Frankfort beats Pioneers 23-12

October 03, 2004|MIKE MARSEE

HARRODSBURG - The mistakes that cost Harrodsburg its first loss of the season came back for an encore.

Errors in execution and mistakes in judgment made for another long night for the Pioneers, as they lost 23-12 to Frankfort in their first Class A district game Friday night at Alvis Johnson Field.

It was the second straight home loss for Harrodsburg, which opened the season with four straight wins, and it was the second time in as many weeks that coach Terry Yeast said his team simply made too many mistakes.

"We're making mistakes that, in the sixth game of the year, there's no excuse for," Yeast said.

Harrodsburg (4-2, 0-1 Class A, District 4) never turned the ball over, but Yeast said the Pioneers did plenty of other things to hurt themselves. There were nine penalties, four fumbles and a host of missed tackles and blocks.


The Pioneers raced into the end zone the first time they had the ball Friday night, but Yeast said he saw signs then that all was not right with his team.

"We were very lethargic from the get-go," he said. "We drove right down the field on our first drive, but I wanted to know: Where was the excitement and the hoopla?"

The Harrodsburg offense didn't offer much else to get excited about. The Pioneers reached the end zone only once more, and they averaged just 3.4 yards per play on their way to a total of 195 yards.

"I never thought that we'd have that hard a time getting up and down the field," Yeast said.

Frankfort (4-2, 1-0) did its share of damage, too. The Panthers answered after Harrodsburg took the lead on the last play of the third quarter, scoring the go-ahead touchdown on an unlikely fourth-down pass. Then they held Harrodsburg to a net gain of one yard on its next two series.

The Pioneers managed only six yards of total offense in the fourth quarter, while their defense allowed 108 yards.

"Early in the year, when we got to the fourth quarter, we just knew it was our ballgame," Yeast said. "We just didn't play that way tonight. It seemed like they hit us and we didn't hit them back. You've got to fight 'em, and it didn't seem like we did that."

Frankfort sophomore runs wild

Harrodsburg also had its hands full with Frankfort's Antoine Robinson, a sophomore running back-linebacker who became the Panthers' primary source of offense after leading rusher Alonzo Tillman suffered a shoulder injury on the first play of the game.

Robinson rushed 25 times for 234 yards, and he scored two of his team's three touchdowns on runs of 56 and 48 yards.

"He stepped up when he had to step up," Frankfort coach Craig Foley said. "We knew he had it in him."

Robinson had rushed for 243 second-half yards in Frankfort's last game against Newport.

He played a key role on defense, too, shadowing Harrodsburg's leading rusher, Brandon Ford. Ford didn't get free for any long runs - his longest was 19 yards, and he finished with 123 yards on 22 carries.

"We went completely out of our whole scheme when (Tillman) went down," Foley said. "We felt (Robinson) could stay on him one-on-one and make plays, and he did."

Frankfort ran the ball on 40 of its 45 plays for 286 of its 297 yards - "Coming in, I felt whoever could run the ball was going to win the game," Yeast said - but the Panthers took the lead for good with their only pass completion.

Facing fourth-and-6 from the Harrodsburg 11-yard line, quarterback Paul Auberry surprised the Pioneers by throwing the ball to Josh Smith in the end zone. The touchdown and Robinson's second two-point conversion of the night made it 18-12 with 6:57 to play.

Harrodsburg went three-and-out on its next series, then got the ball back at midfield with 3:13 remaining. The Pioneers moved to the Frankfort 33 on a 17-yard run by Ford, then were pushed back to the 42 before quarterback Freeman Edwards was sacked on a fourth-and-19 play.

Two plays later, Robinson got free for a 48-yard scoring run to put the game out of Harrodsburg's reach.

Edwards was 3-for-11 in the fourth quarter but 3-for-6 in the first three periods, and two of his passes produced Harrodsburg's two touchdowns. His screen pass to Ford resulted in a 13-yard score on the Pioneers' first series, and he threw a 29-yard pass downfield to Cory Jackson to give them a 12-8 lead on the final play of the third quarter.

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