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Crook County moves to 1-2 after the loss to the Hornets; Klamath Union is up next

LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Crook County wide receiver Eddie Freauff (6) caught both of the Cowboys' touchdowns against Henley.The Crook County Cowboy football team played well at times, but gave up some big plays in a 38-14 road loss to the Henley Hornets on Friday.

"I've watched the film several times, and even during the game, I was pleased with the effort," said head coach Pard Smith. "Defensively we took away a lot of the things that they were trying to do. They were pretty physical up front and had some good athletes and got us on some big plays. We had them third and long a bunch and took away a bunch of their short game, but they got us with big plays."

Cowboy running back Brayden Duke raced 40 yards with the football the first play of the game, but Crook County was unable to capitalize.

Henley scored late in the first quarter to take a 6-0 lead. Early in the second quarter, Garrett Cobb tackled a Henley running back in the end Zone for a safety, making the score 6-2.

That is the way the game stayed until late in the second quarter. Crook County starting quarterback Palmer Smith threw an interception and Henley took advantage, scoring a quick touchdown to push the lead to 13-0. A second Cowboy turnover led to a third Hornet touchdown with just seconds left in the half, giving Henley a 19-2 lead.

"It was kind of costly," Smith said of the interception. "We threw an interception and they scored and then they ended up scoring again right at the end of the half. It was kind of a dog fight there and then they ended up getting away from us on those big plays."

Henley scored twice more in the third quarter to run their lead to 32-2. However, the Cowboys continued to fight, outscoring the Hornets 12-6 in the final quarter. The Cowboys first touchdown was a 50-yard touchdown pass from Palmer Smith to Eddie Freauff. The second was a pass from Gavin Sandoval to Freauff.

"We weren't able to establish the run the way that we wanted to, or that was the game plan, but our kids kept fighting ," Smith said. "Later in the game, we threw some big pass plays and had them a little bit panicked there at the end so, I'm proud of the effort all in all."

As a team, the Cowboys had 16 rushes for 86 yards with Duke carrying the ball nine times for 56 yards, while Jacob McKinnon carried the ball seven times for 23 yards.

Palmer Smith completed 13 of 25 passes for 141 yards and a touchdown, but he also threw two interceptions. Sandoval went 2 for 2 throwing the ball for 37 yards and a touchdown.

Eddie Freauff caught five passes for 127 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Kyrie Willis caught three passes for 25 yards while Kaleb Goozee caught two passes for 16 yards.

Duke led the Cowboy defense with six tackles, while Smith, Goozee and Freauff each had five tackles and Cameron Carr finished with three tackles. Goozee also had three assists in the game.

Carr punted the ball six times for a 34 yard average with a long punt of 47 yards.

"I'm proud of the effort," coach Smith said. "It's a process and we are going to continue to focus on us and getting better. We are going to celebrate the things that we did well and hopefully improve the things that we can improve on."

Crook County, 1-2, is scheduled to play at North Eugene this Friday in a 7 p.m. contest. However, there is no guarantee that contest will happen. North Eugene has not yet played this season, as their first two games have been canceled due to COVID protocol.

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