Free state edges Leavenworth

By The Leavenworth Times staff
Posted: September 10, 2011 - 6:25 AM

The Leavenworth Pioneers had to wait nearly two hours to even begin Friday’s game at Lawrence Free State and starting quarterback Judson Cole left the game early with an injury, but despite the issues the blue and white was still within four points — 16-12 — with about a minute left to play in the game. The Firebirds were able to come up with a big play after recovering their own fumble in the final minute, however, making the score its final 23-12.

Although the Pioneers dropped to 0-2 on the year with the loss, head coach Kevin Kopecky said he saw his team grow a lot during the outing.

“We played really well tonight, I was proud of the kids,” Kopecky said. “Our kids handled it all really well. We wanted that W, but we were able to find out a lot about ourselves tonight.

“There was a lot of adversity on a lot of different levels, and we handled it all. The kids battled tonight.”

The Pioneers got both touchdowns on passes from Mark Dabeck to CJ Baker, and Kopecky said he was pleased to see the senior reserve quarterback ease back into the role after playing wide receiver in the first game of the season.

The defense, the Leavenworth coach added, was also strong in the game.

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