FRANKLIN, TN — The Dickson County Cougars traveled to Franklin on Friday in an attempt to even up their region 6 record at 1-1. Facing a high-flying Centennial offense, Dickson County was on the wrong end of the battle of the Cougars, losing 42-17 to drop to 3-2 on the season, and 0-2 in Region 6.
Going into the game, Dickson County was without one of its leading playmakers, Conner Stewart due to injury. As the game went on, the injury bug continued to bite, and the Cougars played the entire second half without senior leaders Darian Burns and Tristen Corlew.
“Its a hard road ahead when you’re going with the teams we play week in and week out and depth becomes an issue,” said Dickson County head coach Randy Murphree.
It was homecoming night at Centennial High School, and the scoring was kicked off by a quick 58 yard catch-and-run on the pass to Jariel Wilson thrown by Grayson Marcel to put Centennial up 7-0 after the first possession. Dickson County moved the ball well on its first drive, but had to settle for a 30-yard field goal by Jett Carter to make it 7-3 early in the opening quarter.
“Obviously we would have rather had a touchdown,” said Murphree, “There comes opportunities early in the game, and you have to make those in order to be in it in the fourth quarter.”
Dickson County was not able to capitalize on opportunities the entire first half, and Centennial quickly mounted a 28-3 lead on rushing touchdowns by Sean Hannon and Jariel Wilson, as well as an 11-yard strike thrown by Grayson Marcel to Joey Gustafson. Dropped balls by the Dickson County wide receivers were a theme on Friday, and the score was 28-3 at halftime.
“You just can’t have self-inflicted wounds,” said Murphree, “and we had those early.”
Each Cougar team scored 14 points a piece in the second half, but it was not enough for Dickson County, who fell to 3-2 with a 42-17 loss. Sophomore running back Drequan Vaughn was a bright spot however, rushing for 115 yards on 17 carries. Vaughn is Dickson County’s leading rusher this season with 577 total yards. Vaughn was the Manhattan Trophies Player of the Game on Friday.
“I think one of the big steps he’s made this offseason is the maturity side of it,” said Murphree, “and being able to handle that.”
“He runs angry, and he runs so low to the ground, and one thing I noticed is how patient he is.”
On the Centennial side, running back and Austin Peay commit Jariel Wilson finished the game with 167 total yards and 3 touchdowns. The Centennial Cougars improved to 2-3, and 2-1 in Region 6.
Next up for Dickson County, a chance to regroup outside of region play and a homecoming matchup at home against 3-2 Rossview.
“Its going to be homecoming week, so we have to maintain our focus and understand why there is a homecoming,” said Murphree, “that there is a football game and thats is what makes it a homecoming.”