The Cascade football team kicked off its season Aug. 30 with a road loss to rival Monticello, 14-7.

“We came into the first game of the year with some very experienced players,” Tim Frake, head coach of Cascade said. “There was some good things, but many things to work on.”

Cascade’s offense never managed to find the end zone. The Cougar’s lone score came on a 38-yard punt return by senior Jose Nava. However, the defense managed to keep the game tight as they only allowed two scores.

Seniors Ben Miller and Alex Aitchison led the way on defense as they totaled 12.5 tackles and four tackles for loss. Miller also managed to intercept a Panther pass.

“The most exciting part of last Friday night’s loss was our players’ effort,” Frake said, “especially on the defensive side of the ball.”

Ball security was ultimately the Achilles heel on this night for the Cougars. Cascade’s offense turned the ball over six times. Giving the opposing team that many extra possessions is often deflating to a team.

“As a team, you never want to turn the ball over that many times, but our defense kept us in the game and gave us chances to win,” Frake said.

The Cougars gained 197 yards on offense. Senior Colby Holmes had 23 carries for 74 yards while sophomore Tanner Simon hauled in three passes for 46 yards.

Looking ahead, Cascade’s next game will be their home opener this Friday against Benton Community. Benton won its first game, 51-7, over South Tama. They have an explosive offense with many different weapons as four different players scored in their first game of the season.

Frake said that he thinks practice will continue to help the growth of the team.

“In practice, it is difficult to simulate the speed and the physical nature of the game and it showed testing our team’s depth,” Frake said. “We will learn from our mistakes and aim to get better every Friday night.”