COUGARS ON THE PROWL/Yates, Holman give Logan County’s opponents plenty to think about


RUSSELLVILLE — Logan County High School’s football program has been on the climb for awhile, including last year’s 11-2 season that included a berth in the KHSAA Class 4A semifinals.

The Cougars have a different look this season.

But they still hold plenty of promise.

“We got the work in, the work we were looking for,” Logan County quarterback/tailback/linebacker Davin Yates said after the Cougars’ 57-14 thrashing of visiting Warren Central on an unusually cool Friday night in August. “We probably had some first-game jitters … We got some things done, made some plays.”

Yates was named the game’s MVP in the nightcap of the Lewisburg Bank Bowl, while splitting time at quarterback with 6-foot-3 sophomore Ridge Holman. Yates called the signals last year, while the Cougars were averaging 36 points a game and putting opponents on notice.

Third-year Warren Central coach Mark Nelson certainly noticed. Beforehand, and after the fact.

“They’re a good football team,” Nelson said. “You play a good football team, and you fumble the opening kickoff, give up a quick score … I thought the first quarter, a good part of the second quarter, we were trading punches with them.

“But after awhile, we made some bad mistakes, and we paid for them.”

Yates completed 12 of 16 passes for 163 yards and two touchdowns, and broke off an 86-yard touchdown run in the opening moments of the second quarter as the Cougars boat raced their first opponent of the season. Holman, meanwhile, completed 7 of 10 passes for 187 yards and three TDs, keeping Logan County in control throughout the second half.

In fact, it was Holman’s 34-yard touchdown pass to LCHS teammate Lucas Cross — and subsequent two-point conversion, Holman’s pass across the field to a wide-open Brady Hinton in the end zone — that put the Cougars in front by 36 points, which opened the door for a running clock in the second half.

That gave Logan County coach Todd Adler a chance to empty his bench, in pursuit of finding some depth, and the Cougars certainly answered the bell.

“You saw what Davin Yates can do for us tonight,” Adler said. “He knows every position on the football field. He’s a great leader. When he gets his hands on the ball, good things can happen.”

Holman expressed admiration for his teammate, adding that Yates has been helpful off and on the field.

“DY’s a do-it-all guy,” Holman said. “He plays hard. The ball’s in his hands, yes, good things happen.”

Warren Central’s Mark Nelson used two quarterbacks himself, giving junior Zarionte Howard and sophomore Dominique Anthony a chance to run the Dragons’ offense. Warren Central got their scores on two big plays, Keiovon Wells’ 83-yard kickoff return for a second-quarter touchdown and Devontre Patterson’s tough 30-yard scoring run down the left sideline with 3:10 left in the first half.

Howard found WCHS teammate Dakota Hunter on a short pass for the two-point conversion after Wells’ touchdown.

“We wanted both of our quarterbacks to get some playing time,” Nelson said. “We want one of them to be our quarterback, and when the other one isn’t playing (QB), to have in the secondary … We’re just going to have to look at our personnel, get some injured kids back on the field.”

Logan County’s Kyla Bilyeu converted five of her six extra-point attempts, and the Cougars’ Tyler Johnson and Jack Delaney came up with interceptions. Senior LCHS linebacker Eli Hawkins had some bone-jarring tackles and moonlighted on offense, rushing for 36 yards and the game’s first touchdown, a 1-yard run after Warren Central fumbled the opening kickoff.

The Cougars’ Hunter Holloway had two TD receptions, one each from Davin Yates and Ridge Holman.

Logan County will play host to Rossview High School, of Clarksville, Tennessee, next Friday, while the Dragons will be on the road to tangle with Franklin-Simpson, a 40-28 winner over Christian County on Friday night in the J Allen Builders Bowl at Warren East.