Ezell’s game-winning TD lifts Logan County over Hopkinsville, 13-12
RUSSELLVILLE – Logan County may have not played its best game of the season on Thursday against Hopkinsville, but it used a dominant defense and heroics from its quarterback to do enough to secure a marquee win at Cougar Field.
On the night, the Cougars never allowed the Tigers to get in the end zone and held them to just field goals. Although four successful attempts resulted in 12 points, a 13-point second-half – capped by a 2-yard, game-winning touchdown run by Tyler Ezell on the final play of the contest – helped Logan County come from behind and win 13-12.
Logan County Cougars win in last second TD against Hopkinsville. 13-12 final. pic.twitter.com/WcNttSw8d6
— The Sporting Times (@sportingtimes) October 6, 2017
“I just know that I couldn’t do anything without the defense. They shut Hopkinsville out with no touchdowns tonight,” the quarterback Ezell said. “The offense came in clutch the last few drives and I finally punched it in with 2.8 seconds left. I couldn’t do anything without our defense.”
The Cougars (7-0 overall, 2-0 Class 4A District 2) trailed 3-0 after the first quarter and 9-0 at halftime. Logan County finally broke through with a successful offensive drive near the midway point of the third and capped its comeback with Ezell’s score.
Coming into the showdown against the Tigers (1-6, 0-2), Logan knew it would be a tough matchup – and that’s exactly when it turned out to be.
“We had a word circled on the board all week; patience. I had a feeling that it was gonna be this type of game,” LCHS coach Todd Adler said. “Regardless of their record, that’s a good football team over there. I had a good feeling that it was gonna come down to this. I’m glad we were on the winning edge.”
Ezell certainly didn’t play his best game, completing 7-of-16 passes for 58 yards and two interceptions while rushing for just 12 yards on six carries. However, those stats are easily pushed aside when looking at the resiliency the offensive pilot presented throughout the game – and especially on the Cougars’ final drive.
“I thought Tyler played an unbelievable game despite his two interceptions,” said Adler. “He still guided his team down the field for a game-winning drive.”
Things weren’t going in Logan County’s favor early.
After Hopkinsville’s opening drive stalled at midfield and it punted, the Cougars fumbled the catch and the Tigers quickly regained possession – all the way at LC’s 9-yard line.
Hoptown wouldn’t be able to turn their fumble recovery into a touchdown, but a 27-yard field goal by Taylor Harton gave it a 3-0 lead at the 8:18 mark of the first quarter.
Logan County punted on its first full offensive series, but its defense stepped up and made the Tigers try for another field goal. The Cougars’ goal line presence kept the Tigers from scoring six points, but the left leg of Harton added three to their side of the scoreboard. The kicker’s 32-yarder made it 6-0 with 6:36 remaining in the period.
Trailing by a touchdown, Logan’s offense continued to struggle on its ensuing drive and the Cougars would have to punt the second time of the night. Although the offense wasn’t quite clicking yet, Logan County used another red zone stop to keep Hopkinsville out of the end zone.
But being in field goal range, a successful 31-yard kick from Harton gave the Tigers a 9-0 lead at halftime.
Logan County came out of the locker room following the break and quickly found the explosive offense it has had all throughout the season.
The Cougars went to work in the third quarter, putting together a 11-play, 65-yard drive, which Gary Hardy capped with a 2-yard TD run. Prior to his first score of the game, Hardy had taken six carries from Ezell for 32 yards to ultimately set up Logan’s TD.
Harton struck again at the start of the fourth, this time on a deep 38-yard attempt. His fourth made field goal pushed Hopkinsville’s advantage to 12-7 with 11:59 remaining.
“Holding that team to four field goals is pretty remarkable,” Adler said. “They’re a good team, they’ve got a lot of speed and it seemed like we played inside the 20 all night long. Holding that team to four field goals is something I’ll take every day.”
With just 2.8 seconds left, Hopkinsville called a timeout with a 1st and Goal try at the 4-yard line upcoming for Logan County. Out of the break, Ezell received the snap, ran to the right sideline and leaped over a Tiger defender to seal the deal for the Cougars in heroic fashion.
Logan County returns to action next Friday in a 7 p.m. contest at Madisonville-North Hopkins.
“We are so hyped right now. Nobody in the state knew this was going to happen. We all had faith in ourselves and kept our confidence. Coach Adler said to stay patient in this game because it was gonna be a close one … and he was right.”