The Cascade Cougar football team won a thrilling, 42-41, game at Durant Oct. 9 giving them a share of the district title courtesy of a balanced offensive pass/run game.
“Our word this season has been ‘compete’ and there were several times during the game where we were down but came back. We kept fighting and battling and were able to pull out the win in the end,” coach Tim Frake said.
Going into overtime with the ball first, the Cougars wasted no time putting points on the board with a run up the middle by Jack Menster for his third touchdown of the game. Durant had one last chance to extend the game but an interception in the end zone by Menster secured the overtime win for the Cougars bringing their record to 5-2 on the season.
Durant earned an early lead. On the opening possession, the Wildcats’ running game helped them move down the field deep into Cougar territory before senior quarterback Keagan Head hit senior Aydin Flockhart down the middle for the score. A successful PAT made the score 7-0.
The Cougars, on their first possession, were able to get their own running game going as they moved the ball into the Wildcat red zone before an errant pass by junior quarterback Justin Roling turned into an interception ending their opportunity.
With a little over eight minutes left in the half Menster broke loose up the middle for one of his three touchdowns. A extra-point kick by Isaac Nava knotted the score at 7-7. Durant moved the ball back into Cougar territory courtesy of runs by Nolan Delong. After a pass interference call negated an interception, the Wildcat quarterback hit his receiver over the middle giving Durant a 14-7 lead. The Cougars moved down the field before an interception in the Wildcat red zone ended their scoring chances and the half.
Opening the second half with the ball, the Cougars moved to midfield after a catch by sophomore tight end Luke Ruggeberg, followed by one by junior Tanner Simon, put the ball inside the Wildcat 10. Two plays later, Simon caught a Roling pass in the corner of the end zone for the touchdown. A Nava extra-point kick tied the game at 14 with a little over nine minutes left in the third. The Cougar defense was able to force Durant to punt, but a fake punt led to a 23-yard pass that kept their drive alive before DeLong ran 50 yards around the end for a touchdown putting them back on top 21-14. Menster took the kick-off and ran it into Durant’s half of the field. Two plays later Roling hit Ruggeberg over the middle for a 39-yard touchdown. A failed extra-point attempt made the score 21-20 halfway through the third, but Durant was able to score with less than a minute left in the third giving them a 28-20 lead.
To start the fourth, the Cougars moved the ball to midfield before a fumble gave it back to Durant. Another touchdown in the fourth put Durant up 35-20. Simon took the kickoff to their own 39 and two plays later Menster ran around the end for the score. A successful two-point conversion pass from Roling to Ruggeberg closed the gap to 35-28 with under six minutes left. Durant moved the ball into Cougar territory but was unable to score, giving the ball back to the Cougars with one last chance to score. After a couple of successful runs by Menster, Roling tossed a pass to Ruggeberg who evaded a couple defenders to take the ball in for the score with a little over a minute to play. A extra-point kick by Nava made the score 35-35. Durant quickly moved the ball down inside the Cougar 25 but missed a field goal attempt which set up the overtime heroics.
“We have to give credit to Durant and their offense as they played a great game, but we have to get better on defense if we want to make it deep into the playoffs. I was pleased with our offensive balanced attack which gave us the opportunity to bring home the win.” said Frake.
Cascade’s leaders were: rushing — Menster 25-for-251 and three touchdowns, Justin Roling 7-for-25, Tanner Simon 1-for-6; passing — Justin Roling 8-of-18 for 160 yards; receiving — Luke Ruggeberg 3-for-111 and two touchdowns, Tanner Simon 3-for-43 and one touchdown; tackles —Casey Koppes 11 (six solo), Luke Ruggeberg seven (four), Isaac Delerosa six (three), Cael McDermott six (five), Ted Weber 5.5 (three), Cody Kremer 3.5 (one), Tanner Simon, Jackson McAleer and Angel Moncada two (one solo), Kodey Miles, Mitchell Bergfeld and Kaleb Topping 1.5 (one), Isaac Nava and Carson Staner one (one), Menster one, and Brennan Booth 0.5.