On a miserably cold and damp night in Calhoun, the Cougar football team closed out its regular season with a 41-0 romp over winless McLean County to finish the regular season with a remarkable 8-2 record.
With the win, the Cougars will be the third seed in 5A, District 3 and, on Friday, will travel to Shepherdsville to take on the 5A, District 4, number-two seed, Bullitt Central (6-4).
Grayson County clearly had the McLean Cougars overmatched and scored on five of their first six possession in the first half to lead 34-0 at the break. Grayson County was playing without leading rusher Dustin Crain, who sat out this game. Grayson County was on the move again on its final possession when the half ended.
The Cougar defense had McLean bottled up all night, allowing just an unofficial 14 yards of offense in the first half. For the game, McLean had only 36 yards of total offense.
McLean had the ball at the start and went three-and-out, punting the ball away and giving the Cougars their first possession at their own 30-yard line. Four running plays took the ball to the McLean 43. On first down, Braxton Williams took a pitchout around the right side and cut back to his left to find an open field in front of him. He took it all the way for the score. Michael Thomas added the extra point, and with 7:06 left in the first period, Grayson County led 7-0.
McLean was forced to punt again on its next possession, and the Cougars took over at their own 36. Williams gained 42 yards on first down, to the McLean 22. Three plays later Williams scored his second touchdown of the night from four yards out and the Cougars led 14-0 with 3:09 remaining in the first quarter.
On McClean’s first play on its next possession, a pass bounced off the hands of a receiver and defensive back Taylor Wright made a diving interception to give the Cougars the ball at the McLean 37.
Quarterback Talon Gary gained 13 yards on first down, before Dalton Logsdon carried the final 24 yards for another Cougar score. This time Thomas’ kick went awry, but the Cougars still led 20-0 with 2:36 left in the period.
The Cougars blocked a McLean punt on the ensuing possession and took over at the McLean 25 with 40 seconds left to play in the first period. Near the start of the second quarter, the Cougars faced a fourth-and-6 at the 21. Logsdon took the ball and skirted the left side of the line and went untouched for his second score of the night. Thomas added the extra-point and it was 27-0 with 10:33 left to play in the first half.
McLean then put together its best drive of the night, moving from their own 37-yard line, down to the Cougar 3. They were aided by a fourth-down, late-hit call on Grayson County, and a face-mask penalty that gave them a second-and-5 at the 14.
A pass completion on a tipped ball gave McLean a first-and-goal at the three, but a tackle for a loss and a sack of the quarterback put the ball back to the 10. Following an incomplete pass, McLean fumbled the ball on fourth down and the Cougars took over at their own 26, thwarting McLean’s best scoring chance of the night.
On first down, senior Kordell Cornwell, who had missed several games this year with injuries, took a handoff and scampered around the left side for 74 yards and his first score of the season. Thomas added the extra-point to make it 34-0 with 3:01 left in the first half.
Grayson County forced another three-and-out and moved from their own three, out to the 42 before the horn sounded to end the half.
Grayson County had the ball to start the second half and ran nearly nine minutes off the clock as they moved 70 yards in 15 plays to score the final touchdown of the night. Dylan Woodcock carried the final 10 yards for the score to make it 41-0 with 3:26 left in the third quarter.
Though the score differential had not reached 45 points, the point at which the clock, by rule, runs continuously, the coaches agreed to run the clock in an effort to close out the game. Each team had two more possessions, in the remaining time, but neither threatened to score.
This coming Friday, for the second straight week, Grayson County will face another team nicknamed the Cougars. Game time in Shepherdsville will be 6:30 p.m. CDT.