Darren Doyle, story and photos:
The Wildcats got off to a great start on Homecoming night, 2017; however, the deeper, more athletic Warren East Raiders were able to outlast Edmonson County in a 21-10 Wildcat loss.
The stands were packed at Wildcat Stadium as Edmonson County struck first, getting inside the red zone with 6:57 left in the first. Senior Brett Brannon connected on a 16 yard field goal.
The Wildcat defense looked very polished and it kept East from doing much of anything offensively early on. With just over a minute in the first, quarterback Tucker Cole ran the ball himself for a 8 yard touchdown and the Wildcats were on top 10-0 at the end of the first.
Unfortunately, that's all the offense Edmonson County would manufacture despite two interceptions for large runs. Those runs were dialed back amidst a shower of yellow penalty flags throughout the night.
The Raiders put up their first points in the second quarter on a touchdown and extra point but the Wildcats took the 10-7 advantage in the locker room at the half.
East took the lead for good with just over 8 minutes left in the third on a TD and extra point. It was all they'd need as the Wildcats ran out of gas in the fourth quarter. Edmonson County's 6'5" 350lb center Logan Hagan left the game with an knee injury. He required assistance walking as he wore a large brace after the game ended.
East scored once more in the fourth that sealed the deal as they extended their lead to 21-10, the final score of the game.
Coach Nathan Smith credited Warren East for making big plays when they needed them while at the same time giving a nod to the Wildcat effort. Although the loss was not what Edmonson County was shooting for, he said it's a good opportunity for the upperclassmen to step up and lead the team going forward.
"This is a chance for us, it's kind of a 'make or break' moment," he said. "If we want to roll over a play dead for the rest of the season, we can do that, or our seniors and upperclassmen can pick us up, and we can get better from this."
Edmonson County is now 3-1 on the season and is scheduled to take on Metcalfe County next Friday at 7pm in Edmonton.