Darren Doyle, story and photos:
It was a tough night for the Wildcats as they struggled to stop the offense and battle the defense from the E-town Panthers, (4-1), in a 36-8 loss at home on Friday night.
The Wildcats got things off to a great start, seemingly causing an E-town turnover on downs during the first run of the game, but a late hit started a series of penalties against the Wildcats that would transform E-town's 50-something yard field position and punting, to the red zone and eventually into the end zone three minutes into the game.
The Wildcats blocked the extra point and trailed 6-0.
The Panthers connected again on a TD, this time converting on the extra two points which gave them the 14-0 lead in the first. Another big run from the Panthers came as the first was coming to a close and they scored again on another touchdown and extra point just as the second quarter began to extend the lead to 21-0.
Senior Logan Lindsey was a victim of a cheap shot from a Panther as he caught a pass at full speed and was leveled from the blind side. E-town penalized for targeting but many Wildcats wanted an ejection call after Lindsey was shaken up on the play. Lindsey would return to the game with what appeared to be a busted nose only, but Edmonson fans were not happy.
E-town took a 28-0 lead into the locker room at the break and while the Wildcats finally got on board in the 4th with a 16-yard touchdown from Chase Elkins on a pass from Tucker Cole with a two-point conversion, there was too much firepower from the Panthers in the 36-8 loss.
The Wildcats now drop to 3-3 on the season. Head Coach Nathan Smith said he knew this game would be no easy task.
"We knew they're a great football team. Lots of people are expecting them to win a state championship," he said. "I thought our boys played with as much heart as you can possibly play with. We were starting freshmen and we had freshmen all over the field. At one point we had five freshmen out there on defense, and that's a series where we stopped them."
Smith said while the Wildcats had them at third and long multiple times, he credited E-town for simply making the plays they needed, when they needed them.
"I'm proud of our boys," he said. "After last week, it would've been easy to come in here and lay down, but I'm proud of them. After tonight, we have four very winnable games left, and we're focused on going 4-0 on the rest of the season."
The Wildcats are scheduled to travel to Adair County next Friday night. Edmonson County has one final home game left in the season, an October 13 match against Hart County which will be senior night. A huge renovation to the home bleachers and press box are scheduled to begin immediately after the final home game.