Speaking of Sports: Football teams' fortunes see positive reversals
By Jim Turner

Posted on January 1, 0001 12:00 AM

The past two weeks have been memorable for the Logan County and Russellville football teams. In fact, the last five weeks have seen remarkable turnarounds for teams from the Land of Logan.
After two weeks, both teams were 0-2. Logan had been outscored 92-24. Russellville didn't have anything to be ashamed of in a one-point loss at Franklin-Simpson, but barely showed up in a 35-6 whipping administered by a Warren Central team that has turned out to be better than billed. Now both teams are leading their districts with 2-0 records. They're guaranteed playoff berths and are a win away from a home game to start postseason play.
The Cougars, in fact, have won four of their last five games and take a 4-3 record into this week's open date. If the could upset either undefeated Allen County-Scottsville on the road Oct. 16 or visiting Franklin-Simpson (5-1) on Oct. 23, the Cougars will have home field advantage in the Class 4A playoffs on Nov. 6.
What may be the biggest win in a decade for Coach Lee Proctor's team came 35-20 on Sept. 25 at Warren East. Now it turns out that East is not a real good team (they have been outscored 242-67 in the six games they didn't play RHS), having won only one game in seven starts. What makes this an eye-opener, however, is that the Raiders' lone victory was a 42-16 shellacking of Russellville at Rhea Stadium on Sept. 4.
Russellville was short-handed with some key Panthers sitting out with injuries, but East's win over RHS had been so one-sided that most people naturally assumed the Raiders would also manhandle the Cougars. Instead, Logan was clearly the superior team at Bristow that night.
Not only did Logan earn a key district win, but the program got a major confidence boost. Logan fans who had become accustomed to losing suddenly were awakened to the realization that the '09 Cougars are not a clone of their predecessors.
Friday's 25-12 win over visiting Russell County added to that belief, especially since the Lakers embarrassed Logan last year. There definitely has been a turnaround.
Russellville began redeeming the season with a 26-15 win against Marshall County, a school about four times the size of RHS. A 25-15 loss at always-strong Hopkinsville is nothing to be ashamed of. A 56-8 win over Hart County in the district opener was a reminder that some teams are not ready for prime time.
Still Friday at Brownsville, the Panthers were on the verge of losing home field playoff advantage when a late-in-the-game, delay-of-game penalty on a potential tying two-point conversion seemed to seal their fate. Then for the second time of the season (the F-S game was the other), senior rookie kicker Browning Smith pulled off a successful onside kick. The Panthers got down to the Wildcat six with four seconds left, setting up a potential winning field goal by Smith.
Smith's 12-yarder, though, was blocked, seeming to end the game. Edmonson celebrated instead of covering the still-live ball. Panther senior  Bryan Harris alertly picked up the ignored pigskin and quietly slipped into the endzone. The officials signaled "touchdown" and Russellville had pulled off an improbable 18-14 win.
Now if the Panthers can win at Butler County (3-4, 2-1) on Oct. 23, they will be home free. Edmonson has already won over Butler 21-6. Russellville should have no trouble with Adair County (2-5, 0-2) at Ken Barrett Field on Oct. 16.
A couple of notes: Bryan Harris is now part of RHS football lore. I'm happy for him. Last spring he experienced the utlimate embarrassment when he was removed from playing second base in the middle of an inning while the Panthers were experiencing a late-season baseball meltdown. Now he's going to be remembered positively for decades to come for his alert football play and ploy.
Both teams have their off-date this weekend. So not only will there be no home game during the Tobacco Festival, but it would have been easy to hold the long-coveted Tobacco Bowl as the Clash of the Cats Friday or Saturday. Instead, they will meet at Russellville to end the regular season Oct. 30.
Both Proctor and RHS Coach John Myers acknowledge they considered scheduling the Clash during the Festival, but said they chose not to do so because both schools are on fall break. This gives the players time to relax and enjoy themselves instead of having to get ready for the Clash.
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Aeron Smith , who played in the regional softball semifinals for the Logan County Lady Cougars as a sixth grader in 2008, and was all-district as a seventh grader this spring on Logan's first district championship team, has left the program and the school system.
Although her family still lives in the Auburn area, she is now attending Drakes Creek Middle School, which is the feeder school for Greenwood High School. Greenwood is a perpetual state contender on the diamond.
Many of Smith's long-time summer league teammates are also eighth graders at Drakes Creek or freshmen at GHS. They are expected to be part of the Gator softball program next spring.
Smith, who has been a starter for the Auburn Lady Tigers throughout middle school, is also expected to play basketball for Drakes Creek this year.
Redistricting is underway in Warren County with the impending opening of a new high school on Nashville Road outside Bowling Green, but chances are most of the Greenwood softball players will get to stay at GHS.
Tim and Darcy Smith have their Auburn home up for sale and plan to move into the Greenwood school district whenever it sells.
Aeron's brother Zach Smith, who was a football and baseball starter for the Panthers, turned down a chance to play on Lindsey-Wilson College's new football team. He is working at the Medical Center of Bowling Green where his mom is a nurse.
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When the Kentucky High School Girls Golf State Tournament begins at Bowling Green Country Club this Friday, the youngest player on the course will have a Russellville connectopn.
Marty Lovell, a 9-year-old fourth grader at Western Elementary School in Georgetown, plays for Scott County High School, the Eighth Region champs.
She is the daughter of RHS graduate Carrie Milam Lovell (Class of '93) and her husband, Jonathan Lovell. Her dad swam for the University of Louisville and went to work for Toyota after graduation. Carrie received her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Kentucky and currently works for Humana as a Strategic Consultant in Pharmacy.
Mallory has played competitively with U.S. Kids Golf and competed in the World Championship at Pinehurst in August.
She is the grandaughter of retired local educators Joe and Sheryl Milam of Lewisburg. Mallory is Sheryl's maiden name. Mallory Lovell has "Papa Joe," a former environmental science teacher at RHS and principal at Lewisburg, playing golf with her now. He's a rookie. She isn't.
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Former RHS standouts Daniel Elliott and Donnie Bigbee are key members of the Campbellsville University football team.
A senior defensive end, Elliott has 19 tackles, including 8 solos, 4 of which were labeled as Tackles for a Loss. 2 as Sacks. He has thrown opponents for 18 yards in losses, 10 of them on sacks.
Bigbee, RHS Class of 2008, is credited with 10 tackles, 3 of them solos. His 3 Tackles for a Loss resulted in 20 yards off the opposition's total offense with 2.5 of them sacks for 19 yards.
The Tigers have a 3-2 record.

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