Cougars get an
elusive win over Indians
The Chewelah Cougars played the Colville Indians last Friday in the annual 395 showdown in Colville. The Cougars broke a recent string of losses to the Indians on this evening, coming away with an impressive 45-21 victory.
Turnovers in an opening game loss to Deer Park were costly to the Cougars, but on this night, Chewelah kept ahold of the ball and turned three Colville turnovers into key scoring drives.
Head coach Jim Fisk said that ball control was the focus in practice for the Cougars leading up to the game with their former Northeast A League rivals.
Chewelah took care of the ball against CHS
“We did a good job of taking care of opportunities and not putting the ball on the ground,” Fisk said.
Chewelah had a complete effort on both sides of the ball.
“The boys played well,” Fisk added. “They were very disciplined on defense and offensively we got more out of each possession.”
Leading that effort was QB/DB Derek Smith, who had 220 yards passing and 100 rushing. The quick-footed senior tossed three touchdown passes and ran for two more. He added an interception to complete a big night,
“He was on and hitting the open guy,” said Fisk, who added that there was more emphasis on Smith throwing the ball in practice leading up to the Colville game.
“He (Smith) did a good job of keeping his eyes downfield,” Fisk said. “I told him he couldn’t take off and run every time he dropped back to pass. He’s got some talented playmakers to get the ball to.”
What helped Smith throw the ball was the effort by Smith’s offensive line.
“The O-line, for the most part, did a great job protecting him,” Fisk added. “We only took one sack and that was for a minimal loss.”
On defense, the Cougars were able to limit the Colville offense most of the night and were able to get the ball back to the offense quickly.
Happy with defense
“The defense did a good job,” said Fisk. “They didn’t give up any big plays and made them earn everything they got on the ground. We forced Colville to punt more times than they have in the last five years.”
Ben Johnstone had 13 tackles to lead the Cougars, but he was freed up by the job done on the defensive line.
“The key was the guys up front; they attacked their gaps and caused a lot of penetration and confusion for Colville.”
The special teams were also singled out by Fisk for some praise.
“Our kickoff and kick return did an excellent job, and if Ty Curtis can keep kicking the ball 60 yards on the kickoffs, he’s doing fine by me.”
The Lakeside Eagles are coming up next for the Cougars in their first NEA match-up of the season. Coach Fisk thinks it will be an entertaining game.
“Lakeside will be a show…the ball will be in the air a lot,” Fisk promised. “It will be a donnybrook--that’s what I think.”
Game time on Friday at Nine Mile Falls is 7 p.m.
In the first quarter, Chewelah opened the scoring by converting an Indians’ fumble into a 42- yard touchdown drive. On this drive, a 17 yard completion to Caleb Wiebe on third and seven set the Cougars up with a first and goal at the Colville seven.
Cordell Bean scored on a run up the middle on the next play. The extra point was no good and the Cougars led 6-0 with 3:16 left in the first quarter.
After the kickoff, the Indians got the ball back at their own 25-yard-line and went on a nine play, 75-yard drive to retake the lead. The drive was capped on a 13-yard run by Colton Vining. The extra point was good and Chewelah trailed 7-6 with 8:45 left in the quarter.
The Cougars went back to work, starting their next drive at their 45-yard-line. It only took four plays before the Cougars scored on a 15-yard pass to Johnstone. With the two-point conversion, Chewelah led 14-7 with 6:58 left in the half.
Colville fumble leads to short Chewelah TD drive
Colville punted on their next possession and Chewelah took over at their 35-yard-line. On third and 10 at the 46, Bean took a short pass from Derek Smith 54 yards for a touchdown.T the extra point was blocked, but the Cougars led 20-7 at the end of the first half.
Colville fumbled the opening kick in the second half, giving Chewelah the ball at the 12-yard- line. It only took the Cougars two plays to extend their lead. Bean scored his third touchdown of the night with another seven-yard run. The kick was no good, but the Cougars held a commanding 26-7 lead with 11:14 left in the third quarter.
Colville punted on their next possession and Chewelah took over at their 23-yard-line and broke the game open four plays later on Smith’s weaving 65-yard touchdown run. The extra point was no good and the Cougars held a commanding 32-7 lead with seven-minutes left in the third quarter.
A 30-yard touchdown pass to Josh Hamilton from sophomore lefty quarterback Ben Knight in the third quarter and a 15-yard run by Bryan McFetridge in the fourth quarter cut the Chewelah lead to 32-21 with 10 minutes remaining in the game.
But the Cougars didn’t let up and went deep into the playbook on their the next series.
On fourth and five on their own 40, Chewelah went for the first down and completed a 19-yard pass to Caleb Wiebe to the Colville 41. On the next play, the Cougars ran a reverse to Wiebe for another 28 yards and finished off the drive with a 12-yard completion to Johnstone from Smith.
The two-point conversion try was no good and the Cougars led 38-21.
Any thoughts of a Colville comeback had effectively been thwarted on that key fourth down conversion and TD drive.
An interception by Smith on a tipped ball gave the Cougars the ball back at the Colville 44 and Chewelah promptly went for the end zone once again. A 42-yard completion to Wiebe put the ball on the Colville two and Smith capped the game with a two-yard run. The extra point was good and the Cougars would take home a 45-21 victory over the Indians.
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