Stewart zooms past Dragons as junior rushes for 275 yards
Anything you can do, I can do a tad better.
Leading 7-0 after a successful opening drive, McLouth found itself in a ball game Friday after Valley Falls scored on a Jordan Sloop 62-yard run.
But the point-after attempt was unsuccessful.
Of course, that meant it was Kevin Stewart's turn to shine.
Stewart also scored on a 62-yard run in the first quarter, which pushed McLouth's lead to 13-6. McLouth, however, converted on a two-point conversion and increased its lead to 15-6.
And the Bulldogs didn't look back.
Both teams scored twice more as McLouth prevailed, 29-18.
"I don't think the score indicated how well we played," said MHS coach Harry Hester, whose team improved to 4-1 on the season.
Other numbers suggested that McLouth's standout running back again had a stellar game.
Stewart ran for 275 yards on 35 carries and three touchdowns. Along with the 62-yard touchdown run, he also had scampers of nine and 50 yards.
"Early on he was very shifty and now he shifts a little and he sees that seam and runs a lot harder," Hester said.
Stewart's Friday night efforts helped him earn all-area player of the week honors from the Lawrence Journal-World for the second time this year.
But Hester said Stewart always gives credit -- and food -- to his linemen.
"He brought in a cake today for the offensive linemen," Hester said. "He knows where his bread is buttered."
Valley Falls did make the game interesting late. Trailing 22-12, the Dragons' Doug Self grabbed an interception at the Valley Falls 10 and scooted 90 yards for the touchdown.
McLouth had a slim 22-18 lead in the fourth, but Stewart's 50-yard run sealed the win for McLouth.
MHS was at a disadvantage in the fourth quarter when Valley Falls had the wind at its back, but the Dragons only could muster four plays in the quarter. After a 3-and-out that started the fourth for the Bulldogs, McLouth controlled virtually the entire quarter.
"I think that was huge," Hester said. "Of course, we ran the ball extremely well."
McLouth now sets its sights on a winning season.
At 4-1, a win Friday at Troy would guarantee McLouth's first winning season in some time.
But the Trojans also are 4-1 on the season as the game will mark Troy's homecoming.
"I'd say we're playing pretty well, but they're still 4-1," Hester said.
It will be homecoming for the fans and current students, but the game also serves as homecoming for first-year McLouth assistant Byron Marshall. The MHS coach spent six years at Troy before coming to McLouth.
"It will be an interesting game, but I feel we're evenly matched," Hester said.
Running back Guy Masters is the Trojans' main scoring threat. The team has gone to more of running offense with the I-formation, but Hester said senior Nolan Franken still is a threat at quarterback.
"He still can throw the ball if they need to," Hester said.