PHOENIX — After Triston Hay grabbed a breathtaking fourth-and-24 touchdown pass with under a minute to go, the Phoenix football team was motivated to go for all the glory against Yreka, Calif., on Friday night.
Needing two more points for the win or one to force overtime, the Class 4A Pirates didn't hesitate with their plan following the scoring strike from Justin McCreadie to Hay.
"I looked at the kids in the huddle and asked what they wanted to do and they wanted to go for it," Phoenix head coach Toby Walker said following his team's 22-21 victory at Jack Woodward Stadium. "They trusted in what they had been doing and they finished."
Indeed they did.
On the ensuing two-point conversion, Tyler Hague accepted a pitch from McCreadie, battled to a corner and stretched out just long enough for the ball to cross the pylon.
The Pirates (3-0) had a long way to go before finding the end zone. Phoenix had a first-and-goal opportunity with 1:05 left in the contest before a 5-yard penalty, incomplete pass, botched snap and sack pushed the Pirates all the way back to the Yreka 24.
Enter Hay, who pulled in McCreadie's throw around the 4 and fought off a defender en route to scoring. He finished with three touchdowns on the night.
"We had great protection up front, the throw was great and it was an acrobatic finish and one of those plays you always hope to have at the time you need it," Walker said.
Yreka's 43-yard field goal attempt to win the game after that went wide left, setting off an eruption of cheers from the Phoenix faithful.
McCreadie finished 14 of 22 for 238 yards and two touchdowns. Hay made three catches for 87 yards and had four carries for 88 yards and two TDs against Yreka (2-1), which was coming off a 28-8 victory over Mazama.
Tyson Morris carried the ball 17 times for 117 yards and Aaron Pankowski five times for 41 yards for the Pirates, who led 14-6 at halftime.
Phoenix finished with 253 rushing yards and 179 passing. Hay rushed for scores of 59 and 19 yards in the first half. Hague made three catches for 70 yards and Jose Deras five for 43 yards.
Jacob Maphet rushed for 117 yards and a score on 19 attempts for Yreka.
Yreka, Calif. 0 7 7 7 — 21
Phoenix 7 7 0 8 — 22
P — Hay 19 run (Bazan kick)
Y — Esparza 35 pass from Currie (Andreas kick)
P — Hay 59 pass from McCreadie (Bazan kick)
Y — Currie 13 run (Andreas kick)
Y — Maphet 2 run (Andreas kick)
P — Hay 24 pass from McCreadie (Hague run)
HIDDEN VALLEY 12, NORTH EUGENE 10 — At Murphy, Jason Castro capped Hidden Valley's rally past North Eugene with a 5-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter.
The Mustangs (2-1) sliced the Highlanders' lead to 10-7 on Tyler Campbell's 9-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Michael Hults with 14 seconds remaining in the first half.
Castro rushed for 140 yards on 36 carries and Hults was 13-for-25 for 112 yards for the Mustangs, who racked up 327 yards of offense to the Highlanders' 103.
North Eugene 3 7 0 0 — 10
Hidden Valley 0 6 0 6 — 12
NE — FG 32
NE — Butterfield 10 pass (Vallejo kick)
HV — Campbell 9 pass from Hults (kick failed)
HV — Castro 5 run (run failed)
RIDGEVIEW 47, NORTH VALLEY 10 — At Merlin, North Valley had a difficult time with Ridgeview up front and running back Boomer Fleming, who ran for five touchdowns in the nonconference affair.
Fleming had 168 yards on 22 carries to lead the second-year school Ridgeview, which compiled 430 yards on the ground.
The Knights (2-1) received their only touchdown from Kyler Smith on a 16-yard run in the third quarter. North Valley managed just 24 yards on the ground and 120 total.
Ridgeview 12 16 6 13 — 47
North Valley 0 3 7 0 — 10
R — Fleming 5 run (kick failed)
R — Simpson 2 run (kick failed)
NV — FG Jackson 25
R — Fleming 5 run (Johns run)
R — O'Neal 20 pass from Simpson (Fleming run)
R — Fleming 61 run (run failed)
NV — Smith 16 run (Jackson kick)
R — Fleming 3 run (run failed)
R — Fleming 2 run (Rodman kick)
ROSEBURG 27, CRATER 7 — At Roseburg, Crater had a hard time slowing Roseburg's running attack as the Indians compiled 260 yards on 58 attempts to control the SWC opener.
Quarterback Ty Fox was 16-for-34 for 230 yards and ran for the Comets' lone touchdown from 5 yards out in the third quarter. Dallin George pulled in seven passes for 90 yards for the Comets, who dropped to 0-3 overall and 0-1 in SWC play.
Will Reddekopp scored two rushing touchdowns in the first quarter for Roseburg (3-0, 1-0 SWC) but it was Levi Holden who carried the load on the ground for Roseburg with 129 yards on 19 carries and punched in a goal-line score in the fourth. River Sigrest added a 15-yard TD run to cap Roseburg's scoring.
CHURCHILL 28, EAGLE POINT 14 — At Eagle Point, Eagle Point was held without a rushing first down as its offense was held in check against Churchill, which picked up its first victory of the season.
Quarterback Justin Kearney was 20-for-31 for 218 yards and threw a touchdown for the Lancers (1-2, 1-0 Midwestern League). He also gained 53 yards on the ground to go with a pair of rushing TDs.
The Eagles dropped to 1-2 overall and 0-1 in MWL play.
CASCADE CHRISTIAN 41, PLEASANT HILL 14 — At Pleasant Hill, Seth Knox passed for 173 yards and three touchdowns and ran for another score in the nonleague rout for Cascade Christian (2-1).
Knox was 16 of 26 passing with no interceptions. His touchdowns were 21 yards to Tanner Parker and 42 and 28 yards to Dalton Palmer.
Cody Parker ran nine times for 103 yards to pace the Challengers' ground game. Palmer had four catches for 92 yards.
Dante Olson made 17 combined tackles for the Cascade Christian defense and returned an interception 57 yards for the game's final score. Tanner Parker had three tackles, including two for losses, and picked off a pass.
Cascade Christian 7 14 0 20 — 41
Pleasant Hill 7 0 0 7 — 14
PH — Housel 35 pass from Basarez (Ritchie kick)
CC — T. Parker 21 pass from Knox (C. Parker kick)
CC — Palmer 42 pass from Knox (C. Parker kick)
CC — Palmer 28 pass from Knox (C. Parker kick)
PH — Basarez 3 run (Ritchie kick)
CC — Knox 3 run (C. Parker kick)
CC — Brown 3 run (C. Parker kick)
CC — Olson 57 interception return (kick failed)
ILLINOIS VALLEY 39, CRESWELL 19 — At Cave Junction, James Thompson ran for 164 yards and three touchdowns as Illinois Valley romped in the nonleague tilt.
Quarterback CJ Manning threw for 196 yards on 7 of 19 passing and tossed two touchdowns to Myles Hodge for the Cougars (1-2).
GLIDE 47, ROGUE RIVER 13 — At Rogue River, Jarrid Hopkins and Alex Valencia both notched a touchdown for Rogue River, which played short-handed with just 18 players on its squad.
The Chieftains (0-3) turned the ball over three times, each of which Glide (2-1) turned into touchdowns.
DAYS CREEK 48, PROSPECT 18 — At Days Creek, Prospect's Darren Stillwagon ran for a touchdown and threw another to Will Hatley, but Days Creek's offense was too much for the Cougars (1-2, 0-1 District 2).
Hatley had seven catches for 116 yards and Kevin Anderson added a blocked punt return for a TD in the fourth quarter.
Days Creek's Colton Fuller threw four touchdown passes — three to Jase Fuller — and ran for another while Kolby Orrison had touchdown runs of 51, 21 and 98 yards.
Prospect 0 6 0 12 — 18
Days Creek 14 22 6 6 — 48
DC — C. Fuller 2 pass from J. Fuller (C. Fuller from J. Fuller)
DC — Orrison 51 run (run failed)
DC — Smith 3 pass from J. Fuller (run failed)
P — Stillwagon 20 run (run failed)
DC — Orrison 21 run (C. Fuller from J. Fuller)
DC — Smith 21 pass from J. Fuller (C. Fuller from J. Fuller)
DC — J. Fuller 68 run (pass failed)
P — Hatley 45 pass from Stillwagon (run failed)
DC — Orrison 98 run (pass failed)
P — Anderson 20 blocked punt return (run failed)