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Cougars Prevail in First Football Game of the Season

September 08, 2020

By: Kanyon Held, a junior at Leigh High School

            In a highly anticipated matchup between two pre-season top-ranked D1 teams, the Clarkson-Leigh Patriots and Cross County Cougars duked it out on Friday night, August 28, in the Patriots’ first game of the year, in front of the biggest crowd anyone can remember at a football game in Leigh in many years. 

Unfortunately for the Patriots, the Cougars jumped out to an early lead, and Clarkson-Leigh never recovered. The final score of the game ended 36-56.

The Patriots did, however, put the first touchdown in on the first drive of the game, and held the lead for a short time. Senior quarterback Lance Paprocki put the ball in the endzone with a 33-yd run. The Patriots failed to put the two-point conversion in.

            Cross County answered right back when Isaac Noyd ran in a 34-yd touchdown for the Cougars. They also failed to put the two-point conversion in. Later in the first quarter, Carter Seim ran in an 11-yd run for Cross County. The Cougars put in the two-point conversion, making the score 6-14 Cougars at the end of the first quarter. 

            The Cougars scored first in the second quarter when Carter Seim ran in a 58-yd touchdown. Cross County failed to put the two-point conversion in. The Patriots answered back when Tommy McEvoy scored on a 1-yd run. Clarkson-Leigh put in the two-point conversion after the touchdown. To end the first half, Cross County scored on a 15-yd pass but failed to put in the two-point conversion, making the score 14-26 going into halftime. 

            The Patriots looked to regroup during halftime and find a way to put a stop to this Cougar offense.  But their plans were to no avail as they were outscored again in the third quarter.  After halftime, Cross County came out scoring two running touchdowns and putting the two-point conversion in on one of them. The Patriots also scored in the third when McEvoy ran in a 5-yd touchdown. The Patriots succeeded on the two-point conversion and made the score 40-22 Cougars at the end of the third. 

            In the fourth quarter, Cross County scored two more touchdowns and put the two-point conversion in on both of them. The Patriots also scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Paprocki punched the ball in on a 2-yd rushing touchdown, and sophomore Mason Whitmore had a 38-yd rushing touchdown. The Patriots put one of the two-point conversions in, making the ending score 36-56.

            On the defensive end, McEvoy and senior Trevor Zulkoski led the team in total tackles with 11 apiece.  Sophomore Drew Beeson recorded 9. Beeson also added a fumble recovery. 

            When asked about the game, Assistant Coach Jeff Bachman said, “I was pleased with the way we competed. We learned a lot about ourselves that night, but unfortunately we lost to a very good team.” 

            After making the jump this year from D2 to D1, the Patriots have numerous teams on their schedule this year they have never played before in the regular season.  They will look to add some Ws to their scorecard in the upcoming weeks against Elmwood-Murdock, Stanton, GACC, Wisner-Pilger, Madison, and Howells-Dodge. 



1st Quarter

2nd Quarter

3rd Quarter

4th Quarter


Clarkson Leigh






Cross County






Player Stats: 

(carries-rushing yards, passing yards, receiving yards, total tackles)

Lance Paprocki--25-132, 71, 0, 3; Mason Whitmore--2-46, 0, 0, Tommy McEvoy--20-107, 0, 39, 11; Eli Hays--2-5, 0, 9, 6; Kyle Kasik--1-1, 0, 0, 3; Drew Beeson--0-0, 0, 0, 8; Carter Hanel--0-0, 0, 23, 6; Jase Indra--3-5, 0, 0,  Dylan Higby--2-14, 0, 0, 2; Trevor Zulkoski--0-0, 0, 0, 11; Mitchel Beeson--0-0, 0, 0, 3; Austin Sayers--0-0, 0, 0, 1; Layne Krutz--0-0, 0, 0, 2

Caption: Leigh senior Trevor Zulkoski records one of his 11 tackles in Friday's loss against Cross County in the first game of the year. 


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