On Friday night, October 27, the Alleghany Cougars Varsity football team laced up their cleats and headed nearly an hour out of town to Buchanan to play against the James River Knights. To say the game was a blowout would be an understatement. The Alleghany Cougars attacked early and never let off the brakes!
James River got the ball first but was unable to make any ground with it. That would prove to be a running theme which would chase the Knights throughout the game. The Cougars held the Knights at 3rd and 19, forcing them to punt the ball to their opponent just minutes into the game. Once the Cougars gained possession midfield following the punt, they were able to capitalize on the field position. Quarterback Des Jordan completed a 9-yard pass to Hunter Knighton followed by a complete pass to Neeko Jordan for a gain of 22. Alleghany was suddenly on the board after Purcel Turner rushed for 5 yards, giving the Cougars their first of many touchdowns.
The Cougars would then kick the ball off to the Knights, giving their opponent their second possession of the night. However, it wouldn’t last long. Out of nowhere it seemed, the Knights fumbled the ball and Gavin Via recovered it, returning it for a second Cougar touchdown. Although the first kick by Mason Hale was good, the second was blocked by the Knights. It would bring the score up to 13-0 in favor of Alleghany.
For the next several plays during the Knights’ possession, the Cougars would prove just how unstoppable their defense was. 1st and 10, Caleb Walden tackled for no gain on the play. 2nd and 10, Nathen Chapman got the tackle for no gain on the play. 3rd and 10, Hunter DePriest got a TFL, backing the Knights up to 4th and 11. One barely had time to take a sip from their water bottle before the Alleghany offense was back on the field.
After a series of false starts during the Cougars’ second possession of the game, they were facing a 1st and 20. However, if fans have learned anything about the Cougar offense, it’s that it’s just as strong as the Cougar defense. The 20 yards seemed not to phase them. Quarterback Des Jordan first passed the ball to Hunter Knighton, gaining 9 yards on the play. Then, it was a rush by Gavin Via for 21 yards, securing an Alleghany Cougars first down. However, just as the Cougars charged down the field toward the goal line, their progress was interrupted by a James River interception.
The faux pas wouldn’t slow down the Alleghany defense, much to the dismay of the James River Knights who were unable to capitalize on the turnover. Soon, Alleghany would have the ball in-hand again, ready to finish what they started. They were successful. They quickly moved up the field, completing one pass after another until Purcel Turner was back in the endzone. Mason Hale then faked an extra point kick and the Cougars successfully pulled off a 2-point conversion, making the score 21-0 in their favor.
While the rest of night went over extremely well for the Alleghany Cougars, it is worth noting the entire game wasn’t all fun and touchdowns. In the first half of the game, players Neeko Jeter and Nathen Chapman collided while on defense; an attempt to take down the same James River player. The stadium lay completely silent as James River and Alleghany players hit their knees for their teammates, all hoping for the same outcome: the players would get up on their own and exit the field on their own. Moments later, those prayers were answered. Later, they were both back on the field, seemingly unphased by it. A James River player was also hurt later in the game, but he, too, was able to exit the field on his own. As far as injuries go, it is the best fans and parents can hope for to see players exit on their own accord.
Getting back to the game, this back-and-forth between Alleghany and James River went on much the same way for the remainder of the game, with the Knights never getting the game off the ground while Alleghany scored touchdown after touchdown. In the end, the Cougars shut out James River 57-0.
The last game of the regular season will occur Friday night, November 3rd, at 7 p.m. on Casey Field. Fans, you are encouraged to throw on your paw-prints and roaring cougar shirts and come out to support this incredible team now sporting an impressive 8-1 record!
Gavin Via: 3 rushes for 37 yards, 1 rush TD, 1 tackle, 1 fumble recovery for a TD, and 2 TFL’s
Neeko Jeter: 5 rushes for 32 yards, 1 rush TD, 1 reception for 22 yards, a half sack, and 1 tackle
Caleb Walden: 2 tackles, 2 TFL’s, 1 sack, and multiple assists
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