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...
HILLSBORO — Crater had Century High of Hillsboro in trouble in the Class 6A first-round state playoff football game Friday before the Jaguars rallied late for the victory.
Senior quarterback Sam Riddle completed his third touchdown pass of the game with just over one minute remaining to lift the Jaguars to a 33-27 see-saw win over the Comets at Hillsboro Stadium.
"It was an exciting game," said Crater ninth-year coach John Beck. "There were a lot of big plays on both sides. They just had one more."
Derrick Turituri's 51-yard return of a Riddle fumble gave the Comets (4-6) a 27-21 lead early in the fourth quarter.
But Century (8-2) put together two scoring drives to pull out the victory.
The Jaguars winning drive — 48 yards in five plays — was capped by a 33-yard pass play down the middle from Riddle to Tristan Howell with 1:05 to go.
"We just busted the coverage at the end," said Beck. "That's how they scored."
The Comets returned the ensuing kickoff to their 27 but were intercepted on third down to seal the victory for Century, the third-place team out of the Pacific Conference.
Crater received the game's opening kickoff and went 68 yards on five plays for a touchdown on a 33-yard pass from quarterback Ty Fox to Turituri.
But a pair of Comet turnovers — an interception and a fumble — were converted into two touchdowns and Century held a 15-6 advantage at the end of the first quarter.
Crater cut the margin to 15-13 at halftime on a 22-yard touchdown pass from Fox to Dakota Massey.
Both teams had five turnovers in the back-and-forth game
"We had some big runs and made some timely pass plays," said Beck. "Defensively we held our ground pretty good. We were getting a lot of good pressure on their quarterback and they couldn't run the ball at all."
Riddle, who accounted for four touchdowns, passed for 338 of the Jaguars 384 yards in offense.
The Comets were more balanced with 134 yards rushing and 201 through the air. Ty Wolf paced the Crater ground attack with 65 yards on 11 carries.
"We played real physical and were opportunistic," said Beck. "We did enough good things to win the game but just came out on the short end of it."
WEST ALBANY 42, ASHLAND 7 — At Albany, Jake LaCoste rushed for 286 yards and four touchdowns to lead West Albany in a first-round Class 5A state playoff at Memorial Stadium.
Ashland quarterback Connor Kaegi completed 9 of 15 passes for 116 yards, and Danial White scored on a 5-yard run to tie the game at 7 in the first quarter, but the Bulldogs (9-1) dominated the rest of the game.
LaCoste had touchdown runs of 15, 2, 1 and 75 yards to help West Albany snap Ashland's five-game winning streak. His dive into the end zone with 30 seconds to go in the first half gave the Bulldogs a 21-7 lead at the break, and they tacked on two more big plays in the third — the long run by LaCoste and a 48-yard touchdown pass from Cody Lahoda to Brendon Breslin — to blow the game open.
Ashland (7-4) struggled to maintain drives against West Albany's defense, finishing with 114 yards of total offense, including minus-4 on the ground.
West Albany will face Silverton in the state quarterfinals.