Cougars Showing Potential

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Cougars Showing Potential

Bishop Van Buren, Sports Editor

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The Cougars sit at an even 2-2 after dropping their District Opener to the Magnolia West Mustangs and then bouncing back and beating the Caney Creek Panthers in the THS Homecoming Game. They then followed this sequence by beating the Waller Bulldogs and then most recently losing to Lufkin in the week following. It’s been a rocky season so far, with a lot of good being shown in their first three games along with a fair share of mistakes, however the Cougars have shown a lot of potential as we gear up for a tough stretch in the schedule.

The Cougar’s loss to the Magnolia West Mustangs in the District Opener came by a score of 42-31. It was a very back and forth clash between the Cougars and Mustangs, with the Cougars holding the lead entering the 4th Quarter, however unable to come up with big defensive stops when necessary, allowing the Mustangs to score 3 touchdowns in the final quarter and steal the win.

“We were pretty disheartened as a team after that loss,” said Cornerback Adam Terrel. “But we looked at it as an opportunity to get better too, so we made sure to capitalize on that opportunity.”

The Homecoming game was a much different story, with the Cougars playing at a high level throughout the entirety of the game and beating the Panthers by a score of 41-19. Perhaps the biggest takeaway from the Cougars first win of the season is their success when it comes to creating turnovers on defense. This is especially seen in terms of poking the ball out and creating fumbles, with the Cougars causing three fumbles while the Panthers could only come up with one turnover. 

“We’re always happy when we can successfully create turnovers,” said Cornerback Bryce Robinson. “They’re important because we give the ball to the offense allowing them another opportunity to score.”

Along with their success in creating turnovers, the win over the Panthers was largely in part to an excellent game by Quarterback Hunter Dunn. Dunn threw for 305 passing yards and 4 touchdowns, all while maintaining a solid 77.8% completion percentage. 

“He looked really good,” said Wide Receiver Demond Demas. “He’s really showing that he’s got what it takes to be a college level Quarterback.”

The Cougars then traveled to Waller to take on the Bulldogs last Friday and successfully left with another win (30-21) under their belt. The Cougars took care of business against the Bulldogs, having the lead for the entirety of the game. However, what’s more impressive than the win is the resiliency of the team as they faced adversity. Not only did the Cougars have to battle a sold out crowd in Waller ISD’s State-of-the-Art Football stadium due to this being their Homecoming game, but also had to deal with the first cold front of the season. Just one look to the stands and you would see the effect the unexpectedly chilly temperatures had, with many fans huddling in bunches or wrapped in blankets. However, none of the aforementioned problems seemed to bother the Cougars, as they showed their ability to handle adversity and still come out on top.

Unfortunately, The Cougars were not able to best the first place Lufkin Panthers last week, losing by a score of 55-22. This loss did not sting nearly as much as the district opening loss to Mag West due to the impressive reputation Lufkin has created the past few years as a very successful football program. Now sitting at 2-2, the cougars are tied for 4th place with Magnolia High School, a very coveted spot knowing the top four teams in the district are the teams that earn a playoff spot. As it so happens, the Cougars will be traveling to Magnolia High School to take on the Bulldogs this friday as both teams try to be the lone team in fourth place. 

“This is a very important game for us,” Punter Joseph Ripley said, “We’re relatively evenly matched and were both fighting for that playoff spot. We all know what’s at stake, and were all ready to step up to the challenge.”

The Cougars will look to build upon their success and learn from their mistakes and they journey deeper into District Season. Make sure to check out the Cougar Claw website for news and analysis as we root on our Cougars all season.

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