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FOOTBALL: Cougars find they like winning

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Friday night is homecoming at Annapolis High School. Itís a pretty big deal. But this year itís an even bigger deal considering the Cougars didnít field a varsity team last year because of low numbers.

And itís even bigger considering how well the Cougars are playing this season Ė proving that playing just JV last year has helped Annapolis on the field this year.

Before we look back, letís look ahead.

The Cougars will host Redford Union on Friday as Annapolis hopes to not only crown a king and queen but a fourth win as well. The Panthers arenít exactly tearing it up this season. In fact, their 47-6 win Friday over Detroit Edison Academy was the first victory of the season for RU after losing its first four by a combined score of 132-19. The Panthers (1-4) have been shut out three times this year.

So, letís just say itís a winnable game for the home team. A victory would give the Panthers four wins with three games left and two wins needed to qualify for a playoff spot.

The rest of the schedule features Robichaud (2-3), Livonia Clarenceville (5-0) and New Boston Huron (1-4). All three are solid teams so winning on Friday is a must for the Cougars before they start making postseason plans.

ďThey always come ready to play,Ē said Annapolis coach Casey Ruthenberg said of Redford Union. ďThis will be a large crowd and a lot of distractions this week for our young team and we hope to have a good week of practice preparing for Redford Union.Ē

Now letís take a look back. After dropping the season opener to Grosse Ile, 35-6, the Cougars have played well, winning three of four including last Fridayís 31-0 win over Detroit University Prep Science and Math.

ďThe defense showed a lot character this week getting their first shutout and a few takeaway and points on defense,Ē said Ruthenberg. ďDefensive coordinator A.J. Linares (a former Annapolis player, 1999) is doing a fine job getting the kids motivated and aggressive which is something we are going to need coming into the tough part of our schedule.Ē

In the win over University Prep, Brandon Saggers led the Cougars on the ground with 138 yards rushing and two touchdowns. Dequain Cobb had 78 yards rushing and a touchdown.

Tony Campbell led the defense with eight tackles.

Annapolis took the opening kickoff 70 yards down the field in 10 plays, scoring on Cobbís two-yard run. Hunter McCoy hit the extra point and the Cougars led 7-0.

The Cougars tried an onside kick but U-Prep picked it up and reached the 25-yard line after a tackle by Nick Wright. Annapolis held and took over the ball on downs.

On the first play from the 30-yard line, Cobb escaped a sure tackle and busts a run for 30 yards. Nine plays later, Campbell scores on a short run to give Annapolis a 13-0 lead in the first quarter.

After forcing a punt, Annapolis takes over at the 40-yard line and starts marching down the field. But the Cougars fumble inside the 10-yard line and U-Prep recovers.

While trying to punt, U-Prep snaps the ball over the punterís head and Jon Chacon tackles the punter in the end zone for a safety and a 15-0 lead.

In the third quarter, the same thing happens and Annapolis takes a 17-0 lead.

Annapolis then goes 60 yards in two plays, thanks to a 50-yard run by Saggers. Campbell runs in the two-point conversion and Annapolis leads 25-0

After an interception by Maurice Moner, the Cougars go nine plays and score on a Saggersí TD run for a 31-0 lead.

Last Updated: 10/1/2013 2:29:18 PM EST