Grayson County ended its football season on a sour note last Friday in Russell Springs as the Russell County Lakers raced out to a 42-o halftime lead before eventually winning 48-6.
The Cougars finished with a record of 4-6 for the season, but secured the number-two seed in District 3 and will play host to the North Bullitt Eagles this Friday evening at Cougar Field in the opening round of the playoffs. The Eagles finished with a record of 3-7 and were the third seed in District 4.
The Lakers came in with a record of 8-1 and as back-to-back 4A, District 6 champions, and they played like it against the Cougars. They took the opening kickoff and moved through the Cougars like a hot knife through butter on their way to a six-play, 61-yard drive for a score. They had runs of 18, 9, and 8 yards and pass plays of 11 and 14 yards to take them to the one-yard line before quarterback Blake Ellis carried in on a sneak play to make it 7-0 with 9:15 left.
The Cougars went three-and-out and were forced to punt. Ellis took the kick around his own 40 and glided through the Cougar coverage, down to the Grayson County 18. On first down, running back Evan Fletcher carried for another score and with 6:40 left in the first period, it was 14-0.
After another Grayson County punt, the Cougar defense forced the Lakers to punt and took over at their own two. Three incomplete passes meant the Cougars had to punt from their own end zone. Fletcher fielded Colby Hack’s punt at the 35 and went untouched for the third Laker touchdown of the first period. Mason Short added another kick to make it 21-0 at the 3:05 mark.
On their next possession, the Cougars picked up their first first-down of the game, but could not move it further. Following another Cougar punt, the Lakers took over at the Cougar 49 with 11 seconds left in the first quarter.
As the second period opened, the Lakers were facing a third-and-10, but Ellis got loose for 15 yards and a first down. On the next play, Fletcher scored his third straight touchdown to make it 28-0.
Grayson County was forced to punt yet again on their next possession and when Ellis returned it 40 yards for another touchdown to make it 35-0 and with 9:25 left in the second quarter, the clock began to run continuously by the mercy rule.
When the Cougars gave up the ball on downs on their next possession, the Lakers were in great shape at the Grayson County 27. From there it took just one play for the Lakers to score again. Their place-kicker, Mason Short, was in at running back and he scooted nearly untouched into the end zone to make it 42-0 with 6:42 left in the half.
The Cougars picked up their second first down of the game on their next possession, but the half ran out on them with the ball at the Russell County 44.
With the ball first in the second half, the Cougars mustered their only scoring drive of the night, moving 65 yards in 12 plays. Quarterback Trey Waltermire ran in from four yards out with 3:20 left for the score. Jonathan Reynolds’ extra-point try was blocked to keep the score at 42-6.
Late in the fourth quarter the Cougars seemed to be in good shape after pinning the Lakers deep in their own territory at the 11. But on first down, reserve quarterback Austin Smiddy took the ball around the left side and went untouched down the sideline for an 89-yard touchdown run. A two-point try failed to make the final score 48-6.