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Cowboys finish season with winning record
Despite disappointing season-ending loss to Madras head coach Ryan Cochran is satisfied with the season
November 26, 2012
The Crook County High School football team didn’t end the season the way they had hoped.
After starting the season with a 4-1 record, the Cowboys struggled down the stretch, dropping three of their last four games.
The losses included a disappointing season-ending loss to Madras in a play-in game.
“It was good to take a few days off and reflect,” said head football coach Ryan Cochran. “All in all, I think it was a good season.”
Although Cochran had hoped to make it to the playoffs, the season was still an improvement from 2011 when the team finished with a 3-7 record. This season’s 5-4 record is just the second winning mark for the Cowboys in the last 10 years.
The season started on a high note when the Cowboys knocked off the Henley Hornets in overtime. Then Crook County struggled in a loss to Cascade, who is still alive in the playoffs, before going on an offensive tear. For the next three games, the Cowboys averaged 52 points a game as they rolled over The Dalles/Wahtonka, knocked off Madras in a shoot-out, and blasted Madison.
However, the Cowboys struggled with mistakes the remainder of the season as turnovers and penalties plagued the team.
Still Cochran was pleased with the progress that the team made.
“The team worked really hard,” he said. “They had a winning season and we made a lot of progress as a program. The team worked hard every day no matter what the situation. Every day they brought their hard hats and worked their tails off.”
Offensively, Cochran was especially pleased with the play of running backs Marcus Greaves and Brandon Zemp. Together the duo accounted for 1,384 rushing yards. Greaves ran for 759 yards in just 88 carries for an 8.63 yard per rush average. Meanwhile Zemp was nearly impressive, averaging 6.19 yards per carry as he rushed for 625 yards.
Cochran was also pleased with the play of Joe Saenz. The senior, who had never played quarterback before, completed 57 out of 110 pass attempts for 574 yards. In addition, Saenz rushed for 370 yards.
“For a kid that had never played quarterback he really stepped up,” Cochran said. “We put a lot on his plate with the no-huddle offense and everything and he really did an excellent job.”
On defense Gunnar Crawford led the Cowboys with 72 tackles while Zemp was next with 52. Also having an impact on the defensive side of the ball were Greaves with 41 tackles, Aaron Swindle, and Dillon Viescas who finished with 34 and 33 tackles respectively.
Cochran also cited the solid play at defensive back by both Zemp and Colbran Meeker.
Although the Cowboys lose most of their skill players to graduation the team still has a solid core of returning players.
Seth Flegel and Jason Williams return to anchor the Cowboy line while Meeker gained valuable experience at running back late in the season.
Still Cochran said that the team is going to have to make some adjustments next year.
“Our seniors are going to be hard to replace,” he said. “But we have some young players who have stepped up. I think every team has its strengths and weaknesses. We are just going to have to change what we do to play to our strengths.”