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...
CLACKAMAS — Despite a heroic performance from running back Evan Hisey, the North Medford football team fell 49-28 to Clackamas in its Class 6A state play-in game on Friday.
The senior running back rushed for 205 yards and two touchdowns on 23 attempts, including an 86-yard run in the second quarter for the Black Tornado. He also caught a 24-yard scoring strike from quarterback Jordan Towe, who was filling in for the injured Troy Fowler, but it wasn't enough for North.
Clackamas led 21-13 at halftime and outscored the Black Tornado 28-15 in the second half. The Cavaliers finished with 579 total yards, including 402 rushing.
North (2-8) had 240 rushing yards.
Jared Evans and Alafou Polataivao scored the other two touchdowns for the Black Tornado.
Towe completed six of his 16 attempts for 108 yards and two TDs.
Dan Sherrell led Clackamas (5-5) with 279 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries.
McNARY 13, GRANTS PASS 6 — At Keizer, Brett Hildebrand's 7-yard rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter gave McNary the Class 6A state play-in win.
Quarterback Javan Appling, who completed just two passes, put the Cavers on the scoreboard first with a 5-yard TD run in the first quarter.
Hildebrand, who finished with 138 rushing yards on 27 carries, evened the score at 12 in the third quarter for McNary (4-6).
Ben Dean had 18 carries for 74 yards for Grants Pass (3-7), which turned the ball over four times, including three lost fumbles.
ROSEBURG 55, NORTH SALEM 14 — At Roseburg, Roseburg racked up 451 rushing yards against North Salem in the Class 6A state play-in game at Finlay Field.
The Indians (5-5) converted each of their first four possessions into touchdowns — the first two on runs by Jake Heverly of 14 and 33 yards — and raced out to a 34-0 halftime lead on 303 yards of offense.
The Vikings (0-10) were limited to two first downs in the first half, the first of which was given away on a fumble.
Heverly carried the ball 18 times for 159 yards to lead Roseburg while Levi Holden had nine rushes for 124 yards.
ASHLAND 47, CORVALLIS 7 — At Ashland, Connor Kaegi threw three touchdown passes in the first 15 minutes, including two to Jon Volz, and Ashland held Corvallis to 166 yards of total offense to pick up the Class 5A play-in victory.
The win is the fifth in a row for the Grizzlies (7-3) and earned them a Round of 16 road game next Friday. Ashland's next opponent was yet to be determined at press time.
Ashland's celebration was dampened somewhat by an ejection that, unless overturned, will cost them one of their best players and most important senior leaders in next week's game.
The play in question occurred as Ashland was leading 40-0 with less than 15 seconds to go in the first half. Facing a third-and-16 at the Corvallis 40, Spartans' quarterback Matherin Langley scrambled out of the pocket and toward the Corvallis sideline, where he was leveled by Volz. The late hit sent Langley tumbling past a line of teammates and into a barrier that separates fans from the field with a loud thud. Several fans on the Corvallis side jumped over the divider onto the field, but the referees quickly restored order, penalizing Ashland 15 yards and tossing Volz from the game.
By OSAA rule, Volz, a senior running back/defensive back who entered the game as Ashland's leader in rushing yards and interceptions (3), must also sit out next week's playoff game.
Volz was having a stellar game up until that point, having already accumulated 168 yards of total offense — 85 receiving, 83 rushing — including spectacular touchdown receptions of 25 yards and 57 yards.
Kaegi completed 11 of 17 passes for 177 yards. His counterpart, Langley, completed 4 of 10 passes for 21 yards and an interception.
Ashland's defense continued a sensational run that has anchored the Grizzlies' late-season surge, holding Corvallis (3-7) to 11 first downs and 60 passing yards — mostly in the second half, after the game was well in hand — and forcing four turnovers.
CRESCENT VALLEY 35, EAGLE POINT 12 — At Corvallis, quarterback Tanner Sanders passed for 211 yards and finished with three touchdowns for Crescent Valley in the Class 5A state play-in game.
Jared Baumgartner had 130 receiving yards on three catches for the Raiders (7-3), who led 21-6 at halftime.
Jakob Combs led Eagle Point (5-5) with 57 yards on 15 carries, including a 6-yard scoring run in the second quarter. He also hauled in a 10-yard TD strike from Jorge Quintero in the fourth. Quintero finished 9-of-22 passing with three interceptions and 128 yards.