It came down to one point. One point for the Clovis High Cougars against the Turlock High Bulldogs last Friday night. One kick, one extra point, and the outcome could’ve been different most believe.
Clovis High Home Opener pic.twitter.com/EZNUCAIk5x
— Nick (@thenickamp) September 4, 2017
The Cougars battled against the Bulldogs all night, as they attempted to erase the two interceptions that were taken back for touchdowns thrown by senior quarterback Payton Mayer in the first half. One interception was taken back 95 yards demoralizing the Cougars offense early.
But the Cougars stayed in the game. They continued battling; mainly due to the Cougars defense who shut out the opposing offense for the second week in a row.
The Blue Flu (the nickname of Cougars defense) held the Bulldog offense to a little under 300 total yards, and a fumble, which happened late in the first half, giving a surge to the Cougars offense who scored late in the second quarter entering halftime down by a touchdown.
Despite the strong outing by the defense, it was the Cougars offense who faced the most adversity, hurting themselves more than the Bulldog’s defense did.
The Cougars offense looked timid at the beginning with senior tight end Colton Byrd dropping the opening pass which looked like it had the potential to be a big play.
But Byrd wasn’t the only person to fault for the offense’s struggle. There were multiple drops from receivers throughout the night and many aired passes.
The Cougars offensive- line struggled opening up running lanes for senior running back Cole Roberts, who had to make his own lanes and continuously fought to gain yards. With the edge pressure being added throughout the night, Mayer ended up scrambling and taking late hits in the pocket more than he had hoped.
Penalties also affected the Cougars tremendously, pushing them out of the red zone and good scoring position. At one point, the Cougars offense was on the Bulldog’s ten-yard line; but with consecutive holding penalties, they found themselves backed up on the fifty-yard line.
That’s not all. The Cougars had to battle injuries all night as most of the players battled cramps and bumps and bruises.
With all that adversity, the Cougars fought back. The Cougars defense stopped the Bulldog offense late forcing them to punt. The Bulldogs wanted to push the Cougars offense deep into their own territory but shanked the punt putting the Cougars offense on the Bulldogs thirty- yard line.
Four plays into the Cougars offensive series, Mayer found Roberts streaking up the middle putting them on the two-yard line with the additional yards given to a facemask penalty by the Bulldogs.
Mayer then rolled out to his right after a play fake to junior Matthew Sanchez and hit Roberts again for a two-yard touchdown pass putting the Cougars down 14-13. The ensuing extra point by senior Corey Arcelus was blocked.
The Cougars attempted an onside kick but failed to convert giving the Bulldogs the 14-13 win.
The Cougars had battled all night but came up short due to the multiple mistakes converted by the offense.
The Cougars showed toughness, character, and heart. With this loss, the Cougars are going to enter this next week with a chip on their shoulder as they prepare to take on the BullardHigh Knights this Friday at McLane High School.
📺: KFRE Ch. 59 pic.twitter.com/OX2L87e1K2
— Clovis Football (@ClovisFootball) September 8, 2017