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By Jaryd Cline
Sports editor 

Cougs cruise to win in Oregon after slow start


October 17, 2018

Jaryd Cline

Brandon Montoya looks to the Cougs' sideline after breaking off a big run during the team's win over Liberty Bell on Sept. 22. Montoya carried the ball 11 times for 381 yards and six scores last Friday against Adrian-Jordan Valley.

The Lyle-Wishram-Klickitat Cougars were on the road for a long time Saturday morning for a ranked eight-man football matchup with the Adrian-Jordan Valley Antelopes in Oregon.

The long bus ride, along with the short warm-up period for the Cougs, made for a slow start for the visitors. But after a slow start and big finish, the Cougs were able to knock off the No. 6 ranked Antelopes 46-22 behind a big-time effort on the ground from Brandon Montoya, Sam McCullough, and the rest of the 5-1 overall Cougars.

The Cougs traveled to Adrian, Oregon, which is over 320 miles from Lyle, for a 1 p.m. meeting with the Antelopes, ranked No. 6 among Class 1A schools in Oregon. However, the Cougs arrived on schedule, but forgot about the hour shift in time due to Adrian's Mountain Time Zone location. The Cougs were granted an extra half-hour to warm up after showing up minutes before the scheduled game time and it took them a while to get going on Saturday.

Falling behind 14-6 early in the second quarter, the Cougs picked it up about midway through the second and started to fire on all cylinders with their high-powered offense. They scored two touchdowns over the second half of the second quarter and took a 20-14 lead into halftime and cruised to the win over the third and fourth quarters.

The game started a little bit past the 1 p.m. MDT kickoff so the Cougars could get in a quick warmup after arriving a little late, and the Antelopes took advantage. They recovered their onside kick to open the game and went up 6-0 three minutes into the game.

It took the Cougs a few possessions to get onto the scoreboard. They turned it over on downs on their first possession but stopped Jordan Valley on its next possession, and it took just one big strike from the Cougs to even the score. Montoya broke for a 40 yard touchdown on the ground to get the Cougs on the board and the score evened at six after a failed two-point attempt.

Jordan Valley went up 14-6 after another touchdown, and were looking to score again after recovering a turnover and driving near the Cougar endzone. Their defense held the Antelopes out of the endzone, got the ball back and started rolling. They scored two times more before halftime on a short and a long touchdown from Montoya. He got in from eight yards out for the score and McCullough added a two-point conversion to tie the game again at 14. Minutes later after another Cougar defensive stop, Montoya broke free for a 96 yard touchdown that gave the visitors a 20-14 lead at the half.

Montoya added touchdown runs of 60 and 80 yards respectively in the third quarter and Kurtis Billette booted PATs on each to give the Cougs a 34-14 lead.

Jordan Valley scored again to end the third, but the Cougs shut them out in the fourth and scored two more touchdowns of their own to put the game away. Early in the fourth, Montoya rushed for a 33 yard touchdown and McCullough reached the endzone on a big 67 yard run that made the score 46-22.

For the Cougs, Montoya led the way with 381 yards on the ground and six rushing touchdowns, all while carrying the ball just 11 times. McCullough added a touchdown of his own and totaled 113 rushing yards.

On the other side of the ball, McCullough was all over the field with a team-leading 20 tackles. Montoya had 10 tackles and a sack, freshman Tyler Kroeskop had 11 tackles and two sacks, senior DaSean Leslie had 17 tackles and an interception, and sophomore Robbie Door finished with 14 tackles.

The Cougs are next on the gridiron at home on Thursday against Oregon's Saint Paul. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m. against the Buckaroos, who are undefeated at 7-0 so far this season.


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