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...
BEAVERTON — South Medford got off to a fast start but couldn't sustain it and suffered a 28-24 nonconference football loss to Westview Friday when the Wildcats scored the winning touchdown in the final minute.
Austin Brisbee's 1-yard plunge with 20 seconds to play capped a 15-play, 70-yard drive for Westview as it avenged a 34-0 loss to the Panthers last year.
South Medford (0-2) led 21-13 entering the fourth quarter and bumped it to 24-13 with 81/2 minutes to play on Riley Williams' 43-yard field goal.
But Brisbee found Ian Meyers for a 14-yard score just inside six minutes remaining, and the two-point conversion made it 24-21.
Unable to get anything going, the Panthers turned the ball back over to Westview, and it mounted its winning march. Along the way, the Wildcats converted a fourth-and-five play at its own 45-yard line with a minute left.
"We got off to a really good start in the first half," said South Medford coach Bill Singler, whose team led 21-7 at halftime. "We didn't play as well in the second half. We seemed to shoot ourselves in the foot. We dropped two wide-open touchdowns on passes that probably would have put the game away in the third quarter. It really hurt that we had to punt instead of scoring TDs."
Once Westview got momentum in the fourth quarter, the Panthers were in trouble.
"We couldn't finish our drives," said Singler. "It just seemed like when we had to have big plays, we couldn't make them, and they made theirs. I have to give credit to them. They kept coming at us. They got in that no-huddle, spread look and had a couple nice drives in the fourth quarter."
Quarterback Craig Contreras completed 15 of 34 passes for 274 yards and two touchdowns for South Medford, including an 88-yarder to Mark Winans. Brady Breeze caught seven passes for 98 yards, including a score of 37 yards.
Josh Hall rushed for 90 yards for the Panthers, and Anthony Gomez scored on a 1-yard run.
OREGON CITY 42, CRATER 20 — At Oregon City, Oregon City opened a 29-3 halftime lead and cruised to the nonconference victory.
The Pioneers (2-0) got a whopping 286 rushing yards on 38 carries from elusive sophomore Connor Mitchell. He scored on runs of 36 and 3 yards.
Crater racked up 290 yards passing, with Ty Fox completing 14 of 23 for 280 of them. More than half his yards came on two long touchdown strikes: 79 yards to Kory Bennett and 88 yards to Dylan Morgan.
Bennett had five catches for 126 yards, his second straight game over the century mark.
Davey McCollum scored on a 1-yard run for Crater (0-2).
GRANTS PASS 44, WEST LINN 30 — At West Linn, running back Zac Hannan rushed for 181 yards, including a 66-yard streak to the end zone that helped Grants Pass gain a 35-15 halftime edge.
The Grants Pass (1-1) defense limited West Linn to 35 rushing yards on 25 attempts. Kirkland Meadows added a 50-yard interception return in the second quarter and Travis Gergel forced a safety for the Cavemen midway through the third.
The Lions' lone success was through the air with quarterback Cody Coppedge, who threw for 335 yards and tossed a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns. Louie Germaine also rushed for two touchdowns.
ROSEBURG 35, SPRAGUE 23 — At Roseburg, Levi Holden scored four of Roseburg's five touchdowns en route to a nonconference victory.
Holden had three touchdown runs and his 99-yard kickoff return in the second quarter gave the Indians (2-0) a permanent lead. He had 30 carries for 191 yards.
ASHLAND 51, LEBANON 14 — At Lebanon, Danial White hit Shashi Penn with a 42-yard touchdown pass on the first play from scrimmage as Ashland jumped out to leads of 24-0 after one quarter and 38-0 at the half en route to an easy nonconference win.
Ryne Robitz accounted for 145 yards — 99 rushing — and White completed 6 of 9 passes for 125 yards and two touchdowns as the Grizzlies improved to 2-0 heading into next week's Midwestern League opener against defending league champion Marist.
After Lebanon took a 15-yard penalty for arriving late for the coin toss then a 5-yard penalty for taking too long to kick off, Penn returned the opening kick 22 yards to set up his receiving touchdown.
Ashland flamed out on its next drive and had to settle for Matt Hedges' 23-yard field goal, but that was one of the few small victories for the Warriors, who watched the Grizzlies score touchdowns on six of their next seven drives to build a 51-0 lead.
The scoring rush included a 10-yard dash by Robitz, a 6-yard pass to Sebastian Warren and an 84-yard punt return by Penn that fell just short of the end zone.
Also for Ashland, Mason Montgomery rushed for 36 yards on offense and had seven tackles on defense, Hedges came up with a 24-yard reception to go with his field goal and Collin McGuire, Seth Cowan and Joe Hearn each had a sack.
EAGLE POINT 34, SUMMIT 33, 2OT — At Bend, Eagle Point's Seth Arena ran in a 3-yard score in double overtime and the Eagles used a goal-line stand to seal the nonleague win.
After neither team scored in the first OT, Eagle Point (1-1) used key catches by Carlos Flores and Peyton Dole to kick off the second OT and set up Arena's TD.
Brandon Fincher kicked in the extra point before Summit marched down and scored. The Storm went for a two-point conversion and the victory, but their run attempt was denied after Austin Holmes batted down the ball as a Summit running back tried to pitch it to a receiver after being stopped.