By Stephen Henderson
The Patrick County High School Cougar football team hosted the Halifax Comets at Hooker Field Friday night and lost 42-12.
The opening moments of the ball game saw early season jitters by both teams: the Comets fumbled the opening kickoff, and Cougar Seth Scott recovered it to give the Cougars possession of the ball. Four plays later, the Cougars fumbled the ball on the Halifax 28 yard line.
On the second play of the Comet series, Cougar Colt Martin intercepted a Halifax pass and ran it in for a 30-yard TD, the first score of the game. Ethan Harkey’s PAT was blocked, leaving the score 6-0 with just under nine minutes left in the first period.
The tide changed for the Cougars on the ensuing kickoff—the Comets ran the ball back for 75 yards for their first score of the quarter.
Halifax scored three more touchdowns before the half ended 28-6.
The Comets continued to dominate offensively and defensively for the second half.
Several key Cougar players were sidelined with ankle and knee injuries. James Lane, Dalton Bouldin, Seth Scott and Jayse Turner stepped up to take over some running, pass reception and defensive backfield duties for the rest of the night and made strides for the Cougars
With 1:45 left in the game, Dalton Bouldin took a pitch out from Cougar QB Logan Hutchens and ran it 14 yards for the second Cougar touchdown. The PAT was blocked.
The final score was 42-12.
Coach Derrick Jones was concerned with the fact that some key Cougar players were sidelined early because of injury. “We had some guys come in that had not gotten many reps—and they did a decent job,” he said. “With more reps this week, they will become more suitable replacements until those injured become more healthy,” he added.
“Logan Hutchens made some better decisions and passed the ball better than he had in the past [4 for 7 for 81 yards] and ran the ball better,” Jones said.
Jones was happy with the running of reserve back James Lane. “We will have a one-two punch with Lane and Tyvin Martin so maybe Tyvin doesn’t get tire going both ways,” he said.
“Halifax’s strength is their defense, and their defense played really well against us,” Jones said. “Their front four really over-matched us,” he conceded.
The Cougars made some adjustments at the half, especially stopping the quick pop pass over the middle.
“Our defense didn’t do a bad job, we just gave them too many plays to get it right,” Jones said.
Logan Hutchens led the Cougars with 81 yards passing (4/7); Tyvin Martin rushed 56 yards (20 carries); and Seth Scott had 60 yards on two receptions.
James Lane picked up 27 yards on five carries and Aaron Radford picked up 21 yards on two receptions.
Zach Strole led the defense with eight tackles and two assists. Shemar Hill and Tyvin Martin were 4-1.
The Cougars travel to Floyd County Friday night for a 7 p.m. game.