The Abilene Cowboys used a nearly perfectly played first half to defeat the Augusta Orioles at home on senior night 35-14. The win snapped a four-year losing streak against the Orioles, and helped the now 4-3 Cowboys chances of possibly hosting a first round playoff game.
Abilene would score all 35 of their points in the game in the first half, and impressively close out the half with three consecutive touchdowns with less than four minutes to play.
The Cowboys set the tone early by scoring on the opening drive of the game by capping off an 80 yard drive at the 7:18 mark of the first quarter on a Stocton Timbrook to Weston Rock six yard touchdown pass. Timbrook would add the extra point for the early 7-0 lead.
Abilene’s defense would then create the first turnover of the game. On Augusta’s first drive, and fourth offensive play of the game, the Cowboys would force a fumble that was recovered by defensive lineman Kayden Timm. Off the turnover, Abilene would then use almost five minutes on a drive that would see Timbrook connecting on a fourth down touchdown pass to freshman Taygen Funston at the 1:08 mark of the first quarter. Timbrook would then kick the extra point for a 14-0 lead.
The Orioles answered early in the second quarter and cut the lead in half 14-7, with an eight play drive that was capped off by a one-yard quarterback run for a touchdown.
The Abilene defense would then help create the next three scores to close the first half. With Augusta once again driving, sophomore defensive back Joseph Welsh would recover a fumble at the Augusta 30 yard line. The Cowboys needed just four plays to then score again on a Zach Miller three-yard touchdown run at the 3:51 mark of the second quarter to take a 21-7 lead.
After the kickoff, and on the very next offensive play for Augusta, Abilene senior defensive back Braden Wilson would intercept an Orioles pass attempt. Abilene would once again need just four offensive plays to score another touchdown when Timbrook would once again find Rock on a five-yard pass for his second touchdown of the game at the 2:19 mark of the second quarter for a 28-7 lead.
After the kickoff to Augusta, the Abilene defense would hold the Orioles to a three and out, forcing them to punt the ball. Weston Rock would then return the punt to the Augusta 26 yard line setting up great field position with only 34 seconds left in the half. Pass completions to Keaton Hargrave and Rock would then set up a 15-yard touchdown pass from Timbrook to freshman Heath Hoekman for a 35-7 halftime score.
Neither team would score in the third quarter. With the Cowboys using reserves throughout the fourth quarter, the games final score would come late in the fourth quarter when Augusta would score with 4:05 left in the game for a 35-14 final score.
“We played so well tonight in all phases of the game,” said head coach Brad Nicks. “Tonight just wasn’t about the main players. I got to give a lot of credit to the kids in practice this week who played on the scout team and got us ready for tonight. I’m so happy that the game turned out the way it did, and we got to get those kids in the game for some varsity action most of the fourth quarter.”
“Offensively, Stocton had another one of his games at quarterback that you just sit back and watch how he controls the game,” Nicks said. “Credit to our lineman who gave him time back there. We had so many receivers involved tonight, starting with Weston. He was great tonight, but they all made plays when given the chance. Defensively we just really controlled the line of scrimmage. Our kids were flying around making plays, and creating turnovers. I’m so happy for Braden Wilson getting an interception for us, and it leading to direct points. He does so many things for us in every game when we put him in some tougher situations defensively. Joseph Welsh and Kayden Timm both made several tackles and each had fumble recoveries. Hopefully this now gives us a chance to play another game here at home for our boys and the fans”
For Abilene, the offense finished with 357 total yards that included Timbrook going 21-29 with 261 yards passing, four touchdowns, and an interception. Zach Miller led the team in rushing with 62 yards on 17 carries, and a touchdown.
Weston Rock led receivers with seven receptions for 97 yards and two touchdowns, Taygen Funston with six receptions for 52 yards and a touchdown, Heath Hoekman with two receptions for 25 yards and a touchdown, and Keaton Hargrave with three receptions for 62 yards.
Defensively the Cowboys were led in tackles by Joseph Welsh with nine, Zach Miller with seven, Austin Fink with seven, and Kayden Timm with seven.
Abilene will travel on the road and finish their regular season next Friday night at the undefeated Wamego Red Raiders.