LANCASTER - Garrard County used a dominating defensive effort in the first half to jump out to a big lead, then chewed up clock in the second half Friday to earn a 35-14 win over visiting Lloyd Memorial at Dyehouse Stadium.
Garrard’s defense held Lloyd to 1 total yard in the first half and just 72 yards overall. Meanwhile, Noah Williams ran for 110 of his game-high 128 yards in the second half as the host Golden Lions rolled up 229 yards on the ground and 291 yards overall.
“Just a pretty good effort by our guys. Defensively, the effort was good. We had a couple of breakdowns in the second half, but not too many,” Garrard coach Mark Scenters said. “We felt like we did a pretty good job on the ground game. Our game plan was pretty solid, so that’s a big help.
“I’ve got to give our offensive line another call. We more than held our own up front, we did a pretty good job.”
Garrard (2-1)¿ran for 146 yards in the second half and held the ball for 15 minutes, 16 seconds over the final two quarters.
Senior tackle Shae Garcia said the Lions made it a point to take control of the line in the second half.
“We knew coming in from the start it was going to be us up front versus them, and that’s where the game was going to be won. So we just kicked it in in the second half,” he said. “They were dead by the end of third quarter, they were done. Our conditioning was better than theirs by a lot.”
Scenters agreed the Lions’ conditioning made a huge difference in the second half.
“Our conditioning is such an important thing for our team. Once you get a team on their heels and they start subbing and taking time out, it helps a whole lot,” he said. “Noah Williams really responded in the second half and got in a great frame of mind and really started running the ball really hard, following his blocks well. He was so close to breaking a couple, and those will come.”
But it was all Garrard from the start.
Garrett Caudill accounted for all 21 points in the first half, including a pair of field goals, which were an added bonus for Scenters.
“Our extra point, field goal game has gone a long way. I know we’ve never kicked two field goals in a game since I’ve been here,” Scenters said. “It helps when you can convert. Any time you can put points on the board, especially against a team like this that has the ability to score way out on the field.”
A 36-yard catch by Mike Redmon from Billy Abney set up Garrard’s first score, giving the Lions a first down at the Lloyd 3 yard line. Four plays later, Caudill powered it in from a yard out and kicked the point after for a 7-0 lead with 1:14 left in the first quarter.
Garrard got the ball right back and mounted a 12 play, 72-yard drive which took 4:55 off the clock, capped off by Caudill’s 4-yard score. He added the two-point conversion for a 15-0 lead with 7:05 left in the first half.
Jaylan McPherson’s interception and 10-yard return of Dexter Smith’s pass set up the Lions at the Juggernauts’ 25 yard line. Caudill finished off the drive with a 28-yard field goal with 3:39 to go.
After forcing another Lloyd punt, Garrard drove down to the 18, where Caudill booted a field goal from 35 yards out as time expired to make it 21-0 at the half.
Lloyd (2-1), which had just 1 yard on 14 plays in the first half, came out strong to start the third quarter.
On second-and-5 at the Garrard 37, Smith rolled right and found Jared Gabbard over the middle, and he went untouched for the touchdown as the Juggernauts trimmed the lead to 21-7 with 8:15 left in the third quarter.
Both teams were held on downs, and Garrard took over at the Lloyd 37. Layne Cumby had a run of 10 yards and Williams ran for 15 yards to set up a first down at the 5, and Williams went in from a yard out two plays later as the Lions led 28-7 with 44 seconds left in the third quarter.
But Lloyd managed to stay in the game when Akintomide Mejolagbe took Garrard’s ensuing squib kick at his own 16, busted through the coverage and went untouched for an 84-yard score to cut Garrard’s lead in half at 28-14 heading to the fourth quarter.
“We kind of had to gut it out there in the second half. Lloyd’s a very athletic team, that’s pretty obvious when you look at them,” Scenters said. “They do some things that hurt you. That quarterback, everything goes through him, he’s able to hurt you with his feet and able to hurt you with his arm.”
But the Lions held Smith to just 6 of 19 passing for 59 yards and just 4 yards rushing on 10 carries.
Garrard’s line dominated from there, mounting a 14 play, 70-yard drive which took 6:23 off the clock. Williams ran for 54 of those yards, and Cumby capped off the drive with his 7-yard touchdown run as Garrard opened a 35-14 lead with 6:04 to play.
Lloyd Memorial 0 0 7 7 — 14
Garrard County 7 14 7 7 — 35
Garrard — Garrett Caudill 1 run (Caudill kick), 1:14.
Garrard — Caudill 4 run (Caudill run), 7:05.
Garrard — FG¿Caudill 28, 3:39.
Garrard — FG¿Caudill, :00.
Lloyd — Jared Gabbard 37 pass from Dexter Smith (Sergio Guitierez kick), 8:15.
Garrard — Noah Williams 1 run (Caudill kick), :44.
Lloyd — Akintomide Mejolagbe 86 kickoff return (Guitierez kick), :32.
Garrard — Layne Cumby 7 run (Caudill kick), 6:04.
First downs 5 16
Rushes-yards 16-13 54-229
Passing 59 62
Total Net Yards 72 291
Comp-Att-Int 6-19-1 4-12-0
Fumbles-Lost 2-1 1-0
Penalties-Yards 8-62 8-65
RUSHING—Lloyd, Brian Warren 3-7, Dexter Smith 10-4, Jared Gabbard 3-2. Garrard, Noah Williams 27-128, Jaylan McPherson 8-36, Billy Abney 7-27, Layne Cumby 3-20, J.T. Lyons 3-9, Garrett Caudill 6-9.
PASSING—Lloyd, Smith 6-19-1-59. Garrard, Abney 4-12-0-62.
RECEIVING—Lloyd, Gabbard 2-45, Brian Freeman 2-5, Zach Riddle 1-12, Akintomide Mejolagbe 1 minus-3. Garrard, Mike Redmon 1-36, Lyons 1-12, Jacob Smith 1-12, Nick McCollum 1-2.