Lions' wasted opportunities lead to loss

November 02, 2003|LARRY VAUGHT

CORBIN - Garrard County had a chance to put a scare into Corbin, but the Golden Lions couldn't make enough key plays to leave with the Halloween treat they wanted.

Garrard was stopped deep in Corbin territory on its first two drives Friday, and the host Redhounds went on to post a 37-6 victory.

The win gave Corbin the Class AA district championship and home-field advantage in the playoffs for at least two weeks.

"When you play a team this tough, you've got to take advantage of every opportunity," Garrard coach Steve Stonebraker said. "We didn't do that early, or it would have been a much better game. We had chances to make plays to keep us in the game and just didn't make them."

Instead, Corbin (8-2, 4-0 Class AA, District 4) used the running of Jarrod Lawson, the state's fifth leading rusher, and the all-around play of Brad Lawson to pull away from Garrard (8-2, 3-1).


Jarrod Lawson rushed for 161 yards, which was 45 below his average entering the game, and 41 of those yards came on an eight-play, 58-yard drive to open the game that he ended with a 6-yard scoring run.

Rather than be intimidated, Garrard responded by driving from its own 31 to the Corbin 8. Quarterback Bruce Williams was stopped just short of a first down to stop the drive.

After forcing the Redhounds to punt, Garrard drove right back into scoring range. Williams hit passes to Brandon Sebastian, Chris Clark and Jake Cool in the 60-yard drive. However, he missed a wide-open Clark in the end zone as the drive was halted at the 20.

"They put a lot of pressure on him," Clark said. "It wasn't his fault he didn't complete that pass. We just were not focused enough as a team to start the game."

Corbin turned to Brad Lawson, a junior, for its next two scores. He turned a short pass from Jeremy Brock into a 49-yard touchdown for a 14-0 lead, then, just 57 seconds before halftime, he got open for a 24-yard scoring reception. He had four catches for 103 yards.

"He hurt us a lot. He's really good," Stonebraker said.

Williams, making just his third start since replacing injured Spencer Crutchfield, got Garrard into the end zone in just 42 seconds to cut the halftime deficit to 21-6. He had a 15-yard strike to Clark and a 22-yard pass to Sebastian before he connected with Clark on a 34-yard scoring play.

"He didn't connect on that one pass to Chris, but he played a heck of a game," Stonebraker said of Williams, who was 15-for-26 passing for 181 yards. "He's getting a lot better every game."

Corbin dominated the second half. A 24-yard field goal by Eric Dixon and a 6-yard scoring run by Erik Blackwood stretched the lead to 31-6 after three quarters and all but settled the issue.

"We thought we could come back the second half. We felt we still had a chance, but we just didn't make plays," Clark said.

Corbin finished the game with 432 yards of total offense to Garrard's 192. While the Redhounds moved the ball both throwing and running, Garrard had no running game as it finished with just 1 yard rushing.

"We knew they were just too big and physical up front for us," Stonebraker said. "That's why we spread them out and tried to throw."

Now Stonebraker wants his players to forget the game and focus on the upcoming playoff game they will host.

"We're going to take an amnesia pill and forget this game," Stonebraker said. "We're going to set a new goal of getting back here in three weeks for a regional championship game with Corbin. We didn't do a lot of little things well tonight, but we can get better.

"Our eight-game win streak is over. The regular season is over. The pressure is off. Next week's game is a lot bigger, and that's the one thing we have to take out of this game."

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