Sports
October 22, 2018
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Cougars overcome Pumas Lady Titan’s vs St. Helena Great job Lady Titans Titan’s vs. Anderson Valley Northern California locals round out SCCA Championship Runoffs Kuhlman watches the orb sail Misi ready for the big hit Junior Giants return to RP Hayes comes in first Credo/Technology volley ball Local playing with Ducks Technology High School girls’ soccer INDYCAR Showcase Mata player of the match Youth tennis camp is huge success Lacrosse holds free clinic Sept. 21 Scoring the final goal Dirt track motorcycle racing comes to Sonoma County Fair Panthers trounce Cougars A collision bound to happen RC Cougar fan facing surgery receives outpouring of support Heading for a goal Small town local gets drafted in MLB Parking lot rally brings families together A nice tight race Historic car festival coming to Sonoma Valley Rancho graduate signs with Holy Names University Laughlin makes a diving save NASCAR returns to Sonoma Raceway Excitement for new football season Move aside Man of Steel, we’ve got Ironman: Ironman triathlon returns to Sonoma County Getting it over the net Cal Ripken celebrates the end of a successful season Football suffering from decline in signups Going for a goal The Rohnert Park Rebel 12U McLaughlin team Slow pitch? Fast game! First victory in Adult Softball League Junior drag racer hits the track Cross country standouts Burning rubber at the Sonoma Raceway Hard fought and hard won: Men’s basketball championship seized by one point Cal Ripken 12 U moves on to regional tournament Poor RP field conditions cause injuries Temperatures rise in heated Summer Slam Tournament Drag racing comes to Sonoma Raceway RP 9U Blue sweeps it all in NorCal tournament RP takes an early lead in state tournament

 Cougars triumph over Vikings

  • Rancho's Trevor Lee broke into the Pleasant Valley backfield for a quarterback sack forcing Tanner Hughes's illegal pass to avoid being brought down for a loss. Robert Grant

By: David Rheinhart
September 21, 2018

Rancho Cotate Cougars chalked up another win Friday. This time they faced off against the Pleasant Valley Vikings in a brutal 35-27 home game. 

It wasn’t an easy fight. The Vikings forced the Cougars to pay for every mistake and it took all the way into the fourth quarter before the Cougars managed to seize the lead, but after they did the Cougars didn’t let go. 

“The Vikings were well coached and disciplined,” said Gehrig Hotaling, Cougar’s head coach. “We knew they were going to be good going in and they were. They’re the number one team in their section for a reason.”

The game started poorly for the Cougars. They elected to kick off and perhaps that might have been a mistake. The Vikings were a fast moving team. They seized the early initiative and shoved the ball down the field, but the Cougar defense managed to hold and take back possession at their own two -yard line.

The reprieve didn’t last long, however. After three quick plays that only netted about five yards, 

the Cougars punted. The Vikings caught it deep in Cougar territory, and a 20-yard pass to a Viking wide receiver, Caleb Cooley, put the first points on the board. 

“Our number one focus all week was solving the riddle of the Vikings. It took us two quarters, but we eventually figured it out,” said Hotaling. 

The first real clue to that riddle came in the last few minutes of the first quarter. On offense, Cougar quarterback, Jared Stocker, chucked a long pass down the field to his wide receiver, Brandon Proschold. He caught the 37-yard throw and in one play stole the initiative right out from under the Vikings. Another pass to running back, Rasheed Rankin, moved the ball inches from the end zone, which Rankin was perfectly happy to cross the very next play. 

“This team was just physical and strong. They love football. These are football players meant for everything,” said Rankin. 

The touchdown tied up the game and established the rhythm for the next two quarters. First the Cougars scored, then the Vikings, then back again and the teams went into the end game evenly matched. 

It all broke in the Cougar’s favor when Rankin barreled right on through the Viking defensive line for a 20- yard charge. The Vikings, worn down by the Cougar’s offense, crumbled and the next play Rankin plunged across the end zone to secure the lead. 

The Cougars then switched almost entirely to their running game in order to burn the clock. It worked, too. During their next possession, they inched the ball towards the Viking end zone and managed to take up over six minutes, leaving the Vikings with barely a minute and a half minutes to overcome the Cougar’s now two touchdown lead. 

It proved impossible, but that didn’t stop the Vikings from trying. Credit where credit is due, the Vikings played to the very end, managing to score with less than a single second left on the clock. 

“Their power game beat us up front. Their offensive line beat our defensive line, big time,” said Mark Cooley, Viking head coach. “I think our kids could have gotten a little bit tougher, I really do.”

The Cougar’s win against the Vikings leaves them undefeated with a record of 5-0. They’re now second in their division right behind Granada. There’s a bit of a break before their next game, which is an away against Cardinal Newman in Santa Rosa Friday, Sept. 28th. 

“We’re a little beat up, but with games like this where we come out relatively unscathed and healthy, that’s good,” Hotaling said. “We’ve got two weeks to prepare for the league. We’re in a good spot right now.”