April 16, 2014 - 00:18
Cougars hammer Hayesville
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By: Mark Rogers

The Copper Basin Cougars looked to go 3-0 and match the number of wins they compiled the entire season last year when the Hayesville Yellow Jackets rolled into town.  Bryce Nicholson led the way for the Copper Basin Cougars with an outstanding performance in all aspects of the game.  Nicholson had a break out game with 2 receiving touchdowns, 2 interceptions, 1 punt return for a touchdown, and a fumble recovery for a touchdown.  From start to finish, it was truly no competition with Copper Basin defeating Hayesville 41-14.

The opening kickoff return of 35 yards by Denzel Brown set the tone for the Cougars and they did not let up until the game was well out of reach.  After being set up in great field position, the opening Basin drive was a methodical mix of run and pass which ended with a 1 yard touchdown run by Justin Vazquez.  The extra point was good and the Cougars led 7-0 with 8:03 left in the first quarter.  Then it was time for the defense and special teams to take control of the game.  Hayesville was smothered on the ensuing kickoff and was forced to a 3 and out when facing a 4th and 24 from their own 10.  The punt was returned by Nicholson for a 44 yard touchdown.  The extra point was true and the Cougar lead grew to 14-0 with 5:59 left in quarter one.

The dominance continued with the Copper Basin defense controlling the line of scrimmage and the punt return team, via Brown’s 56 yard punt return, giving the offense excellent field position.  Brown finished the possession with a 16 yard jaunt up the middle to add to the Basin lead.  The extra point failed and the Cougars led 20-0 with 3:12 left in the first.  The Cougar defense forced a fumble on the following Hayesville drive and Wlijah Deal  recovered for Copper Basin.  5 plays later, Dylan Boggs hooked up with the man of the night, Nicholson, on a 27 yard post pattern for the 4th Cougar touchdown of the first quarter.  The extra point was added and the lead grew to 27 -0 and remained the same going into the second quarter.

Two plays into the 2nd quarter the Cougar defense forced another fumble and Boggs made the recovery for Basin.  A mixture of run and pass led the Cougar offense down the field with the drive ending with a familiar connection between Boggs throwing to Nicholson for a 25 yard touchdown pass.  The extra point was no good but the Cougar lead remained strong at 33-0. 

The Hayesville offense started to put together a little bit of a drive half way through the 2nd quarter but it was quickly halted by another  fumble, this time it was Nicholson with the scoop and score to add to the Cougar lead.  The two-point conversion was smashed in up the middle by Boggs and the Basin lead grew to 41-0.  The Hayesville Yellow Jackets were able to punch in one touchdown before the end of the 2nd and the Cougars led 41-7 at halftime.

In the second half, the Cougar offense went into clock management mode and melted the time away with a large amount of time of possession.  The Hayesville offense was able to take advantage of a Cougar turnover to cut the Basin lead to 41-14 but they would get no closer.  The Cougar defense in the second half was just as strong as it was in the first.  Nicholson led the way with 2 interceptions and key tackles were made by Boggs, Brown, and a host of Cougars on the defensive front to help secure win number 3 of the 2012 football season.

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