Seymour football team begins Jerry Cooper era with a victory
The streak is over.
The Seymour Eagle football team negated the frustration of seven straight losses that ended last season with a 34-7 victory over
visiting Sullivan North on Friday night.
Seymour’s home opener was an impressive showing of balanced offense and strong defense under the guidance of new head coach Jerry Cooper.
The Eagles (1-0) rushed for nearly 170 yards and quarterback Clayton Ogle threw for three touchdowns to overwhelm Sullivan North’s attempt to contain the wing-T installed by Cooper.
Meanwhile, the Seymour defense showed its mettle in halting a Raider offense that proved it could run the ball – 193 yards on 39 carries – but crossed the goal line only once.
“I’ve had plenty of first wins. I’ve been a head coach for 27 years, but it’s really about the kids in there who had lost seven games in a row,” Cooper said. “We told them they’d win more games when they deserved to win more games, and I think our kids deserved to win this game. They worked hard and they did what we asked them to do.”
Cooper said he was pleased with the effort his team showed on both sides of the football, especially in the early going when the Eagles jumped out to a 27-0 halftime lead. Instrumental in the ability to score consistently in the first half was quarterback Clayton Ogle, who was 6 for 6 through the air for 135 yards in the half and didn’t hesitate to tuck the ball and run even late into the contest.
“We executed on everything we worked on in practice after looking at film,” Ogle said. “We ran the ball well and that opened it up for some passes.
“They were playing off us and that allowed our receivers to get open and for me to get the ball to them.”
Cooper said Ogle was solid.
“He looked really good throwing the ball, though we had too many penalties as the game went on,” Cooper said, including two flags that called back touchdowns in the first and final quarters.
“This is the first game of the season and we’ve got a ton of things we can work on. Early in the half, we were able to throw the ball deep and I was pleased with that, and then I was pleased with how we ran the ball in the third quarter.”
Sullivan North’s opening strategy of an onside kickoff turned into Seymour’s first score after the Eagles recovered the ball on the Raider 42. Ogle connected with Blaise Rooney for a 22-yard TD two plays later.
The Eagles took a 14-0 lead on an Ogle to Jordan McBrayer pass of 28 yards on the next possession. After Seymour went up 20-0 on a 3-yard run from Austin Brewster in the second quarter, starter Rooney left the game with an ankle injury.
That didn’t deter the Eagle offense, however, which went on to score again on a 36-yard touchdown pass from Ogle to Devante Farmer, who also had a good showing on defense by recovering a fumble and picking off a pass.
Seymour’s final tally was in the third quarter when Brewster ran for his second TD, taking it in from 13 yards out to make the score 34-0.
Sullivan North’s only score came with 4:13 left in the third quarter when the Seymour defense played with just 10 men on the field for most of the Raider possession.