Football Knights fall to Lakers

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Marion County ends season 2-9 after playoff loss

By Jessica Veatch and Josh Veatch

The Marion County High School football team headed to Russell Springs to take on Russell County in the opening round of the playoffs Friday. Russell County entered the game 10-0, and quickly showed why they haven't lost a game this season. After just one quarter of play, the Lakers led 28-0, and never looked back.  
Russell County quickly found the end zone on a rushing touchdown just 40 seconds into the game to grab a 7-0 lead. Four minutes later, the Lakers would score again to take a 14-0 lead. After a third Russell County score, Marion County forced the Lakers into a punt. However, the Knights would be intercepted late in the opening quarter. The interception led to the fourth score of the opening twelve minutes by the Lakers who were ahead 28-0 heading into the second quarter.
The teams exchanged punts early in the second frame. Late in the period, Russell County was able to score again. With 1:52 left until halftime, the Lakers led 35-0. Marion County was forced to punt just before the half. With just 32 seconds left in the opening half, Russell County returned the Marion County punt for a score to hold a 42-0 lead at the break.
Early in the second half, it appeared that the Knights might gain some momentum.  A Russell County fumble would be recovered by Marion County, and the Knights converted a 4th and 11 play on a fake punt. However, the Knights turned the ball over on downs on a 4th and goal play. The Lakers were able to add another score before the third quarter was over to lead 49-0 at the end of the frame.
With the clock running, the only offense mustered by either team was an impressive 45-yard field goal by Russell County. The game and the season would end for the Knights with a 52-0 loss.
"We were outmanned by size, strength and speed," Head Coach Jeff Robbins said. "Russell County has a solid team offensively, defensively and special teams.  Britt and Mann hurt us in the run game and Ellis in the passing game. We slowed them down after the first quarter, but never stopped them."
Robbins added that it seemed as though the Knights would "shoot themselves in the foot somehow" every time they would gain some momentum.
"We have to get stronger for next year, and we are starting to work on that Wednesday," Robbins said.
He said he was very disappointed with the season.
"I knew going in that it could be a long season or we could be well over .500 if we stayed healthy and got a few breaks and neither of those happened," he said.
Marion County finished the season with six seniors. Michael Walls, Cameron Brown, Enrico Floyd, Vincent Collins, Tyran Sickles and Alex Hyatt have now played their final football game for the Knights.
"These guys were freshmen on the 2009 state semifinal team and I'm very proud of them for fighting through the adversity of a tough season," Robbins said. "It's time to get these guys in college, football or not, they need to go to school."
The season started as Robbins expected it too.
"I knew we would struggle early due to inexperience," he said. "We played our best ball during the middle of the season with the exception of the Anderson County game. I was very surprised that we didn't compete better with Mercer County, Boyle County and Lexington Catholic. We have to play with those teams. They are in the district we are in, and like it or not, we have to compete at that level. I personally don't have a problem with that."
Marion Co. (2-9):    0   0  0 0 -  0
Russell Co. (11-0): 28 14  7 3 - 52