Cougars Drop Homecoming Contest to 'Hounds

Thursday, October 5, 2017
Cougar Evan Dooley (11) looks to the officials for the call after catching a pass from quarterback Hunter McNeely Friday night.
TD photo/Kelsey McKenney

The Rector Cougars hosted the Salem Greyhounds in conference play for homecoming Friday night and dropped a 28-12 decision to the visitors. The win puts Salem back on the winning track after dropping games to Melbourne and Earle, while the Cougars fall to 0-3 on the season and 0-1 in 2A-3 play.

With a large crowd of faithful on hand, it appeared the Cougars might draw first blood Friday night as they drove deep into Salem territory on the opening series. But, an RHS fumble ended the threat, as the Greyhounds took over on the Cougar 13 yard line.

For the 'Hounds, they would have no such miscues on their first possession. Salem benefited from pass completions from Harrison Henley to Cole Young and Logan Jewell, and several hard runs from Jordan Turner, as they hit pay dirt with 2:37 to go in the first quarter.

The score came on a two yard run by Turner, with Paul Goetzmann kicking the PAT to give the visitors a 7-0 lead.

Adding insult to injury, the Cougars mishandled the ensuing short kick-off giving the Greyhounds yet another shot at scoring in the first half. And, Salem once again cashed-in on the opportunity.

Less than a minute into the second quarter Henley hit Turner on a six-yard touchdown pass to extend the Salem lead.

Goetzmann added the PAT, and with 11:03 to go in the first half the Greyhounds had extended their lead to 14-0.

The only downside to the Salem first half was the loss of Henley, who left the game with eight minutes left in the second quarter. He was injured by a Cougar tackler after breaking free for a long run up the middle of the field. As a result, Braden Love came on for the visitors and took over quarterbacking duties for the remainder of the contest.

Late in the first half the Cougars did get on the scoreboard, as they scored their first touchdown in five quarters. It came on a 39 yard touchdown pass from quarterback Hunter McNeely to Max Ford.

The Cougars then lined-up to go for the two point conversion, which was no goodóleaving the Rector squad trailing their visitors 14 to 6 at the halftime intermission.

After making adjustments at the half, the Cougar defense responded in the third quarter and held the 'Hounds at bey. Late in the quarter the Rector squad would get their second touchdown of the contest, as McNeely hit Nick Mesa on a 35 yard touchdown pass and run to keep the home team close.

But, once again the Cougar two point conversion attempt was no good, as the Rector squad had cut the lead to just two points, 14-12.

However, that would be as close as they would get as the Greyhounds pulled away late with a pair of fourth quarter touchdowns. The first came with 8:56 left in the game as Turner carried it in from 13 yards out. Once again the PAT was good, as the score extended to 21-12 Salem.

The final points of the evening came on a 30 yard touchdown run by Peyton Barker with just 1:31 left in the contest. With the PAT the final score was set, as the Greyhounds had held-on for the 28-12 road win.

The task doesn't get any easier for the Boys in Blue Friday night, as they're slated to host the Earle Bulldogs in conference action at Temerian Field. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Last week the Bulldogs pounded Marked Tree 61-6, while in the only other conference game of the evening it was EPC over Midland 38-0.

This week Salem returns home for their homecoming contest as they host Cross County; Midland is at Marked Tree and EPC has a non-conference game with Des Arc.

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