We put our experts on the season forecast and see where we likely finish
First of all, let’s get this out of the way right now. We, at KPGFootball, are what you would call “Homers.” We are Storm fans. As such, it probably is a tall order to have us render an opinion on how we see the team finishing this Fall with anything apart from rose-colored glasses. However, we will do our best. Looking at the schedule and studying what the Storm has returning as well as everybody else, we see the season finishing 7-3. That said, we could finish 4-6 but everything might have to break the other way for that to happen.HB Lyon, Scouting Division, KPGFootball
The first thing we are going to do is look at the situation at QB. Two sophomores will be battling there, one who got valuable reps last season and the other who also got plenty of playing time, just not in Morton’s Gap.
Issac Earl (’26) and transfer Sylas Gunn (’26) have been battling all offseason over who will take the reins to Central’s patented and vaunted offensive attack. The two boys are the best of friends, run around together all the time, and even live in the same neighborhood.
Last year, Earl, in limited duty, completed 44% of his passing attempts and showed he could also make defenses pay with his scramble. Earl came up big at big moments and even started a game or two so his knowledge of the system is marginally ahead of Gunn’s because of experience.
Gunn was at Webster County a year ago and he, like Earl, was just a freshman. However, Gunn averaged 10-yards a throw for the Trojans and 5.67-yards per rushing attempt, scoring a TD every 9th-carry. Gunnn was fourth on the team in scoring for Webster in ’22 and played defense.
On defense, Gunn was credited with 19-tackles, forced a fumble, and picked a couple of passes, leading the team in IRNY’s.
We asked Coach Manning about whether there was a leader in the clubhouse in the QB race with the season looming. He told us, “Both boys are looking good and Gunn is gaining leaps and bounds in learning our system and the way we do things. We are still rotating every series and there just isn’t a clear leader at present. The friendship they share and the competition raging throughout Fall camp is sharpening them both.”
Central looks right reliable in the pound the ground department. Calil McNary (’24) looks to improve upon last season’s first-team All-State selection. The best FB (for our money) in Kentucky gained 1,245-yards rushing, on 166-carries, with 15-rushing TD’s to lead the team in scoring.
Both boys are looking good… (Fall) camp (has b sharpening them both
Harley Egbert (’24) is pretty darn good too. Egbert is coming off a year which would see him average a smidge under 6-yards a carry. Egbert also led the team in tackles, with 77, together with 4-TFL’s and 1.5-QB sacks.
We don’t say this lightly, but Logan Rodgrers (’24) may be the most dependable and skillful WR’s playing football in the 3A classification in the Western Kentucky Conference. The returning All-conference performer caught 44-balls for 599-yards and 9-TD’s while being the third leading rusher with the second most rushing TD’s on the team behind only McNary. Rodgers gained 10.54-yards a carry a year ago and was second on the team in scoring behind only McNary.
The Storm returns a specialist in Elijah Davis (’24) who converted 20 of his 26 PAT’s in ’22. In addition to kicking duties, Davis was third on the team in tackles, recorded a TFL, and picked-off a pair of passes.
Isaac Manning (’25) has shown the acorn didn’t fall far from the tree around the Manning household. Manning tied for the team lead in INT’s (2) to go along with his 20-stops.
Jeremiah Groves (’26), who also had a pair of picks, was only a freshman a year ago. In all, the Storm picked off 10-passes a year ago and all 10 return this Fall.
If there is a player who has helped his stock this offseason, James Posey (’24) is the guy who did it! Posey is an OL/DL combo big who wowed the crowed at the WKU Conference Combine. Posey was among the team leaders in pancake blocks, tackles, TFL’s, QB-sacks, QB pressures, and FR’s.
Konner Harrison (’24) looks to lead the linebacking corp again in ’23. In ’22, Harrison was second in tackles, first in TFL’s, and among the leaders in QB-sacks. Harrison is a grown man. You will know what I mean when you see him.
Looking at this year’s schedule, the Storm opens at home against Caldwell County. Caldwell was 5-6 a year ago, and certainly no “patsy;” but, if you are going to play the Tigers, better off catching them early. This is one of those teams which seem to get better and better as the year rolls along.
We then travel to Fort Campbell and come home to play North. We are at Crittenden, home for Union in a pivotal district tilt, travel to Webster, come home for McLean, travel to Trigg, come home for Hancock, before ending the season on the road at Fulton County.
Just our opinion, but Fort Campbell, Webster, Hancock, and Fulton County appear like wins. Caldwell, and Trigg are literally toss-ups, while beating North, Crittenden, Union and McLean seem doable, but slightly up-hill.
We believe we will capitalize on the four wins, win both toss-ups, and win one of the four up-hillers. That would put the Storm at 7-3 on the regular season.
We believe the Storm are looking right down the barrel at 7-3 provided they get the kind of play from the QB-post the two viable candidates appear poised to render. However, we better come to the ball park, every Friday night, with our hard-hats and lunch pails or we could find ourselves 4-6 as easily.
This is Fletcher W. Long, reporting for KPGFootball, reminding you to PLAY THROUGH THE WHISTLE!
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