Patriots rally past Cougars

Stephanie King

It was a battle of cross-county opponents on Friday the 13th as the Southwestern Randolph Cougars hosted the Providence Grove Patriots. Southwestern Randolph entered the game 1-2 on the season, while Providence Grove came in at 2-1.

The first quarter of play was rough for both teams as neither could string together enough plays to make it into the end zone. Providence Grove received the ball to start the game but soon had to punt the ball away on fourth down. Southwestern Randolph did not fair much better as they turned the ball over on downs after their first drive. The Patriots found a rhythm and got the ball into scoring territory before Bryson Reid picked off a pass for the Cougars. Southwestern Randolph had the ball the rest of the quarter. After one complete quarter, the game was still tied at zero.

Southwestern Randolph could not get anything going at the start of the second quarter and punted the ball on fourth down. The Patriots suffered the same fate on their next drive. After fielding the punt by the Patriots, Elijah Reza connected with Luke Hall for an 85-yard touchdown pass, but flags on the play went against the Cougars bring the ball back. Soon after the Cougars would the ball on fourth down. The next three drives would in punts as neither team could advance the ball up the field.

The Cougars had a breakthrough on their next drive when Reza found Braxton Davis for a 50-yard touchdown pass with 2:55 left on the clock. The extra point was good giving the Cougars a 7-0 lead. The Patriots went to the air on their next drive as Luke Thomas helped get them inside the Cougars’ twenty-yard line. Most of the yardage picked up by the Patriots came on a 42-yard pass from Thomas to Caleb Rogers. Providence Grove could not find the end zone as they turned the ball over inside the Cougars’ twenty. Southwestern Randolph ran out the clock to take a 7-0 halftime lead.

Southwestern Randolph was set to receive the ball at the start of the third quarter, but the Patriots recovered their own kick. Providence Grove picked up a few yards before fumbling the ball and allowing the Cougars to recover. The Cougars got some free yardage moments later when back to back penalties were called on the Patriots. Unfortunately, the Cougars could not capitalize on the good field position and were forced to punt the ball. The Patriots took over and soon found themselves in the end zone on a 78-yard touchdown pass from Thomas to Rogers. The two-point conversion attempt was no good as the Patriots trailed 7-6. Neither team would score the rest of the quarter. After three complete quarters, Southwestern Randolph held a narrow 7-6 lead.

Providence Grove opened the fourth quarter deep on their own side of the field but needed only one play to find the end zone. Thomas connected with Jacob Marcrum for a 96-yard touchdown. The Patriots tried for the two-point conversion once again but were stopped short of the goal line. The Cougars went to work moving the ball up the field. The Cougars picked up a first down on a nifty play that saw Reza complete a pass to Reid who then tossed a lateral to Mason Cross. Reza connected with Reid again moments later to put the Cougars at the one-yard line on the Patriots’ side of the field. It took a couple of plays but Reza ran the one-yard in for the touchdown giving the Cougars a 13-12 lead. The two-point conversion attempt was no good by the Cougars as they led with 9:33 remaining.

On the ensuing kickoff, Questin Overman returned the kick 70+ yards to give the Patriots excellent field position. Providence Grove could not get the ball in the end zone but managed to kick a field goal to take a 15-13 lead over the Cougars. Davis took charge on the Cougars next possession picking up yards both on the ground and through the air. He capped off the drive with a four-yard touchdown run. The two-point conversion attempt by the Cougars was no good as they led 19-15. With not much time left on the clock, Providence Grove knew they had to score on their next drive if they wanted to win. The Patriots picked up three straight first downs before Rogers scored on a six-yard run. The extra point was good giving the Patriots a 22-19 lead. Southwestern Randolph tried to find the end zone once more and even got into scoring territory, but eventually turned the ball over on fourth down. Providence Grove ran out the clock to take the win 22-19 over the Cougars.

Providence Grove Stats:

PG Rushing (34 Rushes – 90 yds)
Caleb Rogers – 22 Carries – 50 yds (1 TD)
Travis Boone – 4 Carries – 16 yds
Luke Thomas – 3 Carries – 16 yds
Mason Collins – 2 – 9 yds
PG Passing
Luke Thomas – 15 – 28 – 1 for 330 yds – (2 TDs)
PG Receiving
Jacob Marcrum – 6 catches – 174 yds (1 TD)
Caleb Rogers – 3 catches – 118 yds (1 TD)
Questin Overman – 4 catches – 19 yds
Cam Way – 1 catch – 15 yds
Travis Boone – 2 catches – 11 yds
Mason Collins – 1 catch – 10 yds

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