Cougar Seventh Grade Team Completes Perfect Season
The Seventh Grade Cougars put together one of the finest seasons in the history of Rector football, posting an unblemished 7-0 record following Thursday's 22-0 victory over Marked Tree at Paul Temerian Field. The young squad showed its dominancy by not allowing an opponent to score throughout the entire campaign.
"They didn't allow anybody to score on them all year," RHS head coach David Hendrix said. "That's just...I don't remember anybody doing anything like that, especially around here. It's a big accomplishment for these guys, and each one of them worked hard and contributed to it."
Thursday evening, the Seventh Grade Cougars jumped out to a 16-0 halftime lead against Marked Tree. Shannon Patterson put Rector on the board with a 14-yard touchdown carry with 5:09 remaining in the first half. Max Ford ran in the successful two-point conversion to give the Cougars an 8-0 advantage. Marked Tree ran one play, fumbling the ball where a quick-responding Kale Hardin jumped on the pigskin, returning possession to Rector at the visitors' 28-yard-line. Parker Bucy hit Patterson in stride with a pass at the 10, from which the speedster ran the rest of the way for his second touchdown. Bucy ran in the conversion, as the Cougars went up 16-0 with 1:57 left in the opening half.
Marked Tree came close to being the first team to score on the Seventh Grade Cougars, coming within inches of the goal line on their following possession. Ford came up with a touchdown-saving tackle just inches from the pylon following a big gain on the ground by the visitors. From there, the Rector defense stepped up to deny the young Indians. The entire defensive line worked to drive Marked Tree back, pushing the line of scrimmage back to the four-yard-line. On third and goal, the visitors went to the air, where Ford intercepted the pass in the end zone as the first half came to a close.
The Cougars scored on the first possession of the second half when Hardin rumbled into the end zone on a three-yard carry up the gut. Patterson's attempt on the conversion was halted, leaving the 22-0 final in place with 15:59 left in the game. Earlier in the series, the drive was given a key boost on a 23-yard pass from Bucy to Clayton Morgan, bringing the ball to the Indians' 17-yard-line. Hardin carried three times to finish the drive with a touchdown.
The Rector defense remained dominant in the season-ender, with several big plays being made by regular contributors. Jason Braman and Hardin each finished with two sacks. Gage Parrish, Trace Sanders, Zane Wright, Jarek Ellis and Travis Slaughter joined in the fray, getting in the backfield for tackles for losses. Zach Gilbee and Ford each intercepted a pass, while Hardin secured a Marked Tree fumble.
The talented group is expected to bolster a Rector football program which is fighting to rebuild.
"With this group joining the mix, things are looking up," Hendrix said. "We're on the rise across the entire program and they're going to be a nice addition to that."