Saturday, November 22, 2008

Central Cougars Defeat Siloam Springs Panthers to Advance to Semi-Finals

HELENA-WEST HELENA-Three touchdown passes and two touchdown runs from Deondra Johnson propelled the Helena-West Helena Central Cougars to the semifinals of the playoffs for the first time in school history as the Cougars blasted the Panthers 38-14.

Siloam Springs, seeking their first 10-win season in over 50 years, stuffed the Cougars on the opening possession and went on a 5-play, 64-yard drive. Jake Cifuentes put the Panthers on the board with a 10-yard touchdown run. Pablo Castillo kicked the extra point to make the score 7-0 and the Cougars trailed for the first time since the third week of the season at West Memphis.

Helena-West Helena Central got on the board with two seconds to go in the first quarter when Deondra Jonson scored on a 3-yard touchdown run to cap off a 13-play, 98-yard drive. The try for two failed and Siloam Springs was clinging to a 7-6 lead at the end of the first quarter.

After forcing a Siloam Springs punt on the ensuing possession, the Cougars went 90 yards on 14 plays. Johnson hit Kyrin Burrell for a 31-yard scoring strike. The try for two failed and Helena-West Helena led 12-7 with 3:46 to go in the first half.

After Siloam missed a 45-yard field goal attempt, the Cougars went 72 yards on two plays. Johnson hit Turrell Williams on a 60-yard touchdown strike with 25 seconds to go before the intermission. Johnson then threw to Juwan North to put the Cougars up 20-7 at the half.

Helena-West Helena stuffed Siloam to open the second half and took the enuing possession 54 yards on six plays. Williams scored on a 17-yard run with 6:31 in the third. The try for two failed and Helena-West Helena was pulling away with a 26-7 lead.

Winston got an interception on the second play of the fourth quarter. Three plays later, Johnson hit Goldsberry from seven yards out to push the lead to 32-7.

Johnson got a 22 yard touchdown run with 8:37 remaining in the game. Siloam got a score against the Cougar reserves when Anthony Autry scored on a 9-yard touchdown run to cap off an 11-play, 61-yard drive. Castillo hit the PAT to make the final 38-14.

Cougar Coach Russell Smith was happy following the win saying, "I am really proud of our kids and how they responded to the early adversity. We played hard. It was a big win. We have to work hard to prepare for Monticello."

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