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Colonels maul Cougars; head to Parklane on Friday

By James Beasley

The Copiah Academy Colonels got their first win of the season in convincing fashion as they smashed the Hillcrest Christian School Cougars 44-0 in Jackson – with all of that happening in three quarters! The game was suspended at the end of the third quarter after Hillcrest head coach Tommy Roberts collapsed on the sideline. He was removed from the field in an ambulance and taken to the hospital. At press time, tests have been inconclusive.  
The Cougars got the first break of the game when Ian Childress recovered a CA fumble at the Hillcrest 15-yard line, but they failed to capitalize and were forced to punt. On the very next play, Copiah quarterback Ryan Drew connected with Dillon Martin on a 42-yard pass play down to the Cougar 31. Drew then hit Martin over the middle for a 31-yard TD with 4:16 left in the opening quarter. The same pair combined for the two-point conversion, and CA led 8-0.  
After holding Hillcrest to three-and-out, Copiah got the ball back at its own 32. Drew connected with Bryce Berry for a 30-yard gain, and threw again to Berry, who made a leaping catch at the Cougar 11. Drew then tossed his second touchdown pass to Martin in the waning seconds of the first period. Sam Stevens slashed his way into the end zone for the two-point conversion, and CA led 16-0.
Moments later, Stevens recovered a Hillcrest fumble, but the Colonels gave the ball right back as Lee Ogletree recovered a CA fumble at the Cougars’ 38. Not to be outdone, the Colonels scored when Bryce Berry picked off a Hillcrest fumble in mid-air and raced 60 yards for a touchdown. Drew then leaped “ala-Tim Tebow” and threw a pass to Martin for the two-point conversion that gave Copiah a 24-0 lead at halftime.
Abraham Handal returned the second-half kickoff 31 yards to the 45-yard line, but the Colonels failed to move the ball and were forced to punt. On the first play from scrimmage, CA’s Jake Risher recovered a fumble at the Hillcrest 20. Grant Anderson bulled his way for a 15-yard gain, and then took it the final 5 yards for the touchdown that put Copiah ahead 30-0 with 9:49 left in the third period.
Berry’s 25-yard punt return set the Colonels up at the Cougars’ 45-yard line. Drew then connected with Martin for a 24-yard gain. Stevens followed with a 13-yard run, and then a 7-yard TD run midway through the quarter. Thomas Roberson kicked the PAT, and CA led 37-0.
Tristen Roberts’ fumble recovery at the Hillcrest 28 set up Copiah’s final touchdown on a 15-yard scamper by Tyler Dear with just over a minute remaining in the quarter. Roberson added the PAT, putting CA ahead 44-0. The teams got into a scuffle after the ensuing kickoff, and after order was restored, Coach Roberts collapsed, leading to the suspension of the final quarter.
The Colonels the stats just as they did the scoreboard. They outgained the Cougars 129 to 39 on the ground. CA’s Ryan Drew completed 9 of 16 passes for 201 yards, while his counterpart Malcolm Hopkins was only one of 4 for 15 yards. Dillon Martin led CA with 6 catches for 130 yards, while Bryce Berry had 3 catches for 71 yards. Defensively, Grant Anderson and Tyler Lott led the winners with 6 and 4 tackles, respectively.
“We played a complete game this week,” said Copiah head coach Scotty Cline afterwards. “We had great effort on both sides of the ball and made some big plays. I felt like we played well enough to win last week against Silliman, but we didn’t play a complete game. Against Hillcrest, we took control early and never looked back.”
The Colonels (1-8) will try to stay on the winning track this Friday night as they head down I-55 to face Parklane Academy in McComb. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 PM.    

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