On Friday night, October 13th, the Varsity Cougar football team packed up and headed to Salem for an away game against the Glenvar Highlanders. After seeing the Junior Varsity (JV) team fall the night before, all eyes were on the Varsity team to see if history would repeat itself. It did not.
The first half of the game was underwhelming. The Cougars kicked off to the Highlanders after the coin toss and Glenvar was up and running. For the next 7 minutes, the Highlanders ate up the clock in a tug-of-war against the Cougars, including penalties, 1st downs, yard losses, and a called-back touchdown. Then, with about 5 minutes remaining on the clock in the first quarter, Glenvar was first to put points on the board in the form of a field goal. Just like that, the Cougars were trailing 0-3.
For the Cougars, the first quarter of the game would be a scoreless one, though Glenvar also fell short on putting additional points on the board. Neither team seemed to get any momentum going as the clock continued to run.
Then, with about 6 minutes remaining in the second quarter, Purcel Turner would put Alleghany on the board with a touchdown. Kicker Mason Hale then stepped up for the PAT, giving the Cougars a small lead over the Highlanders. The score was now 7-3 in favor of the Alleghany Cougars.
For the latter 6 minutes of game clock in the second quarter, neither team would earn any more points for the team. As nervous as fans were to see the game inching by, we can only imagine what it felt like for both teams on the sidelines.
Then it was halftime. It’s hard to discern what Coach Fields and his coaching staff said to the Cougars in the locker room, but the team seemed to play differently afterwards.
“The second half, I feel they played with a little more focus and hunger for that ‘W.’ They had fight before, but this was different. It was stronger somehow. The halftime pep talk must have been a good one!” Samantha Chapman said. Chapman has three boys on the team this year: Nathen and Evin Chapman, and Caleb Walden. “I know this was a big win for them,” Chapman continued. “Beating Glenvar has been on the agenda for a few years. I think I can speak for the whole community when I say how proud we are of them. They did such a great job and we’re all rooting for them!”
Rocky Persinger, Sarge Persinger’s father, echoed her sentiments. “The Cougars came together last night more than ever! Those boys dug deep after the [first] half and gave it everything they had and to each other to get the win. It was a very emotional win for all.” Persinger spoke with us prior to the face-off against Glenvar, noting it would be “a very special game for” his family. He’d shared that Sarge growing up in Salem playing alongside the very teenagers who quickly became his rivals this week when he put on the Cougar uniform.
The second half of the game opened up with Glenvar kicking off to Alleghany. Purcel Turner received the ball on the 5-yard-line and ran it in for an impressive 95-yard kickoff return. That seemed to be all the fuel they needed.
It was time for some Cougar defense. Glenvar received the ball on a bounce kick to the 25-yard-line which led to the Highlanders scrambling to the 41. Then they completed a pass to their receiver who was quickly taken down by Rocklynn Phillips. However, it was enough for a Highlanders first down. They had crossed midfield into Alleghany territory with the ball spotted on the Cougar 37-yard-line. A TFL by Nathen Chapman would take them back to the 41-yard-line, then Andrew Cole’s took them further back to the 44-yard-line. After a few more plays, the Highlanders were once again scoreless, and it was Alleghany ball.
After inching their way up the field, Des Jordan completed a pass to Purcel Turner that resulted in a 31-yard run and put the ball on the Glenvar 5-yard line. It was 1st and goal for the Cougars. Again, the ball went to Turner who ran in another touchdown. The extra point kick by Mason Hale was good and Alleghany had a solid 20-3 lead over Glenvar.
Afterwards, Glenvar slowly moved up the field, chewing up the clock until, eventually, they ran in their first —and only— touchdown. The extra point was good, and the Cougars led the Highlanders 20-10. That would be as close as the Highlanders would get.
During the 4th quarter, Glenvar was scoreless, while the Alleghany Cougars put up one final touchdown by Purcel Turner. The extra point kick was good, ending the game with an Alleghany victory of 27-10.
Offensive Player Stats
Des Jordan: 5/8, 105 yards, 8 rushes for 27 yards
Hunter Knighton: 3 rushes for 14 yards, 2 receptions for 10 yards
Purcel Turner: 5 rushes for 39 yards, 3 receptions for 81 yards, a 95-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, and 3 touchdowns
Neeko Jeter: 11 rushes for 98 yards, 1 TFL
Xzavier Hayslett: 1 reception for 32 yards
Defensive Player Stats:
Jay Godfrey: 4 tackles and 1 interception
Caleb Walden: 3 tackles
Hunter Knighton: 3 tackles
Gavin Via: 3 tackles
Rocklynn Phillips: 4 tackles
This page is available to subscribers. Click here to sign in or get access.