Tough Buckaroo team hands Cougs second loss this season
October 24, 2018
The Cougars knew last Thursday's meeting with Oregon's St. Paul High School would be a tough matchup.
The Buckaroos were undefeated heading into last week's game, lost in last year's Oregon 2A state semifinals, and boasted a roster stocked with upperclassmen.
The Cougs and Buckaroos slugged it out through the first couple possessions Thursday afternoon, but the visitors from across the river were too deep and knocked off the home team 59-14, finishing the game on a 43-0 run after leading the Cougs 16-14 late in the first quarter.
A big team with size up front, St. Paul was able to pound the ball with a strong inside run game while also using misdirections and counter plays to keep the Cougar defense off balance.
The Buckaroos struck for touchdowns on their first two possessions, but the Cougs did as well.
After St. Paul marched the field and ran in a four yard touchdown in less than four minutes, the Cougs put together their own scoring drive to tie the game up less than two minutes later.
A short kickoff to keep the ball away from the always dangerous Brandon Montoya gave the home team good starting field position at the their own 43, but a bad snap moved them back 15 yards where they faced a second and 25. The down and distance didn't matter though, because Montoya was able to shift and pound for a 30 yard, first-down run on the next play.
He ran for another first down on the next play and senior Sam McCullough caught a 20-yard pass from senior quarterback Kurtis Billette before the Cougs pulled out a trick.
With the ball on the 20 after McCullough's reception, a wide receiver reverse pass from DaSean Leslie hit Jarren Leslie in the endzone after beating his man and securing the catch at the goal line. Montoya took in the two-point conversion on the ground to tie the game at eight with 6:14 left in the first quarter.
The Buckaroos continued moving the ball offensively but the Cougs buckled down in the redzone and forced a fourth down and three for the visitors at the 14. However, St. Paul completed a short pass to 6-foot-3, 230 pound Alexandro Dela Cerda who took it into the endzone for a 16-8 Buckaroo lead after the successful two-point conversion.
That score gave St. Paul the lead for good, but it wasn't less than 15 seconds later when the Cougs found the endzone again. On the ensuing kickoff, the deep man Montoya picked up a line-drive punt around the 20 yard line, made a few guys miss in the middle of the field, and bounced it outside before running the ball down the sideline and into the endzone. The two-point try was no good, and the Cougs were held scoreless for the rest of the game.
Each team forced a couple turnovers over the remaining three quarters, including Billette's interception in the second and Montoya's interception right before the half, but the home team wasn't able to put together any more scoring drives.
The Cougs will be off this weekend and will host North Beach On Nov. 2. The Hyaks sit at 0-8 and are from Ocean Shores.