Central McLean gets season-opening win
Central McLean gets season-opening win The Central McLean Cougars, under the direction of co-head coaches, Keith Sunquist and Kevin Dockter, took to the road for their first game with a long trip to Mott last Tuesday. The Cougars would match up with the Mott-Regent Wildfire, defending nine-man state champions, for a beautiful night of high school football. Central McLean would receive the ball on the opening kickoff. Although there were some obvious first game jitters, the Cougars would score first on a sweep left by junior Grant Singer, which lead to an 81-yard touchdown run. The two-point conversion failed and the Cougars took the lead 6-0. In the second quarter, the Cougars would struggle a little with pass protection, but the defense managed to keep the Wildfire out of the end zone. Senior defender Brandon Aldinger would help in that cause with an interception at the 8:36 mark in the second quarter, giving the Cougars possession. Senior running back Sam Hultberg would have two big gains to keep the possession alive, however, Central McLean would have a fourth down and a long 22. Mott-Regent took over on downs, but junior Ben Duben would put tough pressure on the Wildfire quarterback. With 4:35 left in the half, the Cougars would take over on downs. Hultberg would once again get some good yardage that would first set up a fourth down measurement and then another Grant Singer touchdown. This time, a 69-yard run, with just 1:30 remaining in the half. The Cougars led 12-0 going into halftime. The Cougars would kick off after the break, and it wouldn’t take more than a few minutes for the Wildfire to put points on the board with an option pitch to the right. The Cougars’ lead would drop from 12 to six. Nevertheless, it didn’t take long for the Cougars to answer with an 84-yard kickoff return, again by Singer. This time the two-point conversion would be successful with a pass from junior quarterback Jordan Sundquist to fellow junior Brandon Bott. The Cougars would increase their lead 20-6. The Cougar defense controlled the Wildfire offense in the next series, holding them on a fourth and one situation. When Central McLean took over, once again on downs, Hultberg and Singer would move the ball to the Mott-Regent five-yard line. Singer would punch it in behind his offensive line and once again the two-point conversion was completed with a pass from Sundquist to junior Trevor Thomas. The Central McLean defense continued to wear down the Wildfire offense. With just over three minutes left in the third, Duben would sack the Wildfire quarterback for an 11-yard loss, thus stopping Mott-Regent’s scoring threat. At the end of the third quarter the Cougars were up 28-6.