Cougars Drop Road Game at Marked Tree
Rector (0-7, 0-4) couldn't find a way to stop Paul Coleman this past Friday night as he had four scores in the first half for Marked Tree to help the Indians take a 40-12 home win.
Rector got the ball to start the game as Parker Bucy fell on the Marked Tree squib kick at the Cougars' 40-yard line. After three plays of negative yards, Rector punted with it downed at the Marked Tree 38 with 10:05 left. Gavin Lowry took a big hit after catching Julian Booker's pass on the first play coughing the ball up with Frank Herrera recovering for Rector on the Cougars' 49-yard line. Back to back sacks from Coleman and Lowry on second and third downs forced Rector to punt the ball away with Booker returning to midfield. A face mask penalty on the Cougars moved the ball to the Rector 35-yard line. Coleman had a touchdown run called back for holding before Booker was hit trying to throw a pass fumbling the ball with Rector recovering at their own 49-yard line with 4:56 left. Rector moved the ball into Marked Tree territory before turning the ball over on downs at the Marked Tree 38-yard line. The Indians put together a 62 yard drive with Coleman galloping 51 yards for the touchdown with 10 seconds left. Booker found Jack Brown for the two-point conversion pass making it 8-0 Marked Tree. Conly Lockhart returned the kick-off for Rector out to his own 44-yard. The Cougars ran one play before the quarter ended with Marked Tree up 8-0.
The Cougars were forced to punt the ball back to the Indians on their first possession of the second quarter with Coleman returning the punt for a touchdown only to see the score negated by a penalty. Lowry made a spectacular one handed catch down the right sideline putting the ball at the Cougars' 10-yard line. Coleman covered the last 10 yards to make it 14-0 Marked Tree with 7:25 left in the second. Booker again hit Brown on the two-point conversion pass making it 16-0 Indians. Rector's Herrera was hit just as he fielded the kick-off giving the Cougars the ball on their own 47-yard line. Rector moved in Marked Tree territory before a sack on fourth down forced a turnover on downs with the Indians taking over at their own 39-yard line with 2:58 left. The Indians moved the ball to the Rector 29-yard line before Coleman finished off the drive with a 29-yard jaunt to make it 28-0. Booker was stopped on the two-point conversion run with 1:36 left.
Rector's offense couldn't get much going on their next possession as they punted the ball away with Coleman returning the punt for Marked Tree to the Cougars' 46-yard line. Moments later, Coleman got loose for a 44 yard run to the two-yard line as Booker capped the drive with the two yard touchdown run to make it 34-0. Booker was again stopped on the two-point conversion run with eight seconds left in the half. Max Ford return returned the kick-off out to his 44-yard line as the half came to end.
Rector tried an onside kick to start the second half as Marked Tree's Nick Kinney fell on the ball at his own 49-yard line. With the mercy clock running, the Indians moved into Rector territory before Ford intercepted a Booker pass and returned it to the Cougars' 35-yard line with 9:16 left. The boys in blue then put together a scoring drive, moving the ball to the Marked Tree 37-yard line where Ford broke free up the middle and raced into the endzone for the score. Ford was stopped on the two-point run leaving the score 34-6 Marked Tree with 6:20 left.
Kinney again recovered the onside kick attempt from Rector at his own 46-yard line. Coleman coughed the ball up a couple plays later with Kyler Parrish recovering the ball at the Rector 44-yard line. Hunter McNeely's pass to Ford moved the ball to the Marked Tree 22-yard line and McNeely hooked up with Ford again on the next play for the touchdown pass. The two-point try was no good leaving the score 34-12 Marked Tree with 2:17 left. The third quarter ended with Marked Tree in possession of the ball at midfield.
The Indians moved the ball down to the Rector 21-yard line on the first play of the fourth quarter before Coleman scampered the remaining 21 yards on the next play for the touchdown. But, once again the Cougar short yardage defense was up to the task as Booker was stopped on the two-point attempt to make the score 40-12 Marked Tree with 10:20 left in the game.
Lockhart returned the kick-off for Rector to his own 33-yard line. This time, the Cougars' offense didn't produce much as they were forced to punt with 8:38 left with the ball being downed at the Indians' 45-yard line. A short time later Marked Tree would give the ball back to Rector as Booker couldn't handle the high snap and Nick Mesa jumped on the loose ball for Rector at Marked Tree 39. Booker got the ball back for Marked Tree with an interception and return to the Indians' 14-yard line with 1:30 left before running out the clock for the win.
“We came out flat in the first half,” Rector assistant coach Robert Dorman said after the game. “We didn't play all that bad, we had trouble tackling as we didn't do a good job on breaking down. Give Marked Tree credit, they ran and passed the ball well. We made some second half adjustments and the guys responded with more energy and did a better job tackling.”
Ford led Rector on offense with eight carries for 61 yards and a touchdown to go along with four receptions for 67 yards and another touchdown. McNeely completed five of 12 passes for 76 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Lockhart had one catch for 11 yards. Herrera totaled 10 tackles and recovered a fumble to lead the Cougars' defense with Kale Hardin adding five tackles. Parrish and Mesa both recovered a fumble with Ford adding an interception.
“We won but I didn't think we played very well tonight,” Marked Tree head coach Waylon Dunn said after the game. “Sloppy play with too many penalties and too many turnovers but we'll take it,” Dunn added. “Big game next week with Cross County, hope we come out ready to play,” Dunn said.
Coleman led Marked Tree with 12 carries for 230 yards and five touchdowns. Booker completed eight of twelve passes for 104 yards with two-point conversion passes and an interception while rushing for 34 yards on nine carries and a touchdown. Lowry had four catches for 60 yards with Jack Brown snagging three passes for 34 yards and two two-point conversion receptions. Booker had nine tackles and an interception to lead the Indians' defense as Coleman and Justin Ellis added five and four tackles respectively.