A workmanlike rout
Fifth-ranked North Medford is all business in drilling Eagle Point to stay unbeaten in the SOC
In its previous outing, the North Medford High football team used emotion, intensity and its vast amount of talent to wallop cross-town rival South Medford by 43 points.
Friday night at Spiegelberg Stadium, the fifth-ranked Black Tornado wasn't nearly as fired up in its matchup with Eagle Point.
It didn't need to be.
— Employing a business-like approach, the Tornado scored on four of its five first-half possessions and coasted to a 33-0 victory over the Eagles.
The win elevated North Medford to 6-1 overall and 4-0 in the Southern Oregon Conference heading into next Friday's showdown against Roseburg, a 38-7 winner over Grants Pass on Friday.
Senior quarterback Beau Hovland ran for two touchdowns and passed for two others in the first half, as North Medford took a 26-0 lead into the intermission.
We came out and scored right away, and that set the tone for the game, Hovland said. We wanted to take control early.
North Medford needed just four plays and less than four minutes to get on the board.
Hovland got the touchdown on a 1-yard sneak, but the two plays that set it up were a 23-yard run by senior tailback Rob Folsom and a 32-yard pass from Hovland to senior wide receiver Trent Driskell.
Eagle Point managed to register a first down on its opening possession, but six plays into the drive quarterback Creighton Nevin fumbled the ball and North Medford linebacker Ryan Weiss recovered at the Eagles' 43-yard line.
Five plays later, Hovland rifled a 29-yard touchdown pass to Driskell on a slant pattern.
Nick Taylor's PAT kick sailed wide, but the Tornado had a 13-0 lead at the 7:37 mark of the first quarter.
North Medford successfully utilized a no-huddle offense on its first two drives.
We work on it all the time in practice but hadn't used it much (in a game) until tonight, Hovland said. I love running it. It helps get me and my receivers in a rhythm, and it keeps our whole team on their toes.
North Medford's other two scores in the first half came on a 14-yard pass from Hovland to Ben Running and on another 1-yard sneak by Hovland.
The latter score was set up by Steve Johnson's interception of Eagles quarterback Jered McClellan at the EP 15. The pass was initially deflected by David Faaeteete, North Medford's standout lineman.
We had a hard time sustaining anything offensively, and those turnovers obviously hurt, said Eagle Point coach Harry Hedrick, whose team dropped to 4-3 overall and 2-3 in the SOC. You can't give them a short field and not expect to pay.
Folsom capped a 60-yard, five-play drive with an 8-yard touchdown run as North Medford scored on its first possession of the second half to widen the differential to 33-0.
The big plays of the foray were a 32-yard screen pass from Hovland to junior wideout Drew Herrera and Hovland's 19-yard scramble.
Folsom finished the night with 109 yards rushing on just 12 carries, while Hovland was 5 of 13 for 111 yards passing.
We knew we weren't going to come out and have the same intensity we did against South Medford, Tornado coach John Beck said. But I thought our guys were pretty efficient on both sides of the ball.
We took care of business early.
Eagle Point's deepest penetration was the North Medford 25 early in the fourth period, but the Tornado pushed the Eagles back to the 33 and McClellan's fourth-down pass fell incomplete.
The biggest roar from the North Medford crowd in the fourth quarter came when Faaeteete, the Tornado's 6-foot-3, 275-pound senior, got the call on a running play.
Faaeteete was hit about a yard upfield, but dragged a host of Eagles another five yards before tumbling to the turf.
It was his last home game, and we wanted to give him a little reward, Beck explained. He played fullback in the ninth grade, and he's been asking for the ball for the last three years.