Darren Doyle, story and photos
The Wildcats fell to the LaRue County Hawks last night at Wildcat Stadium 35-28 in the final district game of the year, ending playoff hopes for Edmonson County for this season.
EC struck first as the first quarter came to a close with Daniel Caudill scoring on an 18 yard touchdown run. The extra point attempt was blocked but the Wildcats took a 6-0 lead.
A strong passing game from the Hawks was quickly introduced as only 9 seconds later, the LaRue County quarterback connected with a receiver on a 53 yard pass for a touchdown. The extra point gave the Hawks the lead at 7-6.
Halfway through the second, LaRue extended their lead to 14-6 with a 20 yard touchdown run and an extra point but Wildcat Daniel Caudill helped push the ball up the field and scored on an 8 yard run. Edmonson County attempted a two-point conversion but was stopped at 14-12, which would be the halftime score.
On the first play after the Wildcat's kickoff return in the third, Caudill helped shift the momentum back to the Wildcats when he rocketed through the line on a 70 yard touchdown run and converted the two extra points, regaining the lead at 20-14.
LaRue County made some adjustments to the Wildcat defense at the half and bounced back with two touchdowns and extra points, climbing back on top 28-20 with just over 3 minutes to go in the third.
A scary moment came to the Wildcats with the third quarter coming to a close as Daniel Caudill attempted to catch a short Tucker Cole pass and was blind-sided full force by a LaRue County player. Caudill took a direct hit to the gut and was shaken up as he sat out the next few plays to gather himself.
A banged-up Brayden Carey entered the game in the fourth as he connected with a great 8 yard touchdown catch, actually with his feet, as he fell to the ground in the end zone with 9:42 left in the fourth. A two point conversion from Caudill tied the game at 28-28.
With 4:41 left in the game, the LaRue quarterback looked as if he was going to be sacked, but somehow scrambled away by his shirt tail and scored on a 7 yard touchdown keeper. The extra point made it 35-28 and the Wildcats were unable to recover as they fell to LaRue County.
"My heart's hurting pretty bad for our seniors, because they really wanted it," said Wildcat Coach Nathan Smith. "All of our kids wanted it. I don't think effort was ever a question tonight. LaRue County just had some really good athletes. Hopefully we'll use this as a learning moment for us. I told them (the team) in there that I'm sure I'll be able to look back at the end of the season and see maybe a thousand times where I messed up. You know, just called something bad or made a wrong decision. I know I'm going to use this season to learn and try to get better. I just talked to our underclassmen and told them to love on our seniors because they're going to be down, they're going to be heart broken, but to use it as a lesson."
The game was a must-win for the Wildcats in order for them to be able to compete in the playoffs which obviously didn't happen. The final game for the 2016 team will be against Barren County at home on Friday, October 28 for Wildcat Senior Night. The Wildcats will be off next Friday, October 22, with no game.
The Wildcats are now 3-6 on the year and finish District 2 play with a record of 1-3.