Cougars deal double deuces in dominating decision
By Jim Turner


Posted on August 25, 2019 2:59 PM




Deuces were wild in Logan County’s 55-20 romp over Butler County in Friday’s football season opener against visiting Butler County Friday. Two successful onside kicks, two touchdowns for Gary Hardy, two receptions each for touchdown-scoring Aaron Hinton, Jaden Sells and Anthony Woodard, two meaningless touchdowns by their opponents after a running clock began, and double deuces in 22 wins for the Cougars in their last 25 starts, and 22 straight losses for the Bears.

Butler County, which is struggling much the way Logan was before beginning this marvelous streak, had beaten Logan County nine straight times, dating back to 2006, before Coach Todd Adler, his staff, his players and the LCHS administration turned Logan County football into a perennial winner. This was the Cougars’ third straight season-opening win over Butler.

That pair of successful onside kicks came in the first quarter. Kickoff artist Thomas Bilyeu put kickoffs in perfect position for a teammate to beat a Bear to the ball.

The Cougars took advantage of that opening recovery to score on a 17-yard pass from four-year starting quarterback Tyler Ezell to Aaron Hinton, who has moved into a key role for the Cougars this year alongside many familiar names. PAT kicking machine Lucas Arevado booted the first of his seven successful extra points on the evening.

On the Cougars’ second possession, Ezell called his own number and scored on a 63-yard keeper with 1:09 showing on the first-quarter clock.

Bilyeu worked his magic on another onside kick that worked, Logan recovered, and Ezell teamed with Woodard for a 16-yard touchdown just 10 game-clock seconds after Ezell’s long run.

Suddenly the home team led 21-0.

Butler County not only scored on its first possession of the second quarter, but the Bears picked up some momentum as a result. Sophomore quarterback Jagger Henderson connected with the Bears’ most successful player on the night, receiver Bryar Beasley, at medium range. Beasley put a move on an inexperienced Cougar corner and raced 89 yards for the touchdown just 44 seconds into the quarter. The conversion pass failed, but the Bears suddenly felt like they were in contention.

An interception of an Ezell pass on Logan’s next possession built the Bears’ bravado but they weren’t able to capitalize.

The play of the game for the Cougars, which ended the visitors’ visions of victory, came on a dramatic fourth-and-10 reception and run by wide receiver Sells for a 43-yard touchdown to make it 27-6 with 5:36 remaining in the half.

Two key returnees who set out the first quarter, senior tailback/fullback Gary Hardy and junior receiver/defensive back Maurice Gordon, added to the Cougar margin. After Gordon intercepted a pass by Henderson, Gordon scored from 16 yards out. An Ezell pass to Braxton Baptiste that went to the 1-yard line had been brought back to the 16, setting up the Hardy surge. Arevalo’s kick made the halftime score 34-6.

Butler County coach Brandon Embry tried to duplicate the Cougars’ success on a half-opening onside kickoff, but the Cougars bounced on the ball. Twenty seconds into the second half, Hardy scored from 52 yards out. Logan could have started the clock running by converting a two-point play to reach the magic marker of a 36-point margin, but he sent Arevalo out for the PAT to make the score 41-6, one short of 36.

The call-off-the-horses touchdown came on a one-yard run by starting tailback Carson Bradley with 8:40 left in the third. Arevalo’s kick meant the Cougars led 48-6.

Logan added one more score in the third quarter on a 22-yard run by Baptiste, who played backup quarterback to Ezell, as did freshman Corbin Rayno.

Against Logan’s reserves, Henderson hit Beasley with another TD pass in the fourth quarter and ran five yards for another on the final play of the game.

On the ground, Logan County rushed for 261 yards, as compared to 9 for the Bears. The Cougars had a 223-195 passing margin and won the total offense yardage battle 484-204.

Ezell went 12 of 18 passing for 211 yards and 3 touchdowns with an interception. He also ran 4 times for 47 yards and a touchdown, giving him 258 yards total offense and a hand in 4 TDs.

Despite his limited time on the field, Hardy ran for 110 yards and 2 scores on 6 tries. Bradley also rushed 6 times for 34 yards and a TD.

Sophomore Cade Johnson was impressive in rushing twice for 28 yards, as were Baptiste and Gordon on their lone runs of 22 and 21 yards, respectively. Ryan Rayno, Clifton Faughn and Corbin Rayno also rushed for the winners.

Tristan Blake was the leading receiver with 4 catches for 44 yards. Sells caught 2 for 65, Sells 2 for 44 and Woodard 2 for 29; all three of them scored a touchdown. Also making receptions were Baptiste, Gordon, Clay Warden and Nakeitha Jackson.

Since the Bears ran so few plays, the Cougars didn’t have many tackles. The stats show Logan Gipson, Jarrett Sears, Woodard and Blake with 4 each, and Zach Yates and Bradley 3 each.

Adler and staff used 49 players in the game.

The Cougars are home again next week, entertaining Muhlenberg County, a Class 5A team which lost 40-0 Friday to visiting Trigg County, a Class 3A team.

 




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