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Newport's Playoff Run Ends
11/19/2005 - by Seth Millhoan
NEWPORT, KY - The bright white moon that rose above the I-471 bridge wreaked havoc as it shined down on Newport Stadium this 18th of November, 2005. Yes, the moons dark shadows contorted things thought to be unbendable and the Newport Wildcats surrendered to the moon this frigid, Friday night.

The game was back and forth all night and the Russell Red Devils emerged as the victors 34-33 in OT. Junior Kasey Clark led all rushers with 22 carries for 118 yards and three TD's. He was backed by Senior QB Tommy Brown who completed 10 of 15 passes with a TD pass as well. Russell surprised everyone when Brown started throwing the ball. He had only done it 68 times all year. Things were certainly being bended.

Newport started the scoring in the first quarter when JJ Hesch connected with James Glenn on a 10 yard TD pass. Matt Atkins PAT, to be continued, made the score 7-0 Newport. Russell scored their first TD of the night on a 1-yard TD run by Kasey Clark. Dwaine Evans kick made it 7-7. Newport was threatening once again as they had the ball inside the ten yard line. JJ Hesch had James Glenn wide open on the left side of the field, the shadows must have blocked his view, and then he errantly threw a pass that was picked off at the 1-yard line by Clark. That brought the first half to an end with the score tied at 7-7.

James Glenn found the end zone first in the second half. He as able to scamper in on a 5-yard TD run. Atkins extra point attempt was blocked at the line of scrimmage. The moon reared its ugly head.
Russell then found themselves in the end zone late in the third to make the score 14-13. Then, like a fifteenth round in boxing, the fourth quarter arrived.

Newport got out of the corner first as James Glenn sprinted in from 58 yards out. The two-point conversion failed at the hands of JJ Hesch, 19-14 Wildcats. Russell then countered on a 50-yard TD run by Clark. Tommy Brown's two-point conversion was unsuccessful, 20-19 Russell. James Thomas made what was, at the time, the play of the game. Hesch's pass was slightly under thrown and Thomas found himself in a jump-ball situation with DB Jacob Sizemore. Thomas leaped up and tipped the ball three times before he came down with it. He then broke out of the grip of Sizemore and was able to dash into the end zone for an 80-yard TD. Hesch then smoked the ball into the end zone to Chase Barger for the two-point conversion, 27-20 Newport. Russell, not to be outdone, connected on a 20-yard TD pass. Evans PAT made it 27-27. A game of this magnitude has to go to OT and that's exactly what happened.

Russell won the coin toss and elected to start with the ball. Kasey Clark got his team into the end zone in three downs. Evans PAT put the Devils on top 34-27. JJ Hesch brought his team to the line of scrimmage in dire need of a TD. After three failed attempts, it brought up a crucial 4th and goal from the one yard line. Old reliable, James Glenn, was able to push the ball in to make the score 34-33. Enter Matt Atkins. With the first blocked PAT undoubtedly on his mind he ran toward the ball to meet it with his right foot. Blocked. The game was over. The shadows plagued the field.

Russell wins a good ole knockdown shootout 34-33. Next week they take on Belfry (11-3) at home.

Russell Leaders
Kasey Clark -- 22 carries, 118 yards, 3 TDs; 5 receptions, 101 yards, TD
Tommy Brown -- 10-15 passing, 157 yards, TD, INT

Newport Leaders
James Glenn -- 9 carries, 102 yards, 3 TDs; 7 receptions 54 yards, TD
James Thomas -- 4 receptions, 95 yards, TD
JJ Hesch -- 14-20 passing, 185 yards, 2 TDs, INT
 Thursday, Mar 23 
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