With senior Dustin Crain running for over 300 yards and three touchdowns, the surprising Grayson County Cougar football team stayed undefeated last Friday night with a 35-13 drubbing of the North Hardin Trojans at Radcliff.
Crain, who has been dubbed “The Crain Train” by his teammates, unofficially carried 25 times for 308 yards. His first carry of the night went for 78 yards and a touchdown. He later had back-to-back runs of 36 and 46 yards for another score. His last score came from 14 yards out in the third quarter.
When Crain wasn’t carrying the ball over, around and through the Trojan defense, senior Dalton Logsdon took on the running load. Logsdon finished with an unofficial 89 yards on 17 carries and a touchdown.
The other Cougar score came on a 13-yard run from senior Braxton Williams, who unloaded on a Trojan defender at the goal line to power into the end zone in the first quarter.
With the win, the Cougars moved to 6-0 for the season and 1-0 in the district. The Trojans fell to 2-3, 0-1.
The game began inauspiciously for the Cougars. They were flagged for illegal procedure and moved back five yards, to the 16. On second down, quarterback Talon Gary was sacked at the 11. On third down, Gary had a pass tipped at the line of scrimmage and intercepted by linebacker Doug Wright, setting up the Trojans at the Cougar 12-yard line.
But the Cougar defense was rock solid. After the Trojans were flagged for illegal procedure, the Cougars stuffed a running play at the line of scrimmage, then sacked quarterback Andrew Rugerio twice to set up a fourth-and-25 play. An incomplete pass gave the Cougars the ball at the 27.
That’s when Crain began his incredible night. The Cougars were flagged once more for illegal procedure, moving the ball back to the 22. On a counter play around the right side of the line, Crain broke into the open and outraced a pair of Trojan defenders 78 yards for the first score of the night. Michael Thomas added the extra point and with 8:18 left in the first period, the Cougars led 7-0.
The Trojans answered right back, moving 68 yards in six plays to tie the score at 7-7. The big play of the drive was a 53-yard run by quarterback Detief Turner. Running back Trevon Johnson took it in from four yards out.
On the ensuing kickoff, Crain helped out his team again, returning the kick 45 yards, from his own 15 to the Trojan 40 to set up another scoring drive. During the drive, Crain converted a fourth-and-three with a nine-yard run on a pitchout.
With a first-and-10 at the 13, Williams took a pitchout around the left side and bowled over a Trojan defender at the goal line for the touchdown. Thomas added the extra point to give the Cougars the lead for good at 14-7.
The Trojans were on the move at the start of the second period following a Cougar fumble at the Trojan 46. They gained a first down at the Cougar 18, but four plays could advance it no further, and the Cougars took over there.
On first down, the Cougars worked the counter to Crain again for 36 yards, to the Trojan 46. On the next play, Crain took it the rest of the way for his second touchdown of the night. Thomas’ kick made it 21-7 with 8:35 left in the first half. Neither team did much after that and the half ended with that same score.
Grayson County ‘s defense forced a three-and-out on the first Trojan possession of the second half, then began a long scoring drive from their own 17. Another illegal procedure penalty moved the ball back to the 12, but it hardly mattered as the Cougars ran the ball nine times, with Crain and Logsdon taking turns, to drive nearly the length of the field. Crain carried the final 14 yards to score with 6:49 remaining to make it 28-7.
Following an exchange of punts, the Cougars lost a fumble at their own 20-yard line, setting up the Trojans for their only other score. On a third-and-two at the 12, Michael Brunson, the third Trojan quarterback in the game, ran it in with just two seconds on the clock. A kicked extra-point attempt was no good and the Cougars led 28-13.
The Trojans then sent the kickoff out of bounds, allowing the Cougars to start their final scoring drive at the 35-yard line. On the final play of the third quarter, Logsdon carried 15 yards to midfield. On the first play of the fourth quarter, Logsdon gained 16 more yards, to the Trojan 34.
Crain followed with three carries to the Trojan 12, and Logsdon followed by carrying three straight times, scoring from two yards out. Thomas added another extra point and with 9:22 remaining, the Cougars were solidly in front 35-13.
After the Cougar defense forced another punt, the Cougars seemed poised to add another score. They moved from their own 24 to the Trojan 10. But on second down, Crain lost the handle on the ball and the Trojans covered the loose ball at the three with 1:30 left in the game.
The Cougars defense stuffed the Trojans and took over one last time at the four with 16 seconds left. Following a Trojan timeout, Gary took a knee and the clock ran down on the Cougars’ first district win of the season.
Grayson County returns home this Friday to play host to the Iroquois Raiders (2-3, 0-1) for another district tussle. Game time at Cougar Field is set for 6:30 p.m.