Football Cougars fall to Festus, 22-15

By Jeff Stalhut

With a new offensive system in place, the Affton High School football Cougars finally managed to score some points last weekend against Festus.

Unfortunately, they didn’t score enough and fell 22-15, dropping their record to 2-3 on the year.

Even so, Coach Dan Oliver believes his team’s new spread-offense will keep getting better and gives the Cougars reason to believe good things are going to start happening.

“Starting with the first series of the game, the offense worked well,” he said. “But we stalled on the one-yard line and then they came down the field and scored.”

That early but important turn of events helped Festus (4-1) get out to a 14-0 halftime lead, and that margin would prove too much for Affton to overcome. Oliver said he was happy with the effort put out by the defense, but still is looking for more.

“The defense played well — kind of a bend don’t break — but we’re not getting the turnovers like we need to,” Oliver told the Call. “There are too many teams taking it down the field on us.”

Against Festus, Affton was able to put together quick-strike offensive drives that resulted in quick scoring and scoring chances, while the defense forced Festus into long, drawn-out drives.

That is cause for optimism on both sides of the ball, and it seems the new offensive scheme definitely is moving the focus of the offense away from Kornell Simmons.

Oliver said this is because too many teams were just focusing on stopping him.

“Everyone was keying on him,” Oliver said. “That’s what I would do against us, too. If teams were not doing that, they were not preparing for us very well.”

It’s not that Simmons still isn’t productive, mind you. Against Festus, he managed to gain 57 yards on the ground and had 75 yards receiving. He also scored on a two-point conversion on the Cougars first touchdown.

Both Affton touchdowns were scored by D.J. Ford — one on the ground and one with a touchdown pass from Corey Meyer.

“I’m proud of the kids for coming back and making a game of it,” Oliver noted. “Festus is a good team. We didn’t beat ourselves, we just ran out of time.”

On the horizon for the Cougars is Berk-eley, which comes into the game at 2-3.

Oliver believes the Cougars should be ready to move forward with their new offense for a second week.

“If we can do offensively what we did against Festus, we should see some improved production from every position.”

Affton and Berkeley will play at 1 p.m. Saturday at Berkeley High School, 8710 Walker Ave.