Lions avoid lulls to top Bryan Station 22-14

September 14, 2003|MIKE MARSEE

LANCASTER - They didn't win by as many points as the previous week, but the Garrard County Golden Lions got the point.

A week after being taken to task for what its coach called an uninspired victory, Garrard got the job done with a little more of what he was looking for Friday in a 22-14 victory over Bryan Station.

Garrard coach Steve Stonebraker said the Lions did things the right way as they won their home opener and matched their win total - three - of a year ago.

"I'm really proud of my kids," Stonebraker said. "They gave a tremendous effort for four quarters, and we didn't really have any lulls where we didn't play well."


The players said that was the difference between this game and the previous one, when Garrard had to rally in the second half to beat Lincoln County.

"It's a very big turnaround," said Garrard senior Chris Clark, who had two interceptions on defense and accounted for 98 yards on offense. "We came into the game focused, and we played harder than we did last week."

Stonebraker said the turnaround started early last week in practice.

"I have to credit our kids in practice for really being focused and understanding what they have to do to prepare for an opponent," he said.

Once game time came, Garrard (3-1) took the field for the first time ever in all-gold uniforms, then took Bryan Station's offense out of the game right away.

The Garrard defense rendered the Defenders' two top offensive threats ineffective for the first three quarters, during which Bryan Station (1-3) netted just 68 yards.

High praise for the defense

The Lions were burned by big plays in the fourth quarter - Bryan Station got 127 of its 214 yards on its two touchdown plays - but Stonebraker still had high praise for his defense, and particularly for the line.

"Our defense just played super tonight," he said. "The guys that we had up front played tremendous. They were whipping them off the ball play after play after play.

"I said all week they had tremendous size and we had to counter that with quickness, and we did that."

Bryan Station running back Chris Seals was held to 31 yards, and receiver Jamuan Andrews had only three catches for 28 yards through three quarters, though he finished with seven for 109.

"We had Jake Cool follow him everywhere he went, and Jake did a tremendous job," Stonebraker said.

On offense, Garrard attacked with a diverse game plan different from anything it had shown to date. The Lions ran for 193 yards and threw for 115.

"We had a lot in the game plan," Stonebraker said. "We had to tweak our offense quite a bit because of their team speed."

Quarterback Spencer Crutchfield ran for 70 yards and the two first-half scores that staked Garrard to a 15-0 lead, and he was 10-for-25 passing for 83 yards.

"At times they got pressure on him, and he was still able to make reads and make some key throws," Stonebraker said.

Tim Quisenberry also ran for 70 yards and scored the touchdown that put the game out of reach in the fourth quarter.

Clark did a little bit of everything

Then there was Clark, who ran for 39 yards, caught three passes for 27 and even completed a halfback pass for 32 yards to set up Garrard's first score.

"That's something we put in," Clark said. "It took us a couple times to get it right."

Clark also had two first-half interceptions against a Bryan Station offense that threw the ball 29 times.

"Defensively he played tremendous; offensively he did it all. I guess I should have probably tried to return kicks with him, too," Stonebraker said.

Garrard didn't score after either of Clark's picks, but the Lions marched 81 yards late in the second quarter for Crutchfield's second score.

They were stopped twice in Bryan Station territory in the third quarter, and Crutchfield was intercepted at the Defenders' 5-yard line early in the fourth.

Five plays later, Bryan Station's Stephen Morton slipped through the secondary and caught Drew Moran's pass for a 76-yard scoring play that made it 15-6.

Garrard answered in less than three minutes, as an 18-yard run by Clark led to Quisenberry's 4-yard touchdown run that extended the Lions' lead to 22-6.

Bryan Station got one more score with 2:10 remaining, this time on a 51-yard pass from backup quarterback Chris Tichenor to Andrews, but the Defenders didn't get the ball back as Garrard was able to run out the clock after getting the last two of its 18 first downs.

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