Mclouth Several things went wrong for the McLouth Friday night, but one thing went very right.
Despite amassing nearly 100 yards in penalties and losing two starting offensive linemen to injury, the Bulldogs still prevailed with a 20-9 win against Pleasant Ridge. The victory improved McLouth to 5-3 on the season and 2-0 in district play.
McLouth entered halftime with a slim 14-9 lead, and was stung by the loss of senior guard Kevin Henderson, who dislocated his left knee, and senior guard Joe Morrison, who injured his right hand. The two starters were replaced on the line by freshman Phillip Plake and sophomore Eric Hanes.
"Believe it or not, they stepped in there and got the job done," said McLouth head coach Gerard Aligo.
However, Aligo wasn't pleased with his team's penalty-prone effort of nine flags for 95 yards.
"We were probably our own worst enemy tonight," Aligo said.
McLouth had numerous opportunities to put the Rams away in the second half, and essentially did with just under two minutes left in the third quarter. Sophomore Bulldog quarterback Jeff Schwinn connected with senior Luke Pickett on a 74-yard touchdown pass that seemed to take all the wind out of Pleasant Ridge's sails.
"That play really helped us. We have pretty good receivers and a pretty good quarterback," Aligo said. "That play gave us a little bit of a cushion."
Schwinn was the spark for the Bulldogs' offense all night, completing six of 10 passes for 168 yards and two touchdowns. Schwinn also had a touchdown run of two yards in the second quarter that got McLouth on the board, after trailing the Rams early 6-0.
McLouth now moves on to play at Immaculata next week in the final game of district play. Aligo said the Bulldogs would spend plenty of time on the basics in practice this week to avoid further penalty problems.
Aligo also said McLouth once again needed its young replacements to step up if the Bulldogs are to win next weekend.
"We've got some kids who thought they wouldn't be getting a chance to play," Aligo said. "Now, they'll be getting a chance to play for a district championship."
McLouth 20, Pleasant Ridge 9
Pleasant Ridge 6 3 0 0 -- 9
McLouth 0 14 6 0 -- 20
Pleasant Ridge -- Joshua Forge 20 yard pass to Casey Dye. (Eric Felzke kick no good)
McLouth -- Jeff Schwinn 2 yard run. (Oley Denmark kick)
McLouth -- Schwinn 31 yard pass to Scott Kesinger. (Denmark kick)
McLouth -- Schwinn 74 yard pass to Luke Pickett. (Two-no good)