By Bob Flynn
Register Sports Writer
After a week off, the undefeated Madison Southern Eagles open up district play tonight when they take on struggling South Laurel in London.
Southern coach Jon Clark used the off week to get his team refreshed, only practicing twice, both without pads.
Clark said the Eagles spent their time not working on South Laurel as much as tweaking things he saw from his team’s first four games.
“Our goal this week, our focus, was to clean up the things we need to clean up to get to where we want to go, that’s what we are working on,” Clark said. “We are pretty dialed in right now. I feel good about where we’re sitting.”
The Cardinals are 2-2 on the season and are coming off a 53-0 loss to rival Corbin last week in a game in which they were completely dominated.
The Cards gave up 550 yards of total offense to the Redhounds, much of which came on the ground, including touchdown runs of 20, 10, 72 and 6 yards.
South Laurel played without its best running back, Taylor Morris, who missed the game with turf toe and is questionable for today’s game.
The Cardinals also lost star running back and linebacker Austin Rickett to a concussion in the Corbin game and his status for tonight’s game is also up in the air.
Clark said its record might not indicate it, but South Laurel is a better team than the one the Eagles faced last year.
“South Laurel is not great, but they are better than they were last year. They have improved,” Clark said. “But our guys are focused. There has not been a work uttered in our lockerroom other than South Laurel.”
After tonight’s game, Southern faces Southwestern, before showdowns with the other two undefeated district teams — Pulaski County and North Laurel — followed by a season ending match with Lincoln County.
“We know this district is going to be a dogfight every week and we’re just working on the things we need to do to get better,” Clark said. “We had several goals this year. We wanted to be the first Southern team to beat Rockcastle, to beat Central and the next part of that equation is to be the first team to win the district. That road starts tonight at South Laurel, that’s where our focus is. We’re one week at a time.”
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. in London.