Friday Night Lights rewind: Cougars mount another rally, Pleasant Hill field vandalized, Panthers score four defensive TDs
QUINCY — Call them the Comeback Cougars.
Two weeks in a row, the Highland football team has needed to erase a deficit to be able to head into Clarence Cannon Conference play with an unblemished record. Both times, the Cougars have figured out a way to get into the end zone.
Last Friday night, the Cougars trailed Scotland County 6-0 at halftime, but Brayden Logsdon and Brady Campen each scored in the second half to snare a 14-6 victory in their home opener. The week prior, Highland trailed 14-0 before coming back to win 32-26 at Putnam County.
This time, Logsdon got the comeback going with a big play. Midway through the third quarter, the senior quarterback ripped off a 77-yard touchdown run. Coupled with the two-point conversion, Highland went ahead 8-6.
The Cougars extended the lead to 14-6 when Campen, who had a critical 84-yard run to set up a touchdown in Week 1 against Putnam County, hauled in a 39-yard touchdown pass from Logsdon. Campen caught a swing pass into the left flat, got to the edge, picked up a downfield block and raced down the sideline for the touchdown.
Campen caught three passes for 62 yards, while Alex Oenning led the Cougars with 74 yards rushing on 14 carries. He also had an interception.
The Cougars’ reward for a 2-0 start is a trip to Lankford Field at Monroe City this Friday for the CCC opener. Monroe City is 2-0 following its 44-34 victory over Montgomery County.
Field vandalized at Pleasant Hill
An off-road vehicle trespassing on Pleasant Hill school district property was captured on security video left ruts in the Wolves’ football field after attempting to do donuts on the grass turf.
According to a Facebook post on the Pleasant Hill CUSD No. 3 page, the vehicle entered the school grounds by the bus barn at 3:10 a.m. Sunday, did donuts in the parking lot and then drove through a rope barrier and onto the football field. Two minutes later, the vehicle left the school grounds onto a nearby street.
The school district shared photos of the damage to the football field on its Facebook page.
The Wolves are scheduled to play at Greenfield-Northwestern this week before returning home for a Saturday afternoon game Sept. 16 against Carrollton.
Panthers score four defensive touchdowns
The Monroe City football team is just as dangerous on defense as it appears to be offensively.
In fact, the defense outscored the offense in last Friday’s 44-34 victory at Montgomery County.
The Panthers scored four defensive touchdowns, returning three interceptions and a fumble to improve to 2-0. It started with Trey Smyser returning an interception 40 yards for a score and Aiden Oswald taking a fumble return back 32 yards as part of a 24-6 burst to open the game.
The Wildcats closed within 24-20 before Dylan Ross ripped off a 39-yard touchdown to make it 30-20 with 8:08 remaining in the third quarter.
Two more pick-6s enabled the Panthers to hold onto the lead. Waylon DeGrave returned an interception 16 yards for a touchdown and a 36-20 lead with 9:54 remaining. Three plays and 47 seconds later, Montgomery County scored to make it a one-possession game again.
Yet, the Monroe City defense came up big. Ross returned an interception 47 yards for a score with 2:39 to go. Montgomery County scored one more touchdown with 1:25 to go, but the Panthers were able to run out the clock.
Long time between losses for Bombers
Last Friday night’s 48-30 loss to Knoxville marked the first regular-season loss for Macomb in exactly 700 days. The Bombers went undefeated in the regular season during the 2022 season, finishing 10-1 after becoming the first 10-win team in program history.
The last regular-season loss Macomb had suffered was a 22-18 setback at home against Elmwood-Brimfield on Oct. 1, 2021.
Tough sledding in Land of Lincoln
Of the 10 Illinois teams in the Muddy River Sports coverage area, six are winless through two weeks. At least one of those teams will earn its first victory this week as Unity-Payson plays host to Brown County at 7 p.m. Thursday.
Quote of the week
“Once he gets past the first level, there’s no telling what he’s going to do, but it usually turns out pretty good.” — Hannibal coach Jeff Gschwender on University of Notre Dame commit Aneyas Williams, who scored four touchdowns on 14 touches in a 42-21 victory against Jefferson City.
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