You’ve got to know when to hold ’em

Know when to fold ’em

Know when to walk away

And know when to run

You never count your money

When you’re sittin’ at the table

There’ll be time enough for countin’

When the dealin’s done

It’s not the first time that Josh Jaggers turned into Kenny Rogers and you can bet it won’t be the last time.

The LaRue County coach was looking at a fourth-and-three from its 27 with less than three minutes left in Friday’s home game with Campbellsville.

The Hawks were up, 36-35.

“With as explosive as they are on offense, and both teams being tired, we just felt much more confident in getting two-to-three yards than trying to stop them again,” he said. “It was one of those games where it just had the feeling of whomever had the ball last was going to win and since we had the ball with the lead — let’s just bear down and close this thing out.”

Junior running back Jeremiah Belton got four yards and LaRue County ran out the clock for their second win in a row.

The Hawks look to make it three in a row Friday as Class 3-A, District 3 foe Nelson County rides into town for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff.

“This week is the biggest game of the year because it’s our first district game,” Jaggers said. “The past two weeks don’t mean a thing if we don’t take care of our district games and that all starts this Friday with Nelson County.”

The Cardinals come into the contest 0-4 and have struggled mightily, being outscored 193-6.

They have 561 yards of offense and running back Jayron Tongue has 258 of that on 56 carries and the lone score, which came in last week’s 48-6 loss at Bethlehem.

“I’m just proud of this group right now. We lost some key guys off the 2018 team, and we also returned several,” Jaggers said. “But I knew that out of the gates might be a little bit of a roller coaster with several new faces to go along with our schedule. People who don’t coach don’t fully understand what it’s like getting 11 guys on each side of the ball to ‘do their job’ and gel as a team. It’s still a process.

“We are a long, long, long way from being where we want to be, but they’ve seen glimpses of what they can be if they just keep on improving.”

LaRue County has run the ball 58 times for 244 yards in each of the last two weeks. Its running game has accounted for 82.15 percent of the offense in the wins over Casey County and Campbellsville.

Don’t expect much to change any time soon.

“You can’t ever county this group out,” Jaggers said.

The Hawks were down 21-6 and 28-14 last week.

“They’ve just learned to stay the course and keep battling,” the coach said. “Going back to last year they experienced what it was like to go back and forth during games and even come back from being down one, two, even three touchdowns.

“They don’t flinch and that’s what I’m so proud of. They believe in each other and in what we do.”

“The Glasgow game was a great first half and then we just kind collapsed. Taylor (County) is an already good team and we gave them extra possessions. So they have seen what we can do when we cut down on our mistakes and force the other team to makes some.”

LaRue County has run the ball 199 times for 831 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Belton leads the pack with 79 carries for 326 yards and three scores. He is followed by Matthew Lewis (24-167-1), Tyrell Coulter (30-125-1), Thomas Boone (18-89-1), Kellen Bowen (14-79-0) and quarterback Connor Backer (29-66-4).

Preston Self has five of the Hawks’ seven receptions for 130 yards and two touchdowns, including a 61-yarder last week.

Baker is 6-for-18 for 162 yards, two scores and two interceptions.

Tucker Shelton leads the defense with 19 tackles. He is followed by Self (18), Boone (16), Chance Bowen (13), Connor Lambert (13) and Kellen Bowen (12).

Mike Mathison can be reached at 270-505-1758 or

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