Mistakes take toll in 30-27 Cougar loss
A few small mistakes turned into a big problem for the Cougar varsity Friday night in a 30-27 loss to non-conference Rosman in the football home opener at E.L. Briggs Stadium.
The laundry list of momentum changing miscues was a long one for the young Cougars in their second outing of the 21012 season. Penalties at inopportune moments, botched snaps and turnovers cost Heritage a number of opportunities and helped put points on the scoreboard for the visiting Tigers who brought a good crowd of fans with them from Transylvania County.
The Cougars came out and grabbed a 7-0 in the first quarter when they mounted a 51 yard drive that was set up by a good kickoff return by Dalton Robinson. The drive was highlighted by a 4th down completion from junior Trevor Robinson to senior Austin Gardner. Robinson powered his way in for a nine yard touchdown on a keeper to put the Cougars on the scoreboard first. The Pat by Triston McCarty was true and Heritage led 7-0 early.
The Tigers exposed the young Cougar defense early. Rosman senior quarterback Duran Scruggs was difficult to contain. He scored on a 42 yard run off the option on the Tiger’s first possession to pull Rosman within a point at 7-6 with 5:16 remaining in the opening stanza.
On the Cougars second drive, a fumble by Heritage was recovered by the Tigers at the MHHS 38, setting Rosman up for a short scoring march that allowed them to take a 14-7 lead late in the first quarter.
But the Cougars did not roll over. Heritage knotted the score at 14-14 with a 69 yard drive engineered by Trevor Robinson. Robinson got the scoring drive off on the right foot with a 15 yard run on first down and he finished off the march with a 42 yard touchdown toss to Jake McClellan. McCarty’s boot put the Cougars right back in the hunt.
Rosman seized the momentum at the intermission when Scruggs again broke free on the option, this time bouncing off a pile of defenders at the line of scrimmage and out racing everyone 91 yards for the score that put the Tigers in front 20-14 at halftime.
The Cougar offense was on the move just before the half with a first down in Rosman territory when a high snap halted their progress and forced a punt on what could have been a go ahead scoring drive.
The huge Tiger offensive line continued to open holes for Rosman backs and QB Scruggs again made the Cougars pay when he made a great fake into the line with his fullback and pulled the football and ran 51 yards to the end zone to allow the tigers to double up the score on the Cougars 28-14 early in the third quarter.
The Cougars continued to play hard and cut into the Tiger lead with their next possession, going 52 yards in only three plays to score on another long TD run by Trevor Robinson, who had a hand in all four Cougar scores Friday night.
Robinson’s 38 yard keeper and McCarty kick trimmed the Tiger lead back to seven points with over half of the third quarter remaining to be played.
Early in the 4th quarter the Cougars were boxed up deep in their own end of the field when on 4th down a high snap sailed over the punters head and dribbled out of the end zone to score a safety for the Tigers, scoring two points that would come back to haunt Heritage.
Heritage used the majority of the remaining time on the 4th quarter clock to move down field and score to pull within three points on the scoreboard. Robinson continued to dazzle, this time hooking up with senior running back Lucas King on a pass play that covered 32 yards and kept the Cougar’s hopes of a come from behind victory alive.
But Rosman was able to recover the ensuing onsides kick and drain the remaining 1:49 off the clock to preserve the three point win and improve to 2-0 on the season.
The Cougars have an open date on their schedule this week and Coach Joey Robinson and his staff will use the time to get ready for rival North Buncombe on September 7 and the start of Western Highlands Conference play the following week.
Cougar Individual Stats vs Rosman
Trevor Robinson 7-85 yards, Drew Hoilman 7-51, Lucas King 9-30, Dalton Robinson 1-8, Colby Presnell 2-6
Trevor Robinson 10-23-0 for 142 yards
Jake McClellan 3-60, Lucas King 2-34, Austin Gardner 2-24, Zac Robinson 1-16, Drew Hoilman 1-2