The Grayson County Cougars went head-to-head with the Bowling Green Purples at home on Thursday night.

Corey Turpin | GC News-Gazette
The Grayson County Cougars went head-to-head with the Bowling Green Purples at home on Thursday night. Corey Turpin | GC News-Gazette

It was just one of those nights for our Cougars. Everything that could go wrong went wrong.

Bowling Green would easily score on the opening drive off of a 30-yard run by Dazhon Blakely. The Cougars, determined to put points up on the board themselves, failed to drive the ball off their own side of the field and were forced to punt.

The Purples would score again, almost immediately. Already down 14-0, the Cougars had possession of the football within their own 10-yard line when an awkward hit would cause a fumble to end up in the hands of the Purple defense and be carried in for a defensive touchdown with about three minutes left on the clock in the 1st quarter.

A crippling start for the Cougars for sure, but Bowling Green was not finished putting up points in the first quarter. Grayson County would be forced to punt with about a minute left in the opening quarter. That punt would be returned for a touchdown and with the score already 28-0 with 41 seconds left in the 1st quarter, the mercy rule would go into effect. The clock would continue to run for the duration of the game due to the 28-point lead.

Unfortunately, things did not improve for the hometown team to start the 2nd quarter. The Cougars, pinned deep within their own territory, would have their punt attempt blocked and returned for another Purple touchdown.

The score was now 35-0. The Cougars again had difficulties gaining any sort of momentum and were forced to punt away the ball, yet again.

With just under three minutes left in the 2nd quarter, Vito Tisdale of Bowling Green would run the ball in for another Purple touchdown. The half would close out with a score of 42-0.

It would be hard to blame the team if they wanted to give up at this point. However, that is not what happened at all. The Cougars were finally able to apply some pressure with their defense and managed to stop the bleeding, or so they thought.

Bowling Green, looking at a 4th and long situation, decided to trust their offense and go for it. It paid off well for the guys in purple, as the team converted the first down and then some. The Cougars fought tooth and nail; however, they simply couldn’t stop Bowling Green from driving in yet another TD. This one being a 21-yard run.

Grayson County opened up the 4th quarter with possession of the ball and a 3rd and 1 situation. Sheer willpower drove the Cougars forward for a rare first down with 11:40 on the clock. Grayson County would use that momentum and propel QB Cameron Harris into the end zone for a Cougar touchdown run. The band fired up and the crowd was rocking.

The Cougars were on the board, but they were not done yet. Bowling Green star player Vito Tisdale, who scored earlier in the game, would receive the kickoff. A dash to the sidelines was met with a brutal team tackle that resulted in a forced fumble and a Grayson County recovery with 5:30 left on the game clock.

During the ensuing series, the Cougars would lose control of the ball themselves, but luckily recovered it before a Purples player could. The Cougars, laser focused, marched up the field. First down after first down. Time was continuing to melt off the clock. They clawed their way into the red zone and found themselves knocking on the door of the goal line.

With mere seconds remaining, Cameron Harris would once again punch it home for another Grayson County touchdown.

Time had expired just seconds after the score due to the mercy rule still being active. There was no opportunity for an extra point attempt. The Cougars fell 49-13 to an outstanding Bowling Green team.

All was not lost, though. The Cougar starters have been plagued with injury after injury this season. More so than I can ever recall. Some young men may have thrown in the towel being down 42-0 in the first half. Not these boys. They lost the game, sure. But they absolutely dominated during the 4th quarter, not only their opponents, but any lingering thoughts of self-doubt that they may have had as well. They pulled together as a team and found something to build upon going forward. Kudos to you, young men.

Grayson County (1-6) will head out to play Greenwood (2-4) on Oct. 13 at 7:30 p.m. for their next match.

They lost the game, sure. But they absolutely dominated during the 4th quarter, not only their opponents, but any lingering thoughts of self-doubt that they may have had as well. They pulled together as a team and found something to build upon going forward. Kudos to you, young men.