TRURO - The Cobequid Cougars are 1-0 at James Macpherson Stadium.
The Cougars christened their new $250,000 complex with a 35-0 blanking of the Sackville Kingfishers Sunday to open their Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation Football League season in front of about 1,000 fans.
"That's what we've worked for all week," Cougars head coach Scott Annand said. "We saw some good things for the first game of the season."
The new aluminum stands at the Truro high school were full as fans looking to take in the first contest at the stadium, which also features a new locker room, press box, players' lounge and scoreboard.
To their delight, Quarterback Gab Bagnell scored three touchdowns and collected 35 yards on the ground on five carries. He added a further 71 yards through the air, going 6-for-16.
Defensive back Nick Simpson scored a pair of majors, returning a punt 45 yards and picking off a pass for a 25-yard score. Nick Zscheile booted five conversions.
Offensively, running back Chandler Jennings recorded 100 yards on 13 carries while Ben Petrie took seven carries 50 yards. Kyle Scott made a pair of catches for 36 yards. Patrick Smith made eight tackles while Calder Saunders tallied six.
Annand credited a full-team effort for the victory.
"Offensively, we were able to move the ball. Defensively, we were able to stop them and our special teams executed decently," he said.
The win was a relief after the Cougars were handed a 52-7 loss by the C.P. Allen Cheetahs in last week's preseason matchup. However, in spite of the convincing victory, Bagnell cautioned against the Cougars letting their heads swell.
"This is nice but I hope people realize there's a lot better teams out there. We've got to step it up and learn from today and keep getting better," he said.
Bagnell said most of that improvement needs to come on the mental aspect of the game.
"Toward the second half we made some mistakes," the senior said. "I think we've just got to keep going and keep our heads in it; don't slow down just because you're in a lead," he said.
The Cougars host the Sir John A. Macdonald Flames Sunday at 1 p.m. in what will be the official opening of James Macpherson Stadium.