Prestonsburg at North Laurel
Who: Prestonsburg at North Laurel
Kickoff: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Location: The Jungle Stadium, London
Coaches: Prestonsburg; Brandon Brewer. North Laurel; Chris Larkey.
Notes: Brandon Brewer is closing in on his first game as Prestonsburg head coach as the Blackcats are set to make their 2018 debut. The Blackcats will visit North Laurel for a high school football season opener on Friday night.
Following a loss to crosstown rival South Laurel, North Laurel opened the 2018 high school football season 0-1. South Laurel pulled away to defeat the Jaguars 30-8.
Brewer compiled a 20-16 record over three seasons as a head coach at Powell County, guiding the Pirates to an 8-5 overall mark, a Class 3A, District 7 championship and a region runner-up finish in 2017.
Brewer replaced longtime Prestonsburg head coach John DeRossett. In DeRossett's final season in 2017, Prestonsburg captured the Class 2A, District 8 championship and finished 7-5.
The Blackcats are poised to kickoff the 2018 season with back-to-back-to-back away games.
After the early stretch on the road, Prestonsburg will host opponents in three of the regular-season's last four weeks.
Reigning Class 2A District 8 Player of the Year Ethan Varney is ready to run again for the Blackcats. Varney is one of the top all-time rushers in Prestonsburg's history. As a junior, Varney rushed for nearly 2,000 yards. In Prestonsburg's 10-game 2017 regular-season, Varney rushed 10 times for 1,506 yards and 17 touchdowns. A two-way starter, Varney also helped to lead Prestonsburg on the defensive side and special teams throughout his junior season.
North Laurel defeated Prestonsburg 28-6 when the two teams met at Josh Francis Field/Blackcat Stadium in 2017.
The Jaguars compete in Class 5A District 8, along with Whitley County, Perry Central, Harlan County and Letcher Central. North Laurel was projected to finish fourth in the preseason Class 5A District 8 poll.
The Jaguars are under the direction of head coach Chris Larkey. North Laurel, following a loss to Harlan County in the second round of the Class 5A Russell Athletic/KHSAA Commonwealth Gridiron Bowl, ended the 2017 season with a 9-3 overall record.
Kickoff for the North Laurel-Prestonsburg football game is set for 7:30 p.m.
Who 2 Watch: For Prestonsburg, running back Ethan Varney.
Over the past two seasons, Varney has rushed for nearly 3,000 yards and ranked as one of the state's top running backs. Varney will be looking to continue to lead on the offensive side for Prestonsburg, which entered the 2018 season as the preseason Class 2A District 8 favorite.
For North Laurel, quarterback Dalton Sizemore.
A junior, Sizemore is settling in as the starting quarterback for the North Laurel football team. In the Jaguars' loss to crosstown rival South Laurel, Sizemore completed six passes for 64 yards.