Riders Fall to Cougars 18-20


Omar Olalde

Olivia Johnson

The Center High School Junior Varsity and Freshman teams combined  on September 27th to face the Grace Community Cougars on the Rider homefield. After a long, hard fight the Roughriders fell short with a score of 18-20.

¨I hate when we join teams,¨ Sophomore Hunter Rowland said, ¨if we lose we all blame each other.¨

Captains Sophomore Dreyvin Emerson, Freshman Makel Johnson, Sophomore Hunter Rowland and Junior Douglas Flournoy walked to the center of the field for the coin toss. The Riders lost the toss and started the game with a kick to the Cougars. The Rider defensive began strong with an impressive tackle by Sophomore Garren Dubea which prevented the Cougars from scoring with 5:37 left in the first quarter. Referees seemed to have worked against the Riders in the first half which led to many failed attempts for a Roughrider touchdown. The game moved slowly with a score of 0-0 at the end of the first quarter.

“My job is to make sure they dont get outside of me,” Sophomore rover Garren Dubea said, “if I see them coming I hit them as hard as I can.”

The defense began to slack in the second quarter. Cougars scored the very first touchdown of the game, which left the Riders behind 0-6. Nicholas Hurst gained a Rider first down by breaking through the Cougar defense 7 times. Riders began to gain ground which then lead to a touchdown pass by Johnson to Freshman Jason Calloway with 2:02 left in the first half.

Soon after the Rider touchdown, the Cougars made great offensive decisions leading to a touchdown, updating the score to 6-14. Rider offense kicked into gear with a 40 yard run by Chandler Jones. With pressure building in the Rider red zone, at the 1 yard line a bad snap lead to a fumbled ball leaving the Riders behind 6-14 at the end of the half.

“It feels horrible when one play changes the whole game,” Freshman quarterback Makel Johnson said, “ we have to recover and make up for every bad play.”

The Riders received the kick from the Cougars at the start of the second half. Hurst returned the kick with a run which brought the ball back to the Rider 30 yard line. Calloway kept the momentum going by receiving a pass and breaking multiple tackles to gain a first down. Johnson followed this play with a run to the left side for a Roughrider touchdown. The offense went for a two point conversion and failed. The game marched on with a score of 12-14 with 3:21 left in the 3rd quarter.

Rider defense blocked many attempts made by the Cougars. Calloway received the turnover kick and had a great run which brought the ball into scoring position. The offensive line worked hard in front of Johnson which gave him room to score a touchdown. The score was 18-14 going into the final quarter.

“As I am running down the field and feel someone gaining on me,”Freshman receiver Jason Calloway said, “I keep my eyes forward and don’t look back.”

The final stretch of the game made it easy to tell both teams were hitting their peak and beginning to tire. With 2:05 left in the game, the Cougar offensive dug deep and pushed through the defensive line to score. The Riders now trailed behind with a score of 18-20.

Rider offense fought back with all they had. After an incomplete 40 yard pass, the Riders couldn’t seem to get it right. The Riders only had 10 yards to go and failed multiple times in their attempts for a touchdown. The game ended with a Rider loss of 18-20.

The Junior Varsity and Freshman teams will face Brownsboro on October 4th starting at 5:00 at the Brownsboro home field.