Logan County makes statement in playoff win over ACS
RUSSELLVILLE – Coming into Friday night’s game against Allen County-Scottsville, Logan County was seeking out something – respect.
Boy, did they earn it.
Cougar running back Gary Hardy broke the school’s all-time rushing record while leading the Cougars to a 42-3 win over the Patriots in the first round of the Class 4A Playoffs on Friday evening at Cougar Stadium.
Media speculation was released earlier in the week about whether the 4A District 1 could match up with the guns of the 4A District 2, and Logan County head coach Todd Adler used that to his advantage.
“I used those comments to motivate us a little bit. Our district was doubted, but we play tough defense in our district,” Adler said. “We showed that tonight, and I think Hopkinsville [who defeated Warren East 24-0] did the same. We take a lot of pride in our defense.”
On the topic of defense, the Cougars held a dangerous and balanced ACS offense to 89 total yards – including only four yards in the first half – and a season-low three points.
“We’re playing good at the right time of the year,” Adler said. “Even if our offense may be a little behind, our defense is playing some high-intensity football right now. This has been three weeks in a row that all of our kids have really done their job.”
However, the Cougar offense was all but behind.
After ACS got on the board first with a 26-yard field goal, the Cougars (10-1) ran out to a 14-3 lead after the first quarter with a 2-yard touchdown run by Gary Hardy at the 5:26 mark and a 33-yard touchdown scamper by Tyler Ezell at the 0:02 mark.
A 32-yard field goal by Lucas Arevalo and a 17-yard touchdown run by Dontavius Blann expanded the Cougars’ lead to 24-3 at halftime.
Hardy added another touchdown run at the 4:48 mark of the third quarter, this time from 11 yards out, giving the Cougars a 31-3 lead. At the beginning of the ensuing drive, it was announced that Hardy stood alone as the school’s all-time leading rusher.
He didn’t seem to mind much.
“At the moment, I was just so caught up in the game that I wasn’t really thinking about the record,” Hardy said. “I was just thinking about my team. I just want to give a huge thanks to my offensive line for allowing me to break that record this year.”
The Cougars closed out the scoring on Blann’s second touchdown run of the night from 24 yards out, giving a chance to have Dylan Penick run in the two-point conversion without resistance from the ACS defense. Penick – a senior – tore his ACL before the season and was forced to sit out for the regular season.
“Hats off to [ACS coach Brad] Hood for allowing that to happen. I know that’s really tough to do in a playoff game,” Adler said. “Just to be able to get him back out there with the team was really special for him. It’s all about making memories like that for us.”
Hardy finished the evening with 113 yards on 14 carries to compliment his two touchdown runs. Quarterback Tyler Ezell had 87 yards and a score on nine carries while Blann had 61 yards to compliment his two scores.
Kelly Weger had 66 yards on 13 carries for the Patriots, who end their season with a 6-5 record.
With the win, the Cougars earn a trip to play defending 4A state champion Franklin-Simpson next Friday night. The Wildcats advanced with a 41-0 home win over Calloway County.
“Franklin is the best. To be the best, you have to beat the best,” Adler said. “We know we have a tough task at hand, but the kids are looking forward to the challenge.”
Logan County 42, Allen County-Scottsville 3
Logan County 14 10 7 11 – 42
Allen Co.-Scottsville 3 0 0 0 – 3
ACS (7:15) – Thorny Walker 26 FG (0-3)
LC (5:26) – Gary Hardy 2 run (7-3)
LC (0:02) – Tyler Ezell 33 run (14-3)
LC (7:07) – Lucas Arevalo 32 FG (17-3)
LC (1:54) – Dontavius Blann 17 run (24-3)
LC (4:48) – Hardy 11 run (31-3)
LC (10:31) – Arevalo 43 FG (34-3)
LC (8:37) – Blann 24 run (2-pt run good by Dylan Penick) (42-3)