RUSSELLVILLE – Todd Adler wrote one word on the whiteboard in Logan County’s locker room this week: Patience.

The coach anticipated his team would need a lot of it against Hopkinsville, and an offense accustomed to scoring no less than four touchdowns per game certainly took its time before the play happened – the one Cougars fans in Russellville will remember for quite some time.

With 2.8 seconds remaining before it was official either way, Tyler Ezell had to stay composed and watch a play unfold before taking fate into his own hands with the biggest leap in Logan County football’s history to date.

He looked up lying in the end zone. Time expired. Logan County won.

Patience paid off.

Ezell’s 4-yard touchdown run as time expired kept Logan County unbeaten on the season with a 13-12 victory over district rival Hopkinsville on Thursday night at Cougar Stadium.

The sophomore quarterback led Logan County (7-0 overall, 2-0 Class 4A District 2) on a 15-play, 72-yard drive in the last four minutes and 57 seconds to score the game-winner.

“Coach Adler told us all week, we’ve got to be patient in this game,” Ezell said. “He was completely right. It came down to the last two seconds and time was out. … As soon as I landed, I knew I was in. Everyone was on the field and it was great. I’m at a loss for words right now.”

Logan County, ranked sixth in Class 4A in the latest Associated Press poll, is 7-0 for the first time in school history, edging out the previous best start of 6-0 set by the Cougars team of 1996. The only other undefeated team in 4A is defending state champions Johnson Central.

“It’s so significant,” Ezell said. “We’re going for the district championship. That’s our main mindset right now.”

Logan County’s offense, which averaged 35 points per game entering Thursday, sputtered all night against the Tigers (1-6, 0-2). Running back Gary Hardy scored on a 1-yard run on the Cougars’ opening drive of the third quarter after a lackluster first half where Ezell threw two interceptions.

The offense had three consecutive three-and-outs until between Hardy’s touchdown and the final drive with just under five minutes left to play. Ezell completed 8-of-16 passes for 71 yards and Hardy pounded out 62 rushing yards on 23 carries.

“Don’t get frustrated when we don’t score 30,” Adler said about his message this week. “Patience. We stayed to the game plan. We got it going there in the run game late and we made a play there at the end to win.”

Even when Logan County shot itself in the foot on the final drive, patience played in its favor.

Facing a fourth-and-5 with 2:08 remaining, a false start penalty backed the Cougars up five yards, but Ezell showed off his speed by evading pressure and scrambling 19 yards for a first down at the Hopkinsville 19.{blockquote class=”twitter-video” data-lang=”en”}{p lang=”en” xml:lang=”en” dir=”ltr”}Ezell scrambles on 4th and 10 to keep the drive alive. Under 2 minutes to play. 12-7 Hoptown. pic.twitter.com/gCWsPCqZsj– BG Daily News (@bgpreps) October 6, 2017{/blockquote} {script charset=”utf-8” type=”text/javascript” src=”http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js”}{/script}With no timeouts remaining and the clock running, Logan County worked the ball down to the 9-yard line where Ezell drew a roughing-the-passer penalty – one of 22 flags for 150 yards between both teams – and moved the ball to the 4-yard line with 2.8 seconds left.

When Hopkinsville called its last timeout, Logan County called a play that sent Ezell rolling right looking for Chandler Silvey in the back of the end zone. Since the Cougars were lined up on the far hash, both players had time to let the play develop.

Hopkinsville safety Gavin Marschand had Silvey covered the whole time, so Ezell tucked it and ran.

Hardy threw a perfectly timed block that allowed Ezell space to buy a few extra steps to beat defenders to his dive in the end zone.

“That kid has unbelievable heart and unbelievable effort,” Adler said of Ezell. “Great drive by him.”

Linebacker Alex Brown watched Ezell score from the sideline – heart thumping and all – after he led the defense to keep Hopkinsville out of the end zone, no matter how close the Tigers came all night.

Hopkinsville kicker Taylor Harton was 4-for-4 on field goals after the Tigers offense was stuffed three times inside the red zone in the first half, and twice inside the 10-yard line.{blockquote class=”twitter-video” data-lang=”en”}{p lang=”en” xml:lang=”en” dir=”ltr”}Alex Brown with a big stop on third down. Hoptown goes up 6-0 with another Harton field goal, 6:36 2Q. pic.twitter.com/zC29zXlS8f– BG Daily News (@bgpreps) October 6, 2017{/blockquote} {script charset=”utf-8” type=”text/javascript” src=”http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js”}{/script}Harton had kicks of 27, 32 and 31 yards in the first half to take a 9-0 lead into the locker room.{blockquote class=”twitter-video” data-lang=”en”}{p lang=”en” xml:lang=”en” dir=”ltr”}Hopkinsville 9, Logan County 7, End third quarter. Logan County gets another red zone stop. Tigers have 4th down at the 20 to start 4Q. pic.twitter.com/RuZz6njYcL– BG Daily News (@bgpreps) October 6, 2017{/blockquote} {script charset=”utf-8” type=”text/javascript” src=”http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js”}{/script}He added one more on the first play of the fourth quarter to extend Hopkinsville’s lead to 12-7.

The Cougars’ defense did its part, holding the Tigers to 115 yards and 3-for-15 on third down attempts.

“We never stopped,” Brown said. “Even when we were down 9-0 at the half, we didn’t stop. It’s bend, don’t break.”

Logan County sits in the driver’s seat to host a playoff game for the first time ever at Cougar Stadium with Madisonville-North Hopkins and Calloway County awaiting in the next two weeks. The last “home” playoff game Logan County had was in 1989 at Rhea Stadium, the longtime home of Russellville.

“That’s the big thing for us right now,” Adler said. “We want to go 1-0 every week. Tomorrow when we regroup, it’ll be, ‘Hey, let’s try to get a win against Madisonville.’ 2-0 in the district feels good. Hopefully some things play out and we can host a home playoff game here. That’s never been done. That’s what we’re looking forward to.”

LCHS 0 0 7 6 – 13

HHS 3 6 0 3 – 12

First quarter

HOP – Harton 27 field goal, 8:18

Second quarter

HOP – Harton 32 field goal, 6:36

HOP – Harton 31 field goal, 1:03

Third quarter

LOG – Hardy 1 run (Lucas Arevalo kick), 7:55

Fourth quarter

HOP – Harton 37 field goal, 11:59

LOG – Ezell 4 run, 0:00{&end}

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Covering high school sports and Western Kentucky women's basketball for the Bowling Green Daily News.

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