From The Herald News 8/16/98
By Dick Goss, SPORTS EDITOR
JOLIET - Movies have been made from lesser comebacks than this.
Regardless of how many games the Will County Buccaneers win,
no victory will be more unlikely than the Mid-Eastern
Football League robbery they pulled off Saturday
night at Memorial Stadium.
Lloyd Kerr uncorked the mother of all bombs to wide receiver Mathew Lincoln
for a 63-yard touchdown play with 1 minute 5 seconds
left to give the Buccaneers a heart-stopping 29-27 victory
over the highly touted Dayton Drive.
The Drive came to town 2-0 in the
4-0 overall and ranked 15th in the nation among semi-pro teams.
The visitors were averaging 50 points per game and were in control all the
So how in the world did the Buccaneers,
now 2-1 in the league and 2-3 overall, win this one? Some of the
crowd estimated at 800 was gone before the miraculous finish. But even
those who remained had a difficult time believing their eyes.
The Buccaneers, after coming from way, way back, still were trailing 27-22
and facing a fourth and 15 at their 37.
Kerr, a righthander, avoided a vicious rush and rolled to his left.
While on the move, he unleashed a spiral
about 65 yards in the air. Lincoln made the catch over
his shoulder, fell and bounced into the end zone.
Tom Van Anrooy's kick made it 29-27.
"If he (Kerr) doesn't get hurt at Tennessee, I think he becomes Payton
Manning," one admiring teammate said.
Said the other Kerr, Marcel, who still may have been the Bucs' player of the
game: "That was one heck of a play on Lloyd's part.
You won't see many NFL guys who are able to do that. Really."
All Marcel Kerr did, in fact, was catch touchdown passes
of 41 and 35 yards from T.J. Bednarke and 80 yards from
Lloyd Kerr in the wild, second-half comeback. The Buccaneers
were behind 17-0 at half, 20-0 in the third quarter
and 27-8 midway through the fourth period, but Marcel
was not through spinning his magic.
"We beat a team that played a better game than us," said Buccaneers
coach Jim Nugent. "Who would have thought we would use two quarterbacks in the
fourth quarter, and that would be the thing that would energize us.
"We had no first downs the first half.
You wouldn't think we would have
a chance to win."
Nugent, whose team finished with a net of minus-39 yards rushing and
had no rushing play that gained more than three yards, said he doesn't
consider the Buccaneers a big-play team. But he did add, "Marcel made
the big plays that turned it around".
Marcel Kerr caught a pass over the middle from Bednarke and raced into
the end zone for a 41-yard score with 2:54 left in the third quarter to get the
Bucs on the board. Lloyd Kerr, who had been 0 for 8 with an interception
In the first half, returned and threw a two point conversion pass to Ernest
Crank, cutting the deficit to 20-8.
But Dayton scored again on the final play of the third quarter to make
it 27-8. The Buccaneers appeared ready to be had, but defensive coordinator
Greg Skowronski's unit wouldn't let it happen.
The Drive had a first down on the Bucs' 17 after a bad snap on a punt
attempt, but were turned way. Ditto after an interception put Dayton in
business at the Bucs 25.
Finally after a punt into the end zone, it was Kerr to Kerr, Lloyd to Marcel,
for an 80-yard bomb down the right sideline. Kerr's conversion
pass to Leroy Davis made it 27-16 with 6:23 to go.
Corey Hughes then delivered the hit that caused a Dayton fumble, and
Darryl Robbins recovered for the Buccaneers. On the next play, Bednarke
retumed and tossed a 35-yard scoring strike to Marcel Kerr to make it 27-22
with 5:16 to go.
The two-point try failed.
My job tonight was to provide a spark,"
Bednarke said. "Lloyd (Kerr) and I have a good relationship.
We really help each
The Bucs' defense stepped up again after Bednarke's second TD toss,
forcing a punt and setting the stage for Lloyd Kerr's miracle finish.
"I just knew I had to get the ball there after the play we called broke down
and Matt (Lincoln) split the safety," Lloyd Kerr said of the bomb.
"Sometimes you just have to let it all hang out," said Marcel Kerr, who
finished with five catches for 170 yards and the three touchdowns.
"Our more conservative approach wasn't working. But we have good
outside speed. Matt Lincoln is a very good receiver, and I
think I'm decent.
"No doubt Dayton wanted this more in the first half, but our defense
played real well the whole game."
Lloyd Kerr stated the obvious: "You can't ask for anything
better than this."
He said the reason for the unlikely victory was "team unity. That's what
makes a champion".
For one night, at least, that team
unity made the Bucs the toast of the town.