The Cougars scored first on a five-yard touchdown run by Kieron Ashley, capping off a sixteen-play, 80-yard opening drive to give Chattahoochee an early 7-0 lead. After giving up an 80-yard touchdown catch by Kell’s Julian Burris from Matt McGuigan, the Cougars responded with a 47-yard field goal by Adam Abdellaoui to increase their lead, 10-6, heading into the second quarter.
The Cougars gave up two big plays defensively on Kell’s next scores. The first one was a 39-yard touchdown pass from McGuigan to Errol Breaux and Burris returned the opening kickoff of the second half 94 yards for the score and increased Kell’s lead to 20-10.
Chattahoochee cut the lead to 20-16 on two field goals of 31 and 47 yards respectively by Abdellaoui in the third quarter but weren’t able to retake the lead.
“I’m extremely proud of the effort today,” said Mike Owens, Chattahoochee head coach. “We made some mistakes defensively and each of Kell’s touchdowns except for the last one came off big plays.”
Chattahoochee starting quarterback Tazz Wilson finished the contest with a game-high 17 completions and 172 yards in the air. However, he was sacked four times and threw three interceptions. “Tazz threw the ball real well,” Owens said. “Kell’s a solid team and got pressure on him. Once we settled down after a rattled first quarter, we moved the ball consistently.”
Chase Nelson finished with a game-high 45 yards on the ground and Avery Ward’s 79 yards were a team-high for Chattahoochee.
The Cougars’ defense was able to get two interceptions of its own and Trey Hillman led the team with 4.5 tackles in the contest. “We did a good job of mixing our defenses up and using different personnel,” Owens said.
The loss served as a learning experience for the Cougars and had no impact on the postseason aspirations for the team since it was a non-region contest. “I told the team before the game that this event brought the top 10 programs in the state together,” Owens said. “Playing in this venue with such a high caliber level of action is like a playoff game so that when you reach the postseason, the atmosphere isn’t unusual.”
Chattahoochee will return to action Friday at home against Forest Park.