Henry worries Mercer coach

October 15, 2003|MIKE MARSEE

HARRODSBURG - There's more than one reason why Mercer County's opponent this week could be a source of aggravation for Duane Hammons.

First, the Scotties are heading north to play a Henry County team that, like Mercer, has one district loss in the books and can ill afford a second.

And the Wildcats will attack Mercer with an offense that the Scotties' coach would prefer his team didn't have to face.

"They run a wing-T style offense - everything's misdirection - the kind of offense I really hate to defend," Hammons said.


It's similar in some ways to what Mercer faced last week against North Oldham, but not exactly the same.

"They're a different kind of team, because they've got four or five running backs who are equally dangerous," Hammons said. "They don't have a standout like Andrew McCloud, but they've got four good, consistent backs."

Hammons said the misdirection could pose problems for the relatively young Mercer defense, which he has taught to be aggressive in attacking the ball.

"You can defend it perfectly every play, then you get a double handoff, one person breaks down and you've got a 20-yard gain or worse," he said. "You just have to play really fundamental defense. You take a break for one play, and they can score."

Henry's offense was handled easily by Lloyd Memorial last week in its district opener, and its defense gave up well over 400 yards.

But Hammons said the Wildcats, who have lost four straight games after winning their first three, may see this game as their chance for a big win against a team ranked just ahead of them in their district.

"I told the kids, 'This is their upset game,'" he said.

Mercer turned back North Oldham's upset bid last week by turning up its defense in the second half. The Scotties allowed 101 yards rushing in the first half but only 27 in the second.

"It was a tale of two games," Hammons said. "We just came out (in the second half) and took charge."

McCloud took charge of the Scotties' offense with another strong game, running for 213 yards and three touchdowns to go over 1,000 yards for the season. He has 1,069 yards, an average of 144 per game.

Jordan Lyons also enjoyed one of his better offensive games, catching six passes for 70 yards and a touchdown.

While Mercer will be on guard against an upset, the Scotties can keep their hopes of a first-round home playoff game alive with a second straight win.

"The first win was for the playoffs, now it's how much damage do we want to do," Hammons said.

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