Wildcats Dominate Hart County On Senior Night 42-7 To Guarantee Spot In Playoffs
Darren Doyle, story and photos:
Senior leadership was the key in last night's 42-7 Wildcat victory over the Hart County Raiders as twelve Edmonson County senior footballers took the field at Wildcat Stadium one last time.
Emotions ran high in a pregame ceremony where the seniors were recognized on field with their families, along with senior members of the ECHS band, cheer team, and golf team. The Wildcats were led onto the field by senior Gary Dale Porter who carried an American flag at the front of the line.
The Wildcats got on the board first in the first quarter when Logan Lindsey notched a touchdown on a 9yd carry. Brett Brannon's extra point made it 7-0. It would be Lindsey again on the Wildcats' next possession with a great catch from Tucker Cole and a 34yd touchdown. Brannon's kick gave the Wildcats a 14-0 lead with just over a minute to go in the quarter.
Edmonson County gave up a big play as the second quarter began with Hart County scoring on a 42yd touchdown run. Their extra point cut the lead to 14-7, but that's all the offense that the Raiders would be able to manufacture as the Wildcats took control.
The Wildcat defense shut down the Raiders while Cole, Brayden Carey, and Kenny Logsdon all got to the end zone in the second to extend Edmonson County's lead to 35-7 at the half.
With 2:44 left in the third, Senior Zack Farmer took the ball from Cole on what appeared to be a very short run but he was able to somehow squirm out of the pile of Raider defenders and go for a 28yd touchdown. Brannon's kick extended the lead to 42-7, which would be the final score. Brannon was perfect 6-6 on extra point attempts.
The win secured a playoff spot for the Wildcats who missed postseason play last year.
The WildcatsLive broadcast crew named all 12 seniors as co-players of the game, including: Brett Brannon, Brayden Carey, Tyler Cherry, Tucker Cole, Chase Elkins, Zack Farmer, Chandler Jones, Logan Lindsey, Alex Martinez, Gary Dale Porter, Adam Rich, and Dylan Vincent. Head Coach Nathan Smith discussed what these young men have meant to Wildcat Football over the years.
"I've been with this senior class for a long time, ever since I started coaching them when they were in the seventh grade," said Smith. "They had a lot of success in middle school. The number of them shrunk from 25 now to twelve, but the twelve we've got, they're the best kids. That's the biggest thing. We don't have to worry about them off the field or on the field. They do a good job in our locker room, they keep our practice tempo up, they do everything for us. Honestly, the biggest thing for me is that they've never gotten in trouble outside or inside of school. I don't have to worry about them. They're all-around good kids and good football players and I'm proud of them."
Offensively, Tucker Cole was 13/20 on passes with a total of 164 passing yards. He also tallied 66 rushing yards. Carey led the way for the Wildcats in rushing with 90 total yards. The Wildcats balanced both rushing and passing well with a total of 177 rushing yards while compiling 164 yards in passing.
It was also the final game at Wildcats Stadium before demolition of the home bleachers and press box begins, as part of a huge three million-dollar school district renovation project that includes bathroom upgrades, heating and cooling, school kitchen equipment, and new lighting throughout the district. An all-new bleacher system and press box are scheduled to be ready to go for the 2018 season.
The Wildcats are scheduled to take on LaRue County next Friday at 8pm eastern (local time) and 7pm central. Edmonson County is now 5-3 on the season.