RECORD RUN ENDS: Carroll County’s Tyshawn Embs (28) stiff-arms Lloyd Memorial’s Kyle Grant to break a tackle during Friday’s 34-20 District playoff loss to the Juggernauts. Embs, Carroll’s single season record holder in rushing yards and touchdowns, ran for 297 yards and three touchdowns in his final game as a Panther to close out his the season with 30 touchdowns and 2,502 yards. (Staff photo by David Campbell)
RECORD RUN ENDS: Carroll County’s Tyshawn Embs (28) stiff-arms Lloyd Memorial’s Kyle Grant to break a tackle during Friday’s 34-20 District playoff loss to the Juggernauts. Embs, Carroll’s single season record holder in rushing yards and touchdowns, ran for 297 yards and three touchdowns in his final game as a Panther to close out his the season with 30 touchdowns and 2,502 yards. (Staff photo by David Campbell)
ERLANGER, Ky. - Carroll County out-gained Lloyd Memorial by more than 100 yards and got another monster game from running back Tyshawn Embs but three first-half turnovers doomed the Panthers in a 34-20 loss in the opening round of the Class 2A football playoffs Friday in Erlanger.

Carroll County rushed for 369 yards, getting 297 from Embs who finished the season with 2,502 yards and 30 touchdowns. But three turnovers - one of which was returned for a touchdown - were too much to overcome for the Panthers who lost their 10th-straight playoff opener.

"We played good but we could have played a lot better," Carroll coach Mike Weedman said. "I think the turnovers probably were the difference in the game ... We weren't coming here for a moral victory. We came here to win. It's a tough loss but I'm proud of my team with how hard they fought."

The turnover that hurt most was the fumble that Lloyd's Michael Slusher returned for a touchdown. The Juggernauts had just gone ahead 12-7 and Carroll was driving when Blake Newby fumbled after he ran into the Lloyd defensive line.

It appeared as if Newby's forward progress had stopped when Slusher came away with the ball. The junior lineman ran nearly untouched 55 yards for the score as the Panthers stood stunned.

The Carroll County coaching staff protested nearly immediately and Weedman was still fuming after the game.

"I've never blamed the officials (for a loss) and I'm not going to start now but that's the worst call I have seen in a very long time," Weedman said. "I think it definitely took the momentum away from us. I'm furious at that call. We had to move on from that call but I think it took the wind out of our sails."

Carroll County (7-4) struggled to overcome that score the rest of the game but the Panthers still had a chance to steal the win.

Trailing 19-7 at halftime, the Panthers scored on their first drive of the third quarter when Embs popped a 24-yard run down to the Lloyd 12 and took the ball into the end zone on the next possession. The extra point kick failed but Carroll had still cut the lead to 19-13.

Carroll's defense forced Lloyd to punt on the next possession but the Panthers could do nothing on their next possession. The Juggernauts made Carroll pay on their next possession when they scored on Jared Gabbard's 1-yard run to make it 27-13.

The Panthers answered on Embs' second long touchdown run, this time a 58-yarder that came after the speedy senior broke two tackles at the line of scrimmage and out-raced the Lloyd defense to close the gap to 27-20.

But Carroll couldn't get the stop it needed. Lloyd went down the field on its next possession and scored on the first play of the fourth quarter, an 18-yard run by quarterback Dexter Smith that made it a 34-20 game.

The play of the game came on the next possession. Carroll drove the ball deep to the Lloyd 3 but Kiefer McIntyre's fourth-down run came up two yards short.

Lloyd burned most of the rest of the clock and Carroll didn't get the ball back until there was less than a minute to play, far too late to mount a comeback.

Embs closed out his stellar senior season with nearly his fourth 300-yard game of the season. He already owns the school record for yards in a season and a game, as well as touchdowns in a single season, and his 227.5 yards per game average will be the fifth-best in state history.

"Tyshawn had a great season, a special season, but I don't want him to overshadow what the team did," Weedman said. "It was a team accomplishment and these seniors should be proud of everything they did this year."

Smith finished the game 7-of-12 passing with 80 yards and two touchdowns and 67 yards rushing. Lloyd had 253 total yards in the game with Gabbard leading the team on the ground with 82 yards on 12 carries.

Lloyd advances to the second round where it will visit Walton-Verona. The Bearcats (9-2) whipped Newport 42-7 on Friday.

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Friday's Carroll COUNTY

District Playoff Statistics

At Erlanger

LLOYD MEMORIAL 34,

CARROLL CO. 20



CARROLL CO. 7 0 13 0 - 20

LLOYD MEM. 6 13 8 7 - 34



SUMMARY

1st Quarter

Lloyd - Dillon Smith, 34-yard pass from Dexter Smith (run failed), 3:55.

CC - Tyshawn Embs, 43-yard run (Tim Corley kick), 0:24.

2nd Quarter

Lloyd - Akintomide Mejolagbe, 4-yard pass from Dexter Smith (run failed), 10:40.

Lloyd - Michael Slusher, 55-yard fumble return (Sergio Guitierez kick), 7:29.

3rd Quarter

CC - Tyshawn Embs, 12-yard run (kick failed), 8:50.

Lloyd - Jared Gabbard, 1-yard run (Dillon Smith pass from Dexter Smith), 4:00.

CC - Tyshawn Embs, 58-yard run (Tim Corley kick), 3:02.

4th Quarter

Lloyd - Dexter Smith, 18-yard run (Sergio Guitierez kick), 11:51.

CC Lloyd

First Downs 17 14

Rushes-Yards 57-369 35-173

Comp-Att-Int 0-2-1 7-12-0

Pass Yards 0 80

Total Offense 369 253

Penalties-Yards 7-55 6-40

Punts-Yards 2-33.5 3-40.6

Punt Ret.-Yards 0-0 0-0

Kickoff Ret.-Yards 6-91 2-43

Interceptions-Yards 0-0 1-55

Sacks-Yards 2-23 0-0

Fumbles-Lost 2-2 1-0

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING - Carroll Co., Tyshawn Embs (35-297, 3 TDs); Cameron Smith (7-31); Blake Newby (9-21); Kiefer McIntyre (4-14); John Michael Adams (1-9); Team (1-(-3)). Lloyd, Jared Gabbard (12-82); Dexter Smith (12-67, TD); Brian Warren (7-14); Akintomide Mejolagbe (1-11); Kyle Grant (2-7); Team (1-(-8)).

PASSING - Carroll Co., John Michael Adams (0-2-1). Lloyd, Dexter Smith (7-12-0, 80 yards, 2 TDs).

RECEIVING - Carroll Co., none. Lloyd, Brian Freeman (2-17); Akintomide Mejolagbe (2-11, TD); Dillon Smith (1-34, TD); Zach Riddle (1-16); Jared Gabbard (1-2).

MISSED FIELD GOALS - None.