Junior Cougars Drop Close Game to Corning
It's not often two touchdowns are scored within 12 seconds of each other in a football game.
But that was the case for two crucial developments in Thursday's junior high contest between Rector and visiting Corning.
Rector scored on a dramatic play with no time left on the clock to end the first half. It was an "extra play" as Corning had been flagged for a
personal foul on what would have been the final play of the half.
The Junior Cougars took advantage as quarterback Parker Bucy connected
with receiver Shannon Patterson on a beautiful 38-yard scoring pass over the middle. Max Ford burst over right tackle for the PAT and Rector went into intermission with an 8-6 lead.
But the Junior Bobcats countered by running the second half kickoff back 75 yards to regain the lead. The kick was bobbled momentarily by Colby
Lucas, but he regained possession and raced virtually untouched for the score.
The PAT attempt by Corning failed and the Cats were ahead 12-8 with 7:48 showing in the third quarter. That turned out to be the final score in a very well played contest to open the season.
"I feel really good about how the kids played," Rector coach David
Hendrix said. "Corning was a little bigger and stronger and had some
speed, but we were in it the whole way.
"We definitely played hard," the coach said of his eighth-grade dominated team. "We coughed it up a couple of times or we would have won."
Rector started the game on a strong note as the Cougars were moving the ball solidly downfield on their first possession. A holding call brought
back a good run and the hosts were not able to recover the momentum on the drive.
Corning then took possession on its own 36-yard line and scored in six plays. The crucial play was a 23-yard run by Justin Pence on a third-and-12 situation.
Lucas scored the touchdown over right tackle with 6:20 left in the first half. The PAT failed and Corning was ahead 6-0.
Following the Corning kickoff return in the third quarter, the Cougars
reached the Corning 13 before giving it up on downs. Rector penetrated
to the Bobcat 26 midway through the fourth quarter, but drive ended on a couple of incomplete passes.
A Corning interception late in the game ended the final Rector threat.
Coach Hendrix cited the strong play of Ford from his linebacker position.
The Junior Cougars travel this Thursday to Walnut Ridge for a conference game.
"They will be well-coached," Hendrix said of the opponent. "They do a
good job and they will all be ninth graders, so it will be a tough contest."