Forced out as the head football coach at Eagle Point High in January, Jacob Schauffler wasn't sure what direction he would go in the early aftermath...
GRANTS PASS — Over the past several years, the Crater football program has been on the rise and, over that period, it's accomplished many signature moments.
Last season, the Comets beat Grants Pass for the first time in 33 years and, on Friday, the Comets overcame another hurdle against the Cavemen — a win on Grants Pass' home turf.
But it didn't come easy, as the Comets needed overtime, a recovered fumble and a hard-nosed, game-winning touchdown run to top the Cavemen 29-23 at Mel Ingram Field.
"I'm so happy for the community," said Crater coach John Beck. "It's just a testimate to their blue-collar work ethic."
With the score tied at 23-all, the Comets (2-2, 2-0 Southwest Conference) caught a break when Grants Pass kicker Moges Dinkins was wide right on a 39-yard field goal with 24 seconds remaining in regulation.
In overtime, the Cavemen (1-3, 1-1 SWC) received the ball, but two plays later, Grants Pass put the ball on the ground and the Comets' Carlos Higuerra pounced on it to open the door for Crater.
Two plays later, Crater's Ty Wolf got a carry off the left tackle, shed a couple tackles and rumbled his way 21 yards into the end zone to give the Comets the overtime victory.
"It was a great win for these guys," said Beck. "We just hung in there and kept battling while our kids got dinged up and picked up a few owies. The kids just kept fighting and playing. We just found a way to win."
Wolf had a huge day, not only scoring the game-winner, but adding a 26-yard TD run in the second quarter to go with a 23-yard touchdown pass from Ty Fox. Wolf finished with 13 carries for 79 yards and had four catches for 50 yards.
Higuerra also keyed the Comets' rally, scoring the tying touchdown on a 1-yard plunge in the fourth.
Grants Pass quarterback Hunter Rich hooked up with Bracken Sharp for a 79-yard touchdown that gave the Cavemen a 20-7 lead in the second quarter. Rich also added a 35-yard run for a score to put the Cavemen up 23-16 in the third.
SHELDON 55, NORTH MEDFORD 0 — At Eugene, North Medford was limited to four first downs and 88 total yards in suffering its second consecutive Southwest Conference loss.
Evan Hisey was most effective for the Black Tornado (1-3, 0-2 SWC). The senior running back gained 44 yards on 14 carries and caught three passes for 41 yards.
Third-ranked Sheldon (4-0, 2-0) had 467 yards in offense.
Irish senior quarterback Taylor Alie was 11-for-12 passing for 244 yards and three touchdowns.
Connor Strahm had four touchdowns for Sheldon. Strahm caught two touchdown passes, ran for one and had a 69-yard punt return for a touchdown.
THURSTON 26, ROSEBURG 12 — At Roseburg, Roseburg was able to cut into Thurston's 20-0 lead but couldn't complete the comeback at Finlay Field.
The Colts got started early when quarterback Cory Weick connected with Jack Miller for a 98-yard touchdown in the opening quarter.
Roseburg's Cody Walker had a 58-yard touchdown scamper while leading the Indians (1-3, 0-2 SWC) in rushing with 57 yards on four totes.