County, Powell County and Morgan County and are poised for their first playoff appearance in 12 years.

“It’s been really good for us,” Brown said. “To begin 3-0 in the district is a good place to be and it gives us a chance to make the playoffs.”

But up next for West Carter is district powerhouse Russell, the third-ranked team in Class 2A and the owner of an 18-game regular-season winning streak against district competition.

Brown said his players and staff know it will take their best effort to compete with the defending Class 2A champion.

“Everybody in our district judges how good they are on how they play with Russell,” Brown said. “The kids know in order for us to compete with Russell we have to play our best game. I believe anybody can be beaten, but your kids have to believe that.”

Russell (4-1) has won all 13 meetings against the Comets (4-2), including last year’s 54-20 victory.

Russell coach Ivan McGlone said West Carter’s perfect record in the district thus far is not surprising. He said the Comets’ playoff drought could have ended long ago if not for some tough breaks.

“I’ve always thought they played pretty good football,” he said. “It just seemed like something would happen to them late in the year to keep them out of the playoffs. It’s not like they haven’t been successful in the district.”

Part of the Comets’ success this season has come from steady play on the offensive line. Junior Cody Roe has been a mainstay at left guard and at nose guard on the defensive side.

Brown said the group up front has built chemistry and is playing better each game.

“Cody is just a big, old country boy and a real strong kid. He’s really surpassed our expectations this year,” Brown said. “We knew he had the potential to be a good lineman, but with (right tackle) Luke Carroll and (left tackle) Levi Hanshaw, it’s made for a pretty good nucleus.”

Likewise, McGlone said his offensive lineman are improving, noting the improved play of junior Toby Hicks.

After a 24-21 triple overtime loss to Ashland, the Red Devils have outscored their last three opponents by a score of 153-13. McGlone said the absence of Jacob Sizemore earlier in the season to injury has given senior Marcus Frazier opportunities in the passing game.

“We’ve used Marcus as a receiver and we’re throwing it a few more times a game,” he said. “We still need to run it, that’s what we focus on, but throwingthe ball is something we’ve done more in the last couple of games.”

With Frazier becoming another threat in an offense that features running back Kasey Clark and quarterback Tyler Jones, Brown said the Red Devils are an explosive unit.

Clark has piled up 529 yards in five games to go along with 14 touchdowns. He ranks fifth in the state in scoring at 19.2 points per game.

Brown said the best defense tonight will be a good offense.

“They’ve got more than one weapon. Although Clark is a fine, fine player, they’re a solid football team,” he said. “In order for us to be competitive, we have to control the football and keep it away from them. They’re good at all phases of the game, but when we get a chance to capitalize, we need to do that.”

RICK GREENE can be reached at or (606) 326-2664.

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