The Russellville Panthers had their way with the Logan County Cougars on Friday night, winning the 2015 football “Clash of the Cats” 41-6.
Russellville’s Rhea Stadium was packed with fans of both local teams, but the hometown Panthers fans had the most to cheer the loudest for.
After a day of rain in the area, the night was cool and the field, while damp, was in great shape.
The Panthers kicked off to the Cougars to begin the game. After consecutive running plays featuring Billy Vick, the Panthers were forced to punt the ball on fourth and one near mid-field.
On Russellville’s first play from scrimmage there was a fumble and Logan County’s Nathaniel Offutt recovers the ball on Russellville’s nineteen yard line.
The Cougars call timeout at 8:52 into the game. As had happened in games earlier this season, the Cougars had earned a big play early and a chance to get on the scoreboard first.
After two running plays, the Cougars’ pass on third and ten is intercepted by Joshua Bigbee and the Panthers have the ball on their own five yard line.
The Panthers proceed to march up the field and into Cougar territory. Then on a third and eleven play, Joshua Bigbee escapes the Logan County defenders and dashes 41 yards for the TD and the game’s first score. The try after TD kick is good by Milam Watkins and Russellville had the lead 7-0 at 5:48 in the first quarter.
The Cougars fumble the kickoff and Russellville’s offense stays on the field with great field position. The Panthers continue to use the run, and on a first and ten from the Logan County 19 yard line, MJ Jones runs right and around the Cougars’ defense for the games second TD. The kick after is no good, and at 4:38 in the first quarter, the Panther lead is 13-0.
Turnovers continued to haunt the Cougars and be the un-doing of many fine efforts by the Logan County defensive squad. Russellville forced two interceptions and two fumbles by the Cougars. Each turnover seemed to halt hope and stifle spirit in the Cougars.
Russellville welcomed back one of its integral parts of offense and defense in this game as well. Johnny Drumgole, having moved out of state in the off-season, had returned to live in Russellville; after some hectic approval by the Kentucky High School Athletic Association as to his eligibility, Drumgole was able to return in style on Friday night. On his first touch of the ball early in the second quarter, Drumgole rushed to daylight and 23 yards later was another Panther TD. With the kick after, Panthers took the lead 27-0.
Russellville never had any significant threat from Logan County. By the end of the first half the Panthers led 41-0 and the game click was in the “running clock” mode.
Inside of three minutes left in the contest, Billy Vick was able to score on a four-yard run. The attempt after was no good, so Logan County trailed 6-41 with 2:30 left in the game.
That would be the final score, 41-6 Panthers over Cougars. The Panthers accumulated 370 yards of total offense. Led by Joshua Bigbee’s 177 yards rushing, the Russellville squad had multiple rushers in double figures. Quarterback, Jaylyn McMurry was two for two passing with a TD.
The win improves the Russellville Panthers to 4-0, while the Logan County Cougars drop to 0-4 on the season.
Next up for the Logan County Cougars is a match-up with Greenwood at Greenwood High School in Bowling Green. The Class 5A District 2 Gators are 3-1 and are coming off a win at Franklin-Simpson this past weekend.
Russellville next faces the Rebels from Todd County Central in their Homecoming game this Friday night. The Class 2A District 2 Rebels are currently 1-3, all in non-district play, this season.