McGinnis and Delk keep Casey winning

October 26, 2003|JILL ERWIN

LIBERTY - Casey County's players got to keep their hair - and momentum.

Casey won its second consecutive game, topping McCreary Central 42-20 here Friday and ended coach Andy Stephens' threat to make the players shave their heads if they lost.

Homecoming king Blake McGinnis rushed for 116 yards and two scores and also caught a touchdown pass. Rex Delk, another king candidate, picked up 143 yards rushing and three touchdowns for Casey (3-6).

Now Casey can focus on Thursday's game with visiting Russell County. A win over the Lakers would give Casey its third trip to the playoffs and first-ever No. 3 seed.


"It feels like a new beginning," McGinnis said. "We're just happy to be winning again. That win (last week) against Wayne (County), that did so much for our confidence. When we play Russell County, we need to play a lot better than we did tonight, get a 'W,' get a three-seed and hopefully make some noise in the playoffs."

The Rebels got some big plays on offense, including four scoring plays of at least 23 yards, and held McCreary (2-7) to nine yards of total offense in the third quarter to get the victory.

Delk scored on runs of 53, 23 and eight yards while McGinnis scored from 35 and seven yards out and caught a 39-yard scoring pass from Josh Swango.

"They've both got pretty good speed, so anytime we open up holes for them, they're going to do a pretty good job hitting them," Stephens said. "They've been hit at the line of scrimmage a lot, but here lately we've been able to give them a few holes and they take advantage of it when they hit it."

Casey picked up 340 of its 383 yards on the ground behind Delk and McGinnis.

Casey's defense took some time to get settled, and it spent a lot of time on the field. The Rebels appeared to stop McCreary short on a 4th-and-5 play on the Raiders' first possession, but the spot gave them the first down. Stephens argued until he received an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, moving McCreary to the 12-yard line. The Raiders' Brandon Perry scored three plays later. Andrew Allen blocked the extra point attempt to put McCreary up 6-0.

Delk had two scores and McGinnis one as Casey took a 20-6 halftime lead. After those three big offensive plays, the defense took over in the third quarter.

Delk returned the second-half kickoff 69 yards to the McCreary 13, then a penalty moved it to the seven. McGinnis scored on a quarterback keeper on the first play from scrimmage.

On McCreary's first play of the second half, Perry's halfback pass was intercepted by Lance Wethington at the McCreary 44. McCreary went three-and-out on its final two possessions of the period.

"Defensively we came out and played pretty well in the third quarter and the first part of the fourth," Stephens said. "We put some subs in, missed a few responsibilities that we're supposed to take care of, but we held on."

Perry scored twice more in the fourth for McCreary, while Delk's final rushing score and McGinnis' touchdown reception finished Casey's scoring.

Casey won in spite of some costly penalties. In addition to Stephens' early one, Casey had two touchdowns called back because of penalties and also prematurely ended another drive because of an illegal block.

"Mental mistakes will kill you," McGinnis said. "It's OK to make the physical mistakes every once in a while, but when you make mental mistakes, that kills you down the stretch. You talk about close games, those kind of penalities can cost you the game. Fifteen yards here, 15 yards there, that's the difference in the game."

A win Thursday over Russell would give the Rebels the third seed and a matchup at either Western or DeSales in the first round of the Class AA playoffs. A loss will put Casey in a three-way tie with Russell and Wayne.

But Stephens said he hopes things will click the way he expects them to.

"We've just got to get used to winning again," Stephens said. "We've won two in a row now and maybe we can set our focus right. Plus, it's Senior Night, so hopefully we'll use that emotion to play a lot better."

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