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Tornado blows away Pelicans

Tornado blows away Pelicans

halftime, the only intrigue left on the field centered around who would be selected North Medford High's homecoming queen.

The Black Tornado's football team quickly and forcefully eliminated all doubts about which team was boss as it exploded for 27 points in the second quarter on the way to a 61-16 lacing of Klamath Union Friday night at Spiegelberg Stadium.

North Medford running backs Ken Halpin and Phil Ouellette flashed their speed and power as runners and receivers in helping North run its Southern Oregon Conference record to 4-1 and its overall mark to 6-1.

Ouellette, a 155-pound junior tailback, rushed for 86 yards on nine carries and scored a touchdown on an 18-yard run in the first quarter as North took a 14-0 lead.

Ouellette also caught two passes, both for touchdowns, from quarterback Nate Mayben, covering 14 and 22 yards.

Halpin, a 205-pound fullback who may be North's fastest player, churned his way to 47 rushing yards on five carries and caught two passes, both resulting in touchdowns from Mayben, from 73 and 18 yards away.

He added his third touchdown on a 25-yard romp in the second quarter as North took a 41-0 lead at halftime.

I like to score and make big plays, but I actually feel better about laying a block for Phil (Ouellette) than scoring myself, said Halpin. Give our offensive line a lot of credit. They opened up big holes.

Ouellette's touchdown catches both came on screen passes from Mayben.

Our perimeter guys cut down people and opened both plays up, said Ouellette. `It's really nice to have Kenny (Halpin) blocking in front of me. He's so big and physical, he makes people run away from him.

Mayben, the top-rated passer in the Southern Oregon Conference, had another impressive game. He completed 5 of 7 passes for 163 yards and three touchdowns. He also displayed his speed as a runner with a 70-yard touchdown romp early in the third quarter to help North take a 48-0 lead.

Mayben faked a pitch to Halpin sweeping around right end, then took off the other way on an option play to the left. As Klamath's defense chased Halpin, who carried out the fake so well it looked like he might score around the right side, Mayben was streaking alone up the left sideline with the ball.

Nate faked on the option real well, said North coach Rod Rumrey. He has executed very well the last three weeks, He's made good decisions and has not turned the ball over.

North's biggest mistake of the game came on the opening kickoff. The Pelicans successfully negotiated an onside kick and took the ball at the North Medford 38-yard line.

But North's defense stiffened and forced a Pelican punt. At that point, the Black Tornado started its first of six straight scoring drives that produced a 41-0 lead at halftime.

North hammered the ball at the Pelicans with its running game on its opening drive, and Mayben changed things up with a 43-yard pass to tight end Colby Gonzales up the right sideline to move the ball to the Klamath 14.

On the next play, the Black Tornado came back with a screen pass to Ouellette, who had three blockers and no tacklers in front of him, as he blazed down the right sideline untouched.

Ouellette ran for 17 yards to the Klamath 28 on the next series and circled right end on a sweep for another easy touchdown run of 18 yards as the Black Tornado took a 13-0 lead with 3:02 left in the first quarter.

But those first-quarter touchdowns were just the warmup for North. The Black Tornado struck for four more touchdowns in the second quarter.

The Black Tornado hit the Pelicans' defensive flank again when Mayben dumped a short pass to Halpin, who broke two tackles and burst into the open up the left sideline for a 73-yard touchdown.

On the next series, Halpin scored again on an 18-yard pass from Mayben.

Ouellette took his turn in the end zone on the ensuing series on a 22-yard screen pass from backup quarterback Kevin Foreman.

I was glad to get Foreman some playing time, said Rumrey. He had an awesome drive there and threw the touchdown pass just right.

Prior to the touchdown pass, Foreman zipped a scoring pass that was called back due to a penalty against North Medford for illegal procedure.

Halpin's 25-yard touchdown run followed, and Mayben kept the offensive explosive early in the second half with his 70-yard touchdown run.

Rumrey played his junior varsity players for much of the rest of the game. As Klamath Union began its second touchdown drive late in the fourth quarter, Rumrey said he had his starting defense from the North freshman team on the field.

We had 11 freshmen out there, said Rumrey. `It was amazing. We played about 90 of 95 kids we dressed. It was a thrill for those freshmen to get out there.

Klamath Union quarterback Dylan Woodrum hit L.J. Newsom with an 8-yard touchdown pass and Dave Trujillo scored the Pelicans' second touchdown on a 2-yard run.

Sophomore Justin MacLauchlan, who is heralded as North's tailback of the future, romped 13 yards for his first varsity touchdown with 6:43 left in the game.