All Campbell County could do was watch as the 47-yard field goal by JJ Jerman sailed through the uprights, putting the game out of reach.
The only thing more painful was hearing the “Seymour Eagles!” chant as the buzzer sounded.
Jerman made his presence known in the first game of the season in L. Hope Dossett Stadium. With kicks of 30, 42, and 47, he proved to be the difference maker. He also added two extra points to his credentials, as the Cougars fell 30-20.
However, for the Cougars, they know their hard work is going to pay off soon.
“As a coaching staff, we’ve always tried to raise the bar every single day,” head coach Justin Price said. “We expect so much out of [these players], and everything we ask, they do. A lot of them even do more. I’m just a firm believer that you will reap what you sow. These kids are reaping right now. Their time’s coming.”
For the Price twins, they thought that time had already come. The Cougars came out strong, going up 12-3 late in the second quarter.
Campbell County wasn’t able to capitalize though. In the first half, they saw themselves within the red zone four times. However, they were only able to convert two scores, as one of nine turnovers came into play.
“We were up by nine in the second quarter, driving down there with a chance to go up 16, 17 points. We’ve got to do that,” defensive coordinator Matt Price said. “When you’ve got them against the wall, you’ve got to knock them out.”
For the night, Campbell County saw three fumbles and five interceptions, resulting in 16 points for the Eagles. They also had a turnover on downs deep in Seymour territory, but it’s not going to dampen their spirits.
“We’ve worked hard all off-season,” Senior Ethan Simpson, who rushed for 128 yards and two touchdowns said. “We’ve definitely put in the effort and time. It’ll come; our wins will come. They’re there. We’ve got the effort and the players.”
Campbell County got things started first. An interception by Bo Farris left the Cougars on the Seymour 23-yard line. Five plays and a personal foul penalty by the Eagles allowed the score. Simpson followed Keifer Parker in for the 2-yard run, before Gustavo Rosas’ extra point sailed wide right. Campbell County led 6-0 with 5:55 left in the first quarter.
A Cougar interception helped Seymour get on the board. Chris Grimo picked off Ethan Jeffers’ pass on the Eagle 5-yard line, returning the ball to the 41. Jerman’s 30-yard boot sailed through the uprights, Seymour trailing 6-3 with 24 second remaining in the quarter.
Jerman’s missed 36-yarder gave the Cougars the ball back on the Campbell County 19-yard line. Jeffers hit Phillips across the middle for an 81-yard touchdown pass with 9:19 left in the first half. Rosas’ kick sailed low, Cougars leading 12-3.
A fumble in the backfield gave Seymour the ball on the Campbell County 26-yard line. Five plays later, the Eagles punched it in, as Tanner Sise went for the 1-yard score. With 7:07 left in the half, Seymour trailed 12-10.
With 4:44 left, Jerman struck again. He booted a 42-yarder to give the Eagles the lead at the half, 13-12. However, they wouldn’t be done there.
On the first play of the second half, Nick Sexton’s pass hit DJ Griffin down the middle. The 60-yard pass put the Eagles up 20-12 with 11:44 remaining in the third.
Four minutes later, they struck pay dirt again. A six-play, 70-yard drive was capped with Sise running in from 1 yard out again. With 7:45 remaining, the Cougars trailed 27-12.
The Cougars next drive came up big. The 70-yard drive was highlighted with Jeffers’ 23 yards through the air and Simpson’s 31 yards across the ground. Simpson’s final 10 yards hit the end zone before he finished the play with a two-point conversion around the left end.
“Our kids will respond,” Justin Price said. “Like I told our seniors, we’re guaranteed nine games, but I think this team has a little something left in them that we might be playing more than that.”