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High school football: Rogers' big run helps Courtland go the distance in win over Eastern View
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High school football: Rogers' big run helps Courtland go the distance in win over Eastern View

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The Courtland Cougars continued what they hope is a march to the playoffs Thursday night, knocking off Eastern View with a convincing 28-7 victory.

“I think we’re the toughest team in the district right now,” senior linebacker Cole Bruce said. “If we keep playing like this, I think every team in the district should be scared.”

Bruce said his team played well on both sides of the ball.

“Overall I think we played an excellent game,” he said. “Defensively we were really stout. Of course we gave up some passes here and there, but we stopped the run game.”

One big stop came in the fourth quarter, as the Cyclones were driving toward the end zone to try to move within one score and make it a contest.

The Cougars forced a fumble and recovered at their own 2-yard line.

They were pushed back a yard on the next play, but then E.J. Rogers broke free and went the length of the field for a 99-yard touchdown run to seal the victory.

Rogers finished the night with more than 200 yards rushing and two touchdowns, carrying the ball 24 times to lead the way for the Cougars.

“He’s definitely a viable candidate for player of the year,” Courtland coach J.C. Hall said. “He led the area in rushing last year, and he’s one of the top two or three this year. I can’t say enough about him.”

He couldn’t say enough about the rest of his team, either.

“It’s a great effort by our guys,” Hall said. “I can’t say enough about our offensive line, our defense tonight holding them to seven.”

He had special praise for lineman Deion Reid, whom he credited for making the block to spring Rogers on the big play.

“We’ve been running behind him all year long. He’s our guy,” Hall said. “He plays both ways. He rarely comes off the field. He’s our biggest, strongest guy, and he just comes to play every day.”

Reid was modest as he wore the “Winner” sign around his neck after the game.

“I just block for my backs,” he said. “That’s all I do. I do everything for my backs.”

He admitted he made the block that set Rogers on the school-record scoring run, but didn’t quite go the whole distance.

“Me running 99 yards?” he said. “That’s funny.”

Amir Mateo also had 90 yards and a touchdown for Courtland, and quarterback Liam Wojciechowski scored on a 1-yard run.

Eastern View scored first on a hook-and-ladder play. Quarterback Caden Huseby hit Trevon Brock, who lateraled the ball to Jasian Spencer as he flew down the sideline and went in for the score.

Courtland completely shut down Eastern View’s running game to the tune of minus-32 yards, but the Cyclones had some success through the air.

In addition to the scoring play, Huseby hit five different receivers for more than 150 yards. It might have been more, but several big plays were called back by penalties.

“I thought the offense played well, until they didn’t,” Eastern View coach Brian Lowery said. “We moved the ball, then we’d just get a penalty. We’ve just got to not do that. It’s that simple.”

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Lowery said much of the season has been that way for his young team.

“We’ve just got to stop shooting ourselves in the foot,” he said. “We find new ways to shoot ourselves in the foot every week. That’s what’s standing in our way.”

Eastern View (4-5 overall, 2-5 Battlefield District) will play its final game of the season next Friday when it hosts Millbrook in a nondistrict matchup.

Courtland (4-4, 4-1) has a busy week ahead, with two big games against tough district rivals. The Cougars will travel to Chancellor for a makeup game on Tuesday before concluding the regular season against unbeaten King George next Friday.

“I’m excited to play Chancellor on Tuesday and then King George on Friday,” Bruce said. “We’re going to go to work tomorrow, watch the film and prepare for Chancellor over the weekend.

“As a senior, it’s kind of heartbreaking to see my season slowly going away, but I’m happy. I think we’ve got a good shot at making the playoffs.”

Eastern View 7 0 0 0—7

Courtland 7 7 7 7—28

First Quarter

EV—Jasian Spencer run (Jonathan Bales kick)

Ct—Amir Mateo 10 run (Josh Hays kick)

Second Quarter

Ct—Liam Wojciechowski 1 run (Mateo kick)

Third Quarter

Ct—E.J. Rogers 1 run (Mateo kick)

Fourth Quarter

Ct—Rogers 99 run (Mateo kick)

TEAM STATISTICSFirst downs: Eastern View 8; Courtland 17

Rushes-yards: Eastern View 17-(-32); Courtland 42-316

Passing yards: Eastern View 233; Courtland 0

Comp-Att-Int: Eastern View 19-30-0; Courtland 0-3-1

Punts-avg: Eastern View 4-29.0; Courtland 2-24.0

Fumbles-lost: Eastern View 4-1; Courtland 3-2

Penalties-yards: Eastern View 10-85; Courtland 4-35

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