The Bowling Green Purples are 5A State Champions for the fourth time in five years. BGHS knocked off defending champs Pulaski County 21-7 on Saturday night. Bowling Green finished with a 14-1 record and won their fifth title in school history.
Things didn’t look bright for the Purples early. George Gregory returned the opening kick 54 yards before 15 more yards were tacked on to set Pulaski up at the BG 20. Gregory would punch it in from three yards out to give the Maroons a 7-0 lead just 21 seconds into the game. From that point on, Bowling Green’s defense was incredible. Mr. Football Candidate Riley Hall was not able to get comfortable all game. Led by Defensive MVP Dalan Cofer, Bowling Green ran through Pulaski’s front line all night. Hall was sacked three times and the Maroons finished with 53 rushing yards on 25 carries. Bowling Green got great field position because they stopped PCHS four times on fourth down. After the quick score by Gregory to open the game, BGHS answered back with a 66-yard catch and run from Clark Payne to DeAngelo Wilson. Bowling Green would take the final lead of the game when Tre Fant took back a punt 77 yards for a touchdown. Pulaski County’s Jake Johnson picked off Payne at the end of the half and nearly returned it for a touchdown as time expired, but he was tackled inside the ten. The teams traded punts in the third and BG took their 14-7 lead into the fourth. Jacob Yates took off on a 41 yard scamper to the Pulaski five early in the fourth. On fourth down, Yates would score from one yard out and give BG a 21-7 lead. Hall fumbled and Pulaski failed on fourth down on their final two drives. The Purples would run out the final two minutes and wrap up the title.
Dalan Cofer was a hoss in this game. The Defensive MVP finished with 10.5 tackles, 3 TFL, two sacks, and a forced fumble. Cofer and the Purples’ defense contained Riley Hall throughout this game. Hall threw for 169 yards on 23/25 passing and rushed for negative yards. The senior QB had zero touchdowns in his final game. A big reason why Hall did not throw for any touchdowns was Bowling Green’s secondary. Tre Fant and Anthony Greer both made great plays on passes that could have been late scores, but fell to the ground.
In his first season as the starting QB, Clark Payne led his team to the state title. Payne was 19/27 for 199 yards and a touchdown in the air against Pulaski. His top target, DeAngelo Wilson, caught seven passes for 112 yards and a touchdown. Jacob Yates had fourteen touches for 102 yards and a score. For Pulaski, Jake Johnson shined in his third state title appearance. Johnson caught 14 passes for 101 yards in a losing effort.
Bowling Green has now lost only three games in the last five years. To have more state titles than losses in a five year span is pretty crazy. As an BGHS alum; tonight was special. Congrats to Coach Wallace and the entire program.