Cougars win without Yates but happy to have him and Butler back
By Jim Turner

Posted on November 9, 2023 9:15 PM


With a couple of key players either sidelined or limited, the Logan County leaned on some teammates who raised their games to another level in Logan’s impressive 42-17 win over visiting John Hardin High School Friday in the first round of the KHSAA Class 4A playoffs.

Now the Cougars will face an even tougher opponent this Friday, and this one is on the road.

The good news is two-fold: 1) Logan County’s players and especially their coaches are battle-tested and highly experienced in postseason action. 2) Two injured senior players are greatly healed and expected to play extensively.

This is the seventh straight season Logan County football has been in the playoffs. They have been either the number one or two seed all seven of those years, meaning they had earned a home game. In six of those seven years they have won at least one postseason game. Two years ago—with some of the current Cougars playing key roles, they won three games on the way to the state Final Four in Class 4A.

Seniors Harper Butler and Davin Yates were not only injured in the regular season finale, but when they exited South Warren’s field, it was feared they had played their final games as Cougars.

Eight days later, Butler was able to see some action. He didn’t play his regular positions as receiver and defensive back, but he was able to hold the ball for placekickers Kyla Bilyeu and Caiden Kirby, including for Kirby’s successful field goal. Butler’s action is expected to expand Friday.

The loss of Yates was unsettling, He had played key roles for the Cougars in 44 straight games, beginning with the third game of his freshman year. He was the team’s starting quarterback by the end of that season and stayed on as the primary signal caller his sophomore and junior seasons while being one of the leading defenders. This year he is among the Cougars’ top rushers, passers, receivers, scorers and tacklers, meeting whatever need the team has in varied situations.

In those 44 games Yates played consecutively, Logan County has gone 32-12.

The Cougars ran their record to 1-0 without Yates. That’s because a lot of guys rose to the occasion. Here are some examples:

*Senior Elijah Hawkins, who is the team’s top tackler annually, became the primary ball carrier in Yates’ absence. He responded by rushing 21 times for 149 yards and 4 touchdowns. He also tied with Jacob White for the team lead in tackles with 9 with a team high 6 solos and 2 tackles for losses.

*Sophomore quarterback Ridge Holman, who has been putting up impressive numbers late in the season, completed 15 of 19 passes for 173 yards and a touchdown without an interception.

*Junior Brady Hinton caught 6 passes for 53 yards and a touchdown. He also was credited with 4 solos and a tackle for a loss.

*Senior Jack Delaney caught 3 passes for 46 yards while recording 6 tackles.

*Junior Jacob White not only tied Hawkins for the team lead in tackles with 9 but also was the sacks leader with 2.

*Sophomore Isaac Christian was third in tackles with 8, including being second in solo tackles with 5. He also was second in rushing yards and caught 2 passes.

*Sophomore Caiden Kirby kicked 3 extra points in addition to the field goal.

^Senio Keenan Uhles had 6 tackles that included a team-high 3 tackles for losses. He also was one of the blockers who did a good job protecting passer Holman and making holes for ball carrier Hawkins.

This week’s opponent

The KHSAA’s RPI standings make Logan County (8-3), which was ranked 10th in the state at the end of the regular season, a four-point favorite at Bardstown (7-4). The Cougars played in a tougher district, as shown that Logan’s District 1 won three of four first-round games against District 2 Friday. Paducah Tilghman and Warren East joined the Cougars in winning.

The lone winner from District 2 was top seed Bardstown. The thing that catches your attention, however, is that the Tigers cruised to a 43-0 win over an Allen County-Scottsville team that Logan struggled to beat 29-20 in the regular season.

The Tigers have won five straight games by a combined 207-36 points. They are rushing for 252 yards per game and giving up only 68. Opponents are almost doubling them in the air, 1,1614 yards as compared to 983 for Bardstown.

Kickoff is at 6:30 Logan County time. WRUS will begin coverage at 6 p.m. It can be heard all over the globe at


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