Story & Photos
By Carl Holcomb
The Cougars sweltered in the 90-degree weather in Capon Bridge last Wednesday, but managed to rejuvenate in the second half for a 21-6 victory over the Bobcats.
East Hardy Early Middle School went down 6-0 on a pick six on the first series, then scored 21 unanswered points starting in the third quarter.
“We scored every time we had the ball and eliminated the mistakes and that’s what happened in the second half. The second half we played better, our line was getting around and our receivers were blocking. We stopped our penalties and everything worked out much better. Adjusting to the heat took some time.”
Capon Bridge’s Bobby Blomquist managed nine yards on three carries on the first possession with stops by Cougars Kollin Quarles, Austin Woodward, Dawson Price and Mason Miller which led to a punt.
[private] On second down from the five yard line, EHEMS quarterback Noah Lang threw an interception to Capon Bridge’s Cohen Mowery, who returned it for a touchdown (pick six) and the conversion failed at the 4:28 mark with the Bobcats up 6-nil.
Lang rushed into Capon Bridge territory for a first down at the 44-yard line, but the drive stalled with a holding call and false start and two plays later EHEMS punted.
Capon Bridge’s Cody Mongold made a huge run and was tackled by Mason Miller, but an offensive holding call moved the ball back to the 40-yard line and Blomquist added five yards close the quarter.
After an errant pass to begin the second quarter, Capon Bridge punted deep to the six yard line.
EHEMS’s Dylan Poling snatched a pitch from Lang and reached the 20-yard line, but a holding call negated the run and the ball was placed at the one yard line.
Lang got some breathing room for the Cougars on a five yard run.
Facing third down at the six, Poling carried a group of Bobcats to the 26-yard line for a first down.
Lang picked up four yards, then Mongold stripped the ball and Capon Bridge’s Blomquist recovered at the EHEMS 27.
After stops by EHEMS defenders Jake Whetzel, Miller and Gabe Henderson, the Bobcats fumbled on fourth down with Mason Miller making the recovery for the Cougars at the 30.
Lang raced for 18 yards for a first down, then added another keeper for 14 yards to reach the Capon Bridge 38-yard line.
David Slonaker recorded a sack on second down, then Price rushed for nine yards.
Lang picked up a first down on a six yard run to the 25-yard line.
The Cougars momentum came to a crashing halt as Capon Bridge’s Hunter Wilfong intercepted the ball at the five yard line and returned it 40 yards to the 45-yard line.
Slonaker made a 19-yard run to the EHEMS 36-yard line and was tackled by Henderson and Lang.
Quarles sacked Wilfong to end the first half with the Bobcats ahead 6-0.
The Cougars scored in less than three minutes on a nine play drive starting at their own 31-yard line.
Price rushed for ten yards, then added a 13-yard carry before a false start.
Mason Miller broke free from tackle attempts before being brought down by Brock Welty on 13-yard run.
EHEMS got a first down at the 25-yard line on a keeper by Lang.
Price headed toward the sideline on the next play and Miller made a huge block to enable a 21-yard gain down to the four yard line where Welty made this stop.
Miller added three yards, then Lang was denied at the goal line by Jacob Staub and Blomquist.
Lang fumbled the snap, but recovered and dove into the end zone for the game-tying touchdown at the 2:22 mark, then the Cougars took an 8-6 edge on a conversion by Price.
Capon Bridge fumbled on the first play of the next possession and Miller recovered the ball for EHEMS at the Bobcats 43-yard line.
Lang rushed for nine yards, then a touchdown scoring run by Miller was negated on a holding penalty.
Price picked up five yards to the 37-yard line, then Lang added four yards to setup fourth down and inches.
Price rushed to the outside and garnered the first down at the 16-yard line with the ball fumbling out of bounds.
A bad pitch dropped the Cougars back eight yards, then Capon Bridge was called offsides.
Miller made a carry for 14 yards for a first down at the five yard line to close the third quarter.
Miller reached the three yard line, then Price was tackled for a loss at the 10-yard line by Blomquist.
Slonaker sacked Lang at the 20-yard line to force a fourth down situation.
Miller made a catch and the Bobcats were penalized for roughing the quarterback which gave an automatic first down at the eight yard line.
Two plays later, EHEMS scored on a three yard touchdown catch by Josh Hahn from Lang with 5:05 remaining to go up 14-6.
Miller made a sack for a ten yard loss on third down which forced a Capon Bridge punt from the 10-yard line.
EHEMS started possession at the Bobcats 41-yard line with 2:38 left.
Poling dodged tackles before being forced out after a 36-yard run by Stephen Leonard at the five yard line.
Miller added one yard, then Lang punched the ball in for a touchdown from four yards out with 1:35 to go and Woodward made the extra point for a 21-6 final advantage.
Capon Bridge got a huge return by Slonaker with Woodward making the stop at the EHEMS 37-yard line.
The Bobcats managed a few short runs to end the game with the last tackle coming from EHEMS’s Jake Whetzel.
EHEMS improved to 3-2 on the season and will host Pendleton County tonight.