Q'Daryius McHenry goes 93 yards for the TD with zero defenders in view.

Q'Daryius McHenry goes 93 yards for the TD with zero defenders in view.

By Corey Turpin

Sports Correspondent

The Cougars hosted the Muhlenberg County Mustangs this past Friday in what was Grayson County's last home game of the season. In what had to have been an emotional game for the Cougar seniors, the team was able to use that as fuel to defeat the visiting Mustangs with ease. It was another rainy affair, and field conditions were probably the poorest that they have been for Grayson County all season. The team was led by senior QB Noah Bullock and sophomore RB Q'Daryius McHenry on the evening.

Muhlenberg County got things started for the evening, putting up the first points on the board. It was a 41-yard reception by senior WR Reed Stoubaugh, who, just a play previous to this one, was called for one of his several false start penalties. It was easy to see that he was trying his best to get off the line quickly and perfectly timed, and that's just what he did here. Without a defender around, he waltzed in for an early score. The ensuing 2-point conversion was no good as the Cougar defense obliterated the running back on the HB toss play. That would be the only recorded score in the first quarter.

In the second quarter, the Cougars were pinned deep in their own side of the field. It was 2nd and 8 with the ball on the 7-yard line. That's when McHenry received the handoff and busted loose up the middle. Running along the near sideline, McHenry kept looking back to see if anyone was gaining on him. I let out a little chuckle. No one was catching this young man. He went 93 yards all the way to the house with 9:35 left on the clock. A few short minutes later after the Cougars got the ball back, it was recently converted RB Ethan Cates punching it in on the goal line for a 2-yard rushing TD. The score at the half was 14-6, with the Cougars ahead.

The second half had Grayson County opening up with the ball. In their very first series, the Cougars committed three false starts that kept backing the team up. After the team was forced to punt, it was Muhlenberg who would capitalize on good field advantage. After rushing for five first downs, including a 4th and 7 conversion, the Mustangs found paydirt with a 16-yard QB keeper up the middle of the field, good for a touchdown. This time the Mustangs converted their 2-ppint try, and the score was tied 14-14 with just under 4 minutes remaining in the quarter. Just before the quarter finished up, Grayson County retaliated with a score of their own. After converting three consecutive first downs, it was again McHenry finding holes in the defense and rushing to the outside for a 31-yard touchdown run with less than 20 seconds on the clock.

The fourth quarter would decide the game, and this one was still up in the air. The Mustangs, having quickly found themselves in a 4th and inches situation, lined up to punt. Only the ball never met the foot of the kicker. Instead, it was a fake punt run play. It was a bold move this early into the fourth quarter with lots of time left on the clock, but it paid off for the visiting team, as they were able to barely convert the first down. Unfortunately for them, it was all for not. The very next drive saw the Mustangs in a much less manageable 4th and long situation. This time they wanted to take zero chances. Muhlenberg County, with the kicker in the backfield, hiked the ball. The kick was partially blocked by a Cougar player! Big play after big play, and the Cougars found themselves back on the Mustangs goal line. This time it was Bullock with the keeper from the 1-yard line. The score had ballooned; 28-14, with 4:19 left in the game.

The first series back on the field for the Mustangs ended terribly for them. On a 2nd and 10 it was Cates and junior LB Cooper Terry that got to the Mustang QB in the backfield for the sack. The Mustangs would soon turn the ball over on downs as they absolutely had to try to convert a 4th and 15 if they were going to try to mount any sort of comeback. Fortunately, for the Cougars, they took over the ball in the redzone and had just 14-yards separating them from the endzone. Again, it was Bullock with the QB keeper, this time from the 5-yard line. The run was good for 6 and with the converted P.A.T. the score was out of reach for the Mustangs. A couple of short minutes later and the buzzer sounded at Cougar Stadium for the last time this season. The final score: 35-14.

The Cougars wrap up the regular season (7-3) and will travel to Graves County this Friday night at 7 p.m. for the Class 5A KHSAA Commonwealth Gridiron Bowl. Please, come out and support the Cougars as they go for their first playoff win since the 2014 season.

Sophomore RB Q'Daryius McHenry rushed 16 times for 218 yards and two touchdowns.

Senior RB Derrick Ruth rushed nine times for 70 yards.

Senior QB Noah Bullock rushed 10 times for 57 yards and a TD.

Seniors Ethan Cates and Luke Henderson also rushed for goal line TDs.