On Saturday Apex Mitey Mite Black took on the Wake County Cowboys. The game was a high scoring affair that saw a lot of twists and turns.
Offensively the Cougars scored 5 touchdowns behind the blocking of Austin Tingen, Moses Ventura, Jacob Berlin, Hunter Wilkinson, Nick Barnes, Sam Katz, and Chris Ingram. The backs had holes all day and the quarterbacks had time to throw.
The Cougars kicked off first, but elected to kick it onsides and it did so successfully. After taking the ball down to the 3 yard line the Cougars drive stalled, but that was the only time the offense would stall all day.
The Cougars got on the board when Daniel Rose took the handoff and darted around left end for a touchdown. Rose would have 2 touchdowns on the day. Apex also got touchdowns from Niko Gnann, Will Donohue, and Zach Vigue.
Defensively the Cougars had all they could handle with the fast Cowboy backs, but they not only handled the Cowboys the Cougars looked to take the ball back from the opposition. The line led by Alex Robertson, Patrick Flynn, Jonathan Paulino, Cooper Leonard, Luke Farrell, and Aaron Ventura played in the backfield most of the day.
The Cougars did have to adjust during the game because the Cowboys consistently looked to get outside of the tackles and Apex adjusted by putting more linebackers on the field.
Cooper Nowell, Harvey Cooper, Cade Spector, Patton Germann, and Alex McMichael were great on defense making open field tackles to save big runs. Gnann, Vigue, Rose, and Wilkinson also stepped in and made big plays for the defense.
On the Cowboys final drive Wilkinson shot into the backfield and not only got the running back, but took the ball to help secure the game for the Cougars.
It was the little things that helped the Cougars win the game 38 - 19. On an early drive Rose mishandled a snap and instead of falling on the ball he picked it up and ran for a touchdown. Luke Farrell also had a similar play on fourth and short where he bobbled the snap, but picked it up and got the first down.
Later in the game Farrell made a key block down field that helped spring Rose for a long run.
On special teams the Cougars was also "Special" on the day with the Cougars recovering an onside kick and Austin "The Foot" Tingen was good on 4 of 5 PAT's, which put 8 points on the board for the Cougars. Next week the Cougars face off against Apex Gold in a friendly match between teams from Apex. Mitey Mite Gold
With two weeks off, the Mighty Mite Gold used the time to increase the depth of their football team. It was "SWAP" week - think of it as Boxing Day for football players - the guys that normally play defense went over to offense and the offensive guys increased their defensive skills.
The game was against South Johnston but the challenges were really within the developing Apex team. Nerves were being tested and there was lots of anticipation just before the opening kickoff. However, the nerves seemed to subside as Jaden Roundtree and the kick receiving team ran back the opening kick for a quick six on the board.
Another first came at the foot of Liam Murray with the two point kick conversion making the score 8-0. The defense took the field on the next possession.
The South Johnston offensive line collapsed under the pressure of Hunter Kelley, Gabe Jensen, Tyler Owens, Jake Vehslage and Seth Steiman. Three and out gave the ball back to the newly installed offense. With Liam Murray at QB, the O-line of Arthur Phillips, Chris Halker, Zach Mullins, Will Norman, Jack Kimball, Jackson Marley, Brien Conroy, and Geoffrey Forsythe opened holes to help the Cougars drive the ball downfield.
All nerves were settled as Jake Pio, Elijah Echols, and Jeremy Berkowitz reeled off impressive yards culminating in a Jake Pio TD. With another impressive kick by Murray for the point after, the Cougars found themselves up 16-0.
It looked like the Apex defense had the SJ team on its heels as Hunter Kelley and Gabe Jensen teamed up for a QB crush. However, the replacement South Johnston QB exhibited some nice moves on an end around play that made the halftime score 16-6.
There was no score change in the third quarter, however the Cougars once again took control of the game in the fourth.
Kevin Conroy had an interception that set up a TD run by Gabe Jensen. The punishing defense held the SJ Team at bay while the offense ripped off play after play.
Jaden Roundtree had bookend TD's scoring the final TD of the game. Final score 29-6. It was another notch in the belt for this young Apex team and a confidence builder for some young players as they move to the meat of their season.
MMG will finish the regular season against the Apex Cougars Black and then the North Raleigh Bulldogs. Pee Wee Green
It was the battle of the unbeatens as the 5-0 Cougars traveled to South Johnston to take on the 4-0 Trojans. The Trojans started the game with an on-side kick which was recovered by the Cougars. The Cougars “Green” offense took the field. Within five plays, they were in the end zone, but a holding penalty negated the score.
The Cougars pushed the ball back into the red zone, but another holding penalty stalled the drive again, and the ball was turned over on downs.
The Cougars defense took over, and as usual, the stellar play of Connor Castagnero, Connor Collins, Hunter Mayo, Jude Upchurch, Peyton Smith, Tyler Halker, Cody Greene, Jack Donohue, Cole Johnson, Grey Spector and Miguel Dizon held the Trojans to four downs.
The Cougars “White” offense took over, but after earning a couple of first downs, turned the ball over. Pinned deep in their own territory the Trojans first attempted a pass which was broken up by Donohue. On the second play of the series, Castagnero surged into the Trojan backfield and tackled the ball carrier behind the goal line, scoring a safety for the Cougars.
The Trojans kicked off to the Cougars who fielded the ball, and the Cougar “Gold” offense of Cliff Winefordner, Aaron Suarez, Max Piechottka, Danny Paulino, Mayo, Kyle Passio, Kevin McGrath, Spector, Johnson, Castagnero, Upchurch and Donohue took over. After one first down run, the drive stalled, and the ball was turned over on downs.
The Trojans got in a few plays before the half ran out, but at half-time, the score stood at: Cougars – 2, Trojans – 0.
The Cougars kicked off to the Trojans, who, behind the play of their very talented quarterback, finally managed to defy the Cougars defense for only the second time this season and put the ball in the end zone. The defense rallied and denied the PAT, and the Trojans were on the board with a 6-2 lead.
The Cougars kept their heads up, and the “Green” and “Gold” offenses took turns driving the ball down the field.
Again and again the drives stalled in the red zone. Unfortunately for the Trojans, the Cougar defense never stalled. It was like déjà vu all over again as a bobbled snap allowed the Cougars defense to tackle the Trojans ball carrier in the end zone for a second Cougars safety, putting the score at 6-4 in favor of the home team.
The Trojans kicked off, and the Cougars “Gold” offense took the field. Riding high on the momentum of a second defensive score, they drove down, and Jack Donohue took it to the house for a Cougar touchdown. Cody Greene added the PAT for an 11-6 Cougar lead.
The fourth quarter continued to be highlighted by some truly exceptional playing by both teams. Of special note was the play of number 6 for the Trojans, a truly outstanding athlete. But one man was no match for Cougars team.
Besides, scoring four points, they had two outstanding fourth quarter goal-line stands to deny the Trojans the winning TD, including an interception by Donohue and a fearsome rush by Peyton Smith to break up the last Trojan offensive play and end the game.
The Trojans were a worthy opponent who played hard and with heart, but in the end, the score was Cougars – 11, Trojans – 6. NEXT WEEK
At Lufkin Road Middle School:
9 a.m. - Flag Green vs. Cary Chargers Green
10 a.m. - Mitey Mite White vs. Cary Chargers Black
11:30 a.m. - Mitey Mite - Apex Cougars Gold vs. Apex Cougars Black
1:15 p.m. - Mitey Mite Green vs. Wake County Cowboys
2:45 p.m. - Jr Pee Wee Gold vs. Sanford Sting
4:15 p.m. - Pee Wee Green vs. Cleveland Wildcats
On the Road:
9 a.m. - Flag Cougars Gold at Durham Stormin' Eagles
9 a.m. - TM Cougars Gold at Orange County Tar Heels
10 a.m. - TM Cougars Green at Cap. City Steelers White
12:45 p.m. - JPW Cougars Black at Cary Chargers White
1 p.m. - JM Cougars at Cleveland Wildcats
2:15 p.m. - PW Cougars Black at Wake Forest Titans Lightning Apex Pop Warner football and cheerleading is sponsored by the Apex Sports Authority, a 100 percent volunteer organization that manages football, cheerleading, wrestling and lacrosse programs for area youth. If you are interested in participating or would just like more information please visit http://www. ASACougars.com.