The Durant Cougars kept things close throughout Friday night’s homecoming game, but the Lennard Longhorns stayed a step or two ahead through all four quarters. The visitors left Cougar Path with a 15-0 win, bringing Durant’s record to 3-4 (1-1 district).
There were only four drives in the first half — two for each team — and the only one that amounted to a score was Lennard’s opening drive. The Longhorns marched down the field for most of the quarter and went four-for-four on third-down conversions. The last one, with a third-and-one situation on Durant’s three-yard line, ended with Tino Hunt running into the end zone. That gave Lennard a 7-0 lead with 4:30 remaining in the quarter.
Durant’s first drive of the game lasted from then until there was 9:57 left in the first half. The Cougars showed off their own ability to pound the rock here: starting at their own 30-yard line, L.J. Gappy (who finished the game with more than 150 rushing yards) got seven consecutive carries and got the Cougars as far as Lennard’s 14-yard line. Eli Reed and Nate Roark helped the team get to the Lennard six-yard line, but an incomplete pass intended for Roark on fourth down gave the Longhorns the ball right back.
The one-two punch of Hunt and Quay Smith chipped away at the Cougars defense until the Longhorns stood on Durant’s own six-yard line with two downs to go. But Javoni Mitchell blew up a play for Hunt and forced Lennard back to the Durant eight-yard line, and the Longhorns’ field goal attempt with 1:55 left in the half was promptly blocked by Lenny Woods (who also blocked a field goal attempt by Kathleen last week). Durant got the ball back at their own 22 after the ball was recovered there and got into Lennard territory when Collin Cole snuck past the entire defense for a huge gain, but the Longhorns forced two incompletions from Sean Williams and sacked him near midfield to end the half.
Durant received the ball to start the third quarter and a Gappy-heavy drive got them to Lennard’s 11-yard line on third down. After another incompletion, Williams found Marcus Miguele for a completion that came up just short of a first down with 5:33 left in the quarter. In just one minute and 26 seconds, the DHS defense forced Lennard to punt. Another Durant drive took up the remainder of one quarter and ended in another, and Durant once again decided to try a fourth-down conversion attempt. Gappy broke through the middle of Lennard’s defense but came up just short with just under 11 minutes left in the game.
That was when Lennard gave itself some insurance. Starting at their own 13-yard line, all it took was one snap for Hunt to hit paydirt. Following his 87-yard run, a penalty on Durant prompted Lennard to try a two-point conversion instead of a PAT and that plan was successful.
Down 15-0, Durant got even more aggressive. The Cougars drove to Lennard’s 46-yard line to bring up fourth down, needing one yard to convert, but a penalty drove them back five yards. Williams fooled the defense with a pump fake, scrambled to about the line of scrimmage and hit tight end Nate Brennan with a Tim Tebow-esque jump pass to get a first down at Lennard’s 43-yard line. Miguele and Gappy got Durant down as far as Lennard’s 21-yard line, but Williams went deep for the end zone on first down and had his pass picked off by Xavier Mitchell, who returned it to Durant’s 43-yard line with 6:09 left.
On Lennard’s next drive, the Longhorns took six minutes to get to Durant’s doorstep. Durant was able to force a turnover on downs at its own two-yard line, but there were only 10 seconds left in the game and Gappy’s last-second rush was stopped after a gain of 10 yards.