Nov. 11—GRAYSON — It looked like it was the visitors who had the extra week off to start the Class 3A playoffs.
East Carter showed no rust after opening the postseason with a bye after potential opponent, Pendleton County, decided not to compete.
Landon Yoak found the end zone twice with a pair of TD runs and Jared Potter caught a late score to compliment a stellar defensive effort by the Raiders.
East Carter handed Lloyd Memorial its second loss of the season after a 20-7 win on Friday night at Steve Womack Field to advance to next week's region championship.
"We didn't really change anything on offense because it's been working all season," Yoak said. "We had our line go to work. They dominated tonight."
"For our seniors, it was either win or go home," he added. "I think we were all playing for them tonight."
The Juggernauts had issues wrapping up Yoak. The sophomore gashed the opponents for 255 rushing yards on 34 carries. He nearly outgained Lloyd Memorial by himself. The Juggernauts had 265 total yards and just 28 on the ground.
"We didn't envision Landon carrying the load," Champlin said. "We want to get (Ryland) Pfau the ball and get him on the edge. It's a credit to Lloyd Memorial for taking that away. On our first drive, when Landon carried it that many times, I knew it would be a long night for him. ... We knew that he would carry it that much. I think he welcomes that and gets stronger as the game goes on."
The Raiders' defense looked exceptionally sharp to start the game. Lloyd Memorial could not establish the run game but started to find success through the air as the game progressed. Quarterback Kaleb Evans was playing in his fourth game of the season, according to the KHSAA website. He had 18 completions in 35 attempts for 207 yards.
"They usually run a hurry-up offense," Yoak said. "We know that their line is really good. We worked on a hurry-up offense in practice. Our scout team did great this week. We tried to match their pace. I think we did a pretty good job."
Champlin said he was particularly proud of the line play on both sides of the ball. It allowed his team to control the action up front in an uptempo game.
"The scout team did a great job this week of prepping our defense," Champlin said. "I told our kids on Thursday that you went faster in practice this week than the game is going to allow them to go. We did a great job of prepping our guys for that speed and not be in a position to be scattered or frantic."
The defense held as Lloyd Memorial moved the ball into Raiders' territory to start the game. They responded with a 12-play, 82-yard drive that took seven minutes off the clock. The Juggernauts got a heavy dose of Yoak on the march down the field. He culminated the drive with a 4-yard TD run. The extra-point kick was no good. It would be the only points of the first half.
"It's what we talked about all week," Champlin said. "We didn't want to come out slow. We wanted a fast start. We practiced it. Our defense came out and got a turnover on downs and we started running it right at them. We get a big pass play to Gabe Roberts and it flips the field. We score immediately. It was major."
The teams traded lost fumbles on ensuing possessions. Neither team would gain much ground until the Juggernauts' Isaiah Sebastian hit Tyler Copland with a short pass and he carried it to the Raiders' 4-yard line late in the second quarter.
Lloyd Memorial (10-2) had three chances to move it over the goal line from the 1 but were unsuccessful. A final pass attempt was batted away and the Raiders took over.
"It hurt," Lloyd Memorial coach Kyle Niederman said. "There's no doubt. We have a chance to go in at halftime with a little momentum. They played really good defense."
"(East Carter) is a really good team," he added. "They are really good up front. They controlled the line of scrimmage."
Yoak continued his large workload into the second half. A pair of physical runs put the Raiders inside the Juggernauts' 10-yard line. The running back finished what he started with another 4-yard touchdown run.
East Carter (9-2) found itself in the same spot on the next possession. But when Lloyd Memorial stacked the box, tight end Jared Potter slipped away for a wide-open TD toss from Quentin Johnson.
"It's a little play that we have in our pocket," Champlin said. "We've scored on a couple of two-point conversions with it. We did some motioning and it made their safeties split apart. Coach (Craig) Brammer comes over the headset and mentions the play and everybody jumps on board. He was wide open and Quentin made a great throw. Jared makes a great catch. It's what I love about our staff. It's a joint effort all the time."
Nishawn Golsby hauled in an 11-yard TD pass with 2:36 remaining for the Juggernauts but the Raiders collected the onside kick. Yoak was there to secure the ball.
"We have 15 players in a great senior class," Niederman said. "There is a lot of emotion right now. There should be. Our kids played hard and had a good year."
East Carter advances to the third round of the Class 3A playoffs and will travel to Bell County on Friday night.
L. MEMORIAL 0 0 0 7 — 7
E. CARTER 6 0 7 7 — 20
EC—Landon Yoak 4 run (kick failed), 2:38
EC—Yoak 4 run (Ryan Carter kick), 1:46
EC—Jared Potter 12 pass from Quentin Johnson (Carter kick), 5:12
LM—Nishawn Golsby 11 pass from Kaleb Evans (Elijah Westwood kick), 2:39
First Downs 13 15
Rushes-Yards 16-28 46-269
Comp-Att-Int 19-36-1 4-8-0
Passing Yards 237 59
Fumbles-Lost 2-1 3-2
Punts-Avg. 3-35.0 2-30.5
Penalties-Yards 5-55 5-25
Lloyd Memorial rushing: Collins-Comer 8-13, Golsby 1-6, Abrams 1-2, Sebastian 2-2, Moran 2-4, Evans 2-1.
East Carter rushing: Johnson 3-6, Pfau 4-(minus-2), Yoak 34-255, Holbrook 4-7, Carter 1-3.
Lloyd Memorial passing: Evans 18 of 35 for 207 yards and an interception, Sebastian 1 of 1 for 30 yards.
East Carter passing: Johnson 4 of 8 for 59 yards.
Lloyd Memorial receiving: Collins 6-58, Copeland 1-30, Golsby 5-43, Sebastian 5-76, Collins-Comer 1-14, Moran 1-16.
East Carter receiving: Roberts 2-39, Potter 1-12, Hall 1-8.
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