Mercedes will attempt to outrun Bearcats

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By John Herndon

If Anderson County wants to have a Cadillac post-season, it has to slow down a Mercedes.

Mercedes Hudson, that is.

The do-everything quarterback for Iroquois, Hudson presents the biggest obstacle facing Anderson’s quest to end a three-game losing streak and advance in the state class 5A playoffs.

Kickoff is set for Friday, Nov. 14 at 7:30 p.m. at Hollie Warford Stadium.

Hudson finished the year running for 885 yards and throwing for 420 in statistics provided by the Kentucky High School Athletic Association. He’s run for four touchdowns, thrown for three and returned an interception for six points. He is ranked 15th in the state Class 5A rushing statistics, just two places behind Anderson’s B.J. Robinson.

“Hudson is extremely quick,” says Anderson coach Mark Peach.

While the Rating the State rankings that appeared in Monday’s Lexington Herald-Leader have Iroquois rated the state’s weakest team in Class 5A and put the Bearcats as about a 40-point favorite, Peach sees the Raiders as a serious threat to his team, which has lost three straight.

“They are extremely athletic and have tremendous team speed,” Peach said.

“We have to play much better to have a chance to win.”

The meeting Friday will be the first ever between the schools.

Iroquois, located on the south side of Louisville, got to be the third seed from District 3 by beating Waggener.

While the Raiders’ 3-6 record is not impressive, Coach Jeff Norman’s first year has shown marked improvement from last season when Iroquois finished 0-11.

In addition to the 18-2 win over Waggener, Iroquois also defeated Moore and last week, whipped Atherton 26-6.

Iroquois had a game canceled on Sept. 19 due to the damage caused by a windstorm in Jefferson County.

Anderson scrimmaged Atherton in August, dominating the Rebels then.

The teams have common opponents in Bullitt Central and Oldham County.

While Anderson took a whipping at the hands of Western Hills Friday night and has lost three straight for the first time since 2005, the Bearcats know that two of the losses were to teams ranked in their respective Top 10 and that Western Hills had been in the Class 3A Top 10 earlier this year.

Anderson also knows that when the playoffs start, the name of the game is survive and advance.

Stories abound of teams supposedly entering the postseason on a downswing but suddenly catching fire in the playoffs.

The most well-known football story is Bourbon County, a three-seed in 1997, going all the way to a state championship.

Closer to home, the Shelby County baseball team had lost nine straight entering the 2007 post-season, but advanced all the way to the state championship game before finally losing to Paul Dunbar.

“Right now, everybody is 0-0,” Peach said. “Our focus has to be on getting better, taking care of the football and executing better.”

The winner of Friday’s game will advance to play the winner of the Doss – Jeffersontown game while the loser goes home.

That should be enough motivation to slow down a Mercedes.

Injury report

Anderson was without several key players against Western Hills.

Linemen Kenton Bottoms, who was injured at Marion County the week before, and Zach Cotton, who sat out the Marion game as well, were unavailable against Western Hills.

Linebacker Clayton Carney, who has not played since the Spencer County game on Oct. 17, was expected to go against Western Hills, but sat the game out as well.

Their status for Friday’s game with Iroquois was unknown at press time.

E-mail John Herndon at jpherndon@theandersonnews.com.