This was not a game of domination by Beechwood. Lloyd has a solid team with some talented players. This was a closely contested game till Beechwood made some big plays at the end of the first half. Then Lloyd's coach made a very questionable decision starting the second half that did not work and that was the ball game.
Beechwood got the ball first. A face mask penalty caused a 3 and out punt. Llloyd tried to run the ball and got nothing - 3 and out. A short punt gave Beechwood great field position. Lucas Benson made a great 20 yard reception to get the ball to the 6 and then Ethan Stringer ran it in from there. A bad snap on the extra point led to a Fieger to Slusher 2 point conversion. 8-0 Beechwood at 7:27. Lloyd was getting no where running the ball so they went to the air and found success. The Juggs scored on an 80 yard drive that included a 4th down conversion, Jordan Fann to Charles Gaines for the 9 yard TD. Then Fann scored on a weird 2 point conversion where he was stacked up at the line by several Beechwood players, forward progress stopped, but the refs never blew the whistle and Fann pushed forward again and scored ... 8-8 at 2:44. That Lloyd drive was dominated by their passing game with no yards at all running that I recall.
Beechwood put together a drive of their own and also used a 4th down play, Kyle Fieger hitting Brett Slusher with a pass in the flats that Slusher ran in for a 27 yard TD, Mario German XP 15-8 at 10:34. Lloyd came right back throwing the ball and Fann connected to Gaines on a 14 yard TD, XP no good, BW 15 Lloyd 14 at 7:10. Then came the turning point in the game. Beechwood drove 75 yards but got stopped on a 4th and goal at the 2. A couple plays after the stop, Beechwood freshman safety Logan Castleman intercepted a Fann pass and ran it in for a 24 yard pick 6, German XP, 22-14 at 1:07. Castleman is the first freshman starter at Beechwood since Brandon Berger back in the early 90's and he made his presence known in his first start. Lloyd tried to respond but Brett Slusher read a route and Fann pass perfectly, intercepting the ball and returning it 65 yards for another pick 6, bad snap on the XP, 28-14 Beechwood with 14 seconds to go in the half.
Lloyd received the second half kickoff and started their drive at their own 21. On 4th and 1, Coach Turner went for it. Beechwood stuffed the play and took over there. Four plays later, Slusher scored on a 4 yard run, German XP, 35-14 at 7:51. And that was the ball game for all intents and purposes. On Lloyd's next possession, Grant Birindelli picked off a pass.
Beechwood finished the drive following the INT with a Fieger to Slusher 19 yard TD pass, bad snap on XP, 41-14 at 11:53. Lloyd still had some fight in them and marched 80 yards for a TD. I believe it was Dashon Lunsford who scored on the 3 yard TD run, Fann to Gaines for 2 points, 41-22 at 6:06. The Juggs tried an onside kick that was recovered by Beechwood's Trevor Soward. The Tigers scored on that possession on a Fieger to Slusher 30 yard pass play, German XP, 48-22 at 3:40. Lloyd's final drive ended with Aiden Justice intercepting a pass in the end zone and running it out to the 35. Beechwood's JV ran out the clock from there.
Give major credit to Beechwood's coaches for some great adjustments on defense. Lloyd was having success with deep slant routes. Beechwood started dropping linebackers deep undercutting the routes and that led to several of the interceptions. Brett Slusher is a first team all state player if I ever saw one. I said it last week and will say it again, he is the best football player in N. Ky. He had 5 TD's tonight, one on a run, 3 TD receptions and the 65 yard interception return. This was a good first game for Beechwood. They got a win over a good opponent and learned quite a bit about themselves.
Lloyd is going to have a good season. Charles Gaines is an excellent receiver. Sophomore QB Jordan Fann throws the ball very well and will get better and better with experience. Lunsford is a good running back. Lashunn Townsend and Jamorrow Dawson are good receivers. They have some good size up front. Lloyd is going to win a lot of games this year and challenge NCC for the district title.