After a first half that saw the crosstown rivals evenly matched, the Oakton Cougars tightened their passing game to defeat the Madison Warhawks with a 35-13 final score to win its fifth straight Outback Bowl.
The Cougars struck first with a one-yard Mike Wandey touchdown with 1:53 left in the first quarter, which followed an offense that relied heavily on running game centered around Wandey, who tallied 118 yards rushing.
Toward the end of the first quarter, the Warhawks' Ian Cooke had a 75-yard kickoff return, and the Warhawks came within one yard of the end zone before the first-quarter buzzer. On the first play of the second quarter, the Warhawks scored on a one-yard pass from quarterback Dan Powers to receiver Dan Schwab to even the score.
The Cougars tried to respond with a passing game in the second quarter, but threw six incomplete passes and an interception before completing their first on a 14-yard pass to Kelly Brooks-Muse, and scored on a 16-yard pass to Brooks-Muse on the next play with 25 seconds left. Brian Burns kicked his second successful extra point of the night to put the Cougars up 14-7 heading into halftime.
"We thought we could get up the middle a little more than we did. They contained the middle pretty nice, but we started going outside a little more in the second half and getting more yards there," said Kyle Downer, the Cougars' quarterback.
The second half belonged to the Cougars, who took over the scoreboard with three straight touchdowns — a 24-yard pass to Brooks-Muse, a five-yard run from Downer and Ryan Ladson's 75-yard interception return — before the Warhawks could answer with their last touchdown of the game.
After the Warhawks scored on a 5-yard pass to Tom House, the Cougars' Andy Boone blocked the extra point to put the final score at 35-13.
The Warhawks continue the 2012 season next week at Woodson High, the second of three nondistrict games before facing Liberty District foes.