Charla Kahlig | The Rosebud News

Cougar defense holds strong, holding off the Pirates from scoring.

It’s on like Cats & Dogs this Friday

The Rosebud-Lott Cougars are enlarging their territorial boundaries, much as real Cougars do, when they invade Bulldog Country this week to play Wortham. The Bulldogs are looking to erase the memories of last season’s collapse that saw them go 4-6 after a 3-1 start to the season.  

They lost a lot to graduation but return a solid core of seniors that could provide the necessary leadership for a young team. The Bulldogs don’t think they are rebuilding merely retooling.

They return 9 total starters led by running back Stephon Ester and Dalton Sandlin. They will have size on their side led by 6’5” 240 pound DeMarcus Bullard, 6’2” 240 pound Logan Salisbury, 6’ 210 Hunter Turner, and 6’2” 185 pound Dylan Martin. With Ester and Sandlin also at 185 pound the Bulldogs are big and could really test the smaller Rosebud defense.  

However, you know the story the bigger they come, the harder they fall. Well the Cougars may have their hands full but you can bet your booties that the Bulldogs will have their hands full trying to contain the speed of the Rolo Coogs.

Led by quarterback JaQuorion Johnson, the Cougars are an explosive group that can strike from anywhere. With bruising fullback Ethan Easley inside and speedy Cody Wells on the edge, the Cougars put pressure all up and down the line with their option offense. The defense has played it’s best when the team has needed them. Coach Ballard hopes his squad would get better each week and they have responded well thus far in the season.

It was a county rivalry between two teams with a history of playoff tradition, so you just knew this one would live up to advance billing. Both Chilton and the Rolo Coogs came in undefeated, with a win under their belts and both were eager to test themselves to see the progress.  

Well, Coach Ballard had to see some things he liked in the Cougars 28-19 victory over the Pirates on Friday night.  Offensively the Cougars proved again their option offense is potent. With senior Ja-Quorion Johnson at the helm, making decisions, the Rosebud-Lott offense piled up 334 yards on the ground. Johnson is proof that dynamite comes in small packages. With the football under his arm he is as big as anyone on the field. He rushed for 277 yards on 20 carries. He also scored 3 touchdowns; two on long runs of 63 and 57 yards that helped give the Cougars the lead over a big, tough Chilton squad 14-13 at the half. He put a capper on his night with a scintillating 90-yard sprint for a score.

Speedy halfback Cody Wells complimented Johnson well; averaging 13.4 yards a carry and Ty Stock ran 56 yards scoring a touchdown. Fullback Easley only had two carries for the game but it was his inside presence that opened up the outside lanes for Johnson and Wells. It makes the second straight week that the offensive line had opened up holes for option offense resulting in victory. The defense bent with some missed tackles but played a solid game otherwise.  

They made the stops they needed to control the powerful Pirate offense. Brady Harring, Easley, Johnson, Wells, and the rest of that Cougar front forced three fumbles and stopped the Pirates on downs three other times during the game. Overall it was a solid performance by the Rolo Coogs, one that their coaching staff can be proud. They are off to a 2-0 start to the season and have produced some numbers on both sides of the ball that prove they will be a threat later on when the district season begins.

Rosebud-Lott Cougars (2-0) vs. Wortham Bulldogs in Wortham on Friday, September 15 at 7:30 p.m.

The Rosebud News

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