After a promising start to the 2016 Tobacco Bowl, played in Brownsville, the Cougar football team gave up 42 unanswered points to the homestanding Edmonson County Wildcats, as the Wildcats retained the coveted Tobacco Stick.
The Cougars got off to a great start, taking the opening kickoff and holding the ball for more than nine minutes in a 23-play, 82 yard drive that culminated in a two-yard touchdown run by junior running back Jordan Stallings to give the Cougars a 6-0 lead.
With under a minute to play in the first period, senior Daniel Caudill intercepted a Noah Bullock pass and returned it to the Cougar 48. As play began in the second period, Caudill raced 34 yards for a touchdown. Brett Brannon added the extra point and the Wildcats held the lead for good, 7-6.
Caudill had a huge night for the Wildcats, carrying the ball 10 times for 222 yards and three touchdowns. Caudill also caught a pass from Tucker Cole that netted 66 yards and another touchdown. Cole completed 7-of-13 passes for 166 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
The Cougars were able to move the ball against the Wildcats, gaining 183 yards on the ground and 93 through the air, but they could only cross the goal line once. Senior Dustin Woosley led the Cougars with 100 yards rushing on 21 carries. Stallings carried 14 times for 70 yards.
Edmonson County scored again at the 5:46 mark of the second period when Cole hit receiver Rheece Berkley with an 18-yard touchdown pass to make it 14-0.
The Cougars threatened on their next possession. Bullock hit Stallings with a pass over the middle that gained 37 yards, down to the Wildcat 14. A four-yard loss on first down was followed by an illegal procedure penalty that moved the ball back to the 25.
A run gained nothing before Bullock was sacked, bringing up fourth-and-21 situation. Bullock tried to hit Stallings with a pass in the end zone, but Berkley came up with a diving interception for a touchback.
Two plays moved the ball out to the Wildcat 34 before Cole hit Caudill on a wheel route that went 66 yards for another Wildcat score, making it 21-6. That was the score at the half.
The Wildcats were threatening again at the start of the third quarter, moving from their own 33 to the Cougar 37, but on third down, Grayson County’s Cameron Harris intercepted a Cole pass and returned it to the Cougar 29.
Grayson County then held the ball for nearly nine minutes, running off 20 plays and moving the ball to the Wildcat six, but an incomplete pass on fourth down gave the ball back to the Wildcats.
The Cougar defense held to force a punt, which went out of bounds at the Wildcat 38, giving the Cougar excellent field position with a little over a minute left in the third quarter.
As play began in the fourth period, Grayson County had the ball at the Wildcat 10. On fourth-and-four at the five, Woosley was brought up just short, inside the two, and the Wildcats took over there.
One play moved the ball to the eight before Caudill got loose on a 92 yard run for a back-breaking touchdown. One moment the Cougars were about to get back into the game, and a moment later they were down 28-6.
That was pretty much the ball game at that point. On the next Wildcat possession, it took just two plays to score again, with Caudill racing the last 68 yards for the score to make it 35-0.
Edmonson forced another Cougar punt on the ensuing possession and the Wildcats moved 85 yards for the final score of the evening. Sophomore Kenny Logsdon carried right up the middle 20 yards to make the final score 42-6.
The Cougars (0-3) will be on the road again this coming Friday as they travel to Hartford to take on the Ohio County Eagles (0-3). Game time is set for 7 p.m.
Reach Don Brown at 259-9622, ext. 2016.