Mistakes haunt Harrodsburg as Grant rallies

September 26, 2004|MARTY WARREN

HARRODSBURG - Harrodsburg gave a new meaning to staying focused and playing four full quarters as Grant County rallied to score twice in the final four and a half minutes and recorded a stunning 17-13 come-from-behind win over the Pioneers Friday night at Alvis Johnson Field.

Leading 13-3, the Pioneers (4-1) gave up a Hail Mary pass that led to one score, then fumbled the lead away less than a minute later to suffer their first loss of the season.

"It never should have come down to the fumble," Harrodsburg coach Terry Yeast said. "It was one of those games where we missed opportunities to score and mistakes finally caught up with us."

Harrodsburg quarterback Freeman Edwards was intercepted twice by Derrick Holland inside the Grant 20-yard line to thwart a pair of scoring chances in the first half.


Following the first interception, Grant (3-2) used 12 plays and nearly eight minutes off the clock before having to settle for a 25 yard field goal from Dempsey Schlueter to lead 3-0.

Just before the half, Edwards was picked off again at the Grant 20 and the Braves were able to reach the Harrodsburg 14, but Schlueter's 32-yard field goal attempt was wide and Grant led 3-0 at the half.

"We had all kinds of chances to score in the first half but just couldn't punch it in the end zone," Yeast said. "We went into the half with no points on the board and felt like we should have scored at least twice. To our credit, though, the defense did an outstanding job of just holding them to three points in the first half. "

Harrodsburg stays on the ground in second half

Harrodsburg kept the ball mainly on the ground in the second half and scored just two plays into the third period when Brandon Ford, who gained 134 yards on 23 attempts, raced around right end, caught a nifty block from fellow sophomore Cory Jackson on the corner, and raced 53 yards to score and give the Pioneers a 6-3 advantage.

"We had a hard time blocking Grant's corners when we played them last year, so it was nice to see Cory's block to break Brandon free," Yeast said. "We have really been focusing on that during practice. We are a big-play type of team, and we need for our kids to realize they need to maintain their blocks."

Harrodsburg used a 14-play, 61-yard drive - all of it came on the ground - and grabbed a 13-3 lead on Ford's 1-yard plunge as the fourth quarter began.

The Pioneers looked to be in great shape when Edwards intercepted a Matt Dixon pass at the Harrodsburg 10, his fifth interception of the year, but the drive stalled and Dixon returned Shane Webb's punt 16 yards to the Harrodsburg 48. After an incomplete pass, he connected on a Hail Mary pass with Holland for 35 yards to the Harrodsburg 13 and the same combination connected for a touchdown pass on the next play to trim the lead to 13-10 with 4:23 to play.

Then disaster struck.

After getting pinned up at their own 15 on the ensuing kickoff, Edwards couldn't handle the exchange from center and Nathan Gerretson scooped up the loose ball to score and suddenly the Pioneers found themselves on the short end of a 17-13 score with 3:25 to play.

"We gave ourselves a chance to win but didn't get the job done," the Harrodsburg coach said. "My fear of having a young team and losing our focus for one split second finally caught up with us. If we were going to lose, I was glad that it was this week, though. District play starts next week, and Frankfort is going to come in here and not feel sorry for us at all."

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