By Ruthanne Morris
The Cougars visited King Field Monday afternoon and presented an offensive attack that proved to be too much for the Panthers to handle. Thomas Foster gave the Panthers good starting field position on the Haven 35, and the Panthers came out firing with a 17-yard completion from Ryan Morris to Raghib Boyer. Jon Morris paced the Panthers with solid running effort behind great blocking by the offensive line, and Foster pulled in another pass from Ryan Morris to move the sticks. The Panthers advanced to the Cougar 11 yard line but failed to put points on the board.
The Cougars took over and handed the ball to Jaden MacKenzie. With three touches, the Cougars were in the red zone. Steven Seal slammed their back for a 2-yard loss and the defense managed to hold for the next two plays, keeping Springfield off the board as well. Haven took over at their own 18 yard line.
Jon Morris again paced the offense, rushing for two consecutive first downs. Foster and Jon Morris continued to move the chains, getting Haven to the Cougar 25 yard line. Jon Morris added rushes of nine and four yards respectively, and Sean Daly notched another 5 yard gain, and the Panthers were inside the 10 yard line. The handoff went to Foster and Touchdown Thomas sprinted across the goal line. Haven led 6-0 after a failed two-point conversion attempt with 2:59 remaining in the 2Q.
MacKenzie returned the kickoff to Springfield’s 48 yard line, and the Cougars went to work on a short field. They used the short screen pass successfully to quickly progress to the Haven 29 yard line. With 1:09 on the clock, Springfield’s QB scrambled for 16 yards. MacKenzie got the next handoff and rushed up the middle for the touchdown. The QB keeper led to a successful 2-point conversion. The score at the end of the first half was Cougars 8 Panthers 6.
The Cougars again started the second half with a short field and steadily chipped away, primarily with the running game and short passes, completing the drive with a rushing TD from 4th down on the 1 yd line. Jon Morris thwarted the 2-point conversion. The Cougars led 14-6 with 3:24 remaining in the 3Q.
Haven’s next drive started off promising with a completion from Ryan Morris to Steven Seal, but on the next play the Cougars recovered a Haven fumble. Springfield capitalized the turnover and a Haven penalty, scoring again with 1:11 remaining in the 3Q. Cougars led 22-6.
The Panthers still had fight in them. The Panthers pulled off the halfback pass from Ryan Morris to Thomas Foster to Joe Healey. Jon Morris scored on the next play, rushing for 24 yards. The 2-point conversion was a completion from Ryan Morris to Daly. The Panthers were just one possession away from tying it up with the score at 22-14 and 9:35 on the clock.
But the Cougars answered back in a 5-play scoring drive. Billy Gaynor and Raghib Boyer put a stop on the 2-point conversion to keep it a two score differential at 28-14. But on the next possession, Ryan Morris was sacked in motion and fumbled the ball. Cougars recovered and took advantage of the turnover, scoring again with 3:09 on the clock. Cougars now led 34-14.
The Panthers did not quit. Foster and Seal were the targets of successful passes from Ryan Morris. Jon Morris and Sean Daly tacked on hard-fought rushing yards. Jon Morris got into the end zone for his second trip of the afternoon and the game ended with a Panther loss 34-20.