With a steady rain falling for much of the game, the Cougar football team lost four fumbles and had an interception returned for a touchdown as they suffered a demoralizing, 27-7, loss to the Breckinridge County Tigers.
The Cougars were never in the game after the Tigers took the opening kickoff and drove 62 yards in four plays to score the first touchdown. Two Grayson County fumbles were covered and converted into touchdowns to put the Tigers in front 20-0 before the Cougars could get on the board late in the second period.
The Tigers did all their damage on the ground as they amassed 299 yards rushing, including 134 yards and a touchdown by senior fullback Matt Miller. The Tigers lost a pair of fumbles in the wet conditions, but neither came back to hurt them.
The Cougars had several chances to get back in the game in the fourth quarter, but a lost fumble and two stalled drives doomed them to defeat.
The Tigers wasted little time in scoring the first touchdown of the game. Quarterback Grayson Sosh kept on a first-down option play at the Tiger 49 and rambled down to the one. Miller scored on the next snap and with a little more than two minutes run off the clock, the Tigers led 7-0.
Grayson County converted a fourth-and-six play for a first down at mid-field, but three plays lost two yards, forcing them into a punting situation. Punter Dustin Woosley faked the punt and took off trying for the first down, but was tackled at the Cougar 42.
The Tigers then used eight plays to score again, with R. J. Bentley carrying in from 10 yards out with 1:41 left in the first period. The extra-point try failed and it remained 13-0.
The Cougars gained a first down at their own 49 on their next possession, but on second down at the 48, lost a fumble, giving the Tigers a first down at the Cougar 39 as the second period began. Four plays later Sosh carried in from the one to make it 20-0 at the 10:25 mark.
The Cougars were able to take the ball deep into Tiger territory on their next possession, but going for it on fourth-and-one at the 21, the Cougars were flagged for illegal procedure and backed up. Their fourth-and-six play came up short and the Tigers took over at their own 27.
The Cougar defense rose up to stop the Tigers and force a punt, but the Tigers were the beneficiaries of a fantastic roll on the kick that totaled 65 yards and backed up the Cougars at their own 13-yard line.
On first down, sophomore Jordan Stallings got loose and rumbled for 56 yards and a first down at the Tiger 31. Breckinridge County was hit with a facemask penalty on the play, and the ball was moved to the 22.
Senior Nathaniel Shartzer carried down to the five for a first-and-goal, then carried it in for Grayson County’s only score of the night. With 5:15 left in the first half, the Cougars trailed 20-7.
The Tigers lost their first fumble of the evening, giving Grayson County the ball at the Tiger 46, but unable to move it, they punted it away again.
The Tigers then lost another fumble, giving the Cougars another shot to get back in the game with 2:25 left in the half, but the Cougars fumbled it right back. The half ended with the Tigers in front 20-7.
Grayson County got the ball to start the second half, needing a score badly to get back in the game. They had moved to a first down at the Tiger 33, but another fumble ended that drive.
The Cougars had the ball again with a little over seven minutes left in the third period and had moved deep into Tiger territory, but that drive stalled and the Tigers took over on downs at their own 20 as the fourth quarter began.
The two teams traded punts, with the Cougars taking over at their own 35 with a little over five minutes left to play. On a first-and-15 play following a Cougar penalty, quarterback Tristan Willis threw a pass to the sidelines that was picked off by Tiger defensive back Dominic Tozier and he returned it 37 yards for the final TD of the night.
Grayson County (2-4) will begin district play this Thursday evening when they travel to Bowling Green to take on the Purples (5-1). That game is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.
Reach Don Brown at 259-9622, ext. 2016.