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Siri Hedreen / The Outlook

The Central Coosa Cougars battle Francis Marion in Coosa's homecoming football game at Keith Bullard Stadium. 

Friday’s game for Central Coosa stood out as a mismatch on paper, and with the winless Cougars taking on a solid 4-2 Thorsby team, the squad decided to focus on growth and experimentation as it was clear the game was lost.

Coosa fell 54-0 at the hands of the Rebels, but was still able to create a few plays for itself, despite an inability to get its full team out to practice during back-to-back bye weeks prior to the contest.

“I was pretty pleased, actually, all-in-all,” Coosa coach Brett Thomas said. “Just like every game, it’s not like 2019 where teams just run up and down the field on us. We actually had positive yards this game, we moved the ball.”

The main standout from the game for the Cougars was Elijah Richardson. The safety is fast becoming a player to watch at defensive back, intercepting two passes against Thorsby to bring his season pick total to five.

“That’s a lot of interceptions for one player through six games,” Thomas said.

Thomas said Coosa’s offense moved the ball well but couldn’t finish drives, as one possession that went deep into Thorsby territory was stalled out by two holding penalties.

The main lineup experimentation for the Cougars came at quarterback, with sophomore Majavius Culpepper switching out to slot receiver as regular wide receivers Trae Butler and Tyreek Epps took snaps behind center.

The move was made in part to see what Coosa’s two fastest players looked like with the ball in their hands, but mainly to see what the 6-foot-2 Culpepper could provide in the slot position.

“M.J. is the second best receiver on our team,” Thomas said. “He can catch. He runs routes. He understands routes, and you can’t replace size.”

Thomas felt the new quarterback duo played well in their first game. Butler entered with some prior experience taking snaps, having been at the position previously in high school, but Epps saw his first action against the Rebels.

“He did well,” Thomas said. “The game was a little fast for him. Once he said, ‘Coach, I just threw the ball because all I saw was helmets.’ But as the game slowed down for him, he did a lot better, he completed a few passes.”

Coosa continues its campaign at home against Isabella Oct. 15.

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