The 2015 Cougar Youth Football Season started out on a high note as the 5th/6th Grade B-Team took to the field at Dundee High School to take on the Jr Scotts on opening day. Although the Cougars would eventually prevail, the game was anything but lopsided. The Cougars would take the opening kickoff deep into Dundee territory aided by a 21 yard carry around the right side by Zac Meacham, but would come up empty and eventually surrender the ball on downs. The HFL Defense would come up big on the next series of downs and give the ball back to the Cougar Offense with a good drive-start deep in Jr Scott territory. Two plays later, James Killenbeck would take a 24 yard run around the left side of the line to put HFL up 6-0 at the end of the first Quarter. Once again, the HFL Defense stood tall and thwarted the Dundee running attack to give HFL the ball near mid-field. A 20 yard QB keeper by Brody Young on a 4th and long looked to have the Cougars set up first and 10 at the Jr Scott’s 11 yard-line, but a phantom holding call nullified the play and backed the Cougars up yet another 10 yards. Unable to convert, the Dundee Offense took over near mid-field and eventually broke off a 30 yard TD run around the right side to even the score at 6 apiece. The Defense did it’s job on the extra-point attempt to keep the score tied at 6 going into half-time.
The second half would begin with the Cougars Defense forcing the Jr Scotts to turn the ball over on downs after only 4 plays. On the Cougar’s ensuing possession, the first play from scrimmage was designed to have Killenbeck run wide to the left, but a Dundee defender had entered the backfield quickly and disrupted the play. To Dundee’s dismay however, Killenbeck managed to shake the tackler, change direction, and race un-touched 53 yards down the right sideline for his second TD of the day. The extra-point attempt was successful on a QB keeper by Young and the Cougars took a 13-6 lead! HFL would manage to get the ball back deep in their territory after a fumbled Dundee hand-off was recovered by Carson Joint … only to turn the ball over on downs and leave the Jr Scotts with excellent field position at the HFL 25 yard line. The HFL Defense was none too happy and took matters into their own hands immediately when Conlan Rorick burst through on the first play, stripped the ball from the Dundee Quarterback, and Jack Vandenbush recovered the loose football. Unfortunately, the Cougars gave the pigskin right back at the start of the 4th Quarter as HFL had the ball stripped on 3rd down and Dundee once again had a good drive start deep in HFL territory. The Cougar D stepped up big with tackles by Joint, Meacham, Hayden Meehan and Garrett Hall to get the ball right back and hold the Jr Scotts to no yards. This stand would prove to be crucial as Meacham, with 6 minutes left to play in the game, took a pitch around the right side from Young on the very next play and bolted past the Dundee defenders, leaving them scratching their heads in the dust and putting the Cougars on top 19 to 6. With little time left on the clock and a 2 score lead, things looked good for the Youth Cougar B-Team … but the Defense wanted to make sure that Dundee had no chance to mount a come-back. Mid-way through the next Offensive series for the Jr Scotts, Joint reached into the backfield and managed to blow-up a hand-off by the Dundee QB, allowing Garett Hall to recover it for HFL. The Cougars then executed a time consuming ground-and-pound series with runs from Joe Rogers, Chance Bears, and Donnell Hall to chew up as much of the remaining clock as possible before turning the ball over on downs. The final punctuation mark was applied by Ben Carson as he timed the throw by the Dundee quarterback perfectly on the final series of the game and picked off his pass for the first Cougar interception of 2015! HFL secured an opening day win over the Dundee Jr Scotts, 19 to 6.