In a stunning display of power running, the Grayson County Cougars crushed the visiting Butler County Bears 51-26 in last Friday night’s Homecoming game at Cougar Field.
Grayson County had nine possessions during the game and scored on eight of them. The only time the Bears were able to halt the Cougars came midway through the third quarter with Grayson County well in the lead, 31-6.
The Cougars were so dominant that on 69 running plays, the Bears held the Cougars to no gain on just three plays. Grayson County was not thrown for a loss the whole game. In addition, the Cougars did not have a single turnover in the game.
Unofficially, Grayson County ran for 488 yards and had three runners carry for more than 100 yards. Senior Dustin Crain just missed the 200-yard mark, carrying 22 times for 197 yards and scoring four touchdowns, averaging nearly nine yards per carry.
Senior Dalton Logsdon did much of the running for the Cougars, gaining 172 yards on 32 carries, an average of better than five yards per carry. Logsdon also scored three touchdowns on the night.
Sophomore quarterback Talon Gary ran 12 times for an even 100 yards in the first half and finished with 100 yards on 13 carries. Senior Braxton Williams had two carries on the night, good for 19 yards.
The Cougars got on the board first, driving 47 yards in eight plays after the Bears had given up the ball near mid-field on a fake punt on fourth down. Facing a third-and-one at the 22, Gary picked up 13 yards for a first-and-goal at the nine.
Two plays later, Crain carried for his first touchdown. Michael Thomas added the extra point and with 7:11 left in the first quarter, the Cougars led 7-0.
The Bears answered right back, using their hurry-up, passing offense to drive 67 yards in eight plays. Senior quarterback Elijah Flener hit sophomore receiver Drake Embry with a 10-yard scoring pass at the 5:01 mark. But place-kicker Jake Martin plonked his kick off the cross-bar to allow the Cougars to stay in the lead, 7-6.
On the next Cougar drive, Gary carried for 32 yards to set up the Cougars at the 15, but a holding penalty during the run brought the ball back to the 35. But as the first quarter ended, the Cougars were threatening once more with a second-and-goal at the four.
On the first play of the second period, Logsdon carried in for his first score to make it 14-6.
The Cougar defense forced the Bears to go three-and-out and after the offense took over at their own 45, moved 55 yards in 13 plays to score again. Crain carried in from a yard out and with 5:49 left in the first half the Cougars led 21-6.
The Bears were forced to punt once again and the Cougars took over at their own 18. As the first half wound down, the Cougars had moved to the Bear 14, where they faced a fourth-and-two situation.
They called timeout with just under 18 seconds left, then sent out Thomas to attempt a 32-yard field goal. Thomas’ kick had plenty enough distance, the only question was if it was going to be wide to the right. But it slipped just inside the bar to give the Cougars a 24-6 lead at the half.
The Cougars had the ball to begin the second half and tore down the field for another score. They moved 64 yards in five plays, capped by Crain’s 23-yard, tackle-breaking run for the touchdown to make it 31-6.
The Bears stopped the Cougars for the first time, then answered with their second scoring drive of the night. Flener connected with junior Matt Moore on a 25-yard scoring pass to complete an eight-play, 68-yard drive. Flener then hit Walker Weathers on a two-point conversion and with 5:00 left in the third quarter, it was 31-14.
Grayson Countycame right back, driving 65 yards in six plays to score again. Logsdon finished the drive with a 28-yard dash for the touchdown to make it 38-14 with 2:31 remaining in the period.
The defense forced another punt and as the third quarter ended, the Cougars had a second-and-five at the 50-yard line. On the first play of the final period, Logsdon gained 15 yards, to the Bear 35. Five plays later, the Cougars were in the end zone again, with Logsdon carrying the final two yards. The Bears got in to block Thomas’ kick, but with 8:44 left in the game, the Cougars led 44-14.
The Bears moved quickly for their third score of the night, driving 65 yards in just under two minutes. Martin’s extra-point try was off, and the score stayed at 44-20.
Grayson County then took nearly five minutes off the clock as they drove 60 yards for their final score of the night. Crain carried in from four yards out, Thomas added the extra point and with just 1:41 remaining to be played, the Cougars led 51-20.
To their credit, the Bears did not stop trying, though they were hopelessly out of the game. They drove 57 yards in six plays to score their final touchdown with just 1.8 seconds showing on the clock. Flener hit Dylan Havens with a 25-yard pass for the touchdown. Martin missed for the third time on the extra-point try to make the final score 51-26.
The Cougars will face a tough, district battle on the road this week as they travel to Radcliff to take on the North Hardin Trojans (2-2). The Trojans are coming off a 24-21 loss at the hands of Central Hardin, a team the Cougars beat in the second game of the season 21-14. Game time Friday night will be 6:30 p.m. CDT.