Garrard, Lincoln have been - unfortunately - much alike

September 01, 2004|JILL ERWIN

LANCASTER - Garrard County and Lincoln County have played the same two opponents and their scoring results have been alarmingly similar.

Garrard has been outscored 81-14 by Danville and Harrison County, while Lincoln has been beaten 82-14.

Garrard coach Steve Stonebraker said those numbers won't matter when his team hosts Lincoln (0-2) Friday night.

"All that stuff only means something to the people wanting to talk about the game," Stonebraker said. "When Friday night gets here, whoever makes the most plays will win the game."

Lincoln coach Larry French said he thinks the two teams are evenly matched across the field with one exception: Garrard has Spencer Crutchfield.

"I think they've got one plus, and that's Crutchfield," French said. "He's head and shoulders above everything we have over here. He's probably the difference between the two teams, because everywhere else you pretty much match up. We don't have a Crutchfield to go to."


Crutchfield sat out the first half of last week's game against Harrison County after injuring his hip against Danville, but Stonebraker said Crutchfield would start at both quarterback and safety this week. He has completed 10 of 29 passes for 141 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He has also carried the ball 19 times for 118 yards and leads the team in both categories.

"I expect him to be 'the man,'" Stonebraker said.

French still doesn't know who his offense will look to. Junior quarterback Jared Long started last week's game against Danville, but French said that does not mean Long is penciled in as the starter this week or any other.

"No, I don't think so," French said. "He struggled at times last Friday with some things and that's just something we're going to experience, ups and downs, throughout the season."

French does still have his sense of humor.

"You just never know about us. I've been out recruiting," French said jokingly. "(Former coach) Tim Estes has been out in Florida recruiting, and we're going to try to bring them in."

Keys to the game

With the roster he's got, French dreads playing Garrard's offense, which likes to spread the field. French said that's not bad when you have outstanding athletes, but the Lincoln coach said his roster is a little thin to be trying to defend the whole field.

On the flip side, Stonebraker said the line of scrimmage is going to be the main key to the game.

"Lincoln greatly improved between games one and two," the Garrard coach said. "They are doing a good job up front on both sides of the ball. Their quarterback has an excellent arm and they have a couple backs (Hagan Folger and Braxton Miller) who run really hard. We are going to have to play an extremely tough football game to win."

Both teams feel they are improving, but both coaches said there's still plenty of room for each to get better.

Stonebraker said his players need to get tougher - "Right now we are just allowing ourselves to get pushed around at every position on the field," - while French said the Patriots are just looking at overall improvement as the goal.

"We need to work on every aspect of the game," French said. "The individual work is coming along pretty good. We just need to speed it up a little bit. Hopefully the kids will catch on and one of these days we will turn the corner."

The Patriots are still trying to get on the winning track under French. The coach said that though the outward success has been limited, he's still pleased with where the Pats are at and where they're headed.

"They're hungry, they want to win and they're willing do what we ask them to do," French said. I don't think there's any quit in this team. They're going to fight right to the very end."

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