Minuses outweigh pluses in Cougars' loss to South Warren
By Jim Turner

Posted on November 3, 2019 7:13 PM

The Logan County Cougars went into Friday’s showdown at South Warren with a lot on the line. There was a list of things that could go right and about an equal number of not-so-desirable variables. Unfortunately for the relatively new area and state power, the minuses proved to over-power the Cougars.

Both the Cougars and the Spartans went in the game at Richpond with 8-1 records. The winner could lay claim to being the best team in the area surrounding Bowling Green. On this night, however, Logan was no match for the powerful 5A team. South Warren won 53-6.

The playoff format used by the Kentucky High School Athletic Association this year has changed from the past. Now the top seed after the regular season is no longer the district champion. The number one seed will play the four seed in its own district while two meets three, just like it’s done in basketball, volleyball, soccer, baseball and softball.

Going into Friday, the Cougars were in a three-way tie for the top seed in their Class 4A District with Hopkinsville and Madisonville-North Hopkins. Logan had beaten M-NH but lost to Hoptown, which then lost to Madisonville. So each of the contenders had beaten one and lost to another of the threesome, eliminating the face-to-face results tiebreaker.

Each of them went into Game 10 matched up against another good team. No result was predetermined.

The next tiebreaker involved totaling the wins of the four best non-district opponents the teams had beaten. Wins over Greenwood and Warren East helped cast Logan as the front-runner for that top seed spot. That meant if Logan won or all three lost, the Cougars would be the top seed.

All three lost or almost lost. Logan’s game was over first, since the Cougars were on the wrong end of a running clock. At that juncture, Hopkinsville trailed Paducah Tilghman 15-13 and Madisonville-North Hopkins was far behind Mayfield. If those scores had held, the Cougars would still have been the top seed.

Soon, however, the Tigers kicked a field goal to win 17-15. Hopkinsville would be seeded higher than the Cougars. Logan was still in position to be seeded second and play the first game at home instead of at Madisonville. Then came the news that the Maroons had come back to tie Mayfield 43- 43.

Then came the only good news of the evening for Coach Todd Adler’s team. Mayfield had held on to beat Madisonville 53-50.

The top seed was important to all three schools. That team would not only be guaranteed home field for the first two games, but would get to play 1-9 Calloway County instead of one of the other two contenders.

Holding that spot became even more desirable when star Cougar quarterback Tyler Ezell went down with a leg injury late in the second quarter. Not only did he have to sit out the rest of the South game, but his future availability came into question. Playing Calloway this week would have given backup quarterbacks Braxton Baptiste and Wyatt Blake valuable experience, but it would have also given Ezell more time to recuperate.

That didn’t happen. Top-seeded Hopkinsville will host Calloway’s Lakers Friday.

Madisonville’s loss cost them a home game. The Maroons have to come to LCHS Friday in a game that Logan Athletic Director Greg Howard expects the game to start at 7 p.m.

There have been no public statements yet about the extent of Ezell’s injury. That was the case last year when Ezell was injured in the Hopkinsville game and subsequently missed the Madisonville game, the Cougars’ only regular season loss in the two seasons before the current one.

Ezell did set the Cougars’ single-season record before he was injured, this 34th scoring strike being caught by Jaden Sells.

A family report says that knee surgery went well Friday on freshman cornerback/backup quarterback Corbin Rayno. The surgery was to repair his kneecap and some ligament damage. He is expected to have to sit out this basketball season.

This is the third straight year for Adler’s teams to earn a home playoff game. They are 2-1 in previous years.

Madisonville (8-2) has an RPI of .598. Logan’s is .565.


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