It was the game of all games, and everything was on the line for the Alleghany Cougars. Since the merge, many of the AHS teams have stood undefeated: the Junior Varsity (JV) girls’ volleyball team and the Junior Varsity (JV) football team to name a few. Prior to Friday night’s game against the Radford Bobcats —who were recently named number one in the state— the Alleghany Cougar Varsity football team was among those who stood with a spotless record since the schools combined, leaving only the best of the best student athletes.
The first quarter of the game left both teams scoreless up until the final 2 ½ minutes remaining on the clock when Radford ran in the first touchdown of the game. Although they couldn’t capitalize on the extra point, they had early bragging rights against the Cougars and stood only to build their new momentum.
The Cougars, unable to gain their footing or gain more than a yard on their next carry, were quick to hand the ball back over to the Bobcats. In the third play of the Bobcats’ ball, they ran in another touchdown, this time going for the 2-point conversion. The conversion good, the Bobcats now had a strong 2 touchdown lead over the Cougars early in the second quarter of the game.
After a little back-and-forth between the teams, one of which led to yet another Bobcats touchdown, it seemed all was lost for the Cougars who were down 0-21 with less than a minute on the clock before halftime. However, with just seconds left on the clock in the second quarter, Des Jordan completed a 30-yard-pass to Hunter DePriest for Alleghany’s first touchdown of the game against Radford. The extra point would be blocked, but the Cougars were finally on the board.
Fans had to wonder what the coaches said in that locker room because when Alleghany came back on the field after the first half, they had a new fire in them! Early in the third quarter, Des Jordan completed an 8-yard touchdown pass to Purcel Turner who then ran in a 2-point conversion, separating the teams by one touchdown and leaving the score 14-21.
Radford was quick to answer back, scoring a touchdown on the second play of their carry and re-extending their lead to a 2-touchdown game. The score was now 14-28, but could the Cougars answer back?
The short answer is yes. On their first carry, Des Jordan completed a 58-yard touchdown pass to Purcel Turner and, once again, the Cougars went for —and successfully executed— another 2-point conversion, giving the Bobcats a mere 6-point lead over them, the score now being 22-28. However, this is as close as Alleghany would get to Radford.
Not once were the Cougars able to put any more points back on the board. However, the Bobcats would complete touchdown after touchdown, adding insult to injury for the boys in blue. The game, sadly, was a landmine of penalties for both teams. There were near-fights, flags for illegal touching, grounding, and —far worse— unsportsmanlike conduct, which ultimately resulted in a player being ejected from the game. Perhaps not surprising, maybe even to be expected, given that both teams had untarnished records on the line they wanted to preserve.
Regardless of the how or why, it’s probably a good thing that the Cougars will see a bye week next week. With that time, they can recuperate, learn from their mistakes, and come back stronger to face off against Carroll County in their next game, played right at home on Casey Field, at 7:00 p.m. on October 6th.
Andrew Cole: 7 tackles
Purcel Turner: 1 tackle, 34 rushing yards, 47 receiving yards, completed a 2-point conversion, caught an 8-yard touchdown pass, and caught a 58-yard touchdown pass
Neeko Jeter: 66 rushing yards, 25 receiving yards
Hunter Knighton: 6 rushing yards, 1 tackle, 1 tackle for a loss
Nate Chapman: 3 tackles, 2 tackles for losses, 1 sack, and a recovered fumble
Hayden Knighton: 3 tackles, 34 rushing yards
Gavin Via: 4 tackles
Hunter DePriest: 1 tackle, caught a 30-yard touchdown pass, and 2 rushes
Xzavier Hayslett: 60 receiving yards
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