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Cougars adjust, get bounce-back victory

– The mojo showed up fashionably late, as it turned out. But it did show up.

It arrived in Adrian, Mich., at halftime Saturday, put its feet up and re-introduced itself, after a week away. And the No. 6 Cougars (3-1) went out and took care of No. 25 Siena Heights, 28-17, a bounce-back victory that put them back on track after the loss at Grand View.

“Coaches did a great job on both sides of the ball making adjustments at halftime,” Saint Francis coach Kevin Donley said. “I think (Siena) was 1 of 7 on third-down conversions in the second half. And offensively we came out and controlled the second half, put together a couple drives. Different ballgame the second half.”

For that they could thank a defense that allowed the Saints (3-2) to cross midfield just once in the second half and limited them to 84 yards after halftime. And they could thank quarterback David Yoder, who stepped in after starter Josh Miller was sidelined early by a shot to the head, and lit up a Siena Heights defense that was coming off back-to-back shutouts.

Yoder completed 29 of 42 passes for 350 yards and three touchdowns, including a 4-yard strike to Aaron Knight and 28-yarder to Seth Coate in the second half that erased Siena Heights’ 17-14 halftime lead. Garrett Harvey rushed 25 times for 17 yards and another touchdown.

Siena Heights scored all 17 of its points in the second quarter. Victor Bodrie kicked a 34-yard field goal as time expired to send the Saints to halftime with the lead and all the momentum.

It didn’t last long.

“I was proud of the kids, the character they had,” Donley said. “(Siena) kicked that field goal, took the lead, had momentum. And our guys really came out the second half, got after it and took it away. Both sides of the ball I thought did a great job.”

Yoder took the Cougars 75 yards in 12 plays to open the second half, and Knight’s catch gave them back the lead. Siena answered with a nine-play, 48-yard drive to the Saint Francis 23, but the Saint Francis defense stopped the Saints on fourth down. And the tide had turned for good.

bensmith@jg.net

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