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Schauffler eyes key role

Happy Roseburg stars on his side in Shrine Bowl

The sting of losing to the Roseburg Indians in the Class 4A state championshipfootball game in 1995 still haunts former Eagle Point running back JacobSchauffler.

Schauffler, a 5-foot-9, 175-pound running back, linebacker and defensiveback, still reflects back on pivotal plays that turned the Eagles' fourth-quarterlead into a 17-12 loss to the Indians in the title game.

After losing to Roseburg three times in the last two seasons, Schaufflerfinally gets to play with four Indians players in the final unofficial highschool game of his career.

Schauffler will start at running back for the South team in the ShrineBowl of Oregon high school all-star game Saturday night at Parker Stadiumin Corvallis.

Four Roseburg products (linebacker Brad Loomis, quarterback-defensiveback Jake Cookus, lineman Sandon Duncan and defensive back Brian Rabern)will be Schauffler's teammates in the game.

Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

It will be a welcome sight to see all of those black and orangeRoseburg helmets on my side for once, says Schauffler. It willgive me confidence just to know they are around me.

The South team is coached by Roseburg head coach Thurman Bell, who hasguided the Indians to 28 straight wins and two state championships duringthe past two seasons.

In practice sessions, Bell has talked to his defensive players aboutplaying solid pass defense against North quarterback John Harrington, a6-foot-4 passer from Central Catholic High of Portland. Harrington is headedfor the University of Oregon on a scholarship.

Coach Bell keeps talking about the interception by Jake Stewartof Roseburg that turned our state championship game around, says Schauffler.He uses it as an example of being in the right position to make aplay in pass coverage.

Stewart intercepted a pass from Eagle Point quarterback Dan Woodwardand returned it 40 yards for the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarteras Roseburg rallied for a 17-12 win and the first of two straight statetitles.

To tell you the truth, I get tired of hearing about that play becauseit brings up all of those old memories, says Schauffler. That'sthe play I think back on the most from that game and that season. I wishhe (Bell) wouldn't talk about it so much.

Now that I've had time to think about it a lot, it doesn't hurtas much as it used to. I'm just glad I had a chance to play in a game likethat.

Schauffler, 18, who is headed for Western Oregon University to play football,says he has adjusted pretty well to the spread passing offense that theSouth team will use. McNary head coach Tom Smythe, an assistant coach underBell, will head the South offense and use the spread passing game. Bellwill direct the South defense and serve as head coach.

We've spent a lot of time in practice working on the passing partof the offense, says Schauffler. It can be complicated, butit's really not that much more complicated than what we did when I was ajunior at Eagle Point.

We threw the ball a lot that year, and then we went back to morerunning last year.

I like playing for coach Bell, says Schauffler. Wehave a lot of fun, but we have been working hard twice a day for almosta week.

Bell says he's happy to have a versatile running back/receiver like Schauffleron the South team.

Schauffler is tough and a great kid, says Bell. I'mglad we got him. He can do a lot of things.

Loomis will anchor the middle of the South defense, but he may play somefullback in a backup role, if the passing offense isn't as successful asBell would like.

As long as we score points, I'm happy with any offense we run,says Bell, who employs an option running game for Roseburg. But ifwe struggle, you may see the Roseburg offense real quick.

Other Southern Oregon Conference players on the South team are defensiveback Nick Daniken of Crater, offensive tackle Tommy Thomasson of North Medford,lineman Kirk Strait of Ashland and receiver Ryan Wells of Grants Pass.

All nine players from the Southern Oregon Conference are scheduled tostart for the South on Saturday night, according to Bell.