- Faith & Family
Killian had high hopes this year after a dismal season the year before. And while they did improve, their season ended last Friday at FIU-South after a revenge-seeking Columbus defeated the Cougars 36-19 in the Region 4-8A finals. Everything that could have gone wrong, did for the Cougars. The Explorers (9-4) jumped to a 22-0 lead in the first half after the Cougars missed several tackles, including one on the opening kickoff return that put Columbus on the Cougars 4-yard line and subsequently scoring — all within the first 20 seconds of the game.
The Cougars, who defeated the Explorers 21-7 in the last game of the regular season, would never recover from the deficit.
“It’s not revenge — it’s redemption,” said Chris Merritt, Columbus head coach. “We came out on fire and our defense played lights out.”
The Columbus defense forced three Cougar turnovers and an interception as Killian’s passing game was limited to 51 yards. One of the Cougars leading rushers, Jaquan Johnson, struggled with only 26 rushing yards.
In the third quarter the Cougars showed signs of life scoring 13 points but they were unable to stop an electrified Explorer offense. Despite the defeat, Killian has nothing to be ashamed of under Head Coach and school alumnus Cory Johnson. The Cougars’ record improved from 1-9 in 2010 to 6-4 in 2011. Johnson, who is completing his fourth season as head coach, says the program is headed in the right direction and commended his players.
“I am proud of these guys and have tremendous respect for them,” Johnson said. “The ‘K’ is back.”
By Akilah Laster