The atypical character of the Wallowa Cougars’ gridiron season hasn’t abated, with the local squad taking a painful 54-26 loss to the Elgin Huskies on Friday, Sept. 20. It was the third consecutive loss in the Cougar’s thus-far winless season.
Due to injuries and the permanent suspension of a senior from the squad, the Cougs could only suit up 11 men for the contest, most being freshmen and sophomores. The inexperience showed on the field, with the Huskies scoring three touchdowns in first quarter. Down 18-0, the Wallowa’s Cougars struck three times in the second quarter: First on a brother-to-brother hookup on a pass from freshman Lute Ramsden to brother, Zeb. The second came on a 25-yard run, again by Zeb Ramsden and shortly before the quarter ended, running back, Tristin Bales hustled in for the score from four yards out.
The Cougars proved at times they could play with the Huskies, who fielded 12 seniors, but inconsistent play led to the downfall of the Cougs. Numerous promising drives were halted by fumbles, interceptions and the bane of the Cougars: penalties. Meanwhile, the Huskies did not let up, at one point, leading the Cougs 40-12 in the second quarter.
The Huskies started to slow after the half, tired from battling the Wallowa defense. The Huskies scored twice in the third quarter and not at all in the fourth as the obviously winded Huskies failed to make any headway on offense. The Cougs had one more bright spot on offense in the third quarter when Zeb Ramsden broke loose for a 57-yard TD bring the score up to 46-26 in the Huskies’ favor.
Bright spots for the Cougs included always reliable Zeb Ramsden with 170 yards rushing on eight carries with three touchdowns while Bales racked up 101 yards and a TD on 14 carries. In the aerial department, Lute Ramsden completed six of 25 attempts for 94 yards and threw three interceptions. Zeb Ramsden caught three passes for 32 yards and Bales snagged two for 21 yards.
Defensively, Superman Zeb Ramsden led the Cougs with eight tackles and six assists while sophomore Jesse Duncan racked up seven tackles and five assists.
The loss left the Cougars 0-3 on the season and 0-2 in league play. They next travel to face Adrian/Jordan Valley on Friday, Sept 27.