A 35-point first half propelled the Durant Cougars to a 48-0 win at Strawberry Crest Friday night, which snapped their two-game losing streak and extended Crest’s to seven.
From the first snap of the game, the Cougars made it clear that the rainy weather wouldn’t affect their game plan. L.J. Gappy scored the first of his four rushing touchdowns on that play, a 49-yard run through the middle of Crest’s defense, to put the visitors on the board 10 seconds into regulation.
A little later, Durant and Crest traded lost fumbles and Gappy followed up Ethan Webb’s diving recovery at the Crest eight-yard line with a quick touchdown run with six minutes left in the first quarter. The Chargers lost another fumble on their next drive and Durant drove from Crest’s 32 to the goal line, where quarterback Marcus Miguele snuck up the middle for another touchdown with 45 seconds left.
Crest got as far as Durant’s 19 on their next drive, which bled into the second quarter, but the Cougars forced a turnover on downs there with 9:13 left in the half. Within 80 seconds, Gappy found himself in the end zone again with a 31-yard run. After forcing the Chargers to punt with 5:48 remaining, Durant ate all but a minute of the game clock and wrapped up their first-half scoring with Collin Cole’s rushing touchdown from six yards out. The 35-point lead brought about a running clock for the second half, though Crest did get some momentum near the end of the first half when defensive back Ryan Weems jumped a route and snagged an interception with 20 seconds to go.
The Chargers fumbled on the second half’s opening kickoff and lost it at their own 18, and Gappy quickly scored his fourth and final touchdown of the night. The Chargers did block the PAT attempt on this one, setting the score at 41-0.
Durant’s last touchdown came late in the third quarter. After recovering their own fumble at Crest’s two-yard line, Wyatt Lawson finished the drive with a dive up the middle for the 48-0 lead. Crest’s final drive started with about 3:36 left in the third quarter and ended with two minutes left in the fourth. The Chargers started at their own 25 and marched downfield when quarterback Kadin Durgan got in rhythm. Durgan helped the Chargers knock on the Cougars’ door at the one-yard line, but his attempts to break through and prevent the shutout were stuffed up the middle by the Durant defense. The Cougars got the ball back at their own two-yard line and ran the rest of the game clock out.
In other area action, Plant City hosted Kathleen and the offense stayed hot in its 49-13 win over the Red Devils.