Eagles make history with gridiron victory
A blowout turned into a shootout at Herschel Meredith Stadium as the COS football team survived a second half surge by the Feather River Golden Eagles, 58-49, in their first Mid-Empire Conference game.
Saturday marks the first time COS has beaten Feather River.
We needed this,” Eric Young said after the game. “Conference play is a new season.”
The team was clicking early as the Eagles scored on all four of their first quarter possessions. The defense looked strong, holding the Golden Eagles to minimal yards and recovering two fumbles, one by KC Swain and Kavaeris Mitchell.
The Eagle’s first score came after a leaping one-handed catch by Darius Davis took them down to the four yard line where Patrick Lunney took it the rest of the way. Lunney carried the load for COS, as Raymond Neal was out with an injury. He finished with 109 yards on 21 carries and one catch for 13 yards.
After Swain’s recovery, Aqura Brown hit Anthony Young for an eight yard score. The defense stepped up on third down, forcing the Golden Eagles to punt. This was a huge victory as COS has had previous troubles stopping teams on third down.
After two short gains by Lunney, Brown targeted Young again, this time for 47 yards to pay dirt. Lunney scored on the Eagles next possession, this time on a 43 yard scamper. The first quarter ended with COS up 28-0.
Young had six catches in the game for 89 yards.
COS missed a field goal after Mitchell’s fumble at the beginning of the second quarter but Korey’e Dixon’s recovery got it right back. Feather stopped the Eagles and drove down to score on a 19 yard pass to the runningback.
The Eagles defense was without Steven Butrick who left the game halfway through the second quarter with a groin injury.
According to Young it was a tough blow to the defense because it can take two men to replace Butrick.
“We had some injuries on defense and we are still trying to get that core group of guys who want to play,” Young said.
On the ensuing kickoff, Davis bobbed and weaved his way through defenders on his way to the endzone. Davis ended the game with six catches and 165 yards receiving.
Feather River would answer the score after a pass interference penalty put them down to the 10 yard line. The half would end on two sacks, one by Swain and the other by Kendall Allen. Swain finished the team’s second leading tackler with seven and the sack. Allen added three. The Eagles led 37-13.
COS continued their success in the early moments of the third quarter. A facemask penalty helped Feather River score on a five yard run on their first possession. The Eagles answered back on two catches by Davis for 48 and a 23 yard touchdown from Brown.
“After last week in Yuba, we allowed Brown to really cut loose with the passing game,” Young said. “We knew they were going to be in man to man and we exploited that.”
Mitchell recovered his second fumble of the game on the Golden Eagle’s next possession. Brown hit Davis again, this time for a 30 bomb to the endzone. Brown finished the game 14 of 19 for 291 yards and five touchdowns.
Swain got his second fumble recovery which led to a field goal by Aaron Sinnott. Feather River got one more score before the end of the third quarter, this time on a five yard run up the gut. The quarter ended with COS up 51-27.
The Eagles were stopped on fourth down but got the ball right back when Allen recovered a fumble, the sixth of the day. The Eagles drove and Brown hit Klaus Geier for a 24 yard score.
Feather River would score three more times in the quarter, closing the gap and making the coaches nervous. After another pass interference, they ran the ball 17 yards pass the goal line. Young recovered the onside kick but the Eagles went three and out and allowed a 25 yard score.
On the only turnover for COS, Feather River marched down the field and scored on a 23 yard run. Michael Dixon recovered the onside kick, allowing Brown to kneel on the ball to end the game.
Trenton George and Jamal Pannell had a solid game, coming up from the defensive backfield to record eight and six tackles respectively.
COS stands on top of the MEC going into their bye week. They will travel to play Sacramento City College and American River College before coming home to play Mendocino College.