Russell beats Casey

October 31, 2004

RUSSELL SPRINGS - Casey County's disappointing season ended with another frustrating loss that left coach Andy Stephens thinking about what might have been.

The Rebels could have earned a Class AA playoff berth with a win Friday and had a lead in the final minutes before losing 23-20 to host Russell County.

"The game just went the way the season has," Stephens said. "We had our opportunities, but just as it has all season, we couldn't make the key play or two to win a game."

Casey (1-9, 0-4 district) took a 14-7 lead into the fourth quarter before Russell tied the game on a 4-yard run by Josh Cooper and Ken-nedy Coffey's extra point kick.


"We threw an interception that they returned to the 6-yard line with under three minutes to play that set up the score," Stephens said.

However, Casey wasted no time regaining the lead as Brandon Raney returned the kickoff 88 yards to give the Rebels a 20-14 lead.

"We were feeling good about ourselves, but then we didn't go out and do our jobs," Stephens said.

Russell's Coffey responded by returning Casey's kickoff 70 yards for a touchdown. However, Russell also missed its conversion to lead the score tied 20-20.

"We couldn't pick up a first down after they kicked off and had to punt," Stephens said. "The whole second half we had trouble moving the ball and it came back to beat us."

That's because the Lakers (3-7, 1-3) were able to get in position for a game-winning 25-yard field goal by Coffey that ended Casey's season.

Stephens said his team probably lost the game in the first half even though it built a 14-7 halftime lead. Marcus Patterson caught a 51-yard scoring pass from Kyle Long in the first period and after Russell tied the game 7-7 on an 8-yard run by Chris Willis, Casey took a 14-7 lead on Long's 5-yard touchdown pass to Raney.

"We had a chance to score right before halftime and go up 21-7. Instead, we turned the ball over on downs inside the 10-yard line. If we had scored then, I feel sure we would have won the game," Stephens said.

Long completed six of 15 passes for 131 yards. Patterson had three catches for 92 yards and Raney two for 26. Casey rushed for 137 yards as Long had 78 on 14 tries and Raney 27 yards on four carries. Russell ran 42 times for 210 yards and gained 49 yards passing.

"This was not the season we anticipated or wanted," Stephens said. "What we have to do immediately is go to work for next year so that we can get things back to where we want them to be."

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