Cougars move on and advance

PORTLAND – The long drive didn’t seem to faze the Greenfield-Central offensive line. Whether the Cougar coaching staff called a run or pass, the offensive line more than answered the call, as their blocking allowed six touchdowns of over 40 yards in the Cougars’ 41-21 win in the opening round of sectional play against the Jay County Patriots.

The win improves the Cougars’ record to 6-4 and clinches the school’s first winning season since 2011.

“These seniors deserve that,” first-year coach Adam Sherman said afterwards in the middle of a jubilant group of players. “I don’t want anyone to think this winning season is because of me. It’s because of them.”

Jay County had the ball twice before the Cougars got their chance, as a recovered squib kick gave the Patriots another possession following a quick opening drive touchdown. However, it didn’t take long for the offensive line to impose its will. On the third play, a hole opened up that allowed senior running back Michael Sosnowski to sprint 62 yards untouched for his first score.

The second quarter belonged to the Cougars as well. Sosnowski scored twice on 69 and 43 yard runs respectively, and Andrew Leslie threw a perfect pass to Orlando Mojica for a 41-yard touchdown pass just before halftime to give the Cougars a 28-7 lead into the break.

On the first play of the second half, Andrew Leslie would go deep again as he lofted a ball to a wide open Jaden Brown for a 50-yard touchdown pass that gave the Cougars a 35-7 lead. Jay County wouldn’t go away quietly however, as they scored two touchdowns on consecutive possessions to bring the score to 35-21.

“We’ve got to tighten some things up there,” Sherman said. “If we’re going to make a run we can’t sit on leads like that; we’ve got to stay sharp until the very end.”

Sosnowski and his offensive line put the dreams of a comeback away however, as he ripped off a 65-yard touchdown run, breaking a few tackles this time. The fourth quarter was academic for the Cougars, as they controlled the clock and secured the victory.

Sosnowski would finish with 291 yards rushing on 12 carries with four touchdowns. The Cougars finished the game with well over 350 yards rushing.

“This line is great, and I love working with them,” said Sherman. “I haven’t looked at the record book, but we’ve got to be close to setting a record for rushing yards in a season.”

The victory puts the Cougars in the semifinals of the sectional next week, where they will host the Delta Eagles, who eliminated Greenfield last year as well and beat the Cougars in the regular season in a close 7-point game.