FIRTH — Starting the season 2-0, the Firth Cougars sought to slay the Malad Dragons. With the running forces of Mitch Orme and Connor Montgomery for the Cougars and the passing threat of Griffin Green for the Dragons, the contrasting styles took center stage. Head
Coach Keith Drake before the game was asked what he believed were the keys to winning. “Stop the long pass.” Simple yet to the point, he went on to make the points that the Malad had very large offensive tackles and that Green through the ball well. “Putting pressure on the QB is going to be very important to help defend with the deep pass. Firth went on to do exactly that, defend the deep pass and force Green to throw short most of the night.
Firth struck first near the end of the first quarter which capped off a nice drive. Following great blocking by the offensive line and lead blockers Connor Montgomery powered in with an 11 yard touchdown run. Malad would answer right back with a 32 yard pass from Green to Nishon Neal to give the Dragons good field position beginning the second quarter. With just over eleven minutes left in the quarter Brody Hubbard caught a laser from Griffin Green to tie the game at 6-6.
Coming out of half time, the question is always, which team will strike first and create some momentum to take control of the game. The Firth Cougars took control within seconds of the opening kickoff with Montgomery returning the kick for a Touchdown. Unfortunately for the Cougars, a block in the back set the ball back to about the 35 yard line. Undaunted, 2 plays later, Mitch Orme barreled his way for 26 yards and his first of three touchdowns, and Montgomery ran for the 2 point conversion.
Firth continued to put pressure on Malad as they forced Griffin Green to throw a bad pass and Cody Robinson intercepted his second pass of the night. With 45 seconds between scores, Montgomery bulled his way for a 3 yard run for his second touchdown of the night. With the score now 20-6 some teams may begin to let down, but no the Firth Cougars. The defense continued to put pressure on the reeling Dragons and forced a punt. Mitch Orme received the punt on the Malad 40, behind great upfront blocking and by breaking a couple of tackles, scored on a 60 yard punt return. With a 26-6 lead the Cougars were now fully in control.
For the fourth quarter, Firth still had two more touchdowns from their explosive running game. Mitch Orme again took the ball behind the line of scrimmage and ran for 55 yards for his third touchdown of the night. With a comfortable 32-6 lead, the Cougars last possession was within 11 yards of another touchdown. Calling two timeouts in the last 25 seconds to preserve time, led by Jackson Thompson, Firth scored on a 1 yard keeper to drive the final dagger in the Malad Dragons.
The game was hard fought in the first half with both teams gaining around a 100 yards of offense, but the difference were the penalties. Most of the penalties for Firth in the first half nullified big plays that either would have scored points or put the Cougars in scoring position. Coming out in the second half, it looked like the penalties would haunt Firth again with 45 yards of penalties assessed in the 3rd quarter alone. With an explosive running game and tenacious defense, the Cougars defeated the Dragons 38-6. (look for the box score online)
(l(The defensive effort for the Firth Cougars was noticeable in the second half by holding Malad to less than 100 yards of total offense.
FIRTH 38, MALAD 6
Malad 0 6 0 0 - 6
Firth 6 0 20 12 - 38
Malad passing: Griffin Green 15/28 189 1TD 3INT; rushing –Derek Checketts 3-15, Griffin Green 6-7, Chris Martin 4-3, KC Snyder 1- (-1); receiving - KC Snyder 10-64, Nishon Neal 3-61, Kyle Daniels 2-37, Brody Hubbard 3-24 1TD; penalties 5-50.
Firth passing: Jake Orme 2/8 10, Mitch Orme 0/2 -1; rushing – Mitch Orme 19-200 3TD, Connor Montgomery 17-102 2TD 1-2pt, Hagen Clemens 1-16, Talor Richards 1-12, Jackson Thompson 2-8 1TD, , Nick Andersen 2-4, Jake Orme 10- (-6); receiving – Mitch Orme 1-10, Kent Jolley 1-1, Braden Boyer 1 (-1) 1TO; penalties 12-90.
0:46 Firth Connor Montgomery 11yd run (2pt fail) 6-0
11:02 Malad Griffin Green 5yd pass Brody Hubbard (kick fail) 6-6
11:26 Firth Mitch Orme 26 yd run (Connor Montgomery 2 pt ) 14-6
10:30 Firth Connor Montgomery 3 yd run (2pt fail) 20-6
7:55 Firth Mitch Orme 60 yd punt return (2pt fail) 26-6
8:35 Firth Mitch Orme 55 yd run (2pt fail) 32-6
0:04 Firth Jackson Thompson 1yd run (2pt fail) 38-6