Bulldogs drop Troy, stay unbeaten
McLouth High coach Harry Hester is happy his team won its homecoming game Friday against Troy.
He's also relieved no more homecoming weeks are planned for this football season.
"It was homecoming week and our student council does a great job of providing activities for our kids," Hester said. "I think we kind of got caught up in that and lost some focus on the football game."
McLouth, which has a scoring average just less than 42 points per game, had a slim 12-0 lead at halftime.
Hester said his team didn't play particularly well in the first quarter.
"In the second quarter, I though they stepped it up a little bit," Hester said.
McLouth scored another touchdown in the third quarter and a fourth touchdown in the fourth quarter on its way to a 26-6 win. With the victory, McLouth stayed perfect on the season with a 6-0 record.
"I think we looked a little flat; not the same intensity we played with the first five games," Hester said.
Hester did have praise for his team also. When Troy threatened to score on two occasions, the Bulldogs denied the Trojans a score. After turning the ball over deep in its own territory, McLouth held Troy out of the end zone with its defense. During another Troy possession, the Trojans were driving into McLouth territory, but an intercepted pass gave McLouth the ball again.
MHS would have pitched a shutout, but Troy scored on the last play of the game.
McLouth had 292 rushing yards and 88 passing yards in the game. Troy, meanwhile, had 154 rushing yards and just 32 passing yards.
Kevin Stewart again led McLouth's running attack. The senior had 197 yards on 26 carries. Quarterback Jimmy Steffey was McLouth's No. 2 rusher. He had 71 yards on 10 carries. He also went 5-for-9 with 88 passing yards.
"Jimmy did a great job of running the option and had some tremendous reads," Hester said.
Stewart scored three of McLouth's touchdowns, while Steffey scored one. Stewart's longest touchdown run was 58 yards -- his first of the game.
Defensively, Kyle Sparks had one interception for the Bulldogs.
McLouth now turns its focus to district play.
Although the Bulldogs are undefeated on the season, they need to win two of their last three games to ensure a playoff spot.
Districts begin Friday when McLouth travels to Leavenworth to take on Immaculata. McLouth is 6-0 overall and 6-0 in the Delaware Valley League. Immaculata is 0-6 overall and 0-6 in the Kaw Valley League. In last year's meeting, Immaculata won at McLouth.
"They believe 0-6 in the Kaw Valley is better than 6-0 in the Delaware Valley," Hester said. "It's their homecoming. They're going to give us their best effort."
Hester said the Raiders have a big line. Immaculata averages 200 pounds across its front line.
Kickoff for the game is 7 p.m. Friday at Abeles Field.
State runner-up football team honored
The 1980 McLouth football team that finished second in Class 2A was recognized between the first and second quarters of Friday's homecoming game.
Hester appreciates that the school recognizes past Bulldog accomplishments.
"I try to embrace that and show our kids that it's happened here before," Hester said. "A lot of those guys live around here still and I'm all about embracing the tradition we have. Anytime you get those guys involved in our program, it's tremendous."
Hester looked at that team's week-by-week schedule and noticed that the 1980 team lost its only regular-season game during Week 6. McLouth was playing in its sixth game Friday night against Troy.
"I was a little nervous," Hester said with a chuckle. "I thought it was a message from above."
During that week in 1980, Perry-Lecompton beat McLouth, 12-0.
The Bulldogs went on to the state title game, where they lost to Meade, 28-0. MHS finished that season with a 10-2 record.
McLouth 26, Troy 6
Score by quarters
Troy 0 0 0 6 -- 6
McLouth 6 6 8 6 --6
How they scored
M -- Kevin Stewart 58 run (kick failed)
M -- Stewart 5 run (kick failed)
M --immy Steffey 4 run (Stewart run)
M -- Stewart 1 run (kick failed)
T -- Garett Twombley 6 run (no PAT, time expired)