(By Geno Ludwig/Chewelah Independent)
Big plays lift Eagles past Cougars…
With only three league games remaining on their schedule, the Chewelah Cougars have only a few opportunities left to put their mark into the wins column. And, the upcoming two Fridays will provide them their best opportunities.
This Friday, the Cougars travel to Riverside, which was shut out 35-0 last weekend by Newport. The Rams are 2-1 in conference play, having lost also to Lakeside, 34-24, and Colville, 49-6. Riverside’s lone win of the league season was a 15-6 victory over Medical Lake.
The following Friday, the Cougars return home to host Medical Lake, which is winless in four league encounters. The Cardinals have scored only one touchdown all season long. They were shutout by Freeman, 49-0, Newport 48-0, and Colville, 42-0.
Likewise, Chewelah goes into this week’s game without a league win after being defeated by Lakeside 38-6 in last Friday’s annual homecoming game. So, a pair of wins over Riverside and Medical Lake would brighten an otherwise down season for the Cougars. The Cougars are at the bottom of the current Northeast A League standings, so there is nowhere to go but up. It is time to climb.
Chewelah moved the ball up and down the Snyder Field turf last Friday night, but the Cougars did not cross the goal line until there was only 3:30 remaining in the game when Kaden Mackowiak bulled his way into the end zone from the three-yard line. They were inside the Eagle 25-yard line twice in the first quarter, however, they turned the ball over on downs both times. Again they were knocking on the goal post late in the fourth quarter at the Lakeside 23-yard line after a 50-yard pass from Owen Baldwin to Dakota Kroiss, and once more they failed to find pay dirt.
In the opening quarter, Chewelah had 121 yards of offense without scoring. The Cougars started its first possession at the 20-yaard line after the Lakeside kickoff went into the end zone. The drive was highlighted by a 30-yard pass from Baldwin to John Larson, giving them a first down on the Eagle 45-yard stripe. Three carries by Mackowiak advanced the ball to the Lakeside 25-yard line, where Chewelah turned the ball over on downs.
Similarly, the Cougars moved the ball with consistency later in the first quarter. A 14-yard gain up the middle by Mackowiak gave them a first down. Baldwin’s pass to Dylan Davis provided another first down near midfield. Larson’s nine-yard gain on a trap play was good for another first down at the Lakeside 30-yard line. From there, three straight carries by Mackowiak pushed the ball to the Eagle 17-yard line.
Nonetheless, a four-yard reception by Kaden Krouse left Chewelah a yard short of a first down at the 11- yard line, where the Cougars turned the ball over on downs a second time without scoring.
A pair of punts and an intercepted pass halted Chewelah’s three possessions of the second quarter, leaving the Cougars on the short end of a 24-0 score at halftime.
Chewelah was again into Lakeside territory early in the second half. A 14-yart option pitch to Krouse gave the Cougars a first down on the Eagle 45-yard line. Baldwin’s 11-yard pass to Krouse earned another first-and- ten at the Lakeside 35. The drive ended there when three passes fell incomplete. Later in the third quarter, Baldwin threw a 13-yard pass to Larson and Mackowiak ran the ball inside for a nine-yard gain, but the drive was halted by a penalty.
Mackowiak’s 16-yard run brought the ball to midfield as the fourth quarter began. Jaron Baldwin had an eight-yard catch that gave the Cougars a first down on the Lakeside 44. On the following play, however, Lakeside picked off a pass.
The Chewelah touchdown came after an 11-yard scramble by Baldwin and a 22-yard run by Larson.
With a first down at the Eagle three-yard line, Mackowiak plowed his way across the goal line to put six points on the Cougar side of the scoreboard. The touchdown shortened the Lakeside lead to 38-6.
Chewelah had one more scoring opportunity toward the end of the game when Kroiss snagged a 50-yard pass from Baldwin for a first down at the Eagle 23-yard line. With the final seconds blinking off the scoreclock, Baldwin threw his last pass. It fell incomplete.
Game time at Riverside this Friday is 7 p.m.