Distracted Cougars recover to clip Henley, 20-19
CAVE JUNCTION ' Illinois Valley had to overcome more than a resurgent Henley in Skyline Conference football Saturday.
Shock waves went through Cougar-land when leading rusher Natty Krauss suffered a season-ending injury in the locker room prior to practice Friday.
With the hangover of the Krauss injury obviously affecting the Cougars' first-half performance, Illinois Valley had to rally after intermission for a 20-19 victory over Henley.
The Hornets (1-5, 1-2 Skyline) ended a seven-game conference losing streak last week with a 21-0 victory over Hidden Valley.
Krauss sustained tendon damage in a hand and lost the ends of a couple fingers when he fell through a locker room window. Krauss had surgery Friday and spent the night in Three Rivers Community Hospital in Grants Pass. He was released Saturday morning and was on the sideline at the game.
— (Krauss) was horsing around and stumbled backwards, Illinois Valley coach Bob Thornhill explained. He went to catch himself on the wall, but his hand went through a window instead.
It was an emotional day (Friday) for the kids, continued Thornhill. We weren't thinking about the game. We were worried about Natty and his condition. It was hard for us to get focused.
The Cougars (6-1, 3-1 Skyline) got a boost from Krauss' replacement, sophomore Ian Moore.
Not only did Moore score the Cougars' first touchdown on a 62-yard first-quarter run, but the 5-foot-7, 150-pound wingback tallied the winning touchdown with 4:52 remaining in the game.
Moore hauled in a 58-yard TD pass reception from wingback Mike Pagnotta.
We showed run fake and pitched it to Michael to make it look like a run, said Thornhill. Michael drilled the ball to (Moore) about 15 yards off the line of scrimmage, and he ran between the DBs untouched.
Moore complemented Pagnotta's 133 yards on the ground with 92 yards on 16 carries.
I met Ian this morning coming in, said Thornhill. I told him, 'This is your shot.' He stepped up and played like he was a varsity player all year.
Thornhill speculates Krauss' injury led to the Cougars' lackluster first-half performance. Illinois Valley found itself trailing 19-7 at the break.
I had to get into my O-line a little bit, said Thornhill. I put the challenge to them.
The Cougars ended up rushing for 249 yards and passing for 100 more.
Henley was just the reverse with 264 through the air and 120 on the ground.
The Cougars' defense blanked the Hornets in the second half with a more inspired effort.
We started knocking people around, said Thornhill. They started playing to hold the lead instead of trying to win, and that allowed us to sneak back in.
Henley...........................................7 12 0 0 ' 19
Illinois Valley................................7 0 7 6 ' 20
H ' Morgan 72 pass from Card (Hargrave kick)
IV ' Moore 62 run (Pope kick)
H ' Warner 45 pass from Card (kick failed)
H ' Rippetto — run (run failed)
IV ' Pagnotta 2 run (Pope kick)
IV ' Moore 58 pass from Pagnotta (run failed)
ASHLAND MAKES SEMIFINALS ' At Bend, the Ashland High volleyball team advanced to the semifinals of the Clearwater Classic before losing to second-ranked Gresham, 25-13, 25-15.
In earlier bracket play, the Grizzlies, who are ranked fourth, beat Bend, 25-8, 25-14, and 10th-ranked Roseburg 25-13, 23-25, 15-13.
In pool play, Ashland beat Reynolds, 25-15, 25-18, and seventh-ranked Barlow, 25-17, 25-18.
Fifth-ranked North Medford, meanwhile, lost to Sheldon in the first round of bracket play.
Top-ranked West Linn defeated Gresham in the finals, 25-20, 25-17.
BUTTE FALLS 25-25-25, NEW HOPE 8-17-21 '
At Grants Pass, senior middle Casey Bartel and senior outside hitter Kathi St. George slammed 11 kills each to power Butte Falls to the Skyline A League victory.
Senior setter Brianna Smeltz added 15 assists and eight aces and senior outside hitter Asia Million chipped in seven digs for the Loggers, who moved to 9-0 in league play and 16-6 overall.
BEND CLASSIC ' At Bend, Ashland junior David Wright posted the second-fastest 5,000 meters in school history with his second-place finish at Drake Park.
Wright led by 30 meters with about 800 meters to go, but he was caught by race winner Kenyon Neuman from Summit of Bend.
Neuman's winning time was 15 minutes, 38.1 seconds, while Wright posted a 15.40.8
Only Sean McCleary's 15:39 in 1991 is a faster time by a Grizzly runner.
Ashland finished seventh out of 16 teams with 175 points.
David Morgan's sixth place (16:02) was the next best finish for an Ashland runner.
Klamath Union was eighth (181), and Grants Pass 10th (249).
Trevor Hanlin was the top Caveman runner at 20th place (16:34.5).
Klamath Union's Katie Leary won the girls 5,000 meters in 18:02.
The Pelicans finished third in the team race with 132 points.
Snohomish, Wash., won the girls title with 53.
Grants Pass finished 15th (367) and Ashland 16th (457).
Brittany Hodgson paced the Cavers, finishing 16th (19:32.4), while freshman Sophie Distephano was the top Grizzly girl with a personal-best 21:18.8, good for 69th.