For the second week in a row, the Hopkinsville offense didn’t produce a touchdown, but also for the second week in a row the Tiger defense kept them in the game.
Logan County avenged its embarrassing loss in last year’s KHSAA Class 4A Playoffs with a 10-6 win over Hopkinsville at the Stadium of Champions.
“Couldn’t get in the end zone,” Hopkinsville coach Craig Clayton said. “Should have scored two or three times, but it’s just hard. That second half they put everybody in the box. It was hard to run and it shut our running game down pretty good.”
The Tigers took the first lead of the game on a Mason Marschand field goal in the first quarter. Marschand added another in the second frame, but a Logan County 39-yard touchdown run proved to be the difference.
The Cougars added a field goal late in the fourth quarter, but the Tigers couldn’t find the end zone.
Senior quarterback Ellis Dunn only completed one pass last week in the loss to Madisonville-North Hopkins, but Dunn matched that total less than four minutes into Friday’s game.
Dunn finished with 50 yards while connecting on 5-of-12 passes.
“Ellis just isn’t ready to throw it,” Clayton said. “We had some wide open receivers but he’s not experienced enough to know where to go with the ball. If we could have thrown it, I think we could have handled it pretty good. We just can’t right now. Until he gets to where he’s comfortable throwing it, he looks okay in practice but in a game it’s different.”
But again, the defense was the story for the Tigers. Hoptown swarmed the Logan County offense and had several big plays to help shift the momentum.
Dunn has played both ways for the Tigers as he’s played quarterback along with defensive back.
“All it means is we have to get better,” Dunn said of the loss. “We put it all out on the field but it wasn’t good enough. We just got to come out next week and work harder, get better.”
He said there’s one factor that keeps him going on both sides of the ball.
“My mom,” he said. “She motivates me every day. They did so much for me so I know everyday I’ve got to keep pushing for them.”
One area the Tigers struggled with that they don’t normally have an issue with is fumbles.
Hoptown lost two fumbles and Clayton said they can’t give extra possessions.
“It’s big,” he said. “They really haven’t played a lot of good teams. I thought we’re by far the best team they played. I thought maybe we could out-physical them a little bit. I thought they were a little more physical than I thought they were going to be. They hung in there good, especially on defense.”
Penalties also caused the game to move slowly at times.
The two combined for at least 30 penalties in the game.
“It just breaks up any kind of rhythm you get into,” Clayton said of the penalties.
Hopkinsville (1-6) hits the road and plays at Calloway County next week. Clayton knows it’s a prime chance for a win.
“We just got to play better,” he said. “They’re not as good as the quality we’ve been playing. I think we’ll out-physical most all those guys.”