By MIKE ROSIER
wide, ear-to-ear grin, as his sixth-ranked Cougars danced and celebrated at
midfield following Monday night's 19-14 upset victory over Class 4-A
C. Dawson Stadium.
A crowd of over 7,000 fans had just witnessed one of the greatest victories
in Cougar football history, but Palmer stopped short of naming it as "The
Greatest" game ever for the rambunctious bunch from Cordova.
"No, this isn't the biggest game ever, but it's the biggest game today,"
Palmer said. "But don't you love it when a plan comes together? We're
already an established program, but we're ecstatic right now at this win.
That 19-14 up there sure looks good."
Palmer, and the
while the Cougar defense and special teams turned four turnovers from the
Bruins into 13 points. The backbreaker came in the fourth quarter with
Edisto clinging to a 13-7 lead after O-W quarterback Russell Hemby came off
the bench in relief of starter Brandon Benjamin, leading the Bruins on a
scoring drive of 98 yards to cut the Cougar lead to six points on the first
play of the fourth quarter.
on their own 41-yard line.
"We actually had them right where we wanted them, but against the Wing-T you
can't miss your assignments," O-W head coach Tommy Brown would say later
after the game.
Cougar quarterback Josh Jennings handed the ball to wingback Michael Morgan
on a delayed inside hand-off and the senior was off to the races for a
touchdown run of 59 yards. The two point conversion was no good, but Edisto
had struck the fatal blow.
"Before the game we asked the guys to make three plays for us and Mike is
one of the guys that needed to step up for us and he did that," Palmer said.
The Bruins came right back with another lengthy scoring drive, this time of
89 yards on 17 plays led again by Hemby, but by then O-W faced two opponents
in the Cougars and the dwindling game clock. Hemby scored on a three-yard
keeper with 41 seconds left in the game and Aaron Haire's PAT attempt was
good, but the onside kick attempt went out of bounds and
clock on a huge victory.
The Cougars compiled 262 yards of total offense, while the Bruins tallied a
total of 244 yards. The biggest stat in the game however, turnovers, clearly
drive stalled, but the Bruins gave the ball right back as Willery Rivers
couldn't handle the ball and
line. Three plays later
end zone for a 14-yard touchdown. Dominic Moorer's extra point was good for
a 7-0 lead.
On O-W's first offensive play from scrimmage, starting quarterback
Benjamin tossed a lateral pass that the Bruin receiver couldn't haul in,
resulting in a fumble recovered again by Young. The Cougars drove right back
down the field and
coverage in the secondary for a scoring strike of 41 yards and a 13-0 lead.
Brown said. "Hats off to
tonight. You can't turn the ball over like we did tonight and expect to win
the game. We still feel that we have a good football team and we'll be back
from this, but this will test the character of our team."