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Plant City Observer Friday, Sep. 25, 2015 3 years ago

WHAT'S ON KLINE'S MIND? Friday Night Notes 09.25.15

by: Justin Kline Sports/Associate Editor

What a time to be a Cougar.

Durant’s football team is looking like a serious contender for the district title. We got a good idea of what this team can do Friday, Sept. 19, when it hosted the East Bay Indians and took their rivals to the woodshed.

At least, they did in the second half.

Everything worked for the Cougars in the first half, which ended at 16-14 for Durant. Except for the offense. After running back Jake Harris scored his first touchdown of the evening the unit struggled to get anything going from its second drive onward.

Stagnant football is never good football.

Luckily for the Cougars, the defense and special teams units didn’t need time to shake off the rust. Two rushing touchdowns were allowed in the half but little else. Defensive back Jaden Garrett capitalized on a safety and scored a touchdown on the return.

In the second half, quarterback Carlton Potter did everything he had to do to keep the game in the Cougars’ favor. He drove the Cougars within striking distance, and the running backs rewarded his efforts with three more touchdowns.

Harris, Jalen Forté and Cameron Myers each rushed for a touchdown in the half, including big runs from Forté (39 yards) and Myers (48 yards). The score would have been 37-14 if not for some PAT woes.

I’ve got to hand it to the program: Durant has had a knack for developing competent running backs, and this year’s group is no different. I’ve already written about Forté, who was named a player to watch in the 2015 Football Guide, but you may not know about Harris. I’ve heard people in and out of the program talk about how talented this athlete is. On Friday, I paid a little more attention than I did the last time I was at the Cougar Den. He’s a well-balanced back with the tools to become a great starter once Forté graduates.

Also, keep an eye on Garrett this year. He seems to be around the ball and is always good for at a couple of big plays per game. I’ve written that defensive backs like Marchalo Judge and Peyton Collins are the best, most consistent DBs in the district, but they’re also seniors; Garrett could slide into that tier before next season if he keeps playing well and improving.

Entering the heart of district play, all Durant has to do now is avoid the mid-season slide that nearly screwed up its 2014 season. Can the Cougars keep clawing their way to victory, or is it that much easier said than done?

Contact Justin Kline at [email protected].

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