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...
FOREST GROVE — The bad news for Crater is, it didn't put together one of its better games in a Class 6A play-in contest against Forest Grove Friday.
The good news is, the Comets won, 41-39, and advanced to the playoffs in their final year at the large-school classification. Crater (3-7), which will drop to 5A next school year, gets a first-round date with top-ranked Jesuit (7-2) next week in Portland.
"Even though we played very poorly, we found a way to win instead of finding a way to lose," said Comets coach John Beck. "That's encouraging. We did not play well, we just did not."
Crater turned the ball over three times, two on fumbles, and was flagged 14 times. It gave up big plays on special teams, was caught off guard by a couple trick plays and, outside of strong running by Carlos Higuera and Davey McCollum and decent run defense, was shoddy.
But when Ty Fox found Kory Bennett with a 9-yard scoring pass with about 10 minutes to play, it proved to be the final points in a wild game.
The Comets had a chance to all but bury Forest Grove early. They led 21-6 in the first quarter and had the ball at Vikings' 1. But a holding penalty pushed them back, and when Crater tried to a kick a field goal, the ball was not handled cleanly and it failed.
Forest Grove went the other direction, got one of its four field goals from David Ortiz, and eventually pulled into a 28-28 tie early in the second half.
Forest Grove led 39-35 when Fox and Bennett connected. The Vikings got the ball with two minutes left but couldn't produce a winning drive.
Fox threw three touchdown passes — the other two were to Dylan Morgan of 15 and 27 yards — but had an otherwise off day. The state leader in passing yards completed 9 of 19 for 189 yards and one interception. Fox did rush for 81 yards.
Higuera led the ground charge, which produced 251 yards, with 13 carries for 105 yards, including a 9-yard TD. McCollum ran six times for 42 yards and scored from 4 and 5 yards out.
Beck looks forward to the challenge of facing Jesuit.
"We get to go up there again next week and give it a shot," he said. "Who knows? I'm excited about the opportunity for us to play better and show that we're a better team than what we played tonight."
WILSONVILLE 35, EAGLE POINT 7 — At Wilsonville, Wilsonville's Derek Sunkle ran for 267 yards and the Wildcats built a 28-0 halftime lead in the 5A play-in contest.
The Wildcats (6-4) advanced to the state playoffs for the fifth straight year, while Eagle Point ends the season with a 5-5 record.
Sunkle scored touchdowns on 51- and 42-yard runs in the second quarter, the final one coming with only 11.4 seconds remaining in the half. He had 233 yards on 21 carries in the first half.
Eagle Point's lone score came when Lucas Morris returned a punt 52 yards with 6:10 remaining.
Cole Wilson scored on two short runs in the first half for Wilsonville.
Early in the second quarter, Eagle Point had made three trips inside 20 but was thwarted on downs, a fumble and a missed field goal.
Eagles quarterback Jorge Quintero passed for 163 yards.
NORTH VALLEY 55, NORTH MARION 36 — At Aurora, Jordan Hannah rumbled for 202 yards and four touchdowns as North Valley advanced to the opening round of the 4A playoffs with a play-in victory at North Marion High.
The Knights' defense forced six turnovers — two first-half interceptions and four fumble recoveries in the second half.
Robbie Stalford threw for 185 yards and two touchdowns on 11-for-15 passing and scored on a 23-yard scamper in the third quarter for the Knights (7-3).
Austin Jackson hauled in a touchdown from Stalford and had four catches for 59 yards while Nathan Rusk added 69 yards on four receptions.
North Valley 7 21 20 7 — 55
North Marion 7 8 8 13 — 36
NM — Williamson 10 pass from Crumley (Pine kick)
NV — Hannah 8 run (Jackson kick)
NM — Saucedo 34 run (kick blocked)
NV — Dahl 23 pass from Stalford (pass failed)
NV — Jackson 43 pass from Stalford (Smith run)
NV — Hannah 7 run (Jackson kick)
NM — Safety, tackle in end zone
NV — Hannah 12 run (kick failed)
NV — Smith 15 run (Jackson kick)
NM — Saucedo 21 pass from Crumley (Wampole pass from Chavez)
NV — Stalford 23 run (Jackson kick)
NM — McKillip 33 pass from Crumley (Pine kick)
NV — Hannah 53 run (Jackson kick)
CASCADE CHRISTIAN 45, LAKEVIEW 0 — Cascade Christian's defense limited Lakeview to 14 yards of total offense as the Challengers wrapped up the Southern Cascade Hybrid's top seed.
Cascade Christian (6-3) opens the playoffs next week against an opponent to be determined.
Cody Parker had two rushing touchdowns and kicked three field goals for the Challengers. He had six carries for 62 yards and caught six passes for 67 yards.
Challengers quarterback Seth Knox threw for 232 yards on an 18-for-24 effort and scored on a keeper up the middle during Cascade Christian's 27-point second quarter. David Sellers hauled in three catches for 82 yards.
On defense for the Challengers, Dalton Palmer recorded six tackes, a sack and an interception while Daunte Olson picked up seven tackles.
Lakeview 0 0 0 0 — 0
Cascade Christian 18 27 0 0 — 45
CC — Brown 42 run (Parker kick)
CC — FG Parker 25
CC — Parker 26 run (Sellers pass from Joffer)
CC — FG Parker 34
CC — Knox 1 run (Parker kick)
CC — Parker 8 run (Parker kick)
CC — FG Parker 35
CC — Brown 26 interception return (Parker kick)
ST. MARY'S 47, CHILOQUIN 12 — At Chiloquin, quarterback Denten Edwards connected with Sam Hough for two touchdowns and ran for another as St. Mary's finished its season with a 6-3 record.
Edwards went for 169 yards rushing as well while Anthony Bonsi churned for 117 yards on 20 carries and had back-to-back first-half touchdowns for the Crusaders.
Jacob Smith had three interceptions for St. Mary's and found pay dirt on a 10-yard run in the third quarter.
St. Mary's 13 14 14 6 — 47
Chiloquin 0 6 0 6 — 12
SM — Hough 27 pass from Edwards (VanValkenburg kick)
SM — Bonsi 4 run (pass failed)
SM — Bonsi 20 run (VanValkenburg kick)
C — Hillaire 41 pass from Parazoo (kick failed)
SM — Hough 7 pass from Edwards (VanValkenburg kick)
SM — Edwards 38 run (VanValkenburg kick)
SM — Smith 10 run (VanValkenburg kick)
C — Spencer 11 pass from Parazoo (kick failed)
SM — Cox 10 run (kick failed)
PROSPECT 46, BUTTE FALLS 12 — At Prospect, junior quarterback Darren Stillwagon accounted for seven touchdowns — in four different ways — as Prospect ended the season with the MVL victory.
Stillwagon rushed 16 times for 234 yards and four touchdowns, caught a scoring pass, threw one and returned an interception for a score for the Cougars (5-5, 4-4 MVL).
On the first play of the game, Stillwagon caught a 63-yard pass from Tyler Munsell. Two of the former's scoring runs were 71 and 55 yards, and his interception return went for 30.
Butte Falls (0-10, 0-8) got touchdowns from Alex Cool-Hunsaker and Luke McGonagle.
Prospect 12 22 6 6 — 46
Butte Falls 0 0 6 6 — 12
P — Stillwagon 63 pass from Munsell (run failed)
P — Stillwagon 25 run (pass failed)
P — Stillwagon 16 run (Stillwagon run)
P — Scofield 7 pass from Stillwagon (run failed)
P — Stillwagon 30 interception return (Driskell run)
BF — Cool-Hunsaker 12 run (run failed)
P — Stillwagon 55 run (run failed)
BF — McGonagle 1 run (run failed)
P — Stillwagon 71 run (pass failed)