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By Jaryd Cline

Cougars snap three game skid


The Lyle-Wishram Cougars were again pestered by one bad quarter on the Gridiron on Friday against Liberty Christian in Richland.

The Cougars fumbled twice and trailed 6-0 after the first 12 minutes of the Eastern Washington Athletic Conference contest, but dominated the final three quarters to run away with a 34-14 win over the Patriots.

“Felt great,” Lyle-Wishram head coach Antoine Montoya said in an email. “Gave us confidence and we hope to try and win out.”

The Cougars (2-5 overall, 1-4 EWAC) snapped their three game losing streak and won on the road for the first time this season.

After failing to score in the opening quarter, Montoya encouraged his team to forget its mistakes and get after it, and that’s exactly what the Cougars did.

Lyle-Wishram tied the game after quarterback Dasean Leslie found Brandon Montoya for a 78 yard touchdown strike and moments later the Cougs’ defense stuffed the Patriots four straight times inside the five yard line. The Cougs got the ball back and went ahead for good later in the second quarter when Reco Quintero caught a touchdown pass from Leslie.

After Leslie left the game with a broken thumb, according to Montoya, backup signal caller Jeramiah Ostrander led the Cougars to two more scoring drives in the third quarter as Lyle-Wishram took a 28-6 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

The Patriots scored early in the fourth, cutting its deficit to 28-14 and recovered an onside kick on the pursuing kickoff to regain possession.

“Momentum just turned in their favor with some time on the clock,” Montoya said.

It didn’t matter though, as the Cougars’ defense stood strong and squashed the Patriots comeback bid.

The Cougs got the ball back, and increased their lead to 34-14 after a one-handed touchdown grab by Sam McCullough from 13 yards out.

Brandon Montoya led the Cougars’ ground attack with 115 yards on 15 carries along with the 78 yard touchdown reception, and also added 12 tackles and an interception on defense. Ostrander completed 6 of 13 attempts through the air for 43 yards and three touchdowns and McCullough rushed for 49 yards and a touchdown on seven carries and also added a receiving score.

Quintero added two touchdown receptions and Elijah McCullough anchored the defense with 13 total tackles on Friday.

It had been a rough stretch for the Cougars after their 12-6 loss to Kittitas, who remains undefeated and is the top team in the EWAC, on Sept. 24 in Lyle. Lyle-Wishram dropped back-to-back games to Dayton-Waitsburg and White Swan before halting its three game skid on Friday.

The Cougars return to the gridiron Friday, traveling to Walla Walla for an EWAC matchup with the DeSales Irish. The Irish sit at 2-5 overall and 1-3 in EWAC play and are coming off a 52-0 loss to Tri Cities Prep on Friday.


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