Jr. Cougars Close Out Season With Loss to Midland

Thursday, October 26, 2017
Junior Cougar Landon McClung looks for the corner in action against Midland.
TD photo/Tim Blair

The Rector Junior Cougars hosted Midland for their season finale' Thursday night, and dropped the conference game to the Mustangs. A handful of miscues, and several big plays for the visitors, were the difference in the ballgame.

The Rector squad would get first shot at the endzone Thursday night, and moved the ball well out to midfield. Late in the quarter the Cougars faced fourth down, as a pass to Landon McClung dribbled off his fingertips.

The Mustangs took over at that point, and began to put together a strong drive despite several good defensive plays by John Ford Hendrix and Sam Shipley of the Cougars. Midland QB Jonathan Throgmorton had several good runs for the Mustangs, but was stuffed on fourth down by Hendrix as they turned the ball back over to the Cougars on downs.

Rector's Sam Shipley (59) hangs on to the Midland running back as he awaits help from Andrew Williamson (78), Kolt Bacon (27), Dalton Sanders (60) and Logan Emerline (72). Also pictured are John Ford Hendrix (hidden by Shipley) and Manual Lamar (front)—the first man to get a hand on the ball carrier.
TD photo/Tim Blair

McClung picked up a good gainer on first down, as the first quarter drew to a close with no score.

As the second quarter got underway McClung got a good run for first down, then picked up another good gainer. Also carrying the football was Chris Hufty, seeing action due to the injury to starting halfback Joseph Baker several weeks back.

Facing third and two from the Midland 25, Hufty came up short and the Cougars were faced yet another fourth down. This time McClung got the nod, but came up about two feet short and the ball went over on downs yet again on the Mustang's 22.

On the first play of the ensuing drive Midland's Alex Cater broke free and raced to the first touchdown of the contest at the 3:33 mark of the first quarter. On the two point conversion attempt the Mustangs fumbled the football, and it was recovered by Cougar Logan Emerline, as the score stood 6-0.

On the following kickoff, which rolled to near the sideline in front of the Midland bench, the Cougars failed to cover the football and the Mustangs got possession with good field position at the 25.

Midland also had issues moving the football, but saw the drive extended as the Cougars were called for a personnel foul face mask penalty. Moments later the Mustangs scored on a reverse sweep, only to have the run called back on a clip. With time running down in the second quarter, Cater hit William Kelly for a touchdown pass to extend the lead to 12-0. On the two point conversion Rector's Hendrix stuffed the runner, as the score remained a two touchdown advantage.

On the following kick-off Hendrix caught the football, then pitched-back to McClung as he brought it out to around the 34. After picking up one first down, and with time running low, Hendrix took the pitch and lofted a halfback pass in the direction of Hufty, but it was picked-off by the Mustangs inside the 20 with about 16 seconds left in the half.

On the final play of the first half the Mustangs broke a long run, although it was called back on a penalty flag.

The Cougars got the second half kickoff, and began to put together a drive but it ended as they coughed-up the ball and the Mustangs took over. On the following drive, the Cougars got a touchdown saving tackle by McClung, and big tackles by Shipley, Manuel Lamar and Andrew Williamson.

Bit by the penalty flag, and tough Cougar defense, the Mustangs moved backward and faced a third and 38. Bailey Barber got the nod for Midland, but he was dropped by Hufty after a gain of 11. This brought up a fourth and a long nine, at the 5:27 mark of the third.

The following play by the Mustangs was busted by the Cougar defense, but the quarterback scrambled out of trouble and dashed to the endzone for their third touchdown of the night. On the two point conversion attempt Midland fumbled, as the score stood at 18-0.

The following kickoff was a short one, covered by Kolt Bacon, as the Cougar offense went back on the attack at the 39. McClung then ripped off a pair of good runs, aided by a strong carry by Hendrix, as the Cougar offense began to move. On third down Hufty was stuffed, bringing up a fourth down. McClung was dropped for a loss on the next play, and the ball went back to the Mustangs.

Despite a couple of good plays by Hendrix and Lamar, Midland continued to move the football as the third quarter drew to a close. On the first play of the fourth, the Mustangs scored from 41 yards out to move the score to 24-0. On the two point conversion attempt Hufty made a good play for the Cougars, as the score remained a four touchdown advantage.

On their following drive the Cougars moved the football well, getting several good carries by McClung in the process. Picking up a key fourth down play near midfield, they moved to the Midland 44 where they faced yet another fourth down. This time Hendrix got the nod, and kept the drive alive.

Following a Midland timeout, McClung carried the football down to around the 10 yard line as the Cougars threatened. The boys in blue got on the scoreboard with just under two minutes to play as Hendrix carried it in from two yards out. McClung was short on the two point conversion, as the score moved to 24-6 with 1:05 to go.

Going for the on-side kick on the following kick-off, the Cougars booted it high into the air—only to see a Midland player gather it up and carry it in for the final touchdown of the evening. The Mustangs also added the conversion this time, setting the final score at 32-6 with less than a minute to play.

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