By Melissa Meador/Monroe Journal
ABERDEEN – Aberdeen’s Justin Lucas earned his nickname on Friday night.
The senior linebacker/fullback known fondly by teammates and friends as “Bull” lived up to the name, busting through the Louisville defense to catch two TDs and run for another to give his Bulldogs a 32-21 win at Lester Miley Stadium.
“Bull is a great leader,” Aberdeen coach Mark Bray said. “He came out in the second half and really made that leadership show.”
After a big goal line stop by the Aberdeen defense on the Wildcats first possession of the game, the Bulldogs’ offense took control late in the first quarter, marching down the field on a 90-yard, 13-play drive that ended in Williams’ 1-yard keeper.
Another long scoring drive on their next possession was kept going by a 22-yard run by junior running back Chico Harrison. Lucas found the end zone for his first score of the night on a 3-yard run on fourth-and-goal for the Bulldogs and caught Williams’ two-point conversion pass.
“It was huge for us to come out and play like this,” Lucas said. “We have one of the toughest schedules in 3A, and wins like this prepare us for the long run.”
Harrison’s fumble on the Bulldogs’ next drive led to the Wildcats’ first score – a 25-yard pass from Wyatt Roberts to Lathomas Brown. Roberts also hooked up with Travian Hudson for a 12-yard score with :18 left in the half.
Aberdeen’s Sammie Burroughs responded to start the second half – catching a 28-yard pass from Williams on the Bulldogs’ first possession and returning a Roberts pick to the Wildcat 20 on the ensuing drive to set up Lucas’ 12-yard scoring catch.
“We challenged the kids at halftime to come out and win the third quarter for the first time all year. That was the difference in the game,” Bray said.
Williams and Lucas would hook up again in the fourth on a 16-yard TD play after Louisville had pulled within five.
“We just didn’t hold on to the ball tonight,” said Louisville coach M.C. Miller. “We had too many turnovers, and you can’t win a ballgame against a good team like that.”
Williams finished the night 6 for 11 for 69 yards and two TDs and also rushed for 76 yards. Harrison led the way on the ground for the Bulldogs with 208 yards on 28 carries.