Cougars Down Cross County for Homecoming Victory

Thursday, October 18, 2018
Max Ford applies a straight-arm in the Cougar's recent home win over Yellville-Summit. Also pictured for Rector are, from left: Kale Hardin (44), Trace Sanders (78) Zac McCluskey (52), Jason Braman (54), Connor Austin (50) and Gage Parrish (75).
TD photo/Tim Blair

For the first time in many years, the Rector Cougars treated their fans to a homecoming victory Friday night, as they beat Cross County by a final score of 30-8. The victory pushes the RHS season record to 3-3 overall, matching the number of wins they've generated the past two years. It also gives the boys in blue a record of 1-2 in conference, as they've opened the door to the chance of making the playoffs for the first time since the program was re-born.

Hosting the Thunderbirds on a wet and rainy night, the Cougars utilized a balanced attack as they took the early lead, then came from behind to notch the win. The Rector defense also rose to the occasion, as they bounced-back from the early deficit to pitch a shut-out in the second half.

Junior quarterback Parker Bucy had a stand-out game, passing for 75 yards on the night and scoring two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to help seal the win. Another junior, Max Ford, continued to have a strong season carrying the football for 125 yards rushing, while scoring one touchdown. He also caught three Bucy passes for 30 yards net.

Bucy also connected with Shannon Patterson for the other 45 yards passing, as the junior continues to have an impact on both sides of the football after being lost to injury for the entire 2017 season. Adding to the total of 240 yards in offense was Evan Dooley with 95 yards rushing and a pair of two-point conversions, while senior Kale Hardin had an additional 30 yards on the ground from his spot in the backfield.

The Cougar defense also posted a strong performance, despite the rainy conditions, holding the Thunderbirds to the lone touchdown in the second quarter of play.

The Rector offense struck first in the game, with Ford adding the PAT to give the Cougars a 7-0 lead after one. The Thunderbirds responded with their lone touchdown in the second, adding the two point conversion to make it an 8-7 game. The home team would add another touchdown in the second quarter, re-taking the lead and taking a 15-8 advantage into the locker room at the break. Neither team scored in the third, with Bucy adding the two touchdowns late to push the Cougars to the easy win.

This week the boys in blue will mark senior night as they host the Midland Mustangs at Paul Temerian Field. Last week the Mustangs were pounded by Salem on the road by a final of 59-14, as they fell to 0-6 overall and 0-3 in conference play. A victory for the Cougars, with games at Marked Tree and McCrory remaining, should cement a playoff spot as the top five will be advancing to the post season. Plus, if the Rector squad can pull out one more win they'll improve their standings, as they await the outcome of the other conference games.

Senior night festivities will be held during Friday night's pregame, as the class of 2019 is recognized. Senior players on the football squad include Michael Davis, Evan Dooley, Conly Lockhart, Kale Hardin, Connor Austin and Zac McCluskey. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

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