The Chewelah Cougars (1-7, 1-4) went into last Friday’s Northeast A League football game with Newport expecting a more competitive game. While the Cougars trailed 7-6 after three quarters, two fourth quarter touchdowns sent Chewelah to a 21-6 defeat.
The Cougars started a new backfield in this game. Chewelah was without injured quarterback Blake Owens and running back Scott Stumpf.
Quarterback McKenzie Miller and running backs Stephen Beamer and Tory McKern picked up the slack, but the Cougars couldn’t find the end zone.
“Beamer ran pretty hard,” head coach Jim Fisk said. “He is young and learning, McKern did a nice job when he had opportunities.
“It came down to some big plays…they had a couple of big plays and converted them into scores. We had some opportunities, but we just couldn’t connect.”
The effort was there from all the Cougars, as usual, but the penalties and turnovers were hard to overcome by the offense.
“Those kinds of things with a young team are killers because young football teams aren’t strong enough to overcome that kind of stuff,” Fisk said.
The defense played well for the first three quarters, but the bigger, more experienced Newport offense eventually wore down the Chewelah defenders.
“They kind of exposed our young linebackers a little bit by running right at them,” Fisk said. “They’re doing the best they can, but they’re not old enough or strong enough to have them run at play in and play out.”
As expected, the game was a low scoring affair. After a scoreless first quarter, a good punt return set up the Grizzlies at the Chewelah 40-yard- line. It took Newport 2:45 to go the 40 yards to the end zone on a four- yard run by Ryan Rapp. With the extra point, Newport led 7-0 with seven-minutes remaining in the half.
The Cougars got on the scoreboard with their first possession of the second half. Chewelah took the opening kickoff at their own 47- yard-line and quickly moved downfield. Capping the scoring drive was McKenzie Miller, who ran in the ball from eight yards out.
The extra point was no good and the Cougars had cut the Grizzlies’ lead to 7-6.
The score would stay at 7-6 until early in the fourth quarter when Tristen Cutshall capped a 68-yard drive with a three-yard run. The extra point made it 14-6 with 11:10 left in the game.
The Chewelah offense went nowhere on their next drive and had to punt. A good bounce put Newport at their own 15, but the rundown Chewelah defense was unable to force the Grizzlies to punt and Newport proceeded to drive 85 yards for the game-clinching touchdown
With 3:39 left in the game, Cutshall took the ball in from one- yard out and the extra point made it 21-6.
Carter Schultz led the Grizzlies on offense, rushing for 134 yards on 21 carries and catching three passes for 62 yards.
The Chewelah leader was a little harder to quantify on the stat sheet, but on film, Dustin Olson had another great game for Chewelah, according to his coach.
“Dustin played a heck of a game,” Fisk said. “He played his heart out.”
This week the Cougars travel to Riverside (6-2, 4-1) to play the Rams. . Riverside is currently in second place in the NEA after a wild 32-29 win at Lakeside last week. Game time is 7 p.m.
New 0 7 0 14--21
Chew 0 0 6 0-- 6
New-Rapp 4 run (Young kick)
Che-Miller 8 run (kick failed)
New-Cutshall 3 run (Young kick)
New-Cutshall 1 run (Young kick)