The Columbia Cougars started the season on the right note, taking down the Morristown Colonials on Friday evening September 3 by a score of 27-7.
The Cougars received the ball to start the game and after a short drive led by Junior quarterback Tarik Huff, and unable to find their mojo quickly, Coach Gary Mobley sent the punt team out and sophomore Henry Aaron booted the ball away to the Colonials.
The Cougars got a quick stop and, before he knew it, the ball was back in Huff’s hands. The Cougars then returned the ball to the Colonials after Huff threw a screen pass that was fumbled by his receiver. The Colonials capitalized on the Cougar turnover and punched it in for 6, and followed with the extra point to make it 7-0 in favor of the Colonials.
Sophomore Zhamir Rowan evened things up for the Cougars, with an electrifying 70-yard punt return for a touchdown that was then unfortunately called back for a block in the back. With the score till 7-0, Huff and his offense had some work to do. They rose to the occasion.
Senior running back Stephen Henry quickly took control over the game and silenced the visiting Colonial fans, after he rushed for one of his three touchdowns on the next drive after his lineman opened big holes in the defense. Seniors Michael Agu, David Darius, Dylan Dalambert, Max Agyare, David Fadael and sophomore Ethan Parlin created running lanes all game long for Henry to follow. The combination of tough blocks from the line and the explosive Henry may prove to be a Friday night nightmare for upcoming Cougar opponents. Sophomore running back Yassan “Pop” Fields opened his varsity season with one rushing touchdown.
To start the second half, Aaron kicked an onside kick that bounced off of a Morristown player that was recovered by Cougar junior Thor Weinstock. That opened up an energy that carried the Cougars into the rest of the game.
6 different Cougar receivers caught passes – sophomores Zhamir Rowan, Steve Memo, Max Gigante, juniors Dylan Carthens and Akbar Holiday and senior Stephen Henry. With multiple capable targets, Huff and his line should be able to continue to keep opposing defenses on their toes.
After the early shaky start for the Columbia defense that worried fans, they found their rhythm and after allowing one score, held the Colonials to 0 points in the next 42 minutes of play. Led by linebacker Akbar Holiday and defensive lineman Michael Agu and Max Agyare, each recording 5 solo tackles, the Cougars defense flew around sideline to sideline and bottled up Morristown’s triple option offense. Sophomore defensive back Zhamir Rowan also caught an interception to go along with his multiple tackles. Final score: Cougars 27, Morristown 7.
The Cougars look forward to welcoming the Livingston Lancers to Profeta Field at the Underhill Sports Complex on Friday at 7pm. The Cougars lost a heartbreaking game in overtime to the Lancers two seasons ago in the first round of the playoffs and will certainly be seeking revenge.
Friday has been called by Cougar student fans as a beach night theme at Underhill and the Cougars look forward to a loud crowd. Kick-off is 7 pm.