The Campbell County Cougars returned to L. Hope Dossett Stadium for the first time in several weeks last night, this time to take on traditional neighboring rival Clinton. The Dragons had won the last two over CCHS including last year with the playoffs on the line.
That game was played in a driving rainstorm that caused a mudbog, which meant low scoring. The game last night was far different. CCHS took the opening kick off and CJ Allen ran over, through and around Dragon defenders. QB Hunter White had an 8 yard pass down to the 20, the Cougars OL drove the Clinton defenders backwards, Allen did the rest, crashing into the endzone at the 8:49 mark. The XP missed wide right and it was 6-0 CCHS.
The Dragons were able to mount a drive of their own on after turning it over on 4th down on their opening possession. After marching to the red zone, Clinton finished their drive on a pass to the left flat that yielded 6 points. Fortunately for CCHS the extra point squibbed low and it was 6-6 just inside the 2nd quarter.
The Dragons tried and failed to recover an onside kick and the Cougars made then pay. This time Hunter White was able to his Shanks, MaKyle Shepherd and Cahron Williams to take the ball down inside the 10. Once more the big guys in the trenches built walls, which allowed Allen to punch in his second touchdown of the evening, this one from 9 yards out, the xp was good by Johnson. It was 13-6 Cougars with 9:59 remaining in the half.
The next drive for Clinton was too easy. After a could of running plays the Dragons ran a well executed play action pass. This one went for 40 yards as an untouched Dragon receiver was way beyond the safety. He easily strolled into the endzone, this time the extra point was good and it was tied at 13.
The Cougars once more put the ball in play with good field position and it was more of the same. White tossing the ball to his sure handed receivers, the offensive line giving him a clean pocket, and CJ Allen turning into the incredible hulk near the goal line. It appeared he’d stretched for his 3rd touchdown of the game but the official somehow missed it, Allen blasted into the endzone on the next play, leaving no doubt. AnotherJohnson xp made it 20-13.
Will Lester and Desmond Gilbert ran free behind the big stoppers on the defensive. This allowed the pair, along with Wyatt Sharp to stuff the Dragon attack on the ground. Cahron Williams, MaKyle Shepherd and Skylar Clawson were able to cover the Dragon receivers and they gave the Cougars another possession before the half.
This drive would be the Cahron Williams show. He took a short White pass and shrugged off Dragon defenders for a first down. He then made a spectacular diving catch on a tipped pass from White. A White, to Shepherd, to Williams double pass play saw the Cougars put up six more just before the half. Johnson nailed another kick and it was 27-13.
The Dragons breathed fire as the second half got under way. They returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown. That quickly Clinton had made it a one possession game and the Cougar momentum seemed to be shifting towards the Dragons.
The Cougar offense came back onto the field after Clinton once more failed to recover an onside kick. White spread the ball around again and the Cougars went marching into Clinton territory before seeming to bog down at the Clinton 17. With CCHS facing 4th and 4, White fired a dart to Mason Shanks for 6 yards, keeping the drive alive. It was Allen time again after that, with the junior blasting into the endzone for the 4th time on the evening. 34-20 Campbell County after Johnson made the extra point.
Clinton had another quick touchdown drive on it’s ensuing possession and it was 34-27 with 5 minutes remaining in the 3rd quarter. It looked like the first team to 50 might be who won the game. That wasn’t to be the case though. It suddenly became a battle of defense and punting.
Each offense had trouble accomplishing much over the next 15+ game minutes. Mason Shanks became a major weapon for the Cougars with his great ability to punt deep down the sidelines. He and Wyatt Sharp also began to terrorize the Clinton quarterback, following their defensive linemen and flushing him out of the pocket and recording sacks.
Clinton appeared to have a shot at points midway through the 4th quarter but Blake Taylor ran down the quarterback on a scramble and blasted the ball loose near the Cougar 10 yard line. Wyatt Sharp pounced on the football to end the scoring threat.
On a grinding run where he left Clinton defenders strewn about the field, CJ Allen limped off the field. His knee was initially diagnosed with a sprain pending an MRI. That meant he was done for the evening.
The Dragons put together one last drive. They cashed in a short touchdown with 50 seconds remaining. It was 34-33 and looking like overtime was imminent, but the extra point try was low and the Cougars blocked it. The Cougars were able to field the final onside kick and Hunter White kneeled in victory formation to end the game and Clinton’s two game winning streak.
The Cougars face the West Rebels next week. Their second game against a team ranked #1 in the state this season.