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Voget leads Ashland

ASHLAND — Cameron Voget wears No. 18 for the Ashland football team but he might as well have been wearing a target Friday night at Walter A. Phillips Field.

Having regained his starting quarterback position with sophomore Bryan Clevenger sidelined due to injury, Voget got one more chance to show his skills.

The junior signal-caller didn't disappoint as he passed for three touchdowns, ran for another and set up another score with an interception in leading Ashland to a 35-0 romp past Eagle Point.

Ashland improved to 7-1 overall and 5-1 in Southern Oregon Conference play, while the Eagles fell to 1-7 and 1-5.

Cameron kind of got his number called tonight, said Ashland senior Ryan Goodman. Bryan Clevenger stepped up last week against Crater and the week before against Redmond, and Cameron knew he had to do something tonight.

Goodman hauled in Voget's first two TD passes in the game's first three minutes as Ashland set the tone early that the Eagles would not be overlooked despite a North Medford confrontation looming on the horizon.

We wanted to come out strong and hit ?em hard, said Ashland senior Mac Contreras, who had a 2-yard TD run following Voget's interception. We just wanted to play all out from the snap to the whistle.

The Grizzlies accomplished that and more as they held up their end of the bargain to set up next Friday's clash with the Black Tornado (6-0 SOC) to decide whether North is the outright SOC champion or the honor is shared with Ashland and possibly Roseburg.

There was a few rough edges but I think some of that can be credited to Eagle Point, Ashland coach Jim Nagel said in evaluating Friday's performance. They did a few things defensively different that they hadn't shown before.

One aspect of the Eagle defense remains the same regardless of scheme, and that's the hard-nosed style Nagel was concerned about heading into Friday's tilt.

That was a concern to have Crater and Eagle Point back-to-back because they are two teams that like to hit you, he said. We're fortunate to not have anyone injured because both of those teams can be real physical.

Those bone-jarring hits were missing early in the game, however, as Mac Contreras took the opening handoff from Voget and raced 57 yards before being knocked out of bounds at the Eagle 8-yard line by a hustling Victor Shelton.

Contreras finished the night with 83 yards on 12 carries and hauled in a 35-yard TD pass from Voget for the lone second half score. Overall, Ashland amassed 134 yards on the ground and 165 through the air despite a handful of costly penalties.

It had a little ugliness to it but there was some good stuff in there too, said Nagel.

Ashland's offensive line performed very well considering the task at hand with a gritty Eagle Point defense. The Grizzlies opened some nice holes for Contreras and company, while also giving Voget time in the pocket to find open receivers.

Following the game, Nagel said Voget played well at quarterback and hinted he may see more time at that position regardless of how Clevenger comes back from his knee injury.

I would even entertain the thought of playing them both, said the coach. Maybe we?ll alternate series or something like that.

Either way, Goodman said the Grizzlies will be ready to roll in next Friday's regular-season finale at Spiegelberg Stadium.

We have a sophomore quarterback (Clevenger) that's really good and a junior quarterback (Voget) that's really good, said Goodman. It doesn't matter who's going to be behind the wheel, we?ll get the job done.

North is a real tough team. They do a lot of things really well. Their coaches are going to get them ready just like ours are going to get us ready. We?ll go out there and battle and just see who comes out on top.

Goodman did a fine job of helping set the tone early, continually finding holes in the Eagle Point secondary while batting down several potential completions by Eagles quarterback Kyle Gray.

He's got a knack for making plays, said Nagel. He's just a very natural athlete. He was even playing some quarterback this week and looking very good. He did a great job again on both sides of the ball.

Now all the Grizzlies need to do for next Friday is keep hold of the magic that has led them to seven straight wins following a season-opening loss to Roseburg.

It ought to be a great game in front of a great crowd, Nagel said of the pivotal game with North. That's what high school football is about. Getting up too high will be more of a problem than getting up for the game.