ALL PURPLES IN HARTFORD/Bowling Green dismantles Ohio County, 57-0, in abbreviated Thursday night tilt


HARTFORD, Kentucky — Bowling Green High School’s football team made short work of Ohio County on Thursday night, beating the Eagles at nearly every turn in a game that went to a running clock late in the first quarter.

Bowling Green 57, Ohio County 0.

The Purples were bigger, stronger and significantly better than their first opponent in the KHSAA’s Class 5A 2nd District, and sixth-year BGHS head coach Mark Spader started to empty his bench in the second quarter against the Eagles.

This one ended for the Purples to get back to Bowling Green in plenty of time for the 10 o’clock news, too, because the third and fourth quarters were just eight minutes each, and the clock continued to run after the two BGHS touchdowns in the second half.

The Purples play their usual meat grinder of a non-district schedule, facing the likes of Lexington Christian Academy, Owensboro High School and Bryan Station in the first three weeks of the season. It’s a little different at this point, as BGHS used a breather to earn its fourth victory in six games. The other two teams in the Class 5A 2nd District, South Warren and Greenwood, square off on the Gators’ home field on Friday night, so Spader and his coaching staff get a chance to do a little scouting before those matchups later this season.

“We came over here and we took care of business,” Spader said. “We had a pretty good week of practice, at least until Wednesday. The kids will get a little break this weekend and then we’ll be on the practice field for next week’s game with Christian County. Then we’ll have fall break before we come back and play South Warren (on October 13).

“We’re starting to get healthy on defense, but we’ve had a chance to build some depth. We did a good job of getting to the football on defense tonight.”

Next week’s game with Christian County (2-3 overall) also will be played on Thursday night, at El Donaldson Stadium on the BGHS campus. A shortage of KHSAA officials prompted both games being moved to Thursday.

Bowling Green wasted little time in putting Ohio County’s defense on its heels.

The Eagles’ problems in the kicking game gave junior BGHS quarterback Deuce Bailey and the Purples offense a short field in its opening possession. Senior running back Javen Huddleston split the Ohio County defense for a 21-yard touchdown run with 8:59 left in the first quarter, and it was 9-0 when Ohio County snapped the ball over the head of its punter and beyond the end line.

Sophomore running back Montravion Graham also scored on a touchdown pass from Bailey, in the second quarter, and junior defensive back Grayson Newman came up with an interception and long return to set up the Purples’ final score of the first quarter.

That’s when Huddleston scored on a 2-yard run to make it 37-0, and that’s when the running clock was initiated.

Bailey found junior BGHS wide receiver Christopher Sweeney for a 40-yard reception on the right sideline, midway through the second quarter, and sophomore running back Jaxen Smith scored on a 9-yard run to put the Purples in front 44-0.

“Javen’s had to come back from an injury,” Spader said, “but our sophomore backs, Jaxen Smith and Tray Graham, have done a good job for us.”

Bowling Green’s Montrez Trussell returned an interception for an apparent score before halftime, but it was called back because of a penalty.

In the second half, the Purples’ Deuce Bailey yielded to BGHS freshman quarterback Embree Dotson, who did a good job of keeping his team on the move. Dotson is the younger brother of veteran BGHS safety Wick Dotson, and he got the ball to senior tight end Reid Buser for a 30-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter.

In the fourth quarter, Embree Dotson hit junior BGHS wide receiver Eli Kries for a 10-yard touchdown pass to complete the scoring. The Purples’ Braden Widener converted all seven of his PAT attempts, but the final extra point was foiled after a high snap, and Bowling Green would soon complete its 57-0 victory.

It easily could have been much more lopsided.

“I really don’t know what to say,” Bailey said when it was over. “It’s kind of week to week, for us, and I’m happy some of the younger guys got in and got a chance to play tonight.

“Embree’s gonna be a player to watch. He’s really good.”

Naturally, BGHS senior defensive back Wick Dotson was happy for his kid brother. Wick Dotson and Purples offensive lineman DeMarcus Elliott are serving as the team’s captains this season.

“I think the defense settled in very quickly, with some great defensive possessions,” Wick Dotson said via text message on Friday. “We got off the field quickly, and gave our offense the ball so they could score quickly.”

That’s what Bowling Green did, whether it was Deuce Bailey or Embree Dotson at the controls.

“Our special teams had a great game,” Wick Dotson said. “We had good field position most of the game … I think Embree played great. He is getting a lot of snaps, these last few games, and I think that will help him out in the long run.”

The Purples’ defense also came to play. Ohio County managed just 13 yards total offense, and one first down, via a penalty late in the game.

“We had a lot of kids contribute on defense,” BGHS coach Mark Spader said.

The Purples may get another chance in that regard on Thursday night against Christian County.