Casey County seniors make mark in statement win

For the first time in Casey County history, a group of seniors has gone undefeated against rival Russell County.

The Rebels defeated Russell 40-19 on Thursday, putting Casey seniors at 4-0 against the Lakers in their high-school careers.

It wasn’t a game like Casey’s first two of the season: The Rebels struggled to get going. Russell opened the scoring and was the only team to score in the first quarter, but Casey didn’t stay down long.

“It was great to have a game where we have to fight through some adversity,” Casey coach Steve Stonebraker said. “They got an early score on the board and then we came back and got the next 34 points in the game. I like the way we played through some things that were out of our control and just continued to focus on the next play. That’s the mindset we are trying to instill in our guys.”

Casey finished with 41 rushes for 237 yards and four touchdowns. Quarterback Austin Campbell was 21-for-30 through the air for 231 yards, two scores and one interception.

“Offensively, we scored on all but two drives, once again,” Stonebraker said. “We also finished very close in rushing yards and passing yards again. That is not something you can ever set out to do, but we just like to be able to throw it when we need to and run it when we need to. To me, that’s the definition of offensive balance.”

Campbell’s two touchdowns came in the second quarter, both within 10 yards to Dustin Richards. The second was just six seconds before halftime.

Preston Tucker had a two-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, the only score in the frame, to give Casey a 21-7 lead entering the fourth quarter.

The final 12 minutes were filled with action: Casey’s Dalton Summers would make it a three-score game three minutes in, then Tucker added his second score of the night four minutes later.

Russell, down 34-7, scored on a two-yard run by Mason Miller to make it 34-13.

A 39-yard by Summers put the game out of reach with two minutes left, with Russell quarterback Nathan McQueary hitting Tate Richardson for a 16-yard touchdown with just seconds remaining.

“Our defense had a little bend but don’t break in them for the second straight week,” Stonebraker said. “There are a couple areas that we have to get a bit better in but I love our effort. Our kids are fighting every single down. They put one in late on our backups so our defense kept them out of the end zone a lot more than what that 19 points would indicate.”

Stonebraker noted linebacker AJ Glenn, who posted 23 total tackles in the game. That is just two shy of the school record of 25, set by Phillip Roy in 1984.

“A.J. Glenn had a tremendous game for us,” the coach said. “He was obviously a tackling machine, but he also played more offensively this game than he has any game in the last two seasons. He is really a force for us. He came up with a big interception that led to a score in the 3rd quarter.”

Receiver Britt Pendleton had 10 catches for 122 yards, tying the school record. Troy Kleffman (1992) and Keith Tarter (twice in 1986) also share the record.

Now, the Rebels have their first bye week of the season. Sept. 15 they’ll take on Jeffersontown (2-1) on the road.

“The open week comes at a good time for us,” Stonebraker said. “We get the opportunity to heal up a bit and work on some fundamentals before this last non-district game. We just have to keep our approach to improve every single day.”