CECILIA - The Grayson County Cougars got a good dose of a 6A title contender Friday night. Outmanned and outsized, the Cougars were not able to shut-down the Bruins high power offense. Coach Mark Perry said this year it is all about defense. Central Hardin is very opportunistic on offense and with a short field they are going to get their touchdowns.
The Bruins defense keyed on Trey Watermire, Dakota Payton, Dylan Woodcock and Thomas Walton. They doubled on the defensive line and kept the heat on all evening. With a score to settle from last year, the Bruins played like a 6A championship program and experienced their first shut-out since 2008, 45 - 0.
Thomas Walton was the work horse for the Cougars, he carried 16 times for 68 yards. He took a pounding in the middle and was gang tackled all night long. If Walton didn’t own an ice pack before Saturday morning, He's probably got one now after that bruising performance.
(Thomas Walton - Photo By Chelsea Higdon)
Woodcock, Watermire and Payton were all but shutdown as the Bruins sent the blitz on almost every snap. Coach Perry once told me that "If your quarterback has enough time to count all the sheep in the field, he's got way too much time. Our job is too make the sheep scatter and the QB run for his life". And they did just that.
So where do you find the positives in a 45 - 0 loss, here we go.
As a former coach and player, I always look for the positive as well as negative indicators in a loss. Parody in high school football is the key. Where as last year the Cougars were the big cats with the Seniors, the experience and that "yea, we can beat you" attitude. This year's team is in the early cycle of building a championship level squad. They will win some great games this year, like Hancock County and they will experience one of the toughest schedules anywhere. Like life, the outcome of the game is not always what we desire.
So here is the take-away from Friday…these guys don’t quit. You can pound on them and they get up and ask for more. Lets talk about the third quarter…sustained Cougar offensive drives , the Cougars stopped the Bruin offense on a possession and held them SCORELESS. The fourth quarter the Cougars held the Bruins to only 6 points. So the glass can be half full or half empty. This is the game I saw, 39-0 in the first half -- 6-0 in the second half.
This Cougar defense will get better as the season progresses. Coach Perry said Grayson County's line required them to double down. The Bruins utilized the secondary on defense and backfield on offense to get the gaps open and closed…in Coach speak, that means that one on one, the cougars have some real talent buried in the O line and D line.
So we move on to this Friday night…finally at home. Edmonson county is hungry for a victory and they think the Cougars will be down after the Bruin loss…Think again..when parody works, we get great games like the Hancock County game. These teams are rivals. It’s a new Friday night.
What will we see? We will see the composed Cougars who showed a high level of execution in game one. We will see explosive players able to get into the open field and make plays. We will see, Coach Smart and his talented team of coaches, open it up.
We will see football parody and a great rivalry game.
Join me on the Locker Room show 30 minutes before kick-off for the best in Grayson County Cougar sports. We will feature a Cougar student athlete as my guest pre-game. Get up, Get out, Get Loud. Let's show our support to a Cougar team destined for a great future.