Cougars trounce Red Lodge at Homecoming
Red Lodge scored first during the Cougars’ homecoming game in Columbus on Sept. 25, but the Cougars had 38 points on the board before the Rams scored again. The Cougar offense passed and ran its way to a 45-14 win in both teams’ first conference game of the season.
“Red Lodge came out fired up and gave us all we could handle,” Columbus head coach Blake Hoge said. “Once we settled down and got to work, we were able to take control of the game. The score speaks for itself.”
Cougar senior quarterback Tanner Osborne threw four touchdown passes and ran in one more in the win. He also passed for two 2-point conversions and was 3-for-3 in point-after kicks.
“Tanner made some great pre-snap calls,” Hoge said. “He also improvised a couple great plays after the pocket broke down.”
Senior receiver Kiefer McKay scored on 40-yard and 60-yard passes from Osborne. Junior tight end Chuck Miller scored on a 3-yard pass, and junior tight end Jace Aumueller scored on a 13-yard pass.
Junior Jack Gray also ran one in from six yards out.
“Kiefer led us through the air with 125 yards, and Karl Berg led us on the ground with 95 yards,” Hoge said. ‘We had eight backs and one lineman with carries.”
The latter was a gadget play to senior lineman Jackson Booth – who was crowned the Homecoming King at halftime. Booth rumbled in for a two-point conversion from his right tackle spot.
“Unfortunately, we had our first turnover of the season,” Hoge said. “While it is the fourth game and we’ve done a commendable job keeping possession, giving the ball to the other team is something we have to minimize.”
Senior linebacker Chaz Krone and Osborne at defense end led the team in tackles, with Booth and Aumueller close behind.
“Facing a more run-oriented attack allowed our line to be much more involved in the game,” Hoge said.
Defensive backs McKay and junior EJ Daniels each intercepted Ram junior quarterback Zane Buckstead.
“Kiefer made a great break on the ball early in the game for a pick-six that swung the momentum in our favor,” Hoge said. “This was really the turning point in the game. EJ contributed another interception later in the game to seal it up.”
Ram senior running back Ridge Tomlin, who opened up the scoring with a 55-yard run early in the game, scored again in the third quarter with an 85-yard kickoff return. But it was too little, too late.
“I would like to give a big shout-out to everyone who helped with the Homecoming festivities,” Hoge said. “It takes a lot of work from a lot of people to make it work. To anyone and everyone who helped, thank you.”
The Cougars are now 1-0 in conference and 3-1 overall. Next up is a non-conference home game against the Jefferson Panthers from Boulder on Friday, Oct. 2.
“Jefferson is a very good team, especially on the defensive side of the ball,” Hoge said. “We’re going to need contributions from everyone this week to be successful. Friday will let us see how well we stack up to one of the better teams in the state.”
The Rams are now 0-1 in conference and 1-4 overall. Next up they play the Roundup/Melstone Panthers at home on Friday, Oct. 2.
Columbus 45, Red Lodge 14
Red Lodge 8 0 6 0 - 14
Columbus 8 8 29 0 - 45
Red Lodge: Ridge Tomlin 55 run (Tomlin run)
Columbus: Kiefer McKay 40 pass from Tanner Osborne (McKay pass from Osborne)
Columbus: Jack Gray 6 run (Chuck Miller pass from Osborne)
Columbus: McKay 60 pass from Osborne (Jackson Booth run)
Columbus: Osborne 3 run (Osborne kick)
Columbus: Chuck Miller 3 pass from Osborne (Osborne kick)
Red Lodge: 85 kickoff return (run failed)
Columbus: Jace Aumueller 13 pass from Osborne (Osborne kick)