The Cougar football team made it two straight wins to begin the season last Friday night in Cecilia as they defeated the Central Hardin Bruins 21-14 in the opening game of the Swope Nissan/First Citizen’s Bank Bowl. Louisville DeSales beat Elizabethtown in the second game 63-14.
After the Bruins had taken a 7-0 lead with five minutes left in the first period, the Cougars scored three unanswered touchdowns, from Dalton Logsdon, Talon Gary and Dustin Crain, to lead 21-7 at the end of the third quarter. The Bruins added another score in the fourth quarter, but the Cougars were never in danger afterward.
The Bruins had the ball first and took it into Cougar territory, but wound up giving up the ball on downs at the Cougar 33. The Cougars moved the ball near midfield before their drive stalled and punted the ball back to the Bruins, who took over at their own 17-yard line.
Central Hardin then moved 83 yards in just six plays to take the lead. Sophomore quarterback Koree Krupinski connected with senior wide receiver Trevor Brown on a 27-yard scoring pass at the 5:31 mark of the first period to make it 7-0.
Senior Braxton Williams took the ensuing kickoff near his own 10 and returned it to good field position at the Cougar 32 to set up the Cougars’ first scoring drive. Facing a third-and nine, Williams made a fine, leaping grab of a Gary pass, good for 17 yards and a first down at the 50.
A 14-yard pass from Gary to Dylan Woodcock gave the Cougar another first down at the Bruin 36. Logsdon then carried four straight times, taking the ball to a second-and-three at the five. Crain took the ball to the two before Logsdon carried it in for the score, breaking a tackle at the goal line as he did. Michael Thomas added the extra point and with 58 seconds left in the first period, the game was tied 7-7.
Grayson County took over again with 5:16 left in the second quarter and began a seven-play, 61-yard drive that put them on top to stay. Logsdon carried four times on the drive for 27 yards, and Williams had a 16-yard run before Gary ran through a huge hole to score from the three. Thomas’ kick made it 14-7 with 2:53 left in the first half.
The Cougars had the ball to start the third quarter and had a promising drive going before they turned the ball over. They moved from their own 40 down to the Bruin 20, but on a third down play, the Bruins pounced on a Cougar fumble to halt the drive.
Neither team could do much after that until the Cougars took over again in Bruin territory at the 44 with 3:32 left. After Gary was sacked on a third down play, the Cougars faced a fourth-and-nine at the 29-yard line. Following a timeout, Gary connected with Woodcock on a 20-yard gain, giving the Cougars a first-and-goal at the nine.
On the next play, Crain broke through for the score and the Cougar led 21-7 with just 23 seconds left in the quarter.
The Bruins refused to go away, putting together a 62-yard drive on their next possession to make it a seven-point game with 8:35 left to play. The key play in their drive was a 20-yard pass on a third-and-six from Krupinski to running back Chase Hicks that took the ball to the 22. Hicks later ran the ball in for the touchdown.
Neither team could move after that, but the Cougars got the better of the field position and were able to keep the Bruins bottled up in their own end. On the Bruins’ final possession, they were forced to punt from their own 13-yard line. Grayson County then ran out the clock to preserve the win.
The Cougars will next face arch rival Edmonson County this Friday in Brownsville. Game time for the Battle for the Tobacco Stick is set to begin at 7 p.m.