Athletic directors at the Class 5A level have proven to be the most invested in controlling their own playoff destiny since a switch to the...
St. Mary's coach Jamie Young believes his team is headed in the right direction. He probably wouldn't have a hard time convincing Neah-Kah-Nie.
In a dramatic reversal of fortune from a year ago, the Crusaders rushed for 252 yards and took a 40-0 halftime lead en route to a 50-16 blowout win over Neah-Kah-Nie on Saturday at Speigelberg Stadium.
Neah-Kah-Nie routed St. Mary's 40-0 last season.
St. Mary's running back Dan Seus rushed for 98 yards and two touchdowns, including a 75-yard breakaway on the first play from scrimmage, and Anthony Bonsi and Glenn Alvarez combined for another 106 yards rushing as the Crusaders dominated the line of scrimmage to remain undefeated through three games.
"I think we've gotten to the point where we think that we can compete with everyone on our schedule," said Young, whose team competes as an independent. "Starting off with beating what would be a league opponent in Rogue River, we honestly have just kind of been taking it one game at a time. We're a team that's really struggled over the years, so we want to make sure we're taking the right steps to move forward to become the best football team we can be."
After Seus' big start, the Crusaders added a 4-yard run by Seus, a 49-yard run by Alvarez, a 1-yard blast by Bonsi and a 22-yard pass from sophomore quarterback Denten Edwards to Sam Hough to go up 33-0 in the second quarter.
Calvin Roberts' 11-yard run completed the first-half scoring, as St. Mary's single-wing offense put on an exhibition for the first 24 minutes before turning the game over to the backups for the second half.
"I think the key is, we have an offensive line that's been great — they communicate well together and they work hard," Young said. "And we also have multiple backs that can do something with the football. It truly is a team offense."
Also for St. Mary's, Jacob Smith returned a kickoff 72 yards for a touchdown to complete the scoring.
Neah-Kah-Nie (1-1) rushed for 131 yards, but all but 12 came in the second half. Quarterback Tanner Repass completed 3 of 14 passes for 110 yards and a touchdown.
Neah-Kah-Nie 0 0 8 8 — 16
St. Mary's 19 21 3 7 — 50
SM — Seus 75 run (kick failed)
SM — Seus 4 run (VanValkenberg kick)
SM — Alvarez 49 run (kick failed)
SM — Bonsi 1 run (VanValkenberg kick)
SM — Hough 22 pass from Edwards (VanValkenberg kick)
SM — Roberts 11 run (VanValkenberg kick)
SM — FG Hough 27
- — Young 5 run (Koch pass from Repass)
- — Tuel 24 pass from Repass (Young pass from Repass)
SM — Smith 72 kickoff return (VanValkenberg kick)