Garrard Co. Lions score 5 straight touchdowns in wet 34-8 win over Patriots

Published 12:07 pm Thursday, September 7, 2017

LANCASTER — Weather, smeather.

The forecast of heavy rains off Hurricane Harvey hitting central Kentucky on “Football Friday Night” prompted many teams in the area to move their games up a day to avoid poor weather conditions – but not Lincoln County and Garrard County.

The neighboring rivals decided to stick with their originally scheduled meeting and the two teams squared off for four soggy quarters Friday night as the remnants of Harvey poured down at Coy Dyehouse Stadium.

Both teams were looking to claim a victory to improve to 2-1, but it would be host Garrard County, not Lincoln, walking away with the win as the Golden Lions’ offense clicked in a wet 34-8 win over the Patriots. 

Lincoln coach Travis Leffew was not happy with the Patriots’ efforts in the loss – and it had nothing to do with the weather.

“It takes heart to win a ballgame and we didn’t have any of that tonight,” he said. “The biggest thing to look at is we have to find some kind of physicalness. Every time we play a team that’s physical, we’re done. We’ve got to be able to answer back with some physicalness and, when they make big plays, we have to be able to answer back. And we weren’t able to do that.”

Lincoln (1-2) jumped out to an early lead but Garrard (2-1) would score five unanswered touchdowns to put the game away.

“We played well,” Garrard coach Jerry Perry said. “We tried to keep our kids on an even keel, which was one thing we didn’t do last week (Madison Southern loss). We did a better job of staying on an even keel. And let’s face it. The elements helped us and we were able to take advantage of it.”

After being held on downs their first drive, the Lions did what they do best on their second possession, running the ball for 55 yards of a 13-play, 78-yard drive. Quarterback Connor Isaccs then caught the Lincoln defense off guard on the final play, hitting Josh Warren for a 23-yard touchdown pass to get within 8-6 with 7:34 left in the first half. The running Lions would tally two scores off the pass, with Isaccs then hitting Anthony Justus for an 86-yard touchdown pass with 3:18 to play in the second quarter to put Garrard up 14-8 at the break.

The Lions never trailed again.

“They’ve not really shown (pass),” Leffew said. “They’ve not shown that at all. We just set back. Our corners fell asleep on that. Great calls by their coaches tonight. They just did a good job of whipping our tails.”

While Garrard had passed for only 54 yards on 2-of-6 completions in its first two games versus 394 yards rushing, Perry says the Lions do pass.

“We do practice passing. We just don’t do it a lot,” he said. “We utilize our linemen. When we do throw it, we do expect to execute and, luckily for us, the balls weren’t too wet yet and the ground wasn’t too wet and we were able to make the plays.”

Warren would finish the night with three touchdowns, adding two more scores in the second half. The Lions ran six minutes off the clock on the opening third-quarter drive before Warren carried the ball in from the 6-yard line with 5:16 in the period. He then capped off the night’s scoring with a 44-yard run on a march that went 78 yards in nine plays.

Sandwiched in between Warren’s second-half touchdowns, David Pennington scored one of his own, and on the shortest drive of the game. The Lions got possession of the ball at the Patriots’ 29 after a fumble by Darius Napier. Pennington rushed for one carry of 25 yards in the four-play drive before scoring the 1-yard touchdown. Warren ran in the two-point conversion.

“I was proud of the fact that we got down there deep in their territory (first quarter), don’t score, and they score immediately and then they get the 2. We could have went in the tank there just because of last week’s beat down. But we didn’t,” said Perry. “They stayed on that even keel and came back. I’m real proud of them.”

Lincoln, which had passed for 484 yards in its first two games, managed just 93 yards passing in the rain. The Patriots scored their lone touchdown on the ground, with Tra Carey going 17 yards to the goal line for the game-opening score. Bryson Yaden hit Josh Salyers with a pass on the two-point conversion attempt to give Lincoln the 8-0 edge.

Lincoln did get down to the Garrard 16 in the second quarter only to have the drive end on a Justus interception. 

The Patriots never really threatened after that. They were going for the end zone on the pass late in the game but that drive also ended with an interception and then the Lions just ran out the clock.

*******
at Garrard Co.
1 2 3 4 F
Lincoln 8 0 0 0 – 8
Garrard 0 14 6 14 – 34

Scoring
1st Qtr
Lincoln:2:49 – Tra Carey 17-yard run (Bryson Yaden to Josh Salyers).

2nd Qtr
Garrard: 7:34 – Josh Warren 23-yard pass from Connor Isaccs (failed conversion).
Garrard: 3:18 – Anthony Justus 86-yard pass from Isaccs (David Pennington run).

3rd Qtr
Garrard: 5:16 – Warren 6-yard run (failed conversion).

4th Qtr
Garrard: 2:38 – Pennington 1-yard run (Warren run).
Garrard: 1:27 – Warren 44-yard run (failed conversion).