Missed opportunities doom Longhorns

9-8-2017 — Greensboro, Ala. — Marengo Academy’s William Drake breaks free for a 28-yard touchdown reception during the Longhorns’ game against the Southern Academy Cougars.

GREENSBORO – Missed opportunities were a contributing factor as the Marengo Academy Longhorns dropped their first class 1A region game to the Southern Academy Cougars by the score of 24-6. Cougar miscues and a flashes of a strong Longhorn defense kept the Cougars with their backs against the walls on several drives, but the Longhorns were unable to capitalize deep in Cougar territory.

After trading three-and-outs on their first possessions, a high snap over the punter’s head put the Longhorns in striking range at the Cougar 28-yard line. However, negative yardage plays, including an 11-yard sack of quarterback Gavin Thompson, resulted in a punt that was downed at the Cougar’s 13-yard line. The Longhorn defense held and the offense took over that the Cougar 35-yard line after a short punt. The Horns got a first down at the Cougar 24-yard line as the first quarter ended with neither team putting points on the board.

9-8-2017 — Greensboro, Ala. — Marengo Academy’s Taylor Woodall brings down a Cougar runner during the Longhorns’ game against Southern Academy.

Continuing their drive in the second quarter, the Longhorns came up a few inches short on a fourth down conversion try and turned the ball over on downs at the Cougars 15-yard line. Consecutive sacks by the Longhorns moved the Cougars back to their own 9-yard line, where they were forced to punt.

After a couple good runs, including Gavin Thompson’s run to the Cougar 30-yard line, the Longhorns found themselves facing a fourth down. William Drake took a middle screen from Thompson and raced 28 yards to the end zone. The PAT attempt failed, but the Longhorns had claimed their first lead of the season at 6-0 with 5:31 to go in the second quarter.

The Cougars quickly struck back on a 34-yard run on their ensuing possession. The Cougars’ PAT attempt failed and the game was tied at 6-6 with 3:49 to go in the second quarter.

The Longhorns went three-and-out on their following possession and were forced to punt. Likewise, the Cougars couldn’t move the ball and were forced to punt. A fumbled snap would put the Longhorns in good shape at the Cougar 30 with only 23 seconds to go in the half. However, the Cougars would pick off a Thompson swing pass and return it 65 yards for a touchdown with no time left on the first half clock. The two-point conversion was successful and the Longhorns found themselves down 14-6 at the half.

9-8-2017 — Greensboro, Ala. — Marengo Academy’s Casey Cramer (22) hangs on as Dalton Daniels (54) and Carson Crawford (34) close in for a tackle during the Longhorns’ game against the Southern Academy Cougars.

After trading several possessions in the third quarter, one of which included a Cougar fumble that was recovered by Dalton Daniels, the Cougars picked up a safety with 11:52 to go in the fourth quarter to give themselves a 10 point advantage at 16-6.

On a later drive, Hunter Parker sacked the Cougar quarterback, causing a fumble which was recovered by the Longhorns at their own 41-yard line. Thompson then hit Trey Etheridge with a pass to the Cougar 44-yard line. However, a few plays later, a Thompson pass fell incomplete on a fourth down try and the Longhorns turned the ball over on downs.

The Cougars then drove for another touchdown and a successful two-point conversion, giving them a 24-6 lead over the Longhorns with 6:02 to go in the game.

The Longhorns would give it one final effort and made it to the Cougar 18-yard line before negative yardage plays would push them back to the 37, where the Cougars would take over on downs. The Cougars would drive to the Longhorns 20, but would run the clock out, leaving the final score at 24-6 in favor of the Cougars.

Offensively, Thompson led the Longhorns with 22 yards on 17 carries. Drake added 9 yards on 13 carries. Thompson completed 4 of 16 passes for 81 yards and one touchdown.

Parker led the defensive effort with 15 tackles and a sack. Drake added nine tackles and Etheridge added eight.

Marengo Academy (0-3, 0-1) will take on North River Christian next week in Linden for homecoming.

9-8-2017 — Greensboro, Ala. — Marengo Academy’s Hunter Parker (24) secures a pass between two defenders during the Longhorns’ game against the Southern Academy Cougars.