Win will give Garrard home playoff game

October 20, 2004|LARRY VAUGHT

Before Garrard County can worry about its Oct. 29 Class AA district showdown with Corbin, it has to still play Russell County Friday in Lancaster.

"I know our kids understand they must take care of Russell County before we worry about anything else beyond that," Garrard coach Steve Stonebraker said. "We have worked hard to get ourselves in position to have a good shot to accomplish our goals in the playoffs, but this is a must-win Friday to create a home-field advantage situation in November."

If Garrard (6-2, 2-0 district) beats Russell (2-6, 0-2), it will clinch at least second place in the district and guarantee itself at least one home playoff game.

"Russell continues to play hard despite not having the type of season they had hoped for in terms of victories," Stonebraker said. "One of my main concerns will be trying to defense their option attack. We spent some time during our open week going over our defensive assignments against the option. Hopefully, that extra time to work will make a difference."


Losing quarterback Nick Huckaby to an injury has limited Russell's passing, but Stonebraker says junior fullback Chris Willis "is a very tough runner."

The Lakers have scored just 96 points and given up 217. Garrard has scored 225 points and allowed 186.

On defense, Stonebraker still remembers Russell defensive tackle Kennedy Coffey giving his team problems last year.

Stonebraker says his team still has room for significant improvement before facing Corbin or going into the playoffs.

"We have to improve defensively and in some phases of our kicking game," Stonebraker said. "I have seen our rush defense improve the past couple of games and it must improve even more for us to have success in the playoffs. Our kickoff coverage unit has got to improve. We must be able to place our kicks properly and close down running lanes to set up field position."

Casey County (0-8) at McCreary Central (1-7): Casey coach Andy Stephens is hoping his Rebels can win their first game to gain momentum for the season-ending game against Russell Oct. 29.

"We played better offense, but not defense (last week against Wayne County in a 74-42 loss)," Stephens said. "We can win this week if we play hard.

"If we can beat Russell County, we can still make the playoffs unless something crazy happens. That's what we have to keep focused on."

McCreary's only win was a 14-12 overtime decision against Berea. McCreary has been outscored 175-6 the last four weeks, while Casey has been outscored 157-75 in its last three games.

Lincoln County (2-6, 1-2) at Pulaski Southwestern (6-2, 2-1): The Patriots could still contend for a Class AAA playoff berth if they win in Somerset. However, the Lincoln defense must find a way to stop Southwestern's Lee Renfro to do that.

Renfro has rushed for 1,738 yards and 27 touchdowns this season, including a school record 325 yards on 17 carries in last week's 49-7 win over Taylor County. Renfro is the major reason Southwestern is averaging 37 points and 371 yards of total offense per game. Quarterback Todd Daulton is 50-for-107 passing for 741 yards and five scores.

Lincoln scored three touchdowns in a game for only the third time this season last week but still lost 38-20 at Pulaski County.

Lincoln and Southwestern have met two common opponents - Marion County and Taylor County. Southwestern beat the two teams by a combined 117-19, while Lincoln beat Marion 21-16 and lost 14-13 to Taylor.

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