By Geno Ludwig/The Independent Staff
After playing the part of the nail for the past five weeks, the Chewelah Cougars finally got to play the role of the hammer last Friday at Medical Lake, and they took full advantage of the opportunity. Medical Lake went into the game winless and scoreless, and Chewelah kept that record intact, steamrolling the Cardinals by a 48-0 score.
Jensen Holloway returned two punts for touchdowns in the third quarter and scored earlier in the game on a seven-yard run as he led the Cougars to the shutout victory. His first punt return covered 66 yards down the right sideline in front of the Medical Lake bench. The second return went 65 yards down the Chewelah sideline. His first touchdown came in the second quarter to give Chewelah a 14-0 lead.
“Jensen also had a 50-yard run at the beginning of the game that was taken away by an inadvertent whistle by the referee,” said Coach Levi Hogan. “The referee thought our fullback had the ball, so he blew his whistle when Dom was tackled. None of the officials realized who had the ball until Jensen was being tackled 50 yards down the field.”
Elan Krausz scored twice, once on offense and again on defense. He put the Cougars on the scoreboard with a five-yard run across the goal line in the opening quarter to complete a 55-yard drive. Then, he recovered a fumble in the Medical Lake end zone during Chewelah’s 28-point third quarter. Dom Coleman had a pair of long runs up the middle to trigger Chewelah’s first scoring drive that moved the ball inside the Cardinal 30-yard line. Krausz ran the ball inside the 20-yard stripe with an option keeper around the right side of the Medical lake defense. An inside counter run by Holloway took the ball past the 10-yard line. From there, Krausz kept the ball on the option play, found an opening on the right side, and ran the ball across the goal line untouched. The extra-point pass came up short, but the Cougars had a 6-0 lead early in the game.
Chewelah scored twice in the second quarter and had a 22-0 halftime lead.
The first of those two touchdowns finished a 75-yard drive that was highlighted by a pair of pass completions. Krausz threw a 14-yard toss to Nolan Hansen over the middle that brought the ball across the Medical Lake 40-yard line. Four plays later, he threw a 20-yard completion to Holloway that advanced the ball to the Cardinal 19-yardline. The possession was finalized by Holloway’s seven-yard run to pay dirt. Coleman added the extra-point, giving the Cougars a 14-0 lead.
The third Chewelah touchdown was set up by a strong defensive stand near the Medical Lake goal line. A third-down tackle by Conner Krouse at the one-yard line forced the Cardinals to punt from their end zone, giving the Cougars a 30-yard span to cover.
“Conner made the tackle in the end zone,” said Cougar defensive coordinator Cody Peone, “but the referee said that a quarterback gets forward progress up to where the ball is snapped. Otherwise, Conner would have got the sack and a safety to his credit.”
Most of that distance was covered by a 26-yard pass from Owen Baldwin to Griffin Stroyan. Coleman then bulled the ball across the goal line for the touchdown. The extra-point pass was incomplete, but Chewelah took a 20-0 lead into the locker room at halftime.
“I gave both of our junior quarterbacks equal time in this game,” said Coach Hogan. “Elan played the first and third quarters. Owen played the second and fourth quarters. They both needed the work.”
Chewelah scored four times in the third quarter, and the Cougars probably should have put two more touchdowns on the scoreboard. Krausz ran a 15-yard option keeper inside the ML 10-yard line, but a penalty and a bobbled pitch stalled the drive at the Cardinal three- yard line on downs.
A few plays later, Krausz recovered an ML fumble on the Cardinal 11-yard stripe, but the Cougars gave the ball right back on a pass interception, so a second scoring opportunity evaporated.
The next Chewelah touchdown was the result of a pass interception by Krausz at the ML 45-yard line. He returned the ball to the 40, where the Cougars revved up their next scoring drive. It took only one penalty and one play as Kaden Mackowiak took an inside handoff, saw an opening to his left, and ran 26 yards to the end zone.
Hansen added two more points on a quick pitch left, lifting the Cougar lead to 28-0.
Holloway scored two of the following three Chewelah touchdowns on punt returns. He caught the first kick in the middle of the field near the 35-yard line, made a couple of would-be tacklers miss on his way toward the ML sideline, and then outsprinted the Cardinals to the goal line. The extra-point pass was overthrown, but the Cougars now had a 34-0 lead in the third quarter.
Krouse—not Krausz—scored the sixth Chewelah touchdown. Attacking from his defensive end position, he recovered a Cardinal fumble in the end zone. Krausz—not Krouse—ran the ball for the two extra points and a 42-0 Cougar lead.
Holloway’s second punt return for a touchdown brought scoring to an end.
The 65-yard return started in the middle of the field and went down the Cougar sideline, improving the Chewelah lead to 48-0 with one full quarter remaining to be played.
Coleman led Chewelah on the ground with 12 carries for 69 yards. Mackowiak had seven carries for 56 yards. Baldwin carried the ball seven times for 36 yards.
Krausz had five carries for 29 yards. Holloway had 27 yards from four carries.
Krausz completed two passes for 34 yards. Baldwin threw one completion for 26 yards.
Altogether, Chewelah had 273 yards of offense, not counting the two punt return touchdowns by Holloway totaling 131 yards. The win raised the Cougars to 2-4 in league play with this week’s game at Colville still remaining to be played.
Kickoff time is 7 p.m.
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