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...
EUGENE — Sophomore quarterback Troy Fowler overcame some difficult conditions to lead North Medford to its first Southwest Conference football victory of the season Friday.
Fowler passed for three touchdowns in rainy weather as the Black Tornado defeated winless South Eugene 21-9.
Fowler threw second-quarter touchdown passes to Jared Evans and Nick Janakes as North Medford (2-5, 1-4 SWC) grabbed a 14-0 lead.
Evans caught a short sideline pass from Fowler, broke several tackles and went 38 yards for the game's opening touchdown. Then Janakes scored from 11 yards out on a first-down play later in the period.
South Eugene (0-7, 0-5) mounted a long drive and scored five seconds before halftime on a 9-yard pass from quarterback Liam Duncan to Brandon Thompson to make it 14-7.
North increased its lead to 21-7 in the third quarter when Kolby Talbert got behind the Axemen secondary for a 70-yard touchdown pass from Fowler.
Fowler finished 8 of 16 for 190 yards and no interceptions. It was Fowler's first three-touchdown game in his varsity career.
Evan Hisey paced the North ground attack with 95 yards on 18 carries and the Black Tornado finished with 346 yards in offense, while South Eugene totaled 310.
South Eugene 225-pound running back Connor Still gained 101 of his team's 243 rushing yards.
THURSTON 33, CRATER 10 — At Springfield, Thurston built a 27-0 first-half lead and cruised to the SWC victory.
The Colts' win leaves them alone in second place in the SWC with a 4-1 record. Thurston, 4-3 overall, is host to top-ranked Sheldon next week.
The Comets dropped to 3-4 and 3-2.
Crater sputtered on offense, throwing three interceptions, drawing 15 penalties for 100 yards and fumbling five times (but not losing any). The Comets managed 37 rushing yards on 27 attempts in their second straight loss.
Comets reserve quarterback Ty Fox, a junior, came on in the second quarter and passed for 153 yards. Crater's RJ Morgan caught three passes for 49 yards and Carlos Higuera ran for 40 yards.
SHELDON 49, ROSEBURG 14 — At Roseburg, Connor Strahm scored on a 3-yard run, 70-yard pass and 55-yard punt return to lead top-ranked Sheldon to the SWC victory.
Hayden Lent's 46-yard touchdown run cut Roseburg's deficit to 21-7 in the first quarter but the Irish (7-0, 5-0 SWC) scored 21 straight points before Soren Pieske's 10-yard TD run in the fourth.
The Indians dropped to 2-5 and 1-4.