The Cougars of Middle Tennessee Christian continue to be on the hunt for their first win of the 2019 season.
Despite multiple touchdowns from running back Kemari McGowan, the Cougars simply could not keep up with the Hustling Tigers of Howard Tech, falling 54-27.
“When you’re a young team sometimes you have Achilles heels that pop up,” Cougars coach Fred Shambaugh said. “We’re learning through experience and you can’t rush experience. This year we’ve been victim to the big play. Even though we’ve been able to do a lot of things well, we just haven’t been able to be consistent.”
The Tigers were led by a team stacked with seniors and it didn’t take long for the experience they carried to be felt. Eric Johnson, working with quarterback Tre-Montay Brooks saw the end zone on the first drive of the game just two minutes in.
Unfazed, running back McGowan, a name well known to Cougars fans for his speed, answered back on the kickoff return, blowing past the Tigers defense to give MTCS their only lead of the night 7-6.
“He’s a solid senior and he’s just surrounded by a lot of young guys. He’s still plugging away and running hard though,” Shambaugh said.
The Tigers responded with touchdowns coming on the next three consecutive drives from Javion Robinson, Brooks, and once again from Johnson, stunning the Cougars with a 28-7 lead in just the first quarter.
McGowan scored his second touchdown of the night in opening moments of the second quarter breathing life into the Cougars. The touchdown seemed to rattle the Tigers as penalties began to pile up.
Trey Harris and defensive lineman Tyler Webb began to exert their will on the Tigers offensive line, and for the moment, it seemed to be enough for MTCS to get back into the game.
Again though, the experience of Howard Tech shined, and they were able pull the game back in their favor. Brooks found wide receiver Kerrick Thorne down field with no coverage, easily passing to him for a touchdown and Johnson again saw the end zone with a halftime score of 41-14 Tigers.
While no scores were exchange in the third, the fourth continued the tale of the night for the Cougars. Blake Moore and Gavin Wallace pushed MTCS’s score to 27, but another touchdown from Johnson and one from Deorien Elder put the game well out of reach for the Cougars.
The Cougars host DCA next week at home and once again be looking for their first win of the season.
“We’ve played two 4A’s and Friendship now,” Shambaugh said. “If we can stay within ourselves and understand that those are three tough games, especially when you’re young, there’s a lot of growth and positives remaining this season though.”