By PAOLO GORME
News Sports Writer
The Cougars of Canoe started playoff contention this past Friday, Nov. 2. The temperature was about 47 degrees and it was perfect weather for football. The Coosa Valley Academy Rebels came to Canoe looking to defeat the Cougars to stay alive in the playoffs. They were not successful though, losing to EA 45-14. The Cougars played soundly on both sides of the ball and on special teams as well. The offense had 4 touchdowns, the defense had 2 interceptions, and the special teams had 2 touchdowns and a field goal.
EA kicked the ball off to Coosa Valley to start the game. Both teams were unsuccessful in their first offensive drives. Coosa Valley was stopped by EA near the 50-yard line and was forced to punt. EA’s Pat McGhee picked up the punt at the 15-yard line and dodged a number of would-be tacklers and took it all the way back to score the first touchdown of the night. A 2-point conversion was unsuccessful which made the score 6-0 with 7:25 left in the first.
EA attempted their first field goal try of the season from 32 yards out. Sam Martin drilled the kick through the uprights and made the score 9-0 with 52 seconds left in the first.
Jabe Dawe, to start the second quarter, picked off a pass and returned it to the Rebel 19-yard line with 9:35 on the clock. Shannon Wheat capitalized on the turnover and scored off a jet sweep around the right end from 11 yards out. Martin’s point after attempt was good and the score was 16-0 with the clock showing 8:41. Ten seconds go by and the Cougars retained offensive possession when Daughtry McGhee picked off a pass with one hand. Jason Davis was able to capitalize on Daughtry’s interception. Davis punched in a goal line fullback dive to add 6 to the score. Martin’s kick was good and the score was 23-0.
Coosa Valley was able to score off of a 48-yard passing touchdown right before halftime. Their 2-point conversion was unsuccessful and made the score 23-6. On the ensuing kickoff, Wheat fielded the kick at the 29-yard line and returned it all the way back for 6 points. Martin’s extra point try was good and the score was 30-6 at halftime.
Davis added another touchdown from 5 yards out to start the scoring in the second half. His score came at the 9:54 mark of the third. Chase Bell scored the 2-point conversion and the score was 38-6.
Brandon Gulsby scored the last touchdown for EA and it was at the 10:28 mark of the fourth quarter when he scored on an 8-yard run. Martin was good on the extra point try and the score was 45-6. Coosa Valley scored their second touchdown in the last minutes of the game with a 2-point conversion. The final score was 45-14.
Head Coach Hugh Fountain’s commended the offense as they ran the ball very well and the team’s effort.
The Cougars will host the Edgewood Academy Wildcats for the second round. The winner will go on to Troy to compete for the state title. Go, Cougars!