Student Led Prayer Held By Edmonson and Clinton County Players Brings Bright Spot After Tough Week
Darren Doyle, story and photo:
Bad news unfortunately tends to spread the fastest and it always seems to get the biggest response; however, a recent Facebook post from one of the WildcatsLive broadcasting crew has gotten some attention for different reasons.
Scott Lindsey, the play-by-play football announcer for the WildcatsLive team on the Edmonson Voice noticed from the press box at Wildcat Stadium that a prayer was being conducted by both Edmonson County and Clinton County football players immediately following the Wildcats Class 2A, District 3 Championship win Friday night.
Before the trophies were given and the celebration began, a group prayer was held and led by Clinton County's #82, senior Parker Tallent. Lindsey noted the prayer on his social media post that said:
"After a really hard week for our kids, the football team took the field Friday night with heavy hearts at the loss of one of their classmates. They went out that night and played their hearts out, and won the District Championship. At the end of the game as Granville Meredith and I were broadcasting and calling the Wildcat win, we look out on the field as the teams were shaking hands, and this is what we saw from the press box. People will brag about this District Championship for many years, and for the players and coaches, it will always be special to them, and it should be, but this picture is what I will always be most proud of when I remember this night! The win will be etched in EC Sports history for ever, but this scene will be etched in my heart and mind as long as I live!"
The post received several hundred 'likes' and all positive comments from the communities of both Edmonson and Clinton Counties.
"This is why my home will always be EC," said one user. Another commenter said "That is special and our little county is SPECIAL!" Another said "Can’t love this enough!" One more Facebook user posted "Give them much respect these kids are awesome. All people should take a lesson from this."
Post and pregame prayers are not that uncommon in high school sports, but they normally don't make headlines. And while activities prior-to and after games usually aren't news, positive reactions from large groups of people are always good to share, especially after a tough week for many Edmonson County residents.
It's just one example that shows there is sometimes more to a football district championship than simply a winner and runner-up.
Edmonson County Defeats Clinton County 17-13
Darren Doyle, story and photos:
The Wildcats claimed the Class 2A District 3 Championship title at home against Clinton County 17-13 in a gritty contest Friday night to advance in the playoffs. It's the furthest Edmonson County football has gone since 2008.
Two well-matched teams took the field in low 30s to high 20s temperatures as the Bulldogs looked to get revenge from the mud-bogged contest the Wildcats took from them earlier in the season, 13-0. The Wildcats also had another chip on their shoulder as according to the coaching staff, the team was contacted by Clinton County prior to tonight's game asking them if it was ok to have their own pyrotechnic guy there tonight to shoot off fireworks "after they won." There were no fireworks in Edmonson County tonight.
Both teams defenses looked good early and the first quarter ended in no score.
Edmonson County made a good run late in the second as the Cats got into the red zone and quarterback Jon Smith scored the first touchdown of the game, which was a 2 yard run. Clay Walden's extra point was good and the Cat led 7-0
Edmonson County got into the red zone once more with time winding down in the half, but after three tries at a TD with less than 5 yards to go, Walden punched a 25 yard field goal through the posts for a 10-0 halftime lead.
The Bulldogs fell victim to a huge penalty to start the third as they fumbled Edmonson County's pooch kickoff, which the Cats recovered. On the next play, Smith hit Chance Lucas with a 40 yard touchdown pass and Walden's extra point extended the Wildcat lead to 17-0 with 11:49 to go in the third.
Each team continued trading possessions, but the ball stayed in between the 45 and 55 yard line through the remainder of the quarter until the Bulldog quarterback came inches of being sacked, but was able to shimmy up the left sideline for a first down that rejuvenated Clinton as they were able to score a TD on the possession. The Bulldogs cut the lead to 17-7 after an extra point with 1:22 left in the third.
With the momentum shifting slightly in Clinton County's favor, the Bulldog crowd began to thaw and come alive as noisemakers and cheers began to ring out from across the field and the Bulldogs were able to score another touchdown to cut the lead to 17-13. The ball was bobbled on the extra point attempt and it was no good.
Turnovers were key in this game as Edmonson County picked off three passes during the game; one from Isaiah Johnson, who picked a huge pass late in the game, and two more from Andy Lindsey. However, the biggest defensive play of the game came with 1:49 to go with the Bulldogs on the ropes. Clinton County tried a 30-something yard pass on 4th and 23, but was disrupted by Wildcat senior Eddie Acosta, who made an incredible leap to get his hands on a pass that not only prevented a first down, but it caused a turnover on downs for the Bulldogs.
Edmonson County was able to burn out the clock after they took possession to claim the title and advance into next week's playoff game.
The Wildcats turned a 1-5 start to the season into a 6-6 record with a new district championship trophy to put in the case, all without pyrotechnics.
"The whole time, I thought we were a good football team, I just knew we were," said Head Coach Nathan Smith. "We were banged up, we were injured, we had some things just no go our way in a couple games right there, but our seniors, our captains stuck with us. We healed up a little bit and we kinda figured out what our recipe was for winning football games and they stuck to it, got better every week, and I'm proud of them. Proud of all them."
Matt Shaw had another solid performance for Edmonson County tonight. His charge in last week's game was the difference against Green County and that momentum carried into tonight, Coach Smith said.
Smith attributed the late season success to having a team with no jealousy. He said the guys are teammates that do what's needed to win, not put stats on the books.
"Nobody on the field is jealous and this is rare for a football team," he said. "I've coached a lot of football teams and this is the first one that I can truly say no one cares who's getting the ball, who's scoring touchdowns, as long as the team is winning, that's what they're about. You can ask every single running back, quarterback, it doesn't matter. They want Matt Shaw to have the ball. If he's got the hot hand, that's who we're gonna feed."
Smith also said a good week of practice, including working out in the snow, led to good preparation for the game tonight. His players had a different attitude, a different look, and a different energy (without pyrotechnics) than they'd had in previous games.
"They were focused, they were locked in, in practice, there no problems inside the locker room. I had a feeling we'd come out and play pretty well. We made some mistakes and we let them get back in the game, it could've been a bigger victory, but I'll take it however we can get it. I'm not picky."
Edmonson County is set tentatively to take on Mayfield (11-1) at 7:30pm on the road next week as they continue to the next round of the playoffs. We will update that schedule when more updates are available.
Michael Shaw Injured, Matt Shaw Takes Over as Edmonson County Wins 45-18
Darren Doyle, story and photos:
The Wildcats ended the Green County Dragons' season tonight in Brownsville as Edmonson claimed the win in the first round of the playoffs, led by a 200-plus yard performance from sophomore running back Matt Shaw.
It was the first playoff win for the Wildcats since 2011, when their 11-1 team defeated Heath 62-7.
Edmonson County took the first possession of the game and made a run into Dragon territory as Clay Walden kicked a 24 yard field goal for a 3-0 lead with 5:17 to go in the first quarter.
The Wildcats quickly got the ball back and it was Walden again, this time on a 55 yard touchdown pass from quarterback Jon Smith for a touchdown, and it was Walden once more with an extra point for a 10-0 lead.
Green County got on the board with a 9 yard touchdown run on their next possession but their two-point conversion attempt was no good for a 10-6 Wildcat lead with 4:37 left in the half.
On the Wildcats next possession, some swapping took place as Jon Smith caught a 10 yard pass from Isaiah Johnson for another touchdown. Walden's extra point was good and EC led 17-6 with 2:15 left in the half, which would be the score at the break.
The Dragons came out hungry in the third and struck with a 36 yard touchdown run, but their two-point attempt was no good again as they cut Edmonson's lead to 17-13 with 9:25 to go in the quarter.
A scary moment came for the Wildcats early in the third when Michael Shaw went down with an unknown leg injury. He had to be taken off the field on a stretcher and exited via Edmonson EMS ambulance. The Cats were shaken up a bit and the Dragons took advantage with a shift in momentum as they put another good run together and added another touchdown to take their first lead of the game, 18-17. For the third straight try, Green County's two-point conversion attempt was stopped by the Wildcat defense.
For the remainder of the third, it was the "Matt Shaw Show," "The Shaw-Tank Redemption," and "Mr. Shawesome," as Michael's brother began running the ball all over the field, which put a new charge into the Wildcats. Shaw put up back-to-back touchdown runs; first, a 29-yarder, then later with a 24-yard touchdown. Jon Smith completed a two-point conversion on the first Shaw TD and Walden's extra point was good on the second as the Wildcats took a 32-18 lead as the third came to an end.
It didn't end there. With a new charge in the Wildcat defense, Green County was hit hard on their next possession and Matt Shaw continued to lead the way. His 34 yard touchdown run put the Cats up 38-18. Extra point was no good with 9:49 left in the game.
Fans wanted more so the Cats "Shaw-nuff" decided to go "Shaw-Night Long," (that's the last one, I promise) as Matt Shaw took another 38 yard run to the house for another touchdown. The extra point was good and Edmonson County led 45-18, which would be the final score of the game.
Shaw finished with 4 touchdowns and 219 total yards.
"Matt just took the ball and he took us all the way home," said Assistant Coach Ben Grey. "We definitely hope we can take this into next week's game against Clinton County. Our boys have shown they can persevere. Early in the season, we fell down and couldn't really get up but tonight we worked hard and pushed through."
Coach Grey talked about the shift in momentum.
"Momentum plays such a big part in football," he said. "Our sideline can really influence our players on the field, and on a cold night, it would've been real easy for them to sit there, but they got into the game and everybody got fired up, and we couldn't be more proud of them."
The Wildcats are now 5-6 on the season and will host Clinton County (7-3) next Friday night at home for the district finals. Edmonson County defeated Clinton two weeks ago in the road 13-0.
Seven different team members of Edmonson County football have been named to 2019 First or Second All-Sky Conference Teams for the 2019-20 school year.
The SKY Conference is made up of 15 area teams, divided into large school & small school divisions. The large school division is made up of 9 area 4A & 5A schools (Allen County - Scottsville, Barren County, Bowling Green, Franklin Simpson, Greenwood, Logan County, South Warren, Warren Central & Warren East). The small school division is made up of 6 area 1A-3A schools (Edmonson County, Glasgow, Metcalfe County, Monroe County, Russellville & Todd County).
Players are voted upon by the head coaches in their respective divisions.
Linebacker Brock Stethen was named First Team Defense in the small school division. Defensive lineman Tucker Dockery, Linebacker Chance Lucas, and Linebacker Jon Smith were named Second Team Defense. Running Back Isaiah Johnson, Offensive Lineman Jace Conder, and Kicker Clay Walden, were all named Second Team Offense.
Edmonson County is a 2A school with a current 4-6 record on the season. They are scheduled to take on Green County at home this Friday, November 8th at 7pm in the first round of the playoffs.
The entire small school listing is as follows:
FIRST TEAM DEFENSE: Defensive Line: Hunter Fox - Metcalfe County, Defensive Line: Chase Jones - Glasgow, Defensive Line: Darian Johnson - Glasgow, Defensive Line: Dakota Wood - Monroe County, Linebacker: Chase Wells - Todd County, Linebacker: Mason Bragg - Glasgow, Linebacker: Brock Stethen - Edmonson County, Defensive Back: Gabe Zurmehly - Metcalfe County, Defensive Back: Kamari Briggs - Todd County, Defensive Back: D.J. Johnson - Todd County, Defensive Back: John Carter Myers - Glasgow, Punter: Preston Moore - Todd County
FIRST TEAM OFFENSE: Quarterback: Tanner Abernathy - Glasgow, Running Back: Ja’Twaon Graham - Todd County, Running Back: Nick Mitchell - Glasgow, Offensive Line: Tad Shelton - Glasgow, Offensive Line: Justin Waldrop - Todd County, Offensive Line: Josh Todd - Russellville, Offensive Line: Lucio Sanchez - Todd County, Offensive Line: Chanse Page - Monroe County, Wide Receiver: Kynarious Flynt - Glasgow, Wide Receiver: Hunter Scott - Glasgow, Wide Receiver: Wade Thompson - Monroe County, Kicker: Alex Elizalde - Glasgow.
SECOND TEAM DEFENSE: Defensive Line: Jameson Pruitt - Monroe County, Defensive Line: Tucker Dockery - Edmonson County, Defensive Line: Zach Dowlen - Russellville, Defensive Line: Demarcus Leavell - Todd County, Linebacker: Chance Lucas - Edmonson County, Linebacker: Cole Shive - Metcalfe County, Linebacker: Kale Hagan - Monroe County, Linebacker: Jayden Marshall - Todd County, Linebacker: Jayden Weyrauch - Glasgow, Linebacker: Jon Smith - Edmonson County, Defensive Back: Lennon Ries - Russellville, Defensive Back: Julian Austin - Glasgow
SECOND TEAM OFFENSE Quarterback: Curtis Petett - Monroe County, Running Back: Johnathon Flores - Todd County, Running Back: Isaiah Johnson - Edmonson County, Offensive Line: Jayden Wood - Glasgow, Offensive Line: Jeremy Foster - Todd County, Offensive Line: Tanner Jessie - Metcalfe County, Offensive Line: Robert Skipworth - Russellville, Offensive Line: Jace Conder - Edmonson County, Wide Receiver: Jay Long - Glasgow, Wide Receiver: Bryce Nolan - Todd County, Wide Receiver: Jackson Hampton - Russellville, Kicker: Clay Walden - Edmonson County.
Barren County Dominates Edmonson, 44-21
Darren Doyle, story and photos:
The Wildcats struggled early as the Barren County Trojans dominated Edmonson County in Glasgow 44-21 on the final regular season game in temperatures that dipped into the 30s.
While another loss was added to the Wildcats' record, (4-6) it really didn't do much damage at this point in the season as the Wildcats are now focused on the playoffs; which are set to begin next Friday night. Edmonson County has secured a number one seed and will host Green County a week from now.
"Early in the game, the kids were getting down so we tried to reset the game and we told them we needed to work on things that will help us for next week," said assistant coach Ben Grey. "Obviously we want to win but we could see that probably was not going to be the case at the half. So we wanted to work on the little things, try to stay healthy. Just do some things positive so we can leave here knowing we gave our best, worked hard, and can be healthy and ready to go for the game that actually matters."
Barren County scored first with 4 minutes into the first quarter for a 7-0 lead after a touchdown from Jamarcus Miley and an extra point. Edmonson County struggled with loose snaps and turnovers in the first half and the Trojans led 21-0 after the first quarter.
On the first snap of the second quarter, the ball got away from the Wildcats and rolled into the end zone for a safety, which extended Barren's lead to 23-0. Another touchdown pushed the Trojan lead to 37-0 with 7:05 left in the first half.
Edmonson County finally got on the board as quarterback Isaiah Johnson, who took over duties for the injured Jon Smith, connected with Brock Stethen on a 26 yard touchdown pass with 3:05 left in the half. The Wildcats trailed 37-7 at the break.
Barrren and Edmonson traded touchdowns and it was the Wildcats again as Clay Walden caught a 28 yard touchdown pass from Johnson with 5:24 left in the ballgame to cut the Trojan lead to 44-21, but that would be it as the running clock brought the end of the game in a hurry.
While a big loss was not the intended result for the Wildcats, Coach Grey continued to discuss the post season.
"We're going to do whatever it takes for us to secure that next win," he said. "We're fine playing in the cold. We practiced every day this week outside. The boys were in the mud, we practiced wet, it didn't matter--our kids were having fun, we were having fun, so we're just going to do whatever it takes."
A win next week will not only allow the season to continue, but also allow Edmonson County to keep home field advantage as they would take on the winner of Monroe County and Clinton County at home.
Next Friday's game vs. Green County is scheduled at 7pm at Wildcat Stadium.