Archive for Saturday, October 14, 1995


October 14, 1995


— Nathan Gardner is back. And how.

Gardner ran for three touchdowns -- including an electrifying 68-yard bolt -- and threw a 65-yard TD pass to Luke Pickett as McLouth buried Eudora, 42-8, in Class 3A district football Friday night.

Gardner, a senior running back, missed the first game of his career last week. The 5-foot-7, 165-pounder sat out the Bulldogs' 21-6 loss to Troy with a deep thigh bruise suffered the week before against Jackson Heights.

``I'd say he was about 95 percent tonight,'' McLouth coach Gerard Aligo said. ``He still had a little tenderness. We were watching him. He's had a great career and we didn't want it to end early.''

Gardner's game ended after three quarters Friday when Aligo pulled the regulars after McLouth's lead soared to 42-0. Still, Gardner gained 242 yards -- he'd been averaging about 170 a game -- on 24 carries.

``It held together better than I thought,'' Gardner said of his injury.

Before kickoff, Gardner had some doubts, then he gained 15 yards on his first carry.

``I was kinda testing it out,'' he said, ``and once I knew I could handle it I gave it everything I had.''

McLouth jumped to a 2-0 lead midway through the first quarter when Eudora quarterback Nick Warren's pitch to Jeremy Roubison went awry and Roubison fell on it in the end zone for a safety.

Less than two minutes later, McLouth pushed its lead to 9-0 when Gardner scored from 2 yards out. Then Eudora's defense stiffened.

Two big plays by Gardner before intermission were like kicks in the Cardinals' stomachs. With 6:20 left before halftime and McLouth facing a third and one at its own 32, Gardner bolted up the middle, vaulted a defender and suddenly was racing downfield.

``I broke through and saw our center knock their guy down and I jumped over him and all of a sudden I was all by myself,'' Gardner said.

That 68-yard gallop pushed the Bulldogs' lead to 16-0, and Gardner wasn't through. With only 19 seconds remaining before intermission, Scot Kesinger intercepted a Warren pass at the McLouth 35.

On first down, Gardner took off to his right, ostensibly to run, but abruptly he pulled up and hurled a pass into the hands of streaking end Luke Pickett. That 65-yard scoring play with just :13 showing gave the `Dogs a 23-0 bulge.

McLouth scored three more times in the third quarter -- one an 11-yard run by Gardner -- before Aligo sent in the subs against the winless (0-7) Cards.

Friday's victory gave the Bulldogs, 3-4, momentum going into their remaining district games against Pleasant Ridge and Leavenworth Immaculata.

McLouth also spoiled Eudora's homecoming. Bryan Cribbs and Kari Neis were named homecoming king and queen respectively.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.