Playing against the top 5-A team in the state, the Bowling Green Purples, Grayson County’s Cougars were virtually helpless as they absorbed a 61-0 pounding Thursday evening at Cougar Field.
The Purples scored nine touchdowns on the night, the first five of which came on one-play drives. Midway through the second period Bowling Green led 40-0 and Cougar head coach Ed Smart elected to allow the clock to run continuously even though he could have waited until the second half to do so.
The Cougars won the toss to start the game and elected to defer to the second half, which meant the Purples would have the ball first. Taking over at their own 45-yard line, senior quarterback Clark Payne hit Jamale Carothers with a little swing pass out of the backfield and the senior running back took it to the house. The extra-point kick was no good, but with just 16 seconds having run off the clock, the Purples led 6-0.
Grayson County converted a third-and-eight play when quarterback Noah Bullock hit Jordan Stallings for a first down out at the Cougar 41. But three more plays lost seven yards and the Cougars were forced to punt. Dustin Woosley had the punt go off the side of his foot and the Purples took over at their own 46.
The Purples quickly moved to a first down inside the Cougar 10, but senior Chase Peak intercepted Payne at the eight and returned the ball all the way back to the Purple 23-yard line.
The Cougars then took nine plays to move down to the Purple one, but could not penetrate the end zone and Bowling Green took over there. On first down, the Purple offensive line opened a gaping hole in the middle for Carothers to run through and the swift back took full advantage of it as he raced 99 yards to make it 13-0 with 2:43 left in the opening period.
Grayson County went three-and-out on its next possession and following a 14-yard return, took over at the Cougar 31. On first down, junior Ziyon Kenner took it the distance for another one-play drive that made it 20-0 with 14 seconds left in the period.
After another Cougar punt, the Purples started their next drive at the Grayson County 34. On first down, Payne hit Deangelo Wilson on an inside screen pass and the senior receiver took it to the end zone to put the Purples up 26-0 at the 10:24 mark.
When the ensuing kickoff was muffed, the Purples took over at the Cougar 10. Payne hit Will Pride on first down for another touchdown and the Purples led 33-0 with 10:11 yet to play in the second quarter.
The Cougars were forced to punt again on their next possession and Bowling Green took over at their own 31. This time it took three plays for the Purples to reach the end zone, with Wilson capping things off with a 54-yard run for the score that made it 40-0. The clock began to run continuously at that point, but the Purples still had time to score once again before the half.
Grayson County fumbled the ball away on first down of their ensuing possession, setting up the Purples at the Cougar 12. Three plays had moved the ball only to the eight, but on fourth down, sophomore quarterback Beau Buchanan hit Trey Jones with a touchdown pass that made it 47-0 at the half.
After the Cougars failed to move the ball to start the third quarter, the Purples moved 52 yards in three plays to score once more. Buchanan hit Austin Brown with a 27-yard touchdown pass that made it 54-0 at the 7:16 mark.
The Cougars got a break in the fourth quarter when Dustin Edwards recovered a Bowling Green fumble at the Purple 25. But on first down, defensive back Jaden Harris intercepted a Cougar pass and returned it to the Bowling Green 42.
After a first down fumble that put the ball back at the 32, Jones got loose around the right side and carried it all the way for the final score of the evening.
The Cougars (1-5) will host the 5-1 Greenwood Gators next Friday with game time set for 7 p.m.
Reach Don Brown at 259-9622, ext. 2016.