Penalties prove costly as Cowboys suffer big loss to Cougars

by: PHOTO COURTESY OF DOUG SMITH - Aaron Swindle runs the ball behind the block of Jason Williams. The Cowboys suffered their first loss of the season as they fell 31-12 to the Cascade Cougars Friday night.

It should have been closer.
   Friday night the Cascade Cougars ran past the Crook County Cowboys 31-12 in non-league football action, leaving the Cowboys to wonder what might have been.
   “They didn’t do anything fancy,” Crook County head coach Ryan Cochran said. “They ran it down our throats. Then ran some draw plays and threw the ball over the top.”
   The Cougars scored the first two touchdowns of the game. However, Crook County battled back. Joe Saenz hit Aaron Swindle on a 10 yard touchdown pass late in the first quarter and the Cowboys trailed 13-6.
   That’s how the game stayed until late in the second quarter.
   “We were shocked a little bit by their size,” Cochran said. “We didn’t play as hard as we should have in the first half, but even as sloppy as we played we still had chances to win the ballgame. We gave up a touchdown with 30 seconds left in the first half. It should have been 13-6, instead it was 19-6 and they had all the momentum.”
   The Cowboys gave up another touchdown in the third quarter to trail 25-6. Then the two teams played even in the fourth quarter, with each team scoring a touchdown. The final Cowboy score came on an eight yard Dean Smith run.
   Cochran was quick to add that the Cowboys had two touchdowns called back because of penalties. In addition the Cowboys had another scoring opportunity in the fourth quarter, but had a pass dropped in the end zone.
   “Both teams were heavily penalized,” Cochran said. “There was lots of yellow on the field. One of the touchdowns they called back was legit, but the other one was a little weak.”
   After gaining nearly 300 yards on the ground a week earlier against Henley, Crook County could only muster 228 total yards against Cascade. The team finished with 159 yards rushing and 69 passing yards. Meanwhile Cascade rushed for 232 yards while passing for 75.
   Marcus Greaves led the Cowboy attack with 45 yards on the ground, while Joe Saenz added 35, and Brandon Zemp finished with 33 yards.
   “We played a lot better in the second half, and we never quit,” Cochran said. “That’s a positive, but we have a lot to work on and we have to focus on getting better.”
   With the victory Cascade ran their record to 2-0 while the Cowboys fell to 1-1.
   Things don’t get any easier for Crook County this week when the team hosts The Dalles-Wahtonka Friday night in a 7 p.m. contest at Ward Rhoden Stadium.
   The Dalles-Wahtonka is also 1-1, but is coming off of a 31-6 victory over Benson.
   “They have some bigger boys up front and a quarterback that is extremely athletic,” Cochran said. “He’s not afraid to run the ball, but he can throw the ball well too. We have to be very disciplined on defense. We have a lot of things that we have to get better at.”
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