MYRTLE CREEK — Emotionally flat and facing a two-touchdown deficit, the Phoenix football team’s halftime wake-up call was the just the beginning of a roller-coaster nonconference contest Saturday against South Umpqua.
With the Lancers in control 14-0 at halftime, quarterback Javan Gail and the Pirates came out of the intermission swinging and took a 28-21 lead with about two minutes to go in the fourth quarter.
The Lancers answered by marching down the field and scoring, but instead of electing to kick the extra point to go for the tie, they went for two and fell short as the Pirates pulled off the 28-27 comeback victory.
“Our kids showed that they’re a gritty team,” said Phoenix coach Jered Gail. “We had to challenge our kids because (South Umpqua) really outplayed us in the first half. It was about who wants to put up the energy and effort to win the second half. We know this team isn’t better than ours, and what are we going to do about it.”
After halftime, quarterback Javan Gail marched the Pirates (2-1) down the field, capping their first possession with a 4-yard touchdown pass to Jonathan Halligan to slice the deficit in half, 14-7.
The Lancers’ Johnathan Warner, however, responded with a 91-yard kickoff return to push South Umpqua’s edge to 21-7.
Not to be deterred, Javan Gail took the Pirates down the field again and scored on a 7-yard touchdown scamper.
In the fourth quarter, the Pirates made a pair of defensive stops to force South Umpqua (1-2) off the field and set the stage for Javan Gail and wide receiver Chase Courtney.
Javan Gail found Courtney on an 8-yard touchdown to knot the score at 21-all before the two connected again on a 31-yard touchdown to put the Pirates in command for the first time with a 28-21 lead with about two minutes remaining.
With little time to spare, South Umpqua pulled off a pair of trick plays — a double pass and a jet reverse — along with a couple of short passes on a drive that was capped by a Taylor Gross’ 26-yard TD run to cut the Pirates’ lead to 28-27.
South Umpqua went for the win and nearly got it. Gross rolled out of the pocket, was hurried by Phoenix’s defense and still found his receiver in the back of the end zone. The receiver caught the ball but his feet were out of bounds.
“We had (the quarterback) bottled up and he threw the ball to the corner but (the receiver’s) two feet were on the line in the corner of the end zone,” said Jered Gail. “It was a nail-biter of a game and it was a crazy way to win.”
Javan Gail went 17-for-29 for 172 yards and added 53 yards on the ground. Courtney had eight receptions for 108 yards and Jacky Hawkins added three catches for 65 yards.
SU — Yates 4 run (Pires kick)
SU — Gross 15 pass from Wylie (Pires kick)
P — Halligan 4 pass from Gail (Espana kick)
SU — Warner 91 kickoff return (Pires kick)
P — Gail 7 run (Espana kick)
P — Courtney 8 pass from Gail (Espana kick)
P — Courtney 31 pass from Gail (Espana kick)
SU — Gross 26 run (pass failed)
PREFONTAINE MEMORIAL RUN: At Coos Bay, while Grants Pass set the pace with three finishers in the top 10 on the boys and girls sides, Emma Bennion captured third place for the St. Mary’s girls at Marshfield High School.
Daniel Beckstead grabbed first place with a time of 15 minutes and 55.7 seconds for the Grants Pass boys, who also received top-10 contributions from sixth-place Nathan Burton (17:02) and eighth-place Dimitri Underwood (17:11.6).
The Grants Pass girls were led by second-place Faith Schultz (19:30.8) as Melody McGrath took fourth (20:03.5) and Samantha Dara 10th (21:12.7).
Bennion finished in 20:01 while Carson Hall took 31st (22:34.8) and Aly Diaz McNeal 34th (22:46.5) for the Crusaders, who finished fourth.
The Cascade Christian boys were led by Isaac Rubus’ 27th-place finish (18:03.2), just ahead of Rogue River’s Cameron Smith, who placed 28th (18:03.4).
Katelyn Willard was the Cascade Christian girls’ top finisher, finishing 35th in 22:51.
TEAM SCORES: 1, Grants Pass, 62; 2, Bandon, 72; 3, Cleveland, 94; 4, Roseburg, 103; 5, Marshfield, 109; 6, Siuslaw, 135; 7, North Bend, 197; 8, Taft, 198; 9, Lakeview, 243; 10, Henley, 300; 11, St. Mary’s, 302; 12, Brookings-Harbor, 327; 13, Waldport, 413; 14, Oakland, 437; 15, Douglas, 441; 16, Toledo, 445; 17, Reedsport, 473.
INDIVIDUALS (Top 10): 1, Daniel Beckstead, GP, 15:55.7; 2, Hunter Hutton, Ban, 15:58.7; 3, Josh Snyder, Ban, 16:27.8; 4, Miles Takiguchi, Cle, 16:42.9; 5, Elijah Hansen, Ros, 16:50.7; 6, Nathan Burton, GP, 17:02; 7, Isaac Cutler, Ban, 17:04.2; 8, Dimitri Underwood, GP, 17:11.8; 9, Hunter Agsten, 17:14.6; 10, Brendon Jensen, Siu, 17:17.3.
GRANTS PASS (62): 1, Daniel Beckstead, 15:55.7; 6, Nathan Burton, 17:02; 8, Dimitri Underwood, 17:11.8; 23, Cedar Davis-Frankfort, 17:59.5; 24, Levi Dimmick, 18:02.1.
ST. MARY’S (302): 50, Hunter Jorgenson, 19:06.6; 63, Kuixiong Wang, 19:48.5; 78, Owen Gramley, 20:12.8; 79, Ethan McAnally, 20:18.4; 80, Gabriel Mayer, 20:24.5.
CASCADE CHRISTIAN: 27, Isaac Rubus, 18:03.2; 93, Joel Wheeler, 20:46.4.
ROGUE RIVER: 28, Cameron Smith, 18:03.4; 89, Evan Mengershausen, 20:40.8; 109, Grant Ferhenbacher, 21:09.8.
TEAM SCORES: 1, Grants Pass, 42; 2, Cleveland, 62; 3, Roseburg, 98; 4, St. Mary’s, 134; 5, Marshfield, 142; 6, Siuslaw, 143; 7, North Bend, 166; 8, Henley, 202; 9, Bandon, 264; 10, Oakland, 278; 11, Taft, 303.
INDIVIDUALS (Top 10): 1, Sailor Hutton, Ban, 18:28; 2, Faith Schultz, GP, 19:30.8; 3, Emma Bennion, SM, 20:01; 4, Melody McGrath, GP, 20:03.5; 5, Isabella Oliver-Steinberg, Cle, 20:04.7; 6, Aleen Golla, Cle, 20:08.9; 7, Jazmin Chavez, Mar, 20:18.2; 8, Kaylee Delzotti, Mar, 20:30; 9, Makenna Roberts, NB, 20:37.9; 10, Samantha Dara, GP, 21:17.7.
GRANTS PASS (42): 2, Faith Schultz, 19:30.8; 4, Melody McGrath, 20:03.5; 10, Samantha Dara, 21:17.7; 11, Calista VanDelden, 21:12.9; 15, Sarah Sturley, 21:23.6.
ST. MARY’S (134): 3, Emma Bennion, 20:01; 31, Carson Hall, 22:34.8; 34, Aly Diaz McNeal, 22:46.5; 36, Lindsey Gurr, 22:51.7; 40, Sophia Pastrano, 23:06.4.
CASCADE CHRISTIAN: 35, Katelyn Willard, 22:51; 109, Clarke Brazofsky, 28:36.6; 112, Lauryn Squyers, 28:43.8; 140, Jessica Carlson, 36:16.8.
ASHLAND 7, MOUNTAIN VIEW 1: At Mountain View, Ashland senior Jade Boucher made the most of playing a match on his 18th birthday.
Boucher scored a pair of goals to go along with three assists to lead Ashland in the nonleague game.
Jahnoi Hall found the back of the net twice in the opening 11 minutes to give the Grizzlies (3-0-1) all the goals they’d need.
After a goal by Ben Lucero put Ashland on top 3-0, the Cougars (1-3) got on the scoreboard in the 25th minute with a long goal by Kevin Pfiel to avoid the shutout.
Also for Ashland, Joseph Sentle scored a goal, while Declan Hinkley and Ian Rinefort each had an assist.
BEND 6, EAGLE POINT 0: At Bend, Jaydyn Budrow contributed a standout effort for Eagle Point (1-4), which fell behind 4-0 in the first half against Bend (3-1-2) and was shut out for the third time this season in a nonleague match.
LAKEVIEW 2, ST. MARY’S 1: At Lakeview, uncharacteristic mistakes proved costly against Lakeview, which took the lead for good late in the first half to claim the Southern Cascade League opener.
After an early Honkers’ goal, Maddie Wheelock of the Crusaders (1-3, 0-1 SCL) evened the score 1-all in the 12th minute off a rebound from Megan Michels’ direct kick attempt.
In the 31st minute, Sierra Zendejas scored to put the Honkers in front for the remainder.