FORTUNA, Calif. — North Medford saddled itself with some typical opening-game execution problems in dropping a 34-21 decision to Fortuna High School Friday night.
The Black Tornado was tied 14-all at halftime in the nonconference contest but the Huskies, who opened the season with a 41-18 loss last week, took control with two third-quarter touchdowns.
North had trouble stopping the Husky ground game, which rushed for 283 yards. Senior running back JB Lewis led the ground attack with 112 yards and one touchdown and caught a 27-yard TD pass in the third quarter.
“We had early season mistakes and poor tackling,” said North Medford coach Mike Mitchell.
The Black Tornado rushed for negative yards but senior quarterback Josh Robbins passed for 203 yards and two touchdowns.
Tyler Evans was on the receiving end of a 31-yard touchdown from Robbins in the first quarter.
The Black Tornado tied the game 14-all in the second quarter on Harley Robinson’s 1-yard TD run and a two-point conversion pass from Robbins to Evans.
North pulled to within 28-21 with about nine minutes to go in the game on a 47-yard touchdown pass from Robbins to Vicente Borja.
But Fortuna responded when quarterback Zac Claus struck for a 38-yard scoring pass to Hunter Turner on the Huskies’ next possession.
“We had a chance at 28-21 but didn’t get the needed stop,” Mitchell said.
Fortuna finished with 443 yards in offense to 191 for North Medford.
GRANTS PASS 45, CENTURY 34: At Hillsboro, senior quarterback Blain Hobbs accounted for three first-half touchdowns as Grants Pass built a 35-14 lead at the break in the nonconference game.
Hobbs found Tayler Phillips for TD passes of 61 and 45 yards and had a 3-yard touchdown run in the opening half.
Vincent Washington, a senior running back, led the Cavemen ground game with 167 yards on 19 carries and three touchdowns.
After Century cut the Grants Pass lead to 28-14 with 2:55 before halftime, the Cavemen answered on a Washington 5-yard touchdown run with 48 seconds remaining.
Grants Pass (1-0) amassed 442 yards in offense, while Century (0-1) totaled 552.
SOLDOTNA 20, CRATER 7: At Crescent City, Calif., after falling behind 14-0, Crater cut its deficit in half with a 4-yard touchdown run by sophomore quarterback Trever Davis in the second quarter, but the Comets never got closer in the nonconference game played at Del Norte High.
Early-season mistakes caught up to Crater (1-0), which turned the ball over on its first possession, leading to the opening touchdown by Soldotna (5-0). The Comets were also stung by eight penalties for 75 yards, stopping positive momentum after several good plays.
Soldotna cushioned its lead on the opening possession of the third quarter after Crater was unable to get a key defensive stop on fourth down. Despite surrendering the score, the Comets defense played tough against the Stars’ highly physical offensive attack, Crater first-year coach Randy Waite said.
Davis was efficient passing, completing 15 of 20 attempts for 125 yards. Senior running back Cade Weaver led the Comets on the ground with eight carries for 94 yards rushing and senior slotback Bailee Robles was Crater’s leading receiver with seven receptions for 53 yards.
Soldotna, which hails from south central Alaska on the Kenai Peninsula, ran its winning streak to 54 straight games. The Stars have won five consecutive medium school state championships.
PHOENIX 34, CROOK COUNTY 12: At Sutherlin, senior receiver Chase Courtney caught a pair of touchdown passes from senior quarterback Javan Gail, including a 90-yarder to open the scoring.
Phoenix (1-0) gave up a defensive score in the first quarter to Crook County (0-1) on an interception return for touchdown by Colton Burkhardt and allowed a couple of long drives in the second half, but the Pirates played enough stingy defense early on to build a commanding lead. Senior defensive end Jonathan Halligan had a team-high six tackles, five solo and one for loss, and junior defensive back Dylan Knudson tacked on an interception return for touchdown.
Offensively, Gail completed 12 of 27 passes for 220 yards, Courtney finished with 136 yards receiving on three catches and senior running back Cori Romig accounted for another Pirates touchdown with an 8-yard scamper.
P — Courtney 90 pass from Gail (Courtney kick)
C — Burkhardt interception return (pass failed)
P — Romig 8 run (kick failed)
P — Courtney 26 pass from Gail (Knudson run)
C — Brady 2 run (pass failed)
P — Knudson interception return (kick failed)
CASCADE CHRISTIAN 43, HENLEY 22: At Lakeview, quarterback Haiden Schaan amassed 294 yards and two touchdowns through the air while rushing for 171 yards and two scores as Cascade Christian topped Henley.
Schaan was 21-for-34 passing and tossed an early fourth quarter pass from the left side of the field to the right across his body to find Ben Dunn on a 30-yard TD that put the Challengers (1-0) up 35-15.
Dunn had four catches for 82 yards while Kiegan Schaan added three grabs for 67 yard as Cascade Christian rolled up 616 yards of total offense.
Challengers running back Caleb Jordan rumbled for 87 yards and a pair of touchdowns behind an offensive line that did not allow a sack.
H — Tacchini 26 pass from Hadwick (Overstreet kick)
CC — Schaan 14 run (Dunn kick)
CC — Jordan 2 run (Dunn kick)
CC — McLemore 32 pass from Schaan (Dunn kick)
H — Hadwick 20 run (Overstreet run)
CC — Schaan 3 run (Fralich run)
CC — Dunn 30 pass from Schaan (conversion failed)
H — Davenport 7 pass from Hadwick (Ledgerwood kick)
CC — Jordan 4 run (Jordan run)
ST. MARY’S 27, CRESWELL 6: At Creswell, Gavin Rajagopal scored three touchdowns and St. Mary’s defense blanked host Creswell through three quarters in the nonconference road game.
Rajagopal, a junior running back, capped a 58-yard drive with a 2-yard touchdown run on St. Mary’s first possession of the game after a Creswell punt.
The 5-foot-10, 175-pound speedster added a 78-yard TD in the second quarter, then tacked on a 71-yard touchdown in the third quarter.
Rajagopal accounted for 221 of the Crusaders’ 376 yards in offense.
Linebacker Aidan Young’s fumble recovery set up the Crusaders’ second TD, an 11-yard run by William Heycke.
Conner Walker, a sophomore defensive end, registered three sacks for the Crusaders.
Creswell was limited to just one first down in the first half and finished with 196 yards in offense.
SM — Rajagopal 2 run (kick failed)
SM — W. Heycke 11 run (Rajagopal kick)
SM — Rajagopal 78 run (Kaeo-Wailehua kick)
SM — Rajagopal 71 run (Kaeo-Wailehua kick)
C — TD run
ROGUE RIVER 20, MYRTLE POINT 14: At Myrtle Point, a quick start, stingy defense and two big plays by Derek Nelson down the stretch to helped Rogue River capture its first win since late in the 2013 season.
The Chieftains (1-0), who were kicking off their first season playing eight-man football, had to make the adjustment back to 11-man on two days notice. The game was also originally slated to be played in Rogue River but was moved to Myrtle Point because of forest fire smoke.
With the game tied at 14-all with about three minutes to go in the fourth quarter, the quarterback Nelson scored on a 5-yard run to put Rogue River in control, 20-14. On Myrtle Point’s ensuing possession, Nelson came up with a strip sack and the fumble was recovered by the Chieftains’ Gabe Tambellini to seal it with 54 seconds remaining.
Nelson connected with Cameron Hooker on a 46-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter and South Medford transfer Austin Gardner’s 20-yard run to paydirt put Rogue River out in front 14-0. Myrtle Point knotted the score at 14-all in the second quarter but the Chieftains defense held a second-half shutout.
On just six carries for both running backs, Jacob Tambellini rushed for 81 yards and Carson Smith added 75 while Nelson threw for 83 yards and caught two passes for 75 yards.
RR — Hooker 46 pass from Nelson (Nelson run)
RR — Gardner 20 run (run failed)
MP — Ruff 4 pass from Warner (run failed)
MP — Sears 15 pass from Warner (run good)
RR — Nelson 5 run (run failed)