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North sacks KU

Hovland accounts for six touchdowns to lead the Black Tornado to the SOC rout over the Pelicans

North Medford's Beau Hovland had the kind of night reserved for P.E. class or Playstation 2 football Friday night at Spiegelberg Stadium.

The junior quarterback passed for five touchdowns and ran for another in leading the third-ranked Black Tornado to a 58-20 romp past Klamath Union in Southern Oregon Conference play.

Hovland's five TD passes tied a school record set by K.C. Rumrey in 1996 against Ashland, and his 75-yard hookup with Brian Clifton, the first of three for the senior receiver, established a new school record. Nate Philo hauled in a 70-yarder from Rumrey against Eagle Point in '96.

About the only downside to Hovland's game Friday was that he finally threw his first interception of the season on his 57th attempt.

I'll take the blame for that, said Hovland, who completed 12-of-20 passes for 254 yards. I dropped my elbow. It happens.

North Medford (5-0, 3-0 SOC) led by as much as 52-6 with six minutes to play before the Pelicans (1-4, 0-3) finally got a full taste of the Black Tornado junior varsity. KU tacked on two touchdowns and a two-point conversion to offset a North TD in closing the gap.

The final, 38-point differential marked the closest KU has come to the Tornado since a 22-6 loss in '94.

They're very good, KU coach Wayne Amos said. They had us outmatched everywhere. They're not really weak anywhere, at least that I could see.

If the Pelicans had any hope of sneaking up on the Tornado, it was squashed early as North needed only six plays to score two touchdowns in taking a 14-0 first-quarter lead.

North junior Rob Folsom swarmed over KU's Angelo Dearborn on the opening series when Dearborn bobbled a punt snap. Reese Lamson scored from 9 yards out three plays later.

After KU picked up a couple big plays off screen passes, North Medford held on fourth down at the Tornado 28-yard line. Three plays later, Hovland rifled a deep out to Tyler Engle that was turned upfield for a 49-yard TD.

Things just got worse for the Pelicans on their next series as Brian Jimenez blocked Dearborn's punt attempt. This time, however, a penalty wiped out an apparent touchdown pass from Hovland to Clifton, and the Tornado had to settle for a 25-yard field goal by Shawn Hale to start the second quarter.

Adding salt to the Pelicans' wound on the next series, Dearborn finally got a punt away, only to have Engle return it 57 yards to the KU 2. Hovland followed with a 2-yard plunge on the ensuing play to make it 24-0 with 10:19 to go in the half.

We wanted to be quick-starters right out of the gate and set the tone right from the start, said North coach John Beck, because we didn't do that last week against Grants Pass. I thought the kids accomplished that pretty well.

After forcing another punt by Dearborn, the Tornado struck again right away with the aforementioned 75-yard connection from Hovland to Clifton to make it 31-0.

Trying to help out a secondary composed of sophomores, Amos altered his defensive attack in the third quarter, rushing four players while dropping back seven. That scheme initially worked, with Robert Kincaid batting a Hovland offering at the line-of-scrimmage and then hauling it in to give the Pelicans a lift.

KU marched 76 yards in six plays for its first score of the night, with Dearborn finding a wide-open Sean Anderson in the end zone from 6 yards out.

Undaunted, North marched right back with a Hovland pass to Engle for a 28-yard TD.

Hovland added two fourth-quarter TD passes to Clifton to cap his big night.

We didn't practice all that great this week so we wanted to come out and show them what we have, said Hovland, especially with our passing game.

Clifton finished with four receptions for 102 yards, while Lamson rushed for 95 yards on 11 carries on a night when overall numbers didn't tell the full story of North's domination.

Dearborn was 19-of-33 passing for 320 yards and three touchdowns as KU took advantage of a considerable edge in time of possession, due in large part to North's quick scores.

I like the fact that our kids didn't quit, said Amos. They played hard to the end.

North Medford?s David Faaeteete, left, and Rob Folsom (7) converge to sack Klamath Union quarterback Angelo Dearborn in Friday?s game. Mail Tribune / Roy Musitelli - Mail Tribune Roy Musitelli