The Cougars overcame a handful a defensive lapses that resulted in long Hawk’s touchdowns to rout Hug, 61-34, in the High Desert League opener for both squads. The Cougars improved to 3-2, 1-0 in the HDL with the win while the Hawks fell to 0-6, 0-1 in the HDL.
It was the second straight win for Spanish Springs after topping Douglas, 15-14, last week on a two-point conversion with 32 seconds remaining.
“We are 1-0. We are really only 1-0,” Cougar’s coach Scott Hare said. “I told the guys I don’t think the two (nonleague) losses matter and I don’t think the two (nonleague) wins matter. We’re 1-0 and at this point in time that is all that matters.”
Leading 35-21 coming out of the locker room at halftime, the Cougars were forced to punt on their first possession of the half but the punt provided the hammer for the nail in the coffin of Hug’s hopes for its first win. The Hawks botched the punt return and Spanish Springs jumped on the loose ball on the two-yard line.
Jeffrey Jurgensmeier bulldozed his way into the endzone on the next play to extend the lead to 41-21. Hug answered the touchdown but it was the closest it would get.
Jurgensmeier finished with 85 yards on 17 touches and the third quarter touchdown.
The Hawks took a 7-0 at the 9:23 mark in the first quarter when Titus Tau broke through the line untouched and showed off breakaway speed from 83 yards out. Tau turned in a monster night for the Hawks but was the only option of the Hug offense.
Tau amassed a beastly 264 yards and four touchdowns on 27 carries. Facing a third and 22 from his own 20 in the third quarter, Tau was unable to handle an option pitch from freshman quarterback Sonny Robison. After a couple bounces on the grass, Tau picked the ball up, reversed field from right hash to the left sideline, and shrunk the gap to 41-28 on his most impressive run of the night.
“He’s really good. He’s one of the best in the region no doubt about it,” Hare said.
The Cougars took command in the first quarter jumping to a 28-14 lead running 16 total plays on the four scoring drives.
Quarterback Hunter Fralick put together a solid football game outside of being crowned Homecoming king at halftime. The senior captain completed 13 of 21 passes for 221 yards and a 40-yard touchdown pass to Gehrig Parks to tie the game at 7-7 in the first quarter.
Fralick also ran for three touchdowns and 41 yards on seven carries.
“Hunter was Hunter. At this point that is what we expect from him,” Hare said. “He’s a Division I football player (verbal to University of Nevada) and he plays like it. Those are the kinds of nights we need from Hunter. We need him to be an A player and he is.”
Fralick’s most impressive pass on the night may have come between the third and fourth quarter. A streaker, wearing nothing but a ski mask and leopard underwear, ran from the south endzone though the north, and Fralick threw a perfect deep ball to the streaker from sideline.
The masked man, who drew a large ovation from the home crowd after catching Falick’s dime, then hopped the fence and jumped into a truck that was waiting for him.
Parks hauled in five of Fralick’s passes for 117 yards and the first-quarter score. He also scored touchdowns on his only two carries of the night for 16 yards.
“Parks, the last couple weeks, has really come through for this program. He’s been very impressive lately,” Hare said.
Friday was not all good news for the Cougars however. Senior running back and captain CJ Carithers limped off the field in the first quarter with what was later determined to be a torn Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL). Carithers will miss the rest of the season.
“Anytime you lose a senior leader it’s never an easy thing,” Hare said. “It’s unfortunate because it’s his senior year and it hurts our team. But I feel for CJ more than how it affects our team because he only gets one senior year and it’s too bad how things worked out but he left it all on the field and that’s all you can ask when you’re a player.”
Spanish Springs will try to move to 2-0 in the HDL next week at Reno which fell to North Valleys Friday.
“I think us and Reno are almost as identical as you can get,” Hare said. “Right now this is a good win but really my focus is, ‘we need to win that football game.’”