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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Wilbur-Creston and Kettle Falls players help make a memory

The players for the Kettle Falls Bulldogs and the Wilbur-Creston Wildcats spent a couple hours smashing into each in their game on Oct. 14. But both teams put aside their animosity so that one player could make a play that few on that field will ever forget.

With the game already decided, Kettle Falls coach Loren Finley sent out No. 33 JR McInelly so that the freshman with Down syndrome could get one play during the big win.

Referee Dallace Sevier, who was working the game, said the Bulldogs had just scored to go up 18 points and the players from both sides were a little chippy after the hard-fought game.

But as soon as Finely inserted McInelly, Sevier made sure to go over tell the Wilbur-Creston players about the situation.

“We were just expecting them to run their plays, but go easy on” McInelly, Sevier said. “That’s when they came up with a plan to let him tackle one of their own players.”

Wilbur-Creston Coach Reppe said he didn’t know what was going on until the referees told him about McInelly. Without direction, the Wilbur-Creston players on the field came up with a play to throw a short pass in front of Kettle Falls’ McInelly.

“They communicated with the Kettle Falls kids. We threw a short pass and (McInelly) came up and made a great tackle,” Reppe said. “It was a classy move by kids from both teams.”

But the class didn’t end there. Finley, the Kettle Falls coach, called time out with a second remaining to allow the Wildcats the chance to run another play with the Bulldogs leading 32-14.

“That was classy on their part to give us the opportunity to run another play,” Reppe said. “But we weren’t going to make up 18 points in one play.

“As great a game as high school football is, it’s still just a game,” Reppe continued. “There are certainly more important things in life than the outcome of a football game. We were more than happy to end the game on that note.”