GEORGETOWN — Eight games into the football season, Scott County finally got tested Friday night.
Scott County beat Bryan Station by a comfortable margin — 41-13 — but it took the No. 6 team in the state more than a half to secure the win.
The Cardinals had outscored their previous seven opponents 248-14 in the first half, then flew on auto-pilot the rest of those games.
But Bryan Station was still in the hunt midway through the third quarter before Scott County pulled away.
"I expected this to be our first true test of the year, and it was," said senior defensive end Jordan Kindred, who led the winners with eight solo tackles.
"And I think we did pretty well. We gave it everything we had, so I'd give us an A+."
Scott County junior running back Dierrius Dumphord, who rushed for 156 yards and two touchdowns, agreed that Bryan Station "was our toughest competition so far."
"But we did what we do. We ran hard. The wing-T, you can't stop it."
The Cards rushed for 383 yards. Besides Dumphord's contribution, they also got 63 yards from Josh Walls and 62 from Kevo Edwards.
Scott County, 8-0 for the first time since its unbeaten regular season in 2002, can wrap up the district title by beating winless Paul Laurence Dunbar next week.
"If we do, we'll be 14-1 in district games the last five years," Coach Jim McKee said.
McKee thought his Cards were out of sync early against Bryan Station. He said it took quarterback Ben Lawler a while to find his rhythm.
But Scott County's defense picked up the slack, forcing three early turnovers.
The Cards took a 7-0 lead on Lawler's 8-yard TD pass to Scott Daniel. That pushed their first-quarter scoring advantage to 140-0 this year.
Scott County made it 21-0 in a 34-second span in the second quarter.
Following a short Bryan Station punt, the Cards had to go only 35 yards for a score — a 9-yard run by Walls. After the Defenders fumbled away the ensuing kickoff, Scott County scored two snaps later on Dumphord's short run.
Bryan Station got some momentum when it scored on Ora Johnson's 14-yard TD pass to Tyus Alcorn with two minutes left in the half, and the Defenders seemed to have a spark.
But it was extinguished on the first snap of the second half when Johnson was injured as he threw a pass. He was put on a stretcher and taken off the field in an ambulance.
Coach Craig Yeast said after the game that he didn't think Johnson's injury was serious.
Bryan Station still battled, however, with Alcorn taking over at QB. But Scott County had too much firepower and broke the game open.
Walls caught a 9-yard TD pass to make it 28-7, and Dumphord scored on a 3-yard run on the first play of the fourth quarter.
Yeast pointed to his team's four turnovers as one of the keys to Scott County's dominance. But he thought the real difference was the Cards' physical play.
"Our kids need to get in the weight room," Yeast said. "They pushed us around.
"Scott County's a greatteam. They're well-coached, big and physical."
Bryan Station finished with 284 yards, 221 coming through the air. Johnson and Alcorn each threw for more than 100. Kenyon Hippe had five catches for 94 yards and a TD.
Bryan Station 0 7 0 6—13
Scott County 7 14 7 13—41
SC—Scott Daniel 8 pass from Ben Lawler (Palmer Ward kick). SC—Josh Walls 9 run (Ward kick). SC—Dierrius Dumphord 2 run (Ward kick). BS—Tyus Alcorn 14 pass from Ora Johnson. (Adam Kline kick). SC—Walls 9 pass from Lawler (Ward kick). SC—Dumphord 3 run (Ward kick). BS—Kenyon Hippe 9-yard pass from Alcorn (kick failed). SC—Lawler 1 run (kick failed).
Records—Bryan Station 5-3; Scott County 8-0.