Last Friday the 27th Annual Boot Game took place between the Cougars and the Colonial Grenadiers. The game was born when UHS became the relief school for Colonial and the natural rivalry was born. After a tough last minute 15-14 loss last year to give up the Boot, new Head Coach Warren vowed to bring the boot back home.
On a hot and humid night that saw both fan bases show up in full force, the Cougars struck first when Sophomore QB Matt Dumas hit Senior WR AJ Uzodinma over the middle and thanks to some great downfield blocking by Terrance Fields and Sean Engebretsen, AJ was able to take it to the house for a 48yd TD. The extra point was no good so midway through the 1st qtr the Cougars led 6-0.
The teams exchanged punts a couple times until the game’s first turnover seemed to give the Grenadiers the momentum. Dumas was picked off on deep ball on a throw to Fields and Colonial was able to return it all the way to the UHS 11yd line. However the Cougar Defense which under the guidance of Coach Mayer was stellar all night, got back to back tackles for loss and held CHS to a field goal. It was deja vu all over again when Dumas was picked off for the second time on another deep pass and the Grenadiers again returned it deep into Cougar territory. The Defense would hold again for a Colonial FG attempt, but the outcome this time was candidate for play of the year!
Senior DB Isaac Walker came off the edge and literally caught the attempted kick in stride and raced 75 yards for the Cougar TD. With the extra point by Kiersten Nevergold, the U now lead 13-3 going into the half.
The second half would see an inspired charge from the Grenadiers and consistently poor field position for the Cougars giving CHS better opportunities and eventually get into the endzone to make it 13-10 by the end of the 3rd.
More exchanged punts to start the 4th as UHS was trying to eat the clock and rely on their strong defense to help bring home the victory. With a little over 8 minutes left and the Cougars pinned deep inside there own 10 yd line, Offensive Coordinator Zach Barrett changed things up and went to a ‘wild cougar’ set with AJ Uzodinma in the backfield. His first snap gained 8 yds but it was his second that would change the game and help secure the boot. Facing 2nd and 2 from the 17 yd line, Uzodinma took the direct snap and would cut through the middle and then out run everybody in red and black for the 83 yd TD!! The Cougars went for 2 and converted and the lead was 21-10 with 7 minutes to play.
Colonial wasn’t done though and drove the ball again deep into UHS territory trying to mount the comeback like the year before that won them the boot for the first time in 5 years. But as had been the theme all night the Cougar held strong and forced the FG keeping the lead at 21-13 with just over 4 minutes left in the game. The Cougars were prepared for the inevitable onside kick attempt and recovered, but they couldn’t get the first down and facing 4th and 12 had to punt. A high snap looked to be the turn Colonial needed but a great play by punter Mekhi De La Cruz-Greene corralling it in the air and racing through the Grenadiers to gain the first down allowed the Cougars to eat more clock. An eventual punt gave the ball back to CHS with a little over a minute to play and after moving to midfield the Cougar D yet again rose up and forced a 4th down desperation throw that was picked off by Oscar Ramirez and the Boot was back where it belonged with the 21-13 final.
In a great team effort, The Cougars were led on offense by Uzodinma who had over 200 total yards and the Defense was stout all night led by Sr Isaac Walker who was all over the field making tackles as well as DL Neil Turnball and Devoe Thomas disrupting the Grenadiers backfield all night.
UHS wins the boot for the 6th time in 7 years and gets their 2nd win of the year. Next up for the Cougars will be Homecoming game vs. Oak Ridge on Thursday Oct 5 at 7pm. We look forward to everyone coming out to celebrate and cheer the U on to victory.