Mercer must stop option to beat Morgan

November 03, 2004|MARTY WARREN

HARRODSBURG - Now that the excitement of its thrilling win over Lloyd Memorial is behind it, Mercer County tries to get ready for a team it didn't know it would be playing until the last minute.

Morgan County (7-3) will provide the opposition here Friday when the Scotties open the Class AA playoffs. Mercer coach Duane Hammons said it came down to a last-second field goal attempt by East Carter as to whether the Scotties would play any one of three different teams.

"We scouted that game, but we didn't know until about 11:30 (that night) who we would play," the Mercer coach said. "Now that we know it will be Morgan County, we have an idea how to play against them."

The Mercer coach said Morgan likes to run the option on every play, even on passing situations.

"They will run the inside and outside veer and their quarterback (Andy Lewis) appears to be their best athlete," Hammons said. "He does an outstanding job of taking what the opposition gives him on the option."


Junior Alex Collins leads Morgan in rushing with 893 yards and eight touchdowns.

"He lines up at fullback, but runs more like a tailback," Hammons said. "Their wingbacks (Zeke Hall and Curtiss Wright) are both excellent athletes and I was told that Wright ran the 100 (yard dash) in 10.6 (seconds). That's pretty fast.."

Lewis rarely throws the ball, but has been successful when he has. He has completed 32 of 53 pass attempts for 609 yards and six touchdowns. Hammons said Morgan has been reluctant to throw the ball with its best receiver, sophomore Wes Montgomery, out for the season with an injury.

"They are a scrappy team that just goes out and has fun playing," Hammons said. "This is the first time they have had the success they are having and they are enjoying every minute of it. They run the option on every play and wait for you to have a breakdown on defense."

Different defensive looks

The Mercer coach said Morgan will give the Scotties different looks on defense.

"They will run a base 3-5 defense, but occasionally they will bring their outside linebackers up to make it look more like a 5-3 or 4-4," Hammons said. "They have big guys up front that do a lot of slanting and they try to open up holes so the linebackers can make the plays.

"Brandon Allen is their best linebacker and is very aggressive, plus they have tremendous speed at the outside linebackers. They will put six guys in the box, which is one more than we have to block, even when we spread the field and try to force you outside."

The Scotties (6-4) peaked in the final three weeks of the season before having an open date last week.

"We would have liked to have played last week, but at the same time it allowed us to heal some of our bumps and bruises," Hammons said. "You worry about the week off and what to do because we have been playing so well. Do you you let the kids heal and lose some of the momentum or do you go through what you would do during a normal week? We tried to keep the kids at a certain level so that they wouldn't lose their focus."

"The kids are excited and ready to play. They know that if they lose their season is over. They know what is at stake and want to continue to get better."

Central Kentucky News Articles