Wayne will test Mercer

August 25, 2004|MARTY WARREN

HARRODSBURG - Mercer County coach Duane Hammons expects to see a different running style from Wayne County than he saw last year when the Scotties host the Cardinals Friday night.

Wayne features 210-pound fullback Josh Bell and 190-pound tailback Matt Goff.

"Wayne is a little different team than they were a year ago," Hammons said. "They have a big fullback and a tailback that runs hard on every play. It is a different style of running attack than we saw against Monroe County. Goff is more of a power back and I expect them to run a lot of power and isolation plays."

The Scotties gave up just 95 yards on the ground last week in their 31-22 victory over Monroe County, but they did yield over 200 yards through the air.

"If they watched the game film at all, we would expect them to run a lot of screens and draws on us," the Mercer coach said.


Hammons expects Wayne to try to stop his running game and force Mercer to throw the ball more.

"Last week, Monroe put 11 players in the box and dared us to throw the ball," Hammons added. "Wayne will basically play a 4-4 defense and do special things with their linebackers. With the way our offense played last week, it wouldn't surprise me to see them shift to a five-man front at some point."

McCloud now has 3,457 yards

Senior Andrew McCloud rushed for 268 yards and scored three touchdowns against Monroe to become Mercer's all-time career rushing leader. He now has 3,457 yards.

"Monroe put so many people in the box that when he broke into the secondary there was no stopping him," Hammons said. "He had two touchdowns called back by penalties or he would have had a lot more yardage. He still is not in game shape. He had 34 carries and got a little tired at the end. "

Hammons said he was pleased with last week's offensive execution.

"We made great strides from our scrimmages, but we still have a lot of things to work on," Hammons said. "We still need to be more aggressive up front and stay with our blocks a little longer. Bryan Ashford was exceptional with his play on the line. He was fundamentally sound and drove his guy consistently downfield.

"We also moved Chris Votaw from tackle to play center and he did an excellent job in his first game. He played far better than I have seen him play in scrimmages and practice."

The Mercer coach was also pleased at times with his defense.

"We were flying all around the field and were too aggressive at times, but that's not such a bad thing," Hammons said. "We did a nice job defending the run. I was pleased with the play of defensive tackle Josh Hardman. He came into the game with a slight injury but he caused one fumble and made several tackles. He wasn't expected to contribute, but he did a nice job."

He was also pleased with the way Josh Ewing, who made four extra points and a 20-yard field goal late in the game, kicked.

"He still needs some work on his kickoffs, but he was phenomenal in his first game," Hammons said.

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