The Patrick County Cougars fell to the Glenvar Highlanders, 41-21, on October 6th.
Coming into the game, Glenvar had outscored their opponents 161-73 over their first five games. Their only loss was to Radford the previous week.
“You know you know exactly what they’re capable of coming in. They played a really tough Radford team last week,” said Cougar Head Coach David Morrison. “This is just a very well coached team, very well prepared and what they do, they do very, very well, so they have the ability to put up a lot of points. And defensively, they’re a very tough team.”
It was the Cougar defense making big plays early in the game. Following a Cougar punt, Glenvar went to the air on their first offensive play. Jay Howard read the play and intercepted the pass after batting the ball with one hand and catching it before it hit the turf.
After going three-and-out, the Cougars punted, and once again the defense stepped up with Stephen Spencer picking off the Glenvar pass. The following Patrick County drive stalled, forcing a 45-yard field goal attempt, which came up just short of the mark.
Taking over in their own territory, Glenvar marched down field for the opening touchdown, taking a 7-0 lead in the second quarter.
The Cougars were forced to punt on their next possession, but a Glenvar roughing the kicker penalty gave Patrick County the first down. Four plays later, the Cougars punted again. This time, Cougar special teams pounced on a mishandled catch by the Glenvar returner, giving them the ball back just inside Glenvar territory.
After picking off a Cougar pass attempt, the Highlander offense got into high gear, scoring on their next several possessions, taking a 35-0 lead into the fourth quarter.
In the fourth, the Cougar offense got a boost. Forced to go for it on fourth down, Patrick County got new life and a first down following an unsportsmanlike conduct, fifteen-yard penalty on Glenvar. Aden Penn and the offensive line capitalized on the Glenvar miscue. Penn dashed through the line, breaking several tackles, rushing 40 yards for the Cougar touchdown.
Following a failed onside kick attempt by the Cougars, Glenvar scored on a 51-yard run. With their extra point attempt no-good, Glenvar led 41-7.
Following the Glenvar kickoff, the Cougar offensive line provided solid blocking, springing Aden Penn for a 64-yard touchdown run. Penn finished the game with 131 yards on 15 carries and two touchdowns.
“Aden played a really good game,” said Coach Morrison. “The offensive line started opening up some holes for him. That’s big. Without your O-line, you don’t have a chance offensively. That’s something we have to hang our hats on is better offensive line play.”
With little time left in the game, a Glenvar punt pinned the Cougars up against their own goal line. Starting on the one-yard line, they moved the ball out of danger, crossing midfield with seconds left. Cougar quarterback Avone Kidd threw a long pass to Jermaine Penn for a 45-yard touchdown as time expired. With the Reyli Martinez-Tejeda extra point, the final score was 41-21.
Offensively, the Cougars struggled to take advantage of early turnovers created by the defense.
“We put ourselves in a pretty good position in the first quarter. We just couldn’t put enough stuff together. It seemed like we couldn’t string three plays together. It would be two decent plays and one negative one,” said Coach Morrison.
On defense, the Cougars were led by Jay Howard, who in addition to his interception, had nine tackles. Paul Pascale chipped in six tackles.
The Cougars will host the #1 ranked 2A team in the state, Radford, at 7 p.m. on October 13.