It was a battle in the trenches Friday night.Photos by Corey Turpin | GC News-Gazette

It was a battle in the trenches Friday night.

Photos by Corey Turpin | GC News-Gazette

By Corey Turpin

Sports Correspondent

Grayson County hosted Greenwood Friday night in a pivotal match-up. Lose the game, and the team who once held a record of 4-0, would fall to 4-4. Win the game and keep the winning season alive. Easy choice for the hometown Cougars. Competing against its third Warren County school of the season, the Cougars finally took one down. It is the first victory against a Warren County school since October of 2009.

Grayson County was in control from beginning to end in this one and as the rain poured, so did the points. Offense and defense were both clicking in this game as they held the Greenwood Gators to minimal gains on the ground, while delivering blow after blow themselves. The battle is usually fought in the trenches with both O and D lines, and this one was no exception.

It was a clear night right up until kickoff at Cougar field. The visiting Gators received the ball first and were forced to punt on their opening series. The Cougars tried their luck moving the ball up the field and, at first, had success. A 27-yard bomb caught by Cameron Harris helped get the senior going on his birthday night. However, the Cougars were ultimately forced to punt on their own 50. The ensuing punt was blocked by Greenwood, who now had just half of the field between them and the night's first score. Fortunately for the hometown crowd, the Cougars brought it on defense and managed to get the ball back when Greenwood was unsuccesful converting a 4th and 6.

Sophomore Q'Daryius McHenry did his usual thing carrying the rock. He popped off with a major 16-yard run, followed by a 14-yard run and a facemask penalty called against the defense. It was all the Gators could do to bring him down. With the ball on the 1-yard line, it was senior Ethan Cates who punched it in for his first rushing opportunity on the season. Cates, a big bodied player, typically lined up on the other side of the ball, just plowed through the defense. The Gators were once again forced to punt. The Cougars were up 7-0 at the end of the first quarter.

McHenry wasted little time to make his impact felt again on the scoreboard. :37 seconds into the second quarter, it was McHenry who darted out for an insane 44-yard rushing touchdown. The point after was good. Soon after, junior Cooper Terry laid a huge hit on the Gator offense and caused a forced fumble, which was recovered by the Cougars near midfield. Grayson County, with the ball again, sustained a lengthy drive, while converting an impressive 4th down along the way. On 2nd and goal it was McHenry once again, punching in a 7-yard touchdown run. At the 5:15 mark, the score was already swelling: 21-0, Cougars.

See Cougars/Page A9

Sensing the game getting away from them, the Gators struck early. On 1st and 10 from their own 44-yard line, Greenwood QB John Morrison passed it over the middle for a 56-yard catch and run. The safety on the play had appeared to slip on the wet ground, and, unfortunately, the defense couldn't recover in time. Grayson County turned the ball over when McHenry was hit and fumbled within the 10-yard line. Moments later when Greenwood had the ball, the QB let one rip down the right side of the field. Senior Noah Bullock snatched it out of the air, his body lying perfectly parellel to the ground. It was just the defensive stop the Cougars needed at the time. With a short field, the Cougars struck again. This time it was an 18-yard pass from Bullock to Harris. The half ended, and the score was 28-7, Cougars.

In the third quarter, it was the Cougars who sustained a remarkable 14 play, 80-yard drive, that saw McHenry record his third touchdown of the evening. This was also his 11th touchdown on the season. With 5:08 left in the third, the score was 35-7, Grayson County.

In quarter number 4 the Gators found themselves in uncharted water. Thanks to a couple of penalties, Greenwood was looking at a 1st and 20 on the Cougar 27. It was an exact mirror of the play the team used to score earlier. A receiver got loose up the middle, caught a pass and took off to the endzone, untouched. The Cougars punted their next series, but the Gators muffed it, and Grayson County's Jacob Kerr was right there to recover the ball. The Cougars would hold off the Gators for a final score of 35-14.

Q'Daryius McHenry rushed 24 times for 215 yards and three TDs, as well as three receptions for 32 yards.

Ethan Cates rushed four times for 12 yards and a TD.

Noah Bullock was 6-9 on passes for 58 yards and a TD. Bullock rushed 10 times for 63 yards.

Cameron Harris caught two passes for 46 yards and a TD.

Logan Raymer was 5/5 on point after attempts.

Grayson County travels to Barren County Friday and takes the field at 7 p.m.