Ill quarterback unable to rally South team
CORVALLIS Luke Atwood, a quarterback with mononucleosis, defiedhis doctor's orders to play in the Shrine Bowl of Oregon all-star high schoolfootball game on Saturday night.
Atwood, who passed McNary High into the Class 4A state semifinals lastfall, electrified a crowd of 6,253 in the fourth quarter, but he fell shortof engineering a miracle South comeback as the North held on for a 25-22win at Parker Stadium.
Atwood, feeling weak and out of sync, still managed to fire a 65-yardtouchdown pass in the fourth period to cut the North lead to three points.
But time ran out on Atwood and the South.
The doctor told me he couldn't give me permission to play,said Atwood, I talked to my parents and decided to play anyway.
Atwood backed up Roseburg quarterback Jake Cookus for most of three quartersbefore he got his chance to deliver out of a spread offense that he madego for McNary last year.
I didn't feel very good but I wanted to play, said Atwood.I threw up seven or eight times after the game. I'm pretty tired butit was still fun.
I thought Cookus did a great job, said Atwood, who was theSouth's No. — quarterback during most of the week until coach Thurman Bellof Roseburg heard the doctor's recommendation.
Atwood was given a token start in the game, but Cookus was running theSouth offense by the second play.
Atwood completed a 64-yard touchdown pass to Tighran Delaney of Willamettewith 34 seconds left in the third quarter to cut the North lead to 25- 22.
In the final 15 minutes, Atwood had drives stopped on an interceptionand lost fumble. He drove to the North 31-yard-lijne before Joe Rideoutof McMinnville intercepted his tipped pass inside the North 20.
That pass was my fault, even though it was tipped, said Atwood.I shouldn't have thrown it because the receiver wasn't open.
The South squandered several scoring opportunities as Bell tried to staywith the McNary offense without its chief engineer (Atwood).
We had a lot of chances but we didn't get any breaks in the scoringarea, said Eagle Point running back Jacob Schauffler, who rushed for64 yards on 13 carries and returned a kickoff 59 yards in the second quarterto put the ball on the North 29.
But the South failed to cash in points when Cookus fumbled the ball awayto Don Yancey of the North at the North 22.
I thought I was going to score on that play, said Schauffler.I didn't see the guy who tackled me. If I had, I would have gone triedto get around him. I think I could have because he was a big guy.
When you don't score on opportunities like that, you have to knowyou are in trouble.
The North scored touchdowns on its opening two series of the drive behindthe passing of Joey Harrington, a 6-foot-4, 185-pound quarterback from CentralCatholic, who is headed for the University of Oregon on a scholarship.
Jason Taroli, son of former Oregon Sate running back Ray Taroli, scoredthe first North touchdown on an 8-yard run and added a 1-yard run laterin the opening quarter.
David Mackie gave the South its first touchdown on a 5-yard run, andthe South got two more points on a safety by defensive tackle Keith DiDomenicoof Sprague.
Davie Rothwell caught a 31-yard touchdown pass from Harrington to upthe North lead to 19-8, but the South drove back behind the running of SouthernOregon Conference running backs Brad Loomis of Roseburg and Schauffler.
Loomis completed a 62-yard drive with 1-yard touchdown run and Schauffleradded the two-point conversion run on a well-timed pitch from Cookus.
Taroli scored his third touchdown on a 2-yard run, but Atwood answeredwith his 31-yard touchdown pass to cut the lead to 25-22.
Atwood completed 8-of-14 passes for 125 yards and Cookus was 10 for 24for 99 yards.
Harrington completed 12 of 18 passes for 187 yards.
Taroli was the leading rusher in the game with 95 yards on 23 carries.
Schauffler led the South with 64 rushing yards.
North Medford offensive tackle Tommy Thomasson played all the way fromthe right side.
I think I played pretty well. Since we passed a lot, I did a lotof pass blocking. That's what I do best.
Since this was an all-star game, I'm not that disappointed thatwe lost, said Thomasson. It was a great experience getting toknow these guys and playing in an all-star game.
Ashland defensive lineman Kirk Strait tied with South teammate Zach Grayumin tackles with 10.
Cornerback Nick Daniken of Crater had one tackle, one interception andalso broke up one pass.