While the scoreboard showed that Cottage Grove won 49-13 in a game that saw the Lions overpower Madras in every facet of the game, you would not have known it simply by seeing the team or coaches after the game.
“Like I told the guys, I’m only disappointed because I know we can do better,” said head coach Gary Roberts. “If we were as good as we can be then I would just nod my head and tell them I guess that’s all we’ve got. I think we can better than what we are. I know we can be better than what we were tonight.“
Regardless of how the team felt things went, the Lions started strong right out of the gate. After the defense forced a first drive three and out it took one play on offense for the Lions to score on a Jacob Woods 48 yard run. The defense got a quick stop which then led to a four play drive that went 82 yards in 45 seconds, and featured a 52 yard run by Chad Bottorf, and put the Lions up 14-0.
The Lions continued to roll from all angles. Bottorf rushed for another touchdown and got an interception and the offense piled it on. Quarterback Dylan Graves went seven-for-eight through the air with a touchdown and rushed for a pair of scores.
The Lions went to the locker room at halftime up 42-0. In their first two games of the season, they have outscored opponents 85-0 in the first half. Regardless of the scoreboard, Roberts did not like the way his team was carrying itself.
“We preach the little things all the time to the kids. All the time about body language, about hustling around, about taking pride in what you do and I don’t think we did that tonight all the time,” said Roberts who noted that he felt a shift in the team attitude during the second quarter.
The team was also aware of this shift. Bottorff, who ended the game with 170 yards rushing on ten carries, keyed in on the lack of attention to detail.
“It’s like we did the big picture well but we didn’t get it tuned in the end. Like we still need to work on all the little things because that’s what matters most,” he said.
While the Lions heavily leaned on their backup units, the second half featured penalties and a turnover; Madras ended up outscoring Cottage Grove 14-7 in the half.
“We just have better players than they do. I thought that our kids just kind of went through the motions,” said Roberts. “That will be good enough against Madras but is it going to be good enough against Scappoose? Our league opponents? Our kids need to have a little bit more pride in themselves and what their job is.”
The Lions will find out how they measure up when they travel to Scappoose on Friday. The Indians have jumped out to a 2-0 start and have outscored their opponents 113-19 in their first two games. The teams met last year and the Lions won 24-21.
“[Our team] knows when they play Scappoose they are playing one of the premier programs in class 4A. And they know that they have to come with their ‘A’ game,” said Roberts.