The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Jaryd Cline
Sports editor 

Cougs cruise past Liberty Bell in first 11-man game of season


September 26, 2018

Jaryd Cline

Senior Kurtis Billette nearly had a highlight-reel grab in the second half of Saturday's win over Liberty Bell.

The Lyle-Wishram-Klickitat Cougars played two eight-man football games to open the season, but on Saturday during the team's home-opening 46-6 win over Liberty Bell, the Cougs proved they can run with 11-man squads too, even with a short bench and limited substitutes.

It also helps that they have one of the top players in the state in running back/linebacker Brandon Montoya, last year's Eastern Washington Athletic Conference Player of the Year, and a strong and balanced supporting cast who know how to win football games.

But Saturday afternoon, the Cougs cruised past the visiting Liberty Bell Mountain Lions behind a stout defensive effort and an exciting offense fitted with big-play potential every time the ball is snapped.

It was all Cougars on Saturday. They led for 46 minutes and 13 seconds in the game after scoring less than two minutes into the opening quarter, and kept the offense coming all day.

Montoya scored six touchdowns, five rushing and one interception return, and the Cougar defense was tough on the Liberty Bell offense, which was bent on running the ball, all game.

The Cougs opened with the ball on the Liberty 45 yard line, and after a 15 yard run from quarterback DaSean Leslie and a 10 yard run from running back Sam McCullough, Montoya ran the ball into the endzone from 23 yards out to put the Cougs on the board less than two minutes into the game. McCullough ran in the two-point conversion to make it 8-0, and it was all Cougs from there.

Liberty Bell ran the ball well on their first possession, picking up a couple first downs while trying to power it up the middle, but the Cougar D also had some punishing tackles which wore the visiting backs down all day.

Montoya added rushing touchdowns from 15, 35, 40, and 85 yards out all in the first half, the last one coming after senior Kurtis Billette picked off a Liberty Bell pass. Montoya took the ball and broke up the left sideline, broke some tackles, got a great block by McCullough near the 50, reversed the field and took it in for the score.

That score put the Cougs on top 32-6 heading into halftime.

After the break, Montoya took an interception 80 yards to the house in the third, and Leslie hit sophomore Robbie Door from 25 yards out on the first play of the fourth quarter for the Cougs last score.

Lyle-Wishram-Klickitat didn't just have a big impact offensively on Saturday, they also forced a handful of turnovers and even blocked a punt.

Sophomore Cruz Montoya recovered the blocked punt in the first quarter, McCullough picked off a pass in the second, Leslie recovered a fumble later in the second, Billette had his pick in the second, and Zayne Middaugh recovered a fumble with one minute left before halftime.

As of Tuesday morning, the Cougars are off this weekend. However, head coach Antoine Montoya and the rest of the staff is trying to get a game in.

If there isn't a game for the Cougs this weekend, their next contest is set for 1 p.m. Oct. 6 at Mary M. Knight High School in Elma.


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