MHS spoils homecoming for JCN
Say adios to another infamous streak at McLouth High.
The Bulldogs spoiled Jefferson County North's homecoming Friday with a 40-7 victory against the Chargers in Winchester.
McLouth snapped an eight-game losing streak against JCN and notched the first win against the Chargers since 1995.
Early on, the Bulldogs appeared to be in trouble. After being forced to punt on its first possession of the game, McLouth bobbled a punt and JCN took over in MHS territory. Although McLouth had stopped Jeff County North on third-and-long, Drew Kraxner broke a few tackles near the line of scrimmage and scampered 35 yards for a touchdown with 7:30 left in the first quarter.
The extra point put JCN up, 7-0. Last year, the Chargers blanked MHS, 28-0, and handed the Bulldogs their first loss of the season.
That, however, was last year.
McLouth regrouped after the early Charger score and answered with a six-play, 56-yard touchdown drive that ended with a Trevor Keling three-yard touchdown run with 5:10 left in the first. McLouth's extra point was no good, but MHS would have plenty of other opportunities to score Friday. After forcing JCN into a three-and-out situation on the Chargers' next possession, McLouth orchestrated an efficient seven-play, 54-yard drive that included four first downs. Quarterback Jimmy Steffey ran the ball in from nine yards out with 1:20 left in the first quarter. The two-point conversion failed, but McLouth had a 12-7 lead and would keep the lead for good.
The Bulldogs scored once more before the half on Kevin Stewart's 59-yard pass reception from Steffey.
Stewart scored twice more -- one on a 57-yard run. Steffey also scored again as the Bulldogs scored 40 or more points for the third time this season.
MHS coach Harry Hester, who improved to 8-14 in three seasons at McLouth, said his "kids were pumped up" coming into Friday's game. With being JCN's homecoming opponent, Hester said his team was eager to prove it wasn't a pushover.
Hester said his team might have been a little too energized early in the game.
But the team overcame its early jitters and didn't panic. Hester said his Bulldogs were full of confidence.
"You can't coach that," Hester said.
After the game, Hester praised his offensive and defensive lines for their play at the line of scrimmage.
Steffey, meanwhile, had some timely completions from the quarterback position. Steffey had success with the passing game. And when a Bulldog wasn't open, Steffey tucked the ball under his arm and scrambled for positive yardage.
"He made some things happen," Hester said.
McLouth had back-to-back winless seasons in 2002 and 2003, but the Bulldogs equaled last year's win total with four victories after Friday's win. MHS is 4-0 for the first time since 1994 -- MHS went 8-1 that year under former coach Gerard Aligo and were crowned Delaware Valley League champions.
MHS will look to extend its record to 5-0 on Friday with a road game at Valley Falls.. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.