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Alemany Wins, 21-3, as Casey Finally Relaxes

Times Staff Writer

Sean Casey was having a long season. His Alemany High team was 6-1 and enjoying a fine season. But it was certainly not because of the senior quarterback’s play.

Casey had completed only 41% of his passes and was even removed from last week’s game against St. Francis in favor of backup Nick Napolitan.

Friday night at Alemany, Casey completed 10 of 19 passes for 165 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Indians to a 21-3 Del Rey League victory over Notre Dame.

Alemany Coach Enrique Lopez was encouraged by Casey’s performance.

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“I was very proud of the way Sean played,” he said. “Prior to tonight, he was very inconsistent and he was upset about the way he was playing. He would call me up at night and we would talk for a couple of hours about it.”

The conclusion?

“I was taking everything too seriously,” Casey said. “I wasn’t having any fun and was letting everything get to me. It was depressing.”

For a while Friday, it didn’t look as if things were going to get any better for him. He completed only one of his first five passes and threw an interception.

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As it turned out, Casey was just getting loose.

In the second quarter, he came around and paced the Indians down the field for two long touchdown drives.

With 10:08 left in the first half, Casey gave the Indians a 7-0 lead when he threw a quick pass over the Notre Dame line and hit tight end David Casillas for a one-yard scoring play. The drive covered 83 yards and spanned 11 plays.

Casey engineered another scoring march on Alemany’s next possession. He capped the 75-yard scoring march with a seven-yard touchdown pass to running back Jeff Portugal, who made a diving, shoe-string catch in the end zone. It gave the Indians a 14-0 advantage.

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Earlier in the drive, Alemany was faced with a fourth-and-one situation at the Notre Dame 19 yard line. Lopez elected to go for the first down, rather than attempt a field goal. It proved to be a good decision. Casey gained three yards and picked up the first down.

Notre Dame kicker Fabian Biagetti’s 27-yard field goal with 6:34 left in the third quarter cut the lead to 14-3, but that was as close as the Knights would get.

Alemany defensive back Ulmar Palrose intercepted a John Benz pass with 3:51 left in the game and returned it 49 yards for a touchdown that sealed the victory.

Casey was not the only member of the Indian backfield to enjoy a productive night. Running back Dennis Mason rushed for 101 yards on 19 carries to lead the ground attack.

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Alemany, ranked sixth in The Times’ Valley Top 10, improved to 7-1 overall and 2-1 in league. Notre Dame, which entered the game tied for first with Loyola, fell to 3-5 and 2-1.


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