When Karns last saw the Cougars Drew Jordan was running over, around and through the Beaver defense on his way to a school record 338 yard rushing performance. Coach Justin Price must have figured if it wasn’t broke, he wasn’t going to fix it.
The Cougars first two drives produced one total pass attempt and a whole lot of CJ Allen, then Daymon Seiber after Allen had to leave the game with a foot injury. Both these drives ended with Seiber plowing into the endzone with Karns defenders sprawled in his wake.
The Cougar defense also got out to a hot start, forcing a Karns punt, and later Gavin Newman made a touchdown saving tackle that was extremely fortunate, because a couple of plays later Newman recovered a Karns fumble.
Just before the half the Cougars opened up the passing game in the two minute offense, which saw White firing passes to Cahron Williams, Mason Shanks, Devlin Dukes and MaKyle Shepherd. Unfortunately time ran out after a White scramble on 3rd down, as the Cougars had used their time outs and couldn’t stop the clock. At the half the Cougars led 13-0 and the game didn’t feel that close.
The second half opened with the Cougar defense snuffing the opening Karns drive and forcing a punt.
The offense came out with the same fire from the first half. After moving the ball with Seiber for short gains White rolled left on 3rd down and threw a perfect strike to MaKyle Shepherd on the near sideline for a long gain. This put the Cougars in business at the Karns 25 yard line. It didn’t take long to cash in after. Devlin Dukes took the White pass near the 10 yard line and pulled away from the Beaver defenders and into the endzone. The Thomas Johnson XP made it 20-0 CCHS with around 7 minutes to go in the third.
Things then started going the Beavers’ way. Their offense found traction and got on the board, making it 20-7 late in the 3rd. On the ensuing Cougar drive Daymon Seiber fumbled and the Beavers cashed it in for a touchdown. Suddenly it was 20-13 after Karns missed the xp. The Beavers weren’t done. Their defense was inspired forcing a Cougar punt. Mason Shanks, punting in place of the injured Allen, pushed the Beavers to the 25 and a block in the back penalty put Karns at the 13.
The Cougar defense behind strong play from the front 7, forced Karns into a 3rd down a 5 from the 18. The Cougar defenders were in place to stop the Beaver play but the receiver proved extremely elusive as he crossed the entire field and then dashed 82 yards for a game tying touchdown with 3 minutes remaining on the clock.
White and the Cougar offense came onto the field with a champion’s swagger. There was no sense of panic, no rushed play or nerves. The offensive line would not allow Karns to pressure their quarterback, center Brennon Byrge continued his flawless snapping, Javan McCulley was logging time at left tackle for the first time this year and looked like he had started there for 3 years. White, who was limping on the sidelines with a sore ankle from an earlier hit, stepped confidently into his throws. MaKyle Shepherd caught a pair of passes and dashed downfield with them into Beaver territory. Another Daymon Seiber rumble pushed him over 200 yards rushing on the evening, this one for 11 yards to the Karns 33. White had one more rollout on his sore ankle. Once again relying on his senior, Devlin Dukes to make the play. White made the throw and Devlin did the rest. This play pushed White over 200 yards on 17-20 passing, and was touchdown #2 for he and Dukes. The Cougars found themselves back in front once again with the score 27-20 after Johnson knocked through another xp.
Johnson kicked off and the Beavers had a minute remaining to get the tying score. The Cougar defense came out with every intention of preventing that. Prevent it they did. The Beavers moved the ball but time was more important than yardage and they ran out of clock because the Cougars forced them to make multiple plays to get a first down. The horn sounded as the CCHS defenders swarmed to the football, ending the game and the Karns drive.
At the end Coach Justin Price credited his team for playing hard and playing together. They lost their star running back on the first series but Seiber stepped in with 200 yards. The offensive line smashed Karns repeatedly. The defense forced a fumbled, a turnover on downs, multiple punts and pushed the Beaver offense beyond the time limit.
Jason Kennedy, a Cougar defensive back exemplified the Cougar effort on the evening. He went out in the 4th quarter with a severe calf cramp. A few minutes later on the Karns kickoff he flew in with no regard for his own well being and delivered a devastating hit to the Karns return man, obliterating what might have been a great return. He got up, and ran off the field and was back to a limp on the sideline. You’d never have known he had an issue when he was in the game.
The Cougars will nurse wounds this week as they prepare for Powell. After that it’s bye week and time for more rest. They now stand at 4-2 1-1 in the region. One more win than last season in the books with four games to go. This game was a must win for the playoff push. They now likely need 2 of the next 4 to achieve that goal.