Troopers edge by Cougars
By Suzanne Werre
The Cougars of Central McLean were anticipating a lot of passing Friday night at Garrison when they traveled north to take on the Troopers. That’s pretty much what Trooper coach Jason Mattheis was hoping when his Troopers took to the gridiron. What the Cougars got was more running than passing as the Troopers turned back the Cougars in a hard-fought game by the score of 12-6.
The Troopers struck first late in the first quarter when quarterback Noah Sloke connected with Gabe Lissella for a 38-yd touchdown pass. The point-after attempt failed, giving the Troopers a 6-0 lead going into the second stanza.
The Cougars answered with 8:42 on the clock the second quarter, when junior running back Wyatt Wilson rumbled through the middle of the scrum to the end zone, scoring from two yards out. The Cougars’ PAT attempt failed, sending the teams into half-time knotted at 6.
The Troopers would score again just a couple minutes into the second half when Nick Stiefel sauntered down the left side of the field 18 yards for the score, giving the Troopers what would be the winning score as they went up 12-6.
After driving toward the end zone late in the game, the Cougars’ drive was cut short when Wilson fumbled the ball, which was picked up by the Troopers. Just a few plays later, there would be what could be considered a controversial non-measurement when the Troopers were still deep in their own territory on third down. From the sidelines, many on the Cougar sidelines thought the Troopers were short in their first-down attempt, but the referees indicated first down, to the chagrin of the Cougar coaching staff, particularly defensive coach Kevin Dockter, who repeatedly asked for a measurement.
The play went on without a measurement, and the Troopers were able to play out the clock.