It’s an experiment that has true benefit and merit, but also one with a big hill to climb before permanent implementation throughout...
ROSEBURG — North Medford was a victim of mistakes and poor field position most of the night in its Southwest Conference finale against Roseburg Friday.
The Indians proved opportunistic en route to a 42-8 victory at Finlay Field.
"The way we started off, it looked like it would be a game," North Medford first-year coach Mike Mitchell said. "But our fumbles and a blocked punt were the story of the first half."
The Black Tornado (2-7, 1-6 SWC) fumbled five times, losing two.
North stopped Roseburg (4-5, 3-4) on its first possession. But the second time the Indians had the ball, they used a short field to go 46 yards on five plays for the first of two first-quarter touchdowns.
Jake Heverly, a senior running back, finished off the initial scoring drive with a 31-yard TD run.
"Even though they scored, I thought we had some momentum going," said Mitchell.
The Indians used a fumble recovery at the Black Tornado 46 to set up a seven-play drive capped by Hayden Lent's 10-yard run.
In the second quarter, Roseburg took advantage of Zach Wyscaver's 37-yard return of a blocked punt for a TD and 48-yard scoring pass play from quarterback Lent to Brendon Hopkins with just six seconds left before halftime.
Micah Brown, a junior, and senior Jordan Towe filled in for North sophomore starting quarterback Troy Fowler, who missed the game with a concussion suffered against South Medford the week before. Brown and Towe combined for 7-of-14 passing for 81 yards and no interceptions.
"Considering what we're trying to do, both our quarterbacks had moments where they looked good," said Mitchell.
Brown completed a 57-yard, 11-play drive with a 4-yard TD run in the third quarter for North's lone score.
Workhorse running back Evan Hisey led the North offense with 102 yards on 27 carries.
"Hisey always gives you an effort and he's been playing hurt," said Mitchell.
Roseburg rushed for 219 of its 366 yards in offense.
"There was some good hitting and signs of good defense," said Mitchell. "We have flashes where we can play with anyone. I know we have a complete game in us. It just hasn't come out yet."
SHELDON 62, GRANTS PASS 7 — At Eugene, top-ranked Sheldon jumped out to a 49-0 halftime lead and cruised in Southwest Conference play.
Sheldon's Taylor Alie completed seven of his nine passes for 164 yards and two touchdowns. Both of his scoring strikes were to Mitchell Herbert, who collected 101 yards on the two receptions alone for the Irish (9-0, 7-0 SWC).
Ben Dean, who finished with 36 rushing yards, scored on an 11-yard run in the fourth quarter for Grants Pass (3-6, 3-4), which committed five turnovers (including four interceptions). Anthony Mattie carried the ball 16 times for 64 yards and Hunter Rich had 10 attempts for 42 yards.