McLouth rolls over JCN in district opener
Another week, another weather-delayed win for the McLouth High football team.
MHS waited out a lightning delay for the second game in a row, but never lost its rhythm in a 50-7 win in Friday’s district opener at Jefferson County North.
MHS (4-2, 1-0 Class 2-1A District 2) fell behind early when the Chargers (1-5, 1-1) scored on a one-yard run by Bryce Noll, but answered with a 17-yard touchdown run by Drew Cerny later in the opening period. Cerny added another touchdown run before the end of the period — this one from 15 yards out — and the Bulldogs entered the second quarter with a 14-7 lead.
Just like in last week’s game at Pleasant Ridge, lightning halted play in the opening minutes of the second quarter. The teams were sent inside to wait out the weather, which caused a delay of about 90 minutes.
“We let them move around a little bit so they didn’t have to sit there for an hour and a half,” coach Chris Stewart said.
Stewart’s squad took control when play resumed, reeling off 24 second-quarter points. Nick McAferty hit paydirt on an 18-yard run, Cerny broke free for a 42-yard score and Jack Courtney hooked up with McAferty on a 23-yard touchdown pass. JCN failed to answer, and the Bulldogs took a 38-7 lead into the locker room at halftime.
“They just stayed focused,” Stewart said. “They really wanted to win the football game, so it really mattered to them that they came out and played hard after the delay.”
The lopsided score allowed Stewart to play reserved for most of the second half. Kevin Gann scored the only third-quarter points on a 24-yard touchdown run, and Braden Antes capped off scoring with an 18-yard run in the fourth.
MHS not only got off to a 1-0 start in district play, but it also covered the 15-point spread — a stat used to decide tiebreakers at the end of the season.
“Any time you play a district game, you want to get the full spread and hold onto it,” Stewart said. “If there’s any kind of tiebreaker, you’re sitting in a good position, so that’s important.”
Cerny and McAferty both eclipsed the century mark in the win, running for 119 and 100 yards, respectively. As a team, the Bulldogs racked up 381 yards of offense.
Defensively, McLouth held an opponent to a single touchdown or less for the fourth time this season.
“They’ve come on a lot stronger since the beginning of the season,” Stewart said. “We’ve worked a lot harder with them and they’re doing a good job with it.”
MHS will return Friday to Stan Braksick Sports Complex for a 7 p.m. game against rival Oskaloosa. The Bears (3-3) already own a 2-0 district record, including a 36-14 win against Valley Falls and last week’s 60-28 drubbing of Leavenworth-Immaculata.
“They’re a pretty good football team,” Stewart said of OHS. “The offense they run is hard to stop. They’re hungry to keep winning and their coach has them playing real hard.”