Cougars defeat J-Hawks 21-20
Two-point conversions in the fourth quarter decided the outcome of the Columbus-Joliet match-up, as the Cougars defeated the J-Hawks 21-20 at home on Oct. 7.
Down 14-13 in the fourth, senior EJ Daniels scored on a five-yard run for the Cougars. To make up for a missed extra-point kick in the second quarter, the Cougars went for the two-point conversion. Sophomore Dylan Raihl caught a pass from junior Eddie Foos, making it 21-14.
Joliet came right back, with senior quarterback Ty Olson completing a 37-yard pass to junior Taylor Rawlison, bringing the score within one point. The Cougars stopped the J-Hawks’ two-point conversion and smothered Joliet’s onside kick to win the game.
“It took everything we had to stave off Joliet,” Columbus head coach Blake Hoge said. “Both teams played well, but when the game was on the line, our guys stepped up to make plays and seal the victory.”
The Cougars gained 348 yards in the win, including 104 yards in the air on 8-of-15 passing by Foos and 244 total rushing yards. Joliet posted 284 offensive yards, including 121 in the air and 163 on the ground.
“Chuck Miller had a great game running the ball, averaging 7.4 yards a carry for 141 total yards, with EJ Daniels adding another 96 yards on the ground,” Hoge said. “Both backs would be quick to point out their success comes from the success of our offensive line. We’re getting some great blocking from our guys up front that allows us to be more effective on offense.”
Senior Jace Aumueller had three receptions for 53 yards, Raihl had two receptions for 27 yards, and Miller had one reception for 11 yards. The Cougars moved the chains on 8-of-13 third downs, compared to 3-of-9 for the J-Hawks.
“We’re still not perfect in our execution, but we do keep getting better every week,” Hoge said. “Ideally, we’ll be able to put all the pieces together and peak going into the final two games of the regular season.”
Each team turned over the ball with a fumble, and Foos threw two interceptions. Senior linebackers Cody Wegner and Erik Schmidt led the Cougars in tackles, with safeties Miller and Raihl close behind. Senior Connor Solomon rounded out the defensive leaders with two solo and seven assisted tackles.
“We’ve still got to do a better job minimizing big plays and making teams earn their points,” Hoge said.
The Cougars are now 2-0 in conference and 3-3 overall. Next up is a game in Big Timber against the 1-1 Herders on Friday, Oct. 14.
“We’re going to need to rest and heal up as we head to Big Timber for another tough conference game,” Hoge said. “Big Timber played particularly well against Roundup in their last game, and they’re always tough at home. We’ve got our work cut out for us this week.”
Columbus def. Joliet 21-20
Columbus 7 6 0 8 – 21
Joliet 0 7 7 6 – 20
C: EJ Daniels 3 yard run (Dylan Wyllie kick)
C: Chuck Miller 2 yard run (kick fails)
J: 3 yard run (kick good)
J: 42 yard run (kick good)
C: EJ Daniels 5 yard run (Dylan Raihl pass from Eddie Foos)
J: Taylor Rawlison 37 yard pass from Ty Olson (PAT failed)