The mood at Durant High School was already good as the Cougars celebrated homecoming on Friday night, and a 51-0 win over Strawberry Crest kept their spirits high.
The win ended both a two-game losing streak and a two-game scoring drought for Durant (3-3), and Crest’s loss now brings the Chargers’ overall record to 0-6 in 2020.
Durant received the opening kickoff and scored the game’s first touchdown slightly more than a minute in. Eli Reed’s 10-yard run set the Cougars up anther own 30-yard line, then quarterback Marcus Miguele hit Aashton Kirkland deep at the Crest 26-yard line before finding Jeremiah Gines open for a 26-yard touchdown.
The Cougars got the ball back exactly two minutes later and a pair of runs by Reed set up a 43-yard pass from Miguele to Gines for another touchdown with 7:29 left in the first quarter. On Durant’s next drive, Miguele found tight end Nate Brennan wide open for what would become a 49-yard touchdown and a 21-0 lead with 4:21 left in the opening quarter.
Crest did cross midfield on their next drive after forcing Kirkland to fumble a punt return and recovering at Durant’s 31-yard line. The drive extended to the second quarter and the Cougars forced a turnover on downs at their own 38-yard line with 11:29 to go in the first half.
A three and a half-minute march downfield was highlighted by Brennan making a circus catch at the Crest goal line, just short of a touchdown, and Josh Cannon got the ball through the middle on the next play to extend the Durant lead. Leo Tabakovic’s point-after kick missed, setting the score at 27-0.
The kicker did get to make up for it shortly afterward. Durant forced Crest to go three and out, blocked Armando Garcia’s punt and recovered the ball at Crest’s eight-yard line. However, an Austin Bovee touchdown was waved off on an offensive penalty and a combination of the Chargers defense and some more penalties sent the Cougars backward to the Crest 26-yard line. Tabakovic connected on a 42-yard try with 2:40 left in the half to give Durant a 30-0 lead.
Crest’s first drive of the second half ended with a turnover on downs at the Chargers’ 10-yard line. Elian Gonzalez ran the ball twice and scored on a four-yard pitch play along the home sideline to give the Cougars a 36-0 lead and start a running game clock.
Early in the fourth quarter, a personal foul on the Chargers put Durant in scoring position at the Crest 12-yard line and Reed immediately took a swing pass from Miguele into the end zone. On the ensuing Chargers drive, a pair of fumbled snaps and another personal foul sent Crest backward and the second fumble was recovered in the end zone for a Durant safety. Gines returned the safety punt to the Crest 25-yard line and a 25-yard Nate Richardson touchdown run was nullified by a block in the back, so Miguele completed a 15-yard pass to Jeremiah Puerto and covered the remaining 10 yards on foot for the last touchdown of the game. A missed PAT kick set the final score at 51-0.