In Nov. 20-26 IssueBy Derek AaronTimes Journal Sports Editor
Last Friday night’s “Laker Bowl,” as it was dubbed by many, saw Russell County’s Lakers (4-7 overall) take on the Lakers from Calloway County in the first round of the Class 4A playoffs.
Russell County had to play catch up early but went into halftime with the game tied 13-13 and with things looking up as they sacked Calloway quarterback Casey Brockman, the school’s all-time all purpose touchdown leader, before the buzzer sounded.
Jack D. Rose Stadium in Murray, where the game was played, was a sight throughout the night as rain pelted down and the crowd of Laker fans had to shield themselves with umbrellas and rain gear.
Calloway County came back out in the third quarter and reclaimed the momentum by scoring on a 5-play drive
Calloway would score twice more when stud junior running back Tyrrell Willis, who has 223 yards in the game, found paydirt on a 40-yard run followed by Brockman finding receiver George Garner in the end zone for a 25-yard touchdown pass.
Russell County fumbled at their own 32 yard-line on the next series series and Calloway was able to take back possession. Brockman found Garner again in the end zone and put the homestanding Lakers up 27-13.
The Lakers allowed just one Russell County first down in the third quarter and forced a fumble and a punt while helping keep Brockman and company on the field.
Calloway County scored their last touchdown of the night on the first play of the fourth quarter when senior running back Jordan Bumpus went one yard.
Russell County managed a late scoring drive but Coach Bill Sharp’s team saw their season come to a close.
The Lakers, led by senior captains Bryon Ellis and Chandler McGowan, played six teams with winning records in a season where Sharp’s bunch had to play through transition, injuries and sorrow.
Russell County tragically lost junior back Luke Burton in an automobile wreck on Nov. 4, an event which brought the entire community together.
The Lakers return many underclassmen to the gridiron next season that played key roles in this season’s successes.
Next season will also mark the first time in four seasons that a quarterback other than Bryon Ellis manned the Laker offense as junior-to-be Martin Cross is the projected front runner.