Cougars corner the Mavericks

10/30/08 (Thu)

Cougars corner the Mavericks

Stay alive with 36-7 victory


By Mary Hefta

CMC: 8 6 16 6 - 36

MLS: 7 0

0 0 - 7

Although the first seven minutes of Central McLean football seemed to be full of jitters, the Cougars, who hosted the Mohall- Lansford- Sherwood Mavericks in the second round of playoff in nine-man football action last Saturday in Turtle Lake, were able to bolster their confidence and take control of the game.

Central McLean played tough defense on the Maverick’s first possession of the game with huge tackles from junior linebackers Grant Singer and Ben Duben. Despite that great defense, however, the Cougars fumbled on their first series of downs and MLS took over at the Central McLean 48-yard line. MLS was able to create a few successful passing plays to keep the drive alive and put the first points on the board after a seven-yard rushing touchdown by Jake Rasmussen. The extra point was successful and the Mavericks led 7-0 with 5:37 left in the first quarter.

It took two more possession changes to get the Cougars on the board. Junior Ben Duben recovered an MLS fumble on the Maverick 24 yard line which set up a 27-yard run with just 27 seconds left in the first quarter. Singer also dove for the two-point conversion to lift Central McLean to an 8-6 lead at the end of the first quarter of play-off action.

Huge defense from Duben in the early minutes of the second quarter put the ball back in Cougar hands. Big yardage from both Singer and senior back Sam Hultberg set up first and goal, with Singer running seven yards for his second touchdown of the game. With 7:11 remaining in the half, the Cougars had the advantage, 14-7.

Neither team would score in the lingering minutes of the first half of play.

A recovered on-side kick from the Mavericks gave MLS good field position at the beginning of the second half. On a third and four situation for MLS, senior nose tackle Reed Hefta seized the quarterback for a four-yard loss. On the next down, the Mavericks fumbled the snap for a huge loss in yardage and were forced to punt.

Senior back Brandon Aldinger ran into a crowd on the punt return to give the Cougars good field position. Hultberg bulled into Maverick territory with a 20-yard run breaking several tackles. Singer finished off the drive with a 19-yard touch down run to up the Cougar lead 20-7. Senior quarterback Derek Isaak completed the two-point conversion pass to Aldinger to stay in control 22-7 with 8:18 left in the third quarter.

Although MLS was able to start with good field position on their next series of downs, Hefta and Singer stopped any ball movement on the ensuing MLS possession.

Hultberg and Singer kept the ball on the ground in the next series of downs for the Cougars; and Hultberg, in a first and goal situation, scuttled into the end zone for six points. Singer added the two-point conversion to raise the score 30-7 with 3:59 left in the third quarter.

In the fourth quarter, the Mavericks were unsuccessful at moving the ball. Junior defensive end Ryan Rauhauser and Hefta each picked up a sack for a loss to stop an MLS scoring threat.