Winless Anderson still worries Mercer

Casey hosts unbeaten Franklin

September 08, 2004|JILL ERWIN

Mercer County coach Duane Hammons has seen the tape, and he's seen the numbers. But neither of them dissuade Hammons from expecting the annual battle when his Scotties travel to Anderson County Friday.

The Bearcats (0-2) lost their 13th straight game last week, 35-18 to Madison Southern. But to Hammons, the Bearcats are still a threat to his Scotties (1-2), who have lost their last two.

"Somebody's got to pick up a win and both teams need one really bad," Hammons said. "Both teams will be real hungry for a win, and the Anderson-Mercer game is always a good game to begin with. This is a huge game for both teams."

Anderson sophomore quarterback Clay Cox set new school records for completions (21) and passing yardage (428 yards) in the loss to Southern.


"They really throw the ball," Hammons said. "They'll probably throw the ball 95 percent of the time."

Mercer will be waiting to see what happens in senior Jordan Lyons' second game at quarterback.

"He's doing a great job," Hammons said. "I thought he played an excellent game Friday night. He'll get better, and if he adjusts, then the offense gets more complicated this week, and it will be a good fit."

If Anderson is a passing team, Mercer is still a running team behind senior Andrew McCloud, who has rushed 69 times for 518 yards and seven touchdowns. He's averaging 173 yards a game on the ground, while no one else on the team is getting more than 11.

Franklin County (2-0) at Casey County (0-3)

As Kaelin Ammons goes, so go the Flyers.

The sophomore quarterback has accounted for 83 percent of Franklin County's offense. He has completed 33 of 61 passes for 405 yards and has also carried the ball 38 times for 255 yards. The rest of the team has only 132 yards rushing.

"He's a heck of a football player," Casey coach Andy Stephens said. "He just has composure that most young kids don't have. He'll stay in the pocket, take a shot and still get off the pass. It's odd having a kid that is that young and that good, or that composed."

Franklin has given up just 112 yards passing in two games, but they have faced two run-dominated teams in Grant County and Frankfort.

Stephens said he hopes the Rebels' offensive plan to spread the field will work to Casey's advantage.

"We're trying to get the ball in the guys' hands that can make things happen, and right now that's usually our receivers," Stephens said. "We might line up and throw it 35, 40 times, and if that's successful, we'll keep doing that. I know they've not seen some of the spread and stuff we do. Hopefully that will get them off-balance a little bit and we can take advantage of some mismatches."

Casey was haunted by five turnovers last week, though Stephens said he was pleased with how well the offense moved the ball. Those turnovers led to the defense playing a lot of snaps, and the Rebels gave up more than 500 yards to Pulaski in the loss.

"There was one stretch in the middle of the second quarter where we ran three offensive plays, so our defense was basically out there for three whole series," Stephens said. "However, we weren't tackling the way we need to be tackling. We've put some smaller guys on the defensive line to get quicker, and hopefully that will help us down the road."

Guard Michael Statham has been released to join the team after missing the first three games with a knee injury, and Stephens said he expects linebacker Wesley Durham (back) to also get released this week. Neither is expected to play much against Franklin, however.

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