by Jason Herd
For the Pharos-Tribune
After Friday night’s game against the Carroll Cougars, Caston coach Chris Ulerick probably had a lot of things to say to his team.
One thing he couldn’t say was his team didn’t have opportunities.
On a soggy night in Flora, two young football teams met in desperate need of a win. Since hammering Tri-County on Aug. 23, the Cougars have lost three straight games as well as their talented junior quarterback Jared Miller. Despite a change in offensive philosophy this season, Caston’s woes have ironically come on the defensive end. Friday, that same defense forced six Carroll turnovers, but the Comets failed to capitalize and lost 20-6.
With steady showers throughout the first half, Carroll kept it on the ground. Bruising junior fullback Jaden Reneau got the Cougars on the scoreboard in the first with a 35-yard run up the middle, ripping through Comet tackles.
Later in the first period, junior Brandon Dillon intercepted Quentin Douglass and returned it 35 yards for the score, putting the Cougars up 14-0 with 1:08 to play.
After stalling deep in their own territory for their first three drives, the Comets got things moving when Douglass connected with sophomore Brayton Jellison for a 47-yard touchdown early in the second.
For the remainder of the half, Caston’s defense tightened up and forced three takeaways to keep the Cougars at bay. The Carroll defense was equally up to the task, allowing only six rushing yards on the night. The Comets finished the night with a dismal 67 yards of total offense.
Despite those totals, Caston was in the game. At least they were until Reneau struck again from 38 yards out to extend the lead to 20-6 with 8:10 to play in the third. The Cougars rolled up 248 rushing yards in the game.
Dillon was also a force for Carroll, dancing through Comet tacklers, picking up key yards down the stretch.
One bright spot for the Comets was Rex Smith. The senior filled the punting role admirably and gave the Comet defense several opportunities for good field position in some wet conditions.
In addition to his touchdown catch in the first half, Jellison had two interceptions on defense.
With turnovers coming in bunches, it was the Comet offense that obviously fizzled out after the initial score. Douglass ran for his life with virtually no time to set up and find receivers. When he did, his receivers couldn’t haul in the wet, slippery football.
The Comets will try and regroup next Friday against North White, who defeated Frontier 26-3 Friday night.