Harrodsburg puts underdog aside early

October 14, 2003|GARY MOYERS

HARRODSBURG - Harrodsburg coach Terry Yeast told running back Cory Jackson if he didn't score on the first play Friday night, he wouldn't get another touch the rest of the game.

Jackson took Yeast's words to heart, zipping off left tackle for 56 yards just 13 seconds into the contest against winless Trimble County.

That opening score set the tone for a dominating performance on both sides of the ball by the Pioneers in a 50-0 win.

"I told (Jackson) Trimble would shift to the right, and all he had to do was follow his blocks and cut back," Yeast said after the game. "He got a great block on the outside, and once Cory gets there nobody's going to catch him."


Yeast said the motivational speech to Jackson was part of a week-long mantra to the Pioneers about how underdog teams, if given the chance to stay close, gain confidence and believe they can play with a favored opponent.

"They have some good athletes, particularly (quarterback) Paul Deese," he said. "They don't quit, and I told our guys we needed to get on top early and put them away.

"Trimble is improving every game, and they're the kind of team that if you let them hang around too long, they can bite you in the end."

Harrodsburg didn't let the Raiders "hang around," scoring on its first three drives and taking a 37-0 lead by halftime.

"We had another case of performance anxiety in the first half," said Trimble coach Mike Genton. "Once the game was out of reach, our kids relaxed and played pretty well. We've done that in every game this year.

"We get that 'deer in the headlights' look early, playing like we're so nervous, then we get behind, relax and play better."

The Pioneers coupled a punishing ground game with a dominating defensive performance to gain their sixth win in seven games, piling up 407 yards rushing while holding the Raiders to minus-16 yards rushing.

Senior running back Mark Dunn was the big weapon for the Pioneers, carrying the ball 19 times for 271 yards. He now needs 128 yards to break Donald Smith's all-time career rushing record at Harrodsburg.

"Mark is not going to be tackled by just one defender," said Yeast. "He runs so hard the defender ends up taking the hit."

"I've been watching Mark Dunn since he was a freshman, and I think he's the best high school football player I've ever seen in person," said Genton. "He's so fast and so strong, and nobody wants the end zone like that kid."

Trimble was able to advance beyond midfield only once in the first half, driving to the Harrodsburg 14 before turning the ball over on downs. In the second half, the Raiders drove into Pioneer territory twice, but never past the 40.

Deese was the bright spot for the Raiders, completing seven of 23 passes for 68 yards. He also ripped off four consecutive runs of over 10 yards in the second half, but was intercepted twice.

Turnovers were a key element in the game. Along with the two interceptions, Harrodsburg scooped up four Trimble fumbles.

"Our defense played well," said Yeast. "The kids got the shutout, which was important to them, and they didn't allow too many big plays. I didn't like the number of penalties we got, but it seemed we got a little sloppy in the second half."

Mariqus Brown led the Harrodsburg defense with 13 tackles, while Josh Anderson had two sacks and recovered a fumble.

Dunn scored four touchdowns on runs of 7, 50, 17 and 4 yards, while Jackson added scoring runs of 21 and 5 yards.

Travis White added a 14-yard touchdown for the Pioneers, and kicker Adam Gray nailed a 32-yard field goal and four extra-point kicks.|10/5/03***

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