Cougar football is once again on the agenda after the Cougars traveled to Munfordville on Tuesday for a season-opening scrimmage with the Hart County Raiders.
Despite the fact the Raiders came out on top 30-20 in three quarters of varsity action, coach Ed Smart had a lot of positive aspects to build upon and some clear areas in which his team needs to improve.
Grayson County moved the ball well despite getting nearly nothing in the passing game. They put three scores on the board and the outcome might have been different if not for a couple of blown defensive assignments which led to Raider scores.
The format for the scrimmage eliminated the kickoff portion and each team began possessions at the 30-yard line. After being forced to punt on their opening possession, the Cougars got the first break of the game when they recovered a fumble at the Hart County 17 on the Raider’s first possession. However, they were unable to capitalize on their good fortune, and the Raiders took over on downs at their own 21.
It took them just two plays to score the game’s first TD. Wide receiver Devin Roten broke wide open when someone in the Cougar defensive backfield missed his assignment and Raider quarterback John Shoulders dropped a pass into the receiver’s arms and he took it 84 yards for the score. The Raiders converted a two-point play to make it 8-0 with 6:59 left in the first period.
Hart County scored again at the 6:34 mark of the second period and another successful two-point try made it 16-0. The Cougar defense gave up another long pass play to Roten, this time on fourth down, that took the ball from the Cougar 36 down to the nine. Running back Daveon Wood then carried in for the score.
On the ensuing possession, the Cougars moved 70 yards in 11 plays with senior Derrick Ruth carrying in from the two for the Cougars’ first score with 1:20 left in the period. A two-point try failed and the score stayed at 16-6.
The Raiders had the ball to begin the third quarter and on fourth-and-five at their own 35-yard line elected not to punt. The Cougars then sacked Shoulders at the 30 and took possession there. Three plays later quarterback Noah Bullock carried in from the three and a two-point conversion made it 16-14 and anybody’s ballgame.
However, the Raiders regained control with a seven-play, 70-yard drive for another score. Shoulders hit Roten with a one-yard pass at the goal line for the score that made it 22-14.
The Raiders later drove 43 yards following an interception for the score that put the game out of reach at 30-14 with 2:08 left to play. Running back Dustin Butler scored for four yards out to put the nail in the Cougars’ coffin.
The Cougars moved to near midfield on their final possession, and just missed connecting on a long pass play that would have gone for another score, but Bullock’s pass went off the fingertips of Logan Kopp.
The Cougars will open the regular season next Friday at 7 p.m. as they will be hosting the Hancock County Hornets.
By Don Brown, Local Sports
Reach Don at firstname.lastname@example.org.