TERRETON – The spunky Firth Cougars, with a 4-2 record, made the trek north to tangle with the Panthers of West Jefferson on Friday night.
To say the game was going to be in hostile territory is probably an understatement, but there is just something about playing at West Jefferson, nothing ever comes easy.
On paper, this should have been a walk in the park for the Cougars, but they went to the game wary of what to expect and it was a good thing they did.
The Panthers threw everything they had at the Cougars and some would probably say that it even included the kitchen sink in an effort to stop the wide open offense that the Cougars employ. They stacked the box with defenders and then would drop back into deep pass coverage and totally confused the Cougars in what they were trying to do.
The end result was that the Cougars were unable to complete some drives that, before Friday night, would have been a simple go out and hit somebody and make things happen kind of effort.
With the confusion came mistakes and penalties and when the dust cleared in the farming community of Terreton, the Cougars were lucky to escape with a 14-point win, 14-0.
As a former coach at Firth once said, “You are always lucky to come away with a win at West J. There is just something about playing there that makes you wonder if the field in enchanted or something, because no matter what you plan for, it isn’t enough.”
The Cougars did enough offensively to get the win, but it was the defense that carried the team to their victory.
It is also the defense of the Cougars that has been the unsung hero this season.
The team has three shutouts on the year and another game where they only gave up seven points, so the defense has been prominent from the outset of this season.
The minds of the players most likely were a week ahead as well, as they host the number two ranked team in the state in North Fremont next with a conference title on the line as well.
The Cougars were just happy to have a safe bus ride home to Firth, with another win under their belts and a big game on the horizon on Friday night against North Fremont. That is the game they really want to get and only time will tell if it all works out that way.
With the win, Firth is now 5-2 on the season, a perfect 3-0 in Nuclear Conference play and will wrap up the regular season this week with the playoffs on the horizon beginning the week of Oct. 30-31.