Junior Cougars Drop Game to Salem
Thursday's home contest with the visiting Junior Greyhounds from Salem was a difficult outing for the Rector Junior Cougars, who stepped off Paul Temerian Field at the game's end with a 34-6 loss.
Frank Herrera scored Rector's only touchdown of the contest, carrying the ball in from six yards out with one minute remaining in the final frame, to set the final in place.
Salem scored once in the opening frame to take a 6-0 lead before adding two more touchdowns in the second quarter en route to going ahead 20-0 at intermission. The visitors scored on their first drives of the third and fourth frames, advancing to 34-0. The Junior Greyhounds were able to find recurring success with their power offense, controlling the line of scrimmage to create numerous options for running the football.
A host of mistakes combined to hurt the Junior Cougars on the night, including two lost fumbles, a pick-six interception at the end of the first half and multiple drive-stalling penalties, including two personal fouls for unsportsmanlike conduct and numerous other admonishments from officials for behavior.
Neither the play on the field nor the attitude which went with it were particularly endearing to Rector head football coach David Hendrix.
"We played about as bad as we could play," Hendrix said after the game. "That's my fault. I didn't have them ready.
"We're not going to talk about winning or losing; we're going to talk about acting right," Hendrix said. "We lost our heads out there, and, again, that's my fault, but we're going to fix that. We're going to act right when we're out there on that field. If they won't act right when they're out there, then they won't be going back out there. We'll give someone else a chance."
The Junior Cougars move to 0-2-1 on the season with the loss. Rector is set to visit East Poinsett County for conference action beginning at 7 p.m. Thursday in Lepanto.
Seventh Graders Notch Another Win
The Seventh Grade Cougars continued their strong start to the season with a 20-0 victory over Salem in the first game of the evening Thursday.
Running back Shannon Patterson, who had a long touchdown run called back due to a penalty in the early minutes of the contest, got one to stick when he broke loose for a 50-yard touchdown run. The ultra-quick Patterson weaved past would be tacklers early before going the final 30-plus yards in the style of a one-sided footrace. Kale Hardin ran in the two-point conversion to give Rector an 8-0 lead with 10:59 left in the first half.
The Cougars halted Salem's next possession with stellar defense, including a sack by defensive end Jason Braman.
Patterson began the next Rector drive with a 43-yard carry, which was further bolstered by a personal foul call against Salem for a horsecollar tackle. Max Ford completed the drive with a 14-yard touchdown stomp with 1:49 left in the opening half. The pass play on the conversion was broken up, leaving Rector in front, 14-0.
Again, the Cougar defense kept the Greyhound offense in check, led by a jarring sack made by Trace Sanders.
Rector quarterback Parker Bucy connected with Ford on a 25-yard touchdown pass in the second half to set the final in place.
Ford would stop Salem's final attempt at a scoring drive with an interception in the final minute of the contest.
The Seventh Grade Cougars improved to 3-0 with the victory.