Crook County earns second-consecutive win with 49-0 shut out of the Madison Senators

Ward Rhoden stadium was rocking Friday night as a small, but vocal crowd watched the Crook County Cowboys hammer the Madison Senators 49-0 in non-league football LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Clark Woodward and Zach Smith tackle a Madison runner for a short gain during the Cowboys 49-0 victory over the Senators. Smith led the Cowboys in tackles with 12.

“That was just an awesome crowd, and awesome energy for a Friday night,” said Crook County Head Coach Ryan Cochran. “You know we had a doubleheader tonight, JV and varsity, and the crowd stayed. They were all there supporting us.”

The Cowboys took the opening kickoff and drove 65 yards in five plays to take an early lead. Quarterback, Mike Irwin, scored the touchdown just 1:19 into the contest on an 18-yard keeper. When Ryder Shinkle kicked the extra point, Crook County led 7-0.

“That was our emphasis this week in practice,” Cochran said. “To come out from the very first whistle and execute, and we came out and were just bam, bam, bam, and we scored.”

The Senators tried to respond. After returning the kickoff to the 40-yard line, Madison ran a trick play on their first offensive play of the contest. Madison quarterback Skylar Williams threw the ball to Kieran Bryan, who lateraled to Michael Waters. Waters raced past the surprised Cowboy defenders and down the sideline all the way to the 12-yard line. However, the Crook County defense came up big, and stopped the Senators.

Crook County took over on downs on the 19-yard line and quickly drove up the field again, scoring on a five-yard run by Gunnar Robirts.

The Cowboys stopped the Senators again on their next possession. Madison dropped into punt formation. Crook County got penetration on the play and blocked the punt with Robirts falling on the ball on the five-yard line. Two plays later, Irwin scored on a one-yard keeper. Irwin ran the ball in on a two-point conversion and the Cowboys led 22-0 with 3:25 still remaining in the first quarter.

The Senators were unable to move the ball again on their next possession and the first quarter ended with the Cowboys threatening to score again. A pass from Irwin to Cole Ovens gave Crook County a first down on the 30-yard line. An illegal shift penalty set the Cowboys back five yards, but on the next play, Irwin hit Ryder Shinkle with a perfect pass all the way down to the two-yard line. Colbran Meeker scored on the next play and the Cowboys led 28-0 with 11:08 remaining in the first half.

“We gave up one big play and that happens, but we came back and didn’t let it happen again,” Robirts said following the contest. “We played really well and I think this is exactly what we needed. Something to build our confidence.”

by: LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Mike Irwin thows a pass to Cole Ovens. Irwin completed 8 of 11 passes during the Cowboys victory over the Madison Senators.Neither team was able to move the ball on their next possession. Madison regained the ball with 7:24 left in the first half, then went on a 16-play, 80-yard drive. However, time expired with Madison in possession of the ball on the Crook County four-yard line.

Crook County led 43-0 at the end of the third quarter. The Cowboys substituted liberally in the fourth quarter, and still scored one final touchdown, a 25-yard strike from Blake Bartels to Seth Kessi with just under five minutes remaining in the contest.

A stingy Crook County defense held Madison to just 131 yards of total offense in the contest while the Cowboys gained 351 yards. Crook County finished with 18 first downs to 11 for the Senators.

Irwin was 8-11 passing the ball for 137 yards and one touchdown, while Bartels was 1-2 for 23 yards and a touchdown.

Meeker finished with five receptions for 70 yards, while Shinkle caught two passes for 42 yards and Ovens caught one for 25 yards.

Aaron Swindle led a balanced Cowboy running attack with 50 yards on just four carries. Clark Woodward added 45 yards on seven carries and scored a touchdown, while Irwin carried the ball six times for 30 yards and two touchdowns. Meeker finished with 29 rushing yards in six carries, and Robirts scored on his only carry.

“We have come a long ways since the start of the year,” Swindle said. “We have a lot of guys that can carry the ball. We have good receivers, and our line is really stepping up. We are starting to mesh and come together.”

Zach Smith led the Cowboy defense with 12 tackles, while Seth Flegel added eight tackles including a couple key quarterback sacks. Robirts was also effective on defense, finishing with seven tackles.

“I think we had our best defensive game of the year,” Smith said. “Our execution was as good as we can do. It was a fun night to be a Cowboy.”

Cochran was also pleased with the team’s performance.

“We definitely took another step forward tonight,” he said. “We improved and that’s our goal. People were executing. People were giving great effort. People had energy. That was one of the most fun nights I’ve had in a long time.”

The win is the second in a row for the Cowboys who are now 2-3 on the season. The team is on the road on Friday when they take on the 1-4 Redmond Panthers in a 7 p.m. game.

Crook County 49- Madison 0

at Crook County

Madison 0 0 0 0 — 0

Crook County 22 7 14 7 — 49

CC — Mike Irwin 18-yard run (Ryder Shinkle kick)

CC — Gunnar Robirts 5-yard (Shinkle kick)

CC — Irwin 1-yard run (Irwin run)

CC — Colbran Meeker 2-yard run (Shinkle kick)

CC — Woodward 4-yard run (Shinkle kick)

CC — Meeker 22-yard pass from Irwin (Shinkle kick)

CC — Seth Kessi 25-yard pass from Blake Bartels (kick failed)

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