Crutchfield had 10 carries for at least 10 yards each Friday, and several included sharp cuts to avoid tacklers. Garrard coach Steve Stonebraker said Crutchfield is nearing the point he was at last year before a hip injury ended his season.
"The last two weeks, he's improved into the type of player he was in the middle of the season last year," Stonebraker said. "He's only going to be better than he's ever been as time progresses. To see him develop over the last couple weeks has really been key because we need him to be a big playmaker for us for the rest of this season."
He was that Friday night. His first carry was a 37-yard touchdown run on Garrard's fourth play , and he broke several tackles on his way to the end zone. The extra point by Corey Horn put Garrard up 7-0.
"We knew offensively, after scoring on that first drive, that we could do it again," Stonebraker said. "Really, they never stopped us offensively all night."
433 yards of offense
Garrard racked up 433 yards of offense against Madison Southern (2-2) and had 22 first downs.
Southern drew within 7-6 after a 1-yard run by Robert Dees, but the extra point was blocked by Crutchfield and Daniel Barker.
Garrard took a 14-6 lead after an 8-yard pass from Crutchfield to Mackie Brock and another Horn kick, but Dees answered with a 3-yard run and Southern converted the two-point play.
"They were able to do some things really well against our defense," Stonebraker said. "I thought Robert Dees did a tremendous job running the football."
Southern was able to pick up some yards in the first half, but the Eagles struggled mightily in the third quarter. After compiling 139 yards in the first half, Southern had just 28 total yards in the third quarter.
Crutchfield said the Lions' defense found a way to get more physical in the third quarter, putting more pressure on Southern quarterback Casey Hatcher and limiting the success of Jeremy Roberts.
"No. 5 (Roberts) has pretty deceptive speed. You don't think he's that fast, but then you get up on him and he can run off and leave you," Crutchfield said. "Their quarterback was making some nice throws, and we had to get defending, and we had to get more pressure. We did that in the second half and it helped us out a little bit."
The normal halftime discussion
Stonebraker said he didn't say anything to his team at halftime that he doesn't normally say.
"I'm like a broken record at halftime," Stonebraker said. "We have game plans to work against their best plays, and then we get out on the field and have trouble executing that for whatever reason. We weren't always as disciplined as we should have been tonight, and that was unfortunate."
Garrard led 20-14 at the half after a 15-yard run by Crutchfield, but the last one minute, 43 seconds of the first half was a comedy of errors.
Three interceptions on four plays from scrimmage in 31 seconds led to some quick changes before Southern made a mini-drive to its own 36. Garrard took over after the punt at its own 30, and a 24-yard run by Zach Doan got them across midfield. But Crutchfield's third interception of the final 1:43 found Roberts, his second pick of the game, and ended the half.
Garrard scored the eventual game-winner after it looked like its first drive of the third quarter was going to end. Facing a fourth-and-8 from their own 28, the Lions were saved by an offsides call against Southern. That allowed Garrard to call a fake punt, and Horn found Crutchfield for a 14-yard pass and a first down. Crutchfield scored six plays later, and added a 5-yard touchdown pass to Dan Leavell 2:17 into the fourth quarter to wrap up Garrard's scoring.