October 23rd, 2010

Tilghman Costs Holy Cross Perfect Season

Brad Knoop

Staff Writer

Tilghman Costs Holy Cross Perfect Season
photo by Brad Knoop

Cougars fall 31-7 as Keen leaves with injury

Paducah Tilghman’s Rashad Brown scored four touchdowns, all of them longer than 50-yards as the Class 3-A Blue Tornados handed Holy Cross (9-1) its first loss of the season, 31-7, in a rare Saturday afternoon high school football game at Alumni Field.


The Cougars boast one of the best defenses in Class 1-A, but they had their hands full with Brown.  On the second play from scrimmage, Tilghman quarterback Sam Cox hit Brown on the right side.  Brown then  raced down the right sideline, cut back to his left to avoid defenders and accelerated untouched into the end zone.  Tilghman built a 14-0 lead in the first quarter.


Momentum shifted midway through the second quarter.  The Cougar defense began to pressure Cox and junior Henry Vincent sacked the Tilghman quarterback on third down, forcing a punt.


The Cougars drove 80 yards in seven minutes.  Junior quarterback Cameron Scott hit junior Cody Couch for a 22-yard score with five minutes to go in the half.  Another defensive stance set up another opportunity for more points at the end of the half .  The Cougars came up short on four downs at the 8-yard line.


In the second half, down 17-7, the Cougars looked ready to make another run.  With just over three minutes to go in the third quarter, Holy Cross had the Tornados pinned at their own four yard line.  But Cox again found Rashad Brown, who escaped the Cougar defenders and went for a season long 96-yard touchdown.  His other scores were of 58-yards and 54-yards.  Big plays doomed Holy Cross in its regular season finale and the Cougars were held to their lowest point total of the season, falling 31-7.


The Cougars spent much of the game without Class 1A’s fourth leading rusher, junior Jessie Keen.  Keen left the game in the first half after a shot to the head.  Coach Mike Fletcher said, “He was a little groggy and we weren’t going to take any chances in a game like this.  Our goal is still down the road.”  Holy Cross also played the second half without receiver Cody Couch, who suffered a shoulder injury.


The Cougars get two weeks to rest and refocus for the playoffs.  And Fletcher says they’ll do both.  “We got a little banged up today.  So this off week will help us.  We’ve played a tough schedule and and to be 9-1 is great.  But that’s over.  Our goal all along was to make some noise in the state.  Win or lose today, we had to learn something from this game.  I think we did.  We were outmatched some physically.  It was like the tortoise and the hare at times.  But this will help us down the road.” 


Fletcher says he doesn’t think this team will have a problem shaking off the loss and making a run in November.  “These guys have understood from day one, back in July, that there are five games to win starting in November,” Fletcher exclaimed.  “They’ll be ready for Fulton County.” 

Holy Cross hosts Fulton County (1-8) in the opening round of the playoffs on Nov. 5.



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