Mercer stuns Lloyd

October 24, 2004|GARY MOYERS

HARRODSBURG - Mercer County coach Duane Hammons called it one of the biggest wins in school history.

It was certainly the biggest victory this year for the Scotties.

Andrew McCloud rolled up 223 yards on 27 carries and scored three times to lead Mercer to a heart-stopping 21-19 victory over visiting Lloyd Memorial, ending a 21-game district winning streak for the Juggernauts and keeping the Scotties in the hunt for a first-round game at home in the postseason.

"Best game we've played this season, and one of our biggest wins in school history," a jubilant said Hammons after the game. "This certainly ranks right up there. We lost to this team three straight times, and they dominated us the last two years, but with this win we've done all we can do now to play at home. Now it's up to the other teams next week."

McCloud crashed through the 5,000-yard career rushing mark on his third carry of the game, a 4-yard scoring run with 8:18 to play in the first period, and Mercer (6-4, 3-1 district) never trailed from that point.


Not that it didn't get scary.

Lloyd (5-4, 2-1) came roaring back to score on a 12-yard pass from Jeremy Addington to Nick Brinkman on the first play of the second period, but its point after kick missed wide, one of two extra point failures in the game that would come back to haunt the Juggernauts in the game's waning minutes.

Mercer blew a golden opportunity early in the second quarter when it failed to get points after a first-and-goal at the Lloyd 8, but a Jeremy Cheatham interception of a Juggernaut pass at the Lloyd 37 gave the Scotties another shot. Three plays later McCloud broke through the line, cut right and hit another gear, sprinting 39 yards for his second TD to give Mercer a 14-6 lead after Josh Ewing's kick.

The Scotties extended their margin to 21-6 late in the half after Luke Robison recovered a Lloyd fumble at the Juggernaut 35. McCloud tallied his third score of the night with 36 seconds left on the clock on an 8-yard run, and Ewing added his third kick of the night to put Mercer up 21-6 at the half.

Hammons said he knew his team was ready to play before the game began.

"You could see it in their eyes," he said. "They wanted to beat this team, and they knew they were going to beat this team. Jordan (Lyons) did a great job running the option, especially in the first half, and Andrew was Andrew. I thought we played well offensively in the first half, but we shot ourselves in the foot too many times in the second half. But our defense came up with some big plays when it had to."

Mercer had its share of offensive problems in the second half. It fumbled twice on its first possession, recovering both, but had to punt on what turned out to be its only possession of the third period.

Lloyd, meanwhile, scored once in the third period on a 5-yard run by Dara Webb to cap a 4-yard, 11-play march. Then it cut the margin to two on an 11-yard run by Nick Brinkman early in the fourth period.

McCloud did his best to put the game away for Mercer in the final quarter, scoring apparent touchdowns on runs of 52 and 44 yards that were called back due to holding penalties.

Still, the Scotties came up big when they had to in the final period. Joe Collins batted away a screen pass to thwart one Lloyd drive, then the defensive line stiffened on Lloyd's final possession to force a field goal attempt from 43 yards out with 20 seconds to play. That kick came up short, and so did the Juggernauts for the first time since joining the district in 2001.

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