Solid play at quarterback by sophomore Kellen Camus, combined with stingy defense and few turnovers, led to an old-fashioned stomping Friday night, as the Capital Cougars beat the Black Hills Wolves 35-14.
The Cougars entered halftime up 14-0, and cruised to a 21-0 lead early in the third quarter. Black Hills threatened late in the 3rd, but any momentum gained by their first touchdown drive dissipated when Capital recovered the onside kick. Camus wove his way into the end zone about six seconds into the 4th. The last Black Hills score came far too late to matter.
CHS played with verve against a quality opponent. Most important, we made very few mistakes--a couple holding penalties, a false start or two, an inconsequential fumble--and forced several. Throwing the ball deep against the Wolves gained good yardage, both through completions and crucial interference penalties. Short passes weren't nearly as effective. I'll have to wait to see the stats, but from what I saw, we could run up the middle almost at will.
Defensively, we were solid against the run and fairly consistent against the pass, but bit hard on playfakes. (My wife described the Cougs' oops-there's-the-ball redirections as "moving like a school of fish.")
In the game's most curious coaching decision, Black Hills, despite having one remaining timeout, let the clock run down with about 30 seconds left in the 2nd half. The Cougars had just fumbled and recovered a snap under center on the previous play, and were deep in their own territory, yet the Wolves didn't think to apply any more pressure, just to see what might happen.
I was distressed by the way many Cougar fans reacted to Black Hills' first touchdown, putting the score at 28-7. There was a fairly loud chorus of boos, which returned when the Wolves scored again. When your opponent is down by three touchdowns, such behavior shows a lack of class. We can do better, Cougars.
Incidentally, tonight's game was sponsored by Dr. Curtis Sapp, reports the Cougar website. His son, Hunter, a junior, plays D-line and wide receiver. Dr. Sapp was my family's orthodontist for many years, and I associate his name with equal amounts good humor, elevator music, and pain.
Update: Gail Wood of The Olympian has more.
"All we asked was for them to the best they could do," said Johnson, who replaced longtime coach Wayne Sortun. "We weren't nervous. There wasn't any pressure at all."
Camus won the starting quarterback job a week ago, beating out seniors Evan Pettie and Sean Simpson, who both started last season. Getting good protection from his offensive line, Camus responded by completing 12 of 17 passes for 145 yards with no interceptions. He also scored on a 15-yard scamper early in the fourth quarter, giving the Cougars a 28-0 lead.