Peewee Cougars Advance in Playoffs
Rector's fifth grade football team continued its excellent season Saturday with a 14-6 win over host Gosnell in the quarterfinals of the Cotton Bowl competition of the NEA Youth Football League.
Cooper Rabjohn scored two touchdowns on long runs to lead the Cougars to a semifinal matchup against undefeated Valley View. The game will be played at 11:15 a.m. Saturday at Osceola. Wynne and Osceola will meet in the other semifinal at 10.
Rector is the smallest school remaining in either the fifth grade or sixth grade competition.
"That was one of our better games this year," said coach Nathan Sanders. "We have played well defensively all year and that continued in the game against Gosnell."
Sanders said the line "lost a little containment on the edge" at times but eventually got the problem fixed. "They made up for it on offense by blocking well, especially in the second half."
"Cooper Rabjohn had a really strong game for us carrying the ball," Sanders said.
Rabjohn scored from 40 yards out on a double-reverse in the second quarter and then tacked on a 70-yard sprint for a score with 5:48 left in the game.
Drew Henderson ran in a two-point conversion for Rector following his team's first touchdown.
The Cougars continued their strong defensive play by halting the Pirates on numerous scoring efforts. One of the keys to the game was a strong tackle by Ashton Scott on the Pirates' PAT conversion attempt that would have tied the game at that point.
David Mosley serves as offensive coordinator for the team and Nate Henderson is the defensive coordinator.
Sanders said the coaches stayed to watch Valley View in their quarterfinal win. "They are a very well-coached team," Sanders said. The coach said one of the factors in the game is that Valley View will have players specializing in either offense or defense while the Rector players basically go on both sides of the ball.
"They will definitely have more depth than we do, so we'll have to be mentally tough and play hard for four quarters."