By Don Brown
Grayson County’s Cougar football team set a new standard for the program last Friday night at Cougar Field as they picked up their seventh win of the season without a loss in defeating visiting Iroquois 44-0.
The win marked the first time in the history of the program that the Cougars had started the season with seven straight wins.
While the score indicated that the game was a runaway, it did not come close to indicating how much the Cougars dominated the Raiders (2-4, 0-2 district). The Cougars scored on all four first-quarter possessions and led 28-0 heading into the second period.
They then scored on their first possession of the second quarter and led 34-0 at the 10:04 mark, and head coach Ed Smart took out his starters the rest of the way. The Cougars later added a Michael Thomas field goal and led 37-0 at the half.
It was another big night for the powerful Cougar running game as they amassed an unofficial 244 yards and five touchdowns in less than 15 minutes of clock time.
Senior Dalton Logsdon was the man against the Raiders, carrying 10 times for 147 yards and four touchdowns. Senior Braxton Williams ran six times for 64 yards and a touchdown, then later threw a 58-yard touchdown pass to senior Ty Davis in the third quarter.
Senior Dustin Crain was pretty much given the night off in this one, carrying just four times for 33 yards.
After forcing a punt on the first Raider possession, the Cougars took over at their own 45-yard line and quickly moved in for the first score of the night. Logsdon had carries of 22 and 19 yards in the five-play drive, then took it the final five yards for the score. When the Raiders were flagged for being offside on the conversion try, Logsdon ran in a two-point conversion to make it 8-0 at the 8:59 mark.
On the next Raider possession, Cougar senior defensive lineman Shawn Staley recovered a Raider fumble to give the ball to the Cougars at the Raider 38. From there it took just three plays to get the Cougars on the board again. Senior Braxton Williams took it in from five yards out and Michael Thomas added the extra point and it was 15-0 with 6:34 left in the first period.
Facing a fourth-and-three at their own 42, the Raiders decided to go for it, but were thrown for a loss on the play and the Cougars had great field position once again, at the Raider 40.
A six-yard pass completion from Talon Gary to Crain, and a nine-yard Crain run gave the Cougars a first down at the 25. Logsdon then gained just short of 10 yards before he carried it in for his second TD of the night. The Raiders blocked Thomas’ extra point and the score stayed at 21-0 with 3:50 remaining in the period.
The Raiders picked up their first first down of the night on their next possession following a Cougar face-mask penalty, but they gave the ball up again when senior Caleb Ashley recovered another fumble at the Cougar 43.
The Cougars lost two yards on first down, but on the next play, Logsdon broke a couple of tackles at the line of scrimmage, took it out to the far sideline and raced 59 yards for his third touchdown of the night at the 1:24 mark. Thomas added the extra point to make it 28-0.
As the first period came to a close, the Raiders were facing a third-and-six at their own 39-yard line. Starting the second period, the Raiders threw an incomplete pass, forcing them to punt the ball back to the Cougars. When the ensuing punt traveled just 20 yards, Grayson County once again had great field position to start their fifth scoring drive of the night, at their own 40.
On second down Williams carried 23 yards, to the Raider 30, then picked up seven more, to the 23. Logsdon picked up a first down at the 18 before Iroquois was flagged for being offside. Williams then carried 12 yards, to a first-and-goal at the one, before Logsdon scored for the fourth time on the night. The Raiders then blocked their second conversion kick of the night to keep the score at 34-0.
The Cougars then sent in their second-team offense and the Raiders were able to keep them out of the end zone the rest of the period, but a bad snap cost them three more points just before the end of the first half.
Facing a fourth-and-31 at their own 29-yard-line with just a few seconds remaining, the Raiders lined up to punt, but the snap sailed over the punters’ head and the Cougars took over at the Raider 15 with 3.2 seconds showing on the clock.
Thomas trotted out to try a 32-yard field goal, but the Raiders were called for being offside and the ball was moved five yards closer. The senior soccer-style kicker banged it through from 27 yards and the Cougars led 37-0 at the half.
The score stayed that way until the Cougars took over possession of the ball at the Raider 42 with 1:51 left in the third quarter. On first down, Williams, who had taken over for Talon Gary at the quarterback spot in the second period, lofted a long pass down the sideline that was caught by Ty Davis at about the 10 and the senior receiver took it the rest of the way for the final score of the night.
Neither team scored the rest of the way, but going against the Cougars’ second string, the Raiders threatened to score late in the fourth quarter following a Cougar turnover at their own 25-yard line. After gaining a first down just outside the Cougar 10, the Raiders faced a fourth-and-four at the five.
Sophomore Taylor Wright then tackled a Raider ball-carrier at the two and the Cougars took over there and were able to run out the clock.
Grayson County has a bye this week before facing heir biggest test of the year on October 12 when they will travel to Jeffersontown for a tough district match-up with the Chargers (4-2, 1-0). If the Cougars can win this game, they will be assured of at least second place in the district, which would mean a home game in the first round of the playoffs. Game time on the 12th is set for 6:30 p.m.