Red Zone Regrets

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Cougars fall despite records, 508 yards offense

By Chris Cannon

Campbell County racked up 508 yards of offense, but miscues within the red zone put a damper on their upset bid over Hardin Valley.

Five times, the Cougars were within the 5-yard line, resulting in only two scores. A trip to the 8-yard line also resulted in Campbell County coming away empty handed.

With two turnovers on downs, a fumble, and an interception inside the 10-yard line, head coach Justin Price was obviously frustrated as the Cougars fell 48-30.

“The hard thing, sometimes, in football is getting down there,” Price said. “Our kids executed so well offensively all night, until we got (inside the 5-yard line).”

With two turnovers on downs, a fumble, and an interception inside the 10-yard line, head coach Justin Price was obviously frustrated.

“We outplayed them about 90 percent of the game,” Price said. “There’s about five plays throughout the course there that we had the opportunity to separate ourselves. We just didn’t take advantage of it.”

One person that did take advantage of their opportunities was Ethan Jeffers. The sophomore quarterback already owns three individual records for Campbell County. Friday night, he added a few more.

Against the Hawks of Hardin Valley, Jeffers threw 31-of-55 for 441 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.

Those pass attempts shatters Jeffers’ record he set earlier this season at Cumberland County. Breaking the record by 11 tosses, the young quarterback is proving his worth.

His 31 completed passes also reaches a school mark. Only Tuffy Shoupe has accomplished that feat, throwing 31 against Hardin Valley in 2011.

However, the most impressive was his yardage, as Shoupes once again surpassed his mentor, Price.

The youngster threw for 441 yards, surpassing his coach’s mark from Scott County game in 2000. Price threw for 368 yards, which Jeffers easily passed.

“He’s a young kid,” Price said. “The thing about him is that when he does make a mistake, he doesn’t let that control him. I think that shows how good he’s going to be. His mental part of the game is very impressive.”

Jeffers now holds every individual game record except for most two-point conversion passes (3) and the longest pass play (89 yards). Who would know he’s just a sophomore?

However, he did get some help from an upperclassman. Brandon Long broke a record that’s stood for 31 years.

Against Hardin Valley, Long pulled down 198 yards worth of receptions. That mark ends Jimmy Heddleston’s reign on the mark from the Knoxville-West game of 1981.

“They were giving us open opportunities,” Long said. “They don’t adjust their defense for anybody. They just expect to outscore them.”

Hardin Valley (3-1, 2-0 District 3-AAA) struck first. Nathan White took it in for the 1-yard score on fourth-and-goal with 7:29 left in the first quarter. Hardin Valley led 7-0.

The Cougars (2-3, 1-2) went to Miller-Time with 8:54 left in the first half. Ethan Miller picked up 27 yards behind Paul Courdle to reach the Hawks’ 2-yard line. One play later, Miller took it the distance. Gustavo Rosas’ kick sailed low, leaving Campbell County trailing 7-6.

A 3-play, 70-yard drive was led by Jeffers connecting with Long for a 43-yard gain. Courdle finished things up, going 23 yards behind Bo Farris for the score. The two-point conversion failed, leaving the Cougars leading 12-7 with 6:34 remaining in the first half.

With nine seconds left in the half, Campbell County was threatening on the Hawks’ 4-yard line. However, Jeffers’ pass was intercepted by Joe Underwood on the 10-yard line, taking it 90 yards for the pick-six. White’s two-point conversion failed, as Hardin Valley led 13-12.

An 11-play, 73-yard drive was capped off as White connected with Morgan Knight for the 8-yard score. The Hawks lead 20-12 with 6:52 remaining in the third.

The Cougars struck in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter. Jeffers connected with Corey Phillips for the 16-yard score, as Campbell County trailed 20-18 with 11:54 left.

Three plays later, the Hawks struck again. White connected with Jack Defur for the 29-yard score and a 27-18 advantage.

With 7:04 left in the game, Hardin Valley used one play to extend their lead. Knight went 58 yards behind Matt Brewer. The Hawks led 34-18.

Courdle picked up his second score of the game, this time from 2 yards out. The two-point conversion failed, 34-24 Hardin Valley.

Trey Torres, setting up a 10-yard touchdown pass from Jeffers to Phillips, recovered the onside kick. The two-point attempt failed, as the Cougars trailed 34-30 with 4:07.

However, the Hawks put together two long scoring runs to end the game. Knight took the ball 63 yards, before Tory Rice went 38 yards for scores.