East Cougars face the Eastern Vikings at Home


Andrew Maier ('20)

East cougars take the field at the start of the game.

The East Cougars took on the Eastern Vikings for their first home game of the 2018 season. East lost its first game of the season 18-7 against Triton High School in a close matchup that came down to the final minutes.

The Vikings struck first, running the ball in and converting the extra point to make the score 7-0. The Vikings then executed an onside kick, getting the football back in East territory. The Vikings failed to convert on fourth down, giving the ball back to the Cougars.

Nick Gazzola (‘19) helped run the ball down the field but was left injured after running ten yards for a first down. He would remain out for the rest of the game with a lower-body injury. Later on that drive, East was finally was able to find the back of the end zone after Mitchell Donovan (‘19) threw a beautiful pass to Isaac Jean-Baptiste (‘19). After failing to complete a two-point conversion, the score was 7-6 Eastern.

Eastern started the second quarter with possession, wasting no time to get more points on the board. Their possession took only 48 seconds off the clock as they ran for another touchdown, causing the score to become 13-6 after they failed to convert the extra point. East would then end up fumbling in two consecutive possessions deep in their own territory. The Vikings took no possession for granted, scoring off of both turnovers. The Vikings would enter the half with a 25-6 lead.

The Vikings would continue to dominate in the second half, scoring touchdown after touchdown. With the loss of Nick Gazzola and another team captain Dante Gazzola (‘19), the Cougars had a hard time getting back into the game. It was clear to any spectator familiar with East football watching before the injuries that the Cougars looked different. They were completing their throws and not just running it, and their defense appeared tough and focused. The Vikings would go on to win 52-6.

The Cougars hope to get their first win since the 2015 season when they play the Pennsauken Indians at Cherry Hill East next Saturday at 11:00 a.m.

Check out some photos from the game in the gallery below.