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Big-play explosion downfall for Cougars
WINTHROP -- The lack of execution in the red zone proved costly for Dirigo in a Class C Campbell Conference football game Friday night.
This was further compromised by the big play explosion by the Winthrop/Monmouth, who scored on two passes in the final two minutes of the first half and held on for a 28-14 win against the Cougars.
The game started out with a bang when Win/Mon speedster Zach Glazier returned the opening kick off all the way for touchdown. A two-point conversion pass gave the Ramblers an 8-0 lead.
Dirigo (1-2) refused to roll over and immediately roared back. They answered with a 66-yard, nine-play drive, with Heath Hersom gaining 27 yards on the first three carries, then Brett Beauschesne. Tyler Frost finished it off with two-yard TD and Riley Robinson (5 of 12 for 53 yards) rushed the conversion to tie the game at 8-8.
The Cougar defense held and the offense engineered a 10-play, 59-yard-drive with Beauschesne scoring a five-yard TD. The drive was kept alive by an 18-yard screen pass to Frost on fourth down. The conversion failed, but Dirigo led 14-8.
"We had success running through our four and six holes up the middle," said Dirigo coach Dave Crutchfield. “Then when they blitzed, we bounced outside. Tyler Frost made some great blocks and Brett Beauschesne and Heath Hersom each carried the load."
Dirigo wasn't able to manage the clock before halftime and Winthrop took over with good field position. Jared Hanson threw to Brandon Goff, who burned the secondary for two TD passes to Goff and a 22-14 lead at halftime.
"I take responsibility for that (sequence)," said Crutchfield, as the TD with 34 seconds left resulted following an interception.
Dirigo made some adjustments, no huddle offense, and had three drives in the second half that ended in the red zone, but mistakes led to Win/Mon taking over on downs. The Cougars made 18 first downs, a majority on the ground with net yards by Hersom (120 yards, 22 rushes), Robinson (49, yards, 12 rushes), Beauchesne (133 yards, 29 rushes) and Frost 26 yards.
"We ran out of gas," said Crutchfield, referring to Win/Mon multiple depth. "We had revamped the offense and moved the ball. Torey Barnett did a great job filling in on the offensive line, but we need some other guys to step up, so we can substitute more."
Glazier put it away with a 70-yard TD run. The total enrollment of the two schools still is at Class D level.