SOMERSET - After a hot start and five straight wins, the defending Class 2A state champion Somerset High School football team hit a bump in the road with back-to-back losses at home. District rivals Lexington Christian edged out the Briar Jumpers 28-21 on Oct. 16 and Corbin downed Somerset 48-21 on Oct. 30.
The Corbin setback was somewhat skewed as the Briar Jumpers were playing without the star quarterback Kaiya Sheron, and the game had no Class 2A playoff implications. However, the narrow loss to LCA secured a top seed for the Eagles from Lexington.
After winning 12 straight games in a span of almost an entire calendar year, from Oct. 18, 2019 to Oct. 16, 2020, the Briar Jumpers now have not won a game in over a month. Somerset's last win was a 42-3 drubbing of Danville at Admiral Stadium almost 35 days ago. As if turns out, Danville will be the Briar Jumpers' opening-round playoff opponent.
With a COVID cancelled game on Oct. 23 and a bye week on Nov. 6, Somerset head coach Robbie Lucas fears some rust might have set in on his team, as they prepare to defend their state title.
"We haven't played a consistent schedule in the last half of the season," Lucas admitted. "We are starting to get healthy, but I worry about the "rust" we have by not playing. Practice always helps, but Friday nights are what's needed more than anything."
If the Jumpers want to hoist a second straight gold state championship trophy, they must get healthy. And hopefully, this added week off before playoffs will allow the Briar Jumpers to get healthier.
Also, Coach Lucas is wanting the extra week to get his team back to the basics of the game.
"This week we will work on fundamentals and installation in preparation for our first-round opponent," Lucas stated.
STEVE CORNELIUS is the CJ Sports Editor and can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @CJSportseditor.