Middle school Cougars on 3-game winning streak

By Stephen Henderson
The Patrick County Middle School football team has won three of its last four games, defeating Floyd 14-8, Laurel Park 12-6 and Fieldale-Collinsville 22-14. They lost the season opener to George Washington of Danville 40-8.
The MS Cougars are coached by Nathan Keen with Brad Dalton, Frank Pettway, and Eric Bolt as assistants.
“We have emphasized defense over anything else,” said Coach Keen. “We have started every practice with tackling drills and always practice defense first.”
The team plays a 5-3 defense; their highest priority is stopping the opponent’s running game. The anchors of the defense are middle linebacker Carson Merriman and defensive ends Jonathan Pell and Lane Taylor.
“These three guys are all big, strong defenders who make it very tough to run on us,” Keen said. “In the secondary, safeties DaeShawn Penn and Johny Crowell along with corner Chris Drewery have all come up with key interceptions,” he said.
On offense the MS Cougars are a ball-control power running team. “We run a Wildcat-style offense with our QB DaeShawn Penn as one of our two primary ball carriers along with our FB Carson Merriman,” he said. “These guys are not a ‘thunder and lightning’ duo—they are a ‘thunder and more thunder’ duo. Both are big, strong, tough runners who will lower their shoulders and run over defenders as well as push a pile of defenders 10-15 yards down the field,” Keen said.
The team travels to Halifax September 21, and Martinsville September 28. Their final home game is October 6, against Franklin County starting at 5 p.m.

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