Junior Cougars Start Season at 2-1
The Junior Cougars improved to 2-1 overall with a 36-12 handling of the Midland Junior Mustangs Tuesday, Sept. 17 in Rector.
The Junior Cougars powered their way to a 28-0 first half, easing back on the throttle late in the second quarter and the entirety of the second half.
The Junior Cougars scored on the very first play of the game, as quarterback Tommy Stokes ran 70 yards on the keeper, weaving around defenders on his way to the end zone. Tommy Stokes ran in the conversion, giving Rector an 8-0 advantage with only three seconds gone from the clock at the 7:57 mark.
Midland went three-and-out, giving the ball back to Rector. Chance Scott, 15 yards, and Colby Stokes, seven yards, carried the ball on the drive. Tommy Stokes hit Scott with a pass over-the-middle for the 48-yard touchdown with 5:29 left in the first quarter. Back-up quarterback Nick Mesa ran in the conversion, as Rector jumped ahead 16-0.
The Junior Cougars added a third touchdown in the first frame on an 11-yard pass from Mesa to Hunter McNeely with 13 seconds left in the frame. Mesa's pass threaded the needle through three defenders, and McNeely spun away from would-be tacklers to dart into the end zone. Mesa's run was stopped on the conversion attempt, leaving Rector in front, 22-0.
Evan Dooley made it 28-0 in the Junior Cougars' favor with a four-yard touchdown run with 4:25 remaining in the second quarter. The ball came loose on Dooley's run, but took a nice bounce to allow the speedy seventh grader to reclaim it on a hop as he headed for the end zone.
Midland scored 45-yard touchdown run by Richard Balderaz with just over three minutes remaining in the third, leaving Rector in front, 28-6.
Tommy Stokes' second 70-yard rushing touchdown of the evening came on the first play of the following Rector possession. The QB weaved through a crowd of Midland players, stiff-arming a group of three defenders near the 20-yard-line. Tommy Stokes connected with Colby Stokes on a short pass for the successful conversion. Rector led 26-6 with 2:53 remaining in the third frame.
Midland scored on a two-yard carry by Jason Allen with 4:09 left in the fourth quarter to set the final tally in place.
The Junior Cougars put forth a dominant effort in the win.
"I've been impressed by this junior high team," Rector head coach Lewis Earnest said. "We're a young team, but the guys have come together and are playing beyond my expectations. A game like this is great for us, because we've been on the other side of that too many times. It's good for our guys to go out there and get some of the rewards that come with the work we do in practice. This team doesn't really have a lot in terms of experience, so winning two of our first three games is an outstanding start to the season."
The Junior Cougars are set to host Cedar Ridge beginning at 7 p.m. Thursday.